Isolationaversay

Number of days it’s been illegal for me to be in the same room as my best friends: 319 in total, including: one period of self isolation, three national lockdowns, two local lockdowns and two tiers (on three different occasions). 175 consecutive days.

Toilet roll situation (resurrecting this old category for old time’s sake): Still on a pretty solid supply of toilet roll, although if I was to plot a graph of toilet roll stocks we’d have a third-wave style peak-and-drop because last weekend my beloved friend/neighbour/colleague tasked me with the very important task of babysitting her loo rolls. This was not because we have all gone completely insane, but because they were staying at their mum’s (their bubble #CovidDisclaimer) and their loo roll showed up. I happen to be a proud owner of a key to their house. The only time I’ve actually used this was that time I broke into their house to attempt a good dead of delivering flowers and home cooked food after the birth of their son, but sadly managed to break in while Joe was actually there and nearly gave him a heart attack when he came downstairs after hearing the door and found me in his front room (sorry, pal). But, for some reason, they didn’t take the key off me after this point, so I wandered up the road too protect the 48 loo rolls from the elements. Alas, they bolted the door, so I ended up carrying the 48 loo rolls past 20 houses and babysitting them for a while (always nice to have extra company, even if it’s loo roll). Also, someone had left them daffodils on their doorstep! These had somewhat dried out…. And couldn’t stay in my house because they’re toxic to cats, so I delivered these to another friend. So, if you are the ones who left my friend/neighbour/colleague flowers… they did get slightly displaced and slightly dehydrated but it was a happy ending in the end.

Pasta stocks: Completely embarassing amount of pasta. I think my stock piling instincts kicked in too late, because I have:

  • 1 pack of fresh lasagna sheets
  • 1 pack of dr0cv dccxx — whoops, Cat.
  • I pack of dried lasagna sheets
  • 2 packs of penne
  • 2 packs of macaroni
  • 1 pack of those shells
  • 2 packs of spaghetti 
  • Some fusilloni that came with my gousto box 

I am one person (+ cat) so this is probably 570932407302 meals worth of pasta. 

Mum’s top sentiment of the day

It’s perfect that you got the date of Mother’s Day wrong, because now my flowers are all in bloom on the actual day! 

(In my defence, when I looked at my calendar for last Sunday… the next entry was for Mother’s Day because absolutely nothing happens in my life, so I assumed that it was the entry for 7th…. But anyway, enjoy your flowers Mum).

General:

Today’s the day folks! It is an entire year since that fateful day that I started coughing in Sheffield, sheepishly got the train home, maskless (😱) and self-conscious, settling in for my ‘7 days’ of self-isolation with nooooo ideaaaaaaa that a year from now I’d consider going to the garden centre to be the most exciting part of my adult life. I had no clue that my ‘leaving the house average’ would become about 0.42 times a day (for legitimate exercise / bubble or permitted volunteering related reasons #CovidDisclaimer), or that I would not get to see my parents for a full six months, or that I would willingingly sit in the garden in the rain for human contact, or that I would start talking to the cat / plants / toilet roll in increasingly bad accents.

I have learnt that I can do five days without seeing a human being and still be fine, but if we get beyond seven then I start to feel a bit isolated. I have learnt that hope is a bit of a mixed bag and sometimes it’s a lot easier to crawl into your cave and hibernate and not make any plans. I have learnt that wild garlic starts to appear in March and it’s the first thing in the woods that’s really green. I have learnt that wine -no-more, although excellent for getting wine stains out of the carpets / off the ceiling, doesn’t do a great job with cat poo (not off the ceiling, thank god). I have learnt that being alone is really different to being lonely, but the former can be hard just by itself. I have learnt that it’s possible to be bored and still have lots of things you want to do and to technically have no plans but still feel too busy. I have learnt that if you add the catholic cards, our personal custom pack, the COVID pack and the british politics pack, playing all bad cards (online cards against humanity) can be funny enough to make me cry laughing. I have learnt that I am probably never going to have enough time to actually put my clothes fully away, rather than low-key pick things to wear straight off the airer. I have learnt that I have been under-introverting my entire life and I have learnt that it is possible for me to over-introvert. I’ve learnt that you should take the side shoots off tomato plants every week. I’ve learnt that on sims 3 they get the ‘stir crazy’ moodlet after three days of being in the house and that those sims can piss right off, because they don’t know the half of it.

I have learnt how lovely it is to have someone make you a cup of tea, or a cup of coffee, after this crystal-clear memory of the first time someone made me a drink for the first time in weeeeeeks and how that small act of service nearly made me cry. I have learnt that I am much more prone to jealousy than I’ve ever realised and that I still hate all those people who went on holiday (except not really) and I have learnt how much grace we need to have for each other in this weird, polarising experience where some people have been dying for a moment’s peace while I would quite like all this ‘peace’ to piss right off. I have learnt that you can buy a device that means you can apply suncream on your own back. I have learnt that being a twenty-seven year old sat in a paddling pool in a swimming costume is an entirely valid life choice. I have learnt that lockdown holidays on your own in your house are okay, really, if not entirely fulfilling or relaxing, and that they’re much worse in winter. I have learnt to be so desperately excited and ready for the spring that the weather basically dictates my mood.

I have learnt that thinking of food to cook for yourself for the millionth meal alone in a row is very dull. I have learnt that it is possible to overdose on paint by numbers. I have learnt that I spend a terrifying amount of time listening to spotify. I have learnt that you can watch Friends three times in one pandemic. I have learnt that you can play Harry Potter Lego Wii twice in one pandemic. I have learnt that you can spend a terrifying amount of money on gardening and gardening related products. I have learnt that growing things makes my brain quiet. I have learnt that having a cat is the best, best, best lockdown company.

I have learnt that pandemics are slow and long and frustrating, but do have this habit of forcing you to realise the things that are actually important to you. Like wine. Wine is very important to me. 

Lockdown weekend number fifty something:

Friday:

Am taking the day off, because at approximately 9:30 on Tuesday I realised that five day working weeks are the barbaric results of capitalist plots designed to cause pain, misery and disappointment (or, I’m really overdue a proper break, but am attempting to preserve annual leave until I can like… legally see other human beings. Or even like…go somewhere. Wild). Am attempting to create ‘sustainable and healthy rhythms’ in my life so that I can say I gained something out of this pandemic experience, so start the day by listening to me bible-in-fourteen-months (the lesser known spin off of bible in a year. Am 76% of the way through. Will get there), then writing my ‘morning pages’ which I have shameless ripped off northern bestie and is essentially just journaling. I write a very interesting entry about how it’s raining and how that makes me sad and then spend an hour drinking a cup of coffee and doing nothing else.

Go to the shop. Have been avoiding it, but am also baking a cake and need cake-things. Think it will be quiet because it’s the middle of the working day, but it’s apocalyptically busy and horrific. Hate everyone, including myself for this terrible decision. Make it out of there alive and call my mum because last night I dreamt she was dead. She isn’t, which is excellent, and she tells me the daffodils I bought her for not-mother’s day are doing well. She is also intending to bake a cake today. Realise I now know what retirement must be like, given last 12 months.

Bake cake. Make lunch. Spend an hour drinking cup of tea in the conservatory, because the microclimate of the conservatory makes it feel like June and June is a much happier place. Sit some more.

Meet friend!! It’s her birthday and as of Monday it’s legal for us to do a ‘recreational outdoor activity’ — such as drink coffee — so we sit in the picnic bench in the park and drink fake-proescco and I give her cake and a fake candle for her to not-blow out (#CovidDisclaimer). 

It is completely freezing. Weather is a bizarre sunny then rain but cold, with apocalyptic winds. By the time we have finished eating cake, we decide to go for a walk so we don’t turn into giant cubes of ice. It starts to hail. We keep walking. She refuses to take the whole cake home, so I keep some and drop this back off at my house before…. heading straight back to the park for weekly-walk with pal. Now, it’s raining. Cold-rain. Very cold rain. Still, walk is nice and we talk about how virtually nothing has happened since our walk last week which is good, reassuring rhythm.

Get home and collapse on sofa. Watch Drag Race with friend over netflix watch party until sleep time. Read Coronavirus death statistics in bed then dream about people sabotaging my plants.

Saturday

Wake up to cat in my face, because he has managed to open bedroom door and wants attention. Protect my legs by bundling them up in three layers of duvet so that if he hunts my feet I won’t end up actually bleeding, then watch ‘marriage or mortgage’ in bed. Get up. Listen to bible-in-fourteen-or-maybe-fifteen months. Write fascinating entry to my journal about how much I love my cat. Spend an hour drinking coffee. Hoover. Cook lunch.

Receive email about family zoom call, so tune in while eating my lunch. Dad (still) very entertained by zoom filters. His entertainment level is only matched by niece, who is three, and keeps asking for her/his filter to be changed. Sister is trying to do other things at the same time and keeps being beckoned back to change the filter to the reindeer. While on the call, I mop the kitchen (yesterday I dropped a bowl of peanut butter icing on the floor while making the cake, so the mopping is necessary), clean the surfaces, take out the bins etc. Mum is knitting a character from Bing (for niece). Niece is eating her lunch (with the reindeer ears on) / pretending to deliver us presents on her sleigh. We have never shared these combination of experiences before, so it’s nice that COVID is bringing us together.

Leave call to do some conservatory gardening. 

Go for walk with friend. It’s very cold but it doesn’t rain and it’s very nice to see her. Saltaire is pretty.

Come home, cook dinner, have video call with the besties. Sleep.

Sunday

Wake too early due to light (hate light). Spend an hour drinking one cup of coffee. Watch church from sofa in PJs, then write journal entry (another fascinating piece about how I’m sad that it’s raining and I like my cat), before getting onto the exciting gardening! It’s exciting because I am graduating one type of tomatoes away from the heat mats and into their forever growbag homes. Fret over skinny aubergines and accidentally buy more seeds because I have a problem.

Have lunch.

Spend an hour on my Bertie diamond mosaic thing.

Go for a walk with friend. We compare notes about who we’ve walked with for the last few weekends, because nothing else has happened in our lives. It’s raining a lot. It’s also cold. Probably the most grim weather for a while. 

Come home. Spend an hour drinking cup of tea. Write profound and interesting blog post about my lockdown experiences. Post blog and await the adoring reactions and responses from my many fans. 

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