It’s been a rather huge leave of absence from me, firstly due to pregnancy related matters, and then a few unusual weeks of late, namely in relation to the C word! My boyfriend and I, who share the same birthday, had a lockdown birthday, last week but were able to have some online catch ups, cake baking and go for our usual daily walk. It wasn’t necessarily a birthday that different than from a normal year in many respects, I’d have probably just booked to go out with friends during the course of the month and that for now isn’t on the cards, but with the online possibilities, it’s no problem at all and rather wondrous to have in some respects stillness enforced upon you. That and my reduction of social media use has meant I have felt more present than ever before, and been able to catch up on things that I didn’t feel I could make the time for before.
But it’s certainly been an intense and strange time, for almost everyone. In fact, I don’t know of anyone who has not in some way been affected by it and I’m sure you’re the same. Not least health wise, but those who have been affected financially or emotionally by it all and will continue to be affected when the lockdowns globally end. It is times like these you think; thank goodness to be able to keep an income, thank goodness for the privilege of being able to work from home, as well as to thank goodness for each other and the support we offer to one another. Gratitude on so many levels. I know of a few people who have lost their jobs and don’t fall under the remit of government protection, of keyworkers who’d prefer to have more PPE when being so front line focused (rather than the platitudes by the same government who have assisted enormously to run services like the NHS down) and single parents who in one fell swoop lost jobs as the sole home earner when schools shut down as part of lockdown measures.
As mentioned, I wasn’t in a position of London blogging of late, and of course due to current circumstances there is nothing that could significant that could now be offered to you London wise, as you’d expect! (travelling across the city is out, all shops bar food and essentials shut, all entertainment shut etc etc). Our personal days in my household consist of finishing work around 5pm and going for a daily stroll to our local park. We have a small 1 bedroom flat and are so grateful for both of us being able to work from home as we are now. Someone mentioned lockdown until September, but for now it appears to be until May and with every bit of luck and well wishes for those health affected, the idea of finishing lockdown in May gives me so much hope! Regardless, I wanted to share some uplifting positive things, that has me feeling so happy for April, in spite of this understandably unsettling time we are in.
- April weather cheering us along. Thank you to April for the beautiful weather it has shone down so far! Weather certainly helps one mood at any time, and especially so when you’re in full or partial lockdown, giving you extra hope and reminding you this wont be forever. Loving the longer evenings as the clocks went forward end of March, and hearing the birds tweet.
- Local parks. A godsend everywhere but especially cities like London where many people don’t have gardens. We have found our local park to be quite appropriate with social distancing, whereas I have heard bigger parks like Finsbury Park have struggled to keep people in line with this. Nonetheless, thank you parks! You are a godsend.
- Supporting where you can, and if financially still ok, local businesses who have tried to keep their business afloat with delivering takeaways for example. We have marvelled at the ingenuity and creativity of small businesses and have enjoyed a few deliveries from the London vegan icecream company, Dappa icecream. I first came across Dappa at a festival last year, and fell in love, meaning to track them down at their local stores. Since the Corona crisis has hit, they have started delivering all across London, making cartons for home consumption instead. Their products are made from almond milk, and are just the most delicious thing ever and I hope they continue to deliver their wares in tubs as they are now. We celebrated our birthday with their Peanut Positivity and Chocolate Composure flavours! Check them out at https://www.getdappa.com/
- Getting online (mindfully). There does seem to be an overflow of free courses and classes, mindful podcasts and free materials, and it is all amazing to have these options but maybe a bit overwhelming at the same time, and difficult to fit it in if you’re working as well. Also if you’re not working, maybe you’d you just enjoy the time of stillness without having so many options of things to do! We are obsessed with doing aren’t we, but to be, and rest is just as valid and important. I have 2 podcasts that I’m sticking to at the moment, as they definitely help to manage anxieties, and overthinking and I love the topics these women offer: London based Chloe Brotherridge and the “Calmer You” podcast, and Becki Rabin and “Get Lit”. Find what works for you and use this as a time to unsubscribe if too much hitting your inbox. I have unsubscribed from a million things and feel so much better for it!
- If a keyworker, make sure you are aware of the few little perks that are offered as a thank you by many companies. Not least the specific opening hours of major supermarkets (I was given free flowers on one such opening in Tesco recently and it almost made me cry!), the 40% off offer from Bloom and Wild if you have a keyworker or NHS email account- https://www.bloomandwild.com/public-services-discount and deals from takeaway options such as Ubereats and Justeats. This list is subject to change and it is worth adding that it isn’t always only NHS workers that can apply, many do mention keyworkers also: https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/list-of-nhs-staff-offers/
- Would love to know what you’re doing to make this as happy and positive a time for you as possible, if its possible, and whether you are working from home and how that’s going, or not working at all and how that’s going too. And where it isn’t possible for happy and positive times for you at the moment, all my love for now.