The Strangest of Times – Stay at Home Week 1

The Strangest of Times – Stay at Home Week 1


This is not a diary since the start of the strangest of times but begins where my last blog left off. I have decided a general summing up each day is probably the best way to go….for now anyway. Maybe some of what I do can help others, who knows, for these days are all unknown.

Monday 23rd.  I am counting the days since I last had coffee with a friend. My friend was tested yesterday and is waiting for the results. I have read incubation is 2-14 days. Today is day 13. I have everything crossed. I get allergy asthma and have had a slight purr for a few days now so over the last days I have been watching every cough, wheeze, sneeze and washing my hands over and over again.

On the way to get our new rotary drier today we got diverted due to roadworks and ended up going a long way out of our way. During the detour we realised that a) we had no idea where we were b) we could easily have ignored the detour and gone a different way, a way we  knew and c) none of it actually mattered in any way as we had absolutely nothing else we needed to be doing at all.

Our holiday, as I said in my last blog was cancelled completely yesterday. Conversation has ranged from will we ever be able to go somewhere again, to if we had postponed it until next year we have no idea how our health will be (we are not getting any younger and are in the at risk age group after all) to, will we even be around when this is all over. We are allowed some doom and gloom sometimes although for some reason I really believe we will both be ok.

Tuesday 24th Today I wrote a catch up blog starting with when we first became impacted by the virus. This is something I had been thinking about doing and of course I do have the time now so no excuses.

Found myself coughing a lot this morning but then realised I had forgotten to use my inhaler. All good once I had. Had a good laugh to myself about it, panic over.

Gym: My real gym is still open having created timed slots, enough individual spaces for a small number of people to workout with small weights etc, time in between for disinfecting each workspace and any equipment used. They are doing their best but it is too much of a risk so I have set up a ‘gym’ in what was my treatment/teaching space, outside in my log cabin.

It is nothing special, simply foam roller, yoga mats, resistance bands and a pilates ball, all things I had at home anyway. I now think I should have picked up some light weights in Aldi a few weeks ago but I didn’t so I’ll manage. What this space gives me though, apart from chance to move, is some routine. I plan to go to it on days I would have gone to my real gym if I am not walking due to the weather plus maybe an extra day because at the moment there is no Zumba.  I have downloaded some Spotify gym playlists to my phone, and so I have music.

Today was my first real workout, just a warm up, resistance bands, squats, lunges and stretching cool down but I really enjoyed it. Could feel my body buzzing afterwards. We were so made to move.

Coming back into the house I saw a bee, yesterday when we went out we saw a butterfly and last evening there was the amazing sunset. It’s brilliant how nature can brighten up things for us isn’t it. Of course now we’ve slowed down maybe we will have more time to look and realise what is around us.

Wednesday 25th Today’s excitement has been getting our first online shop delivered. It arrived within the time slot booked, a couple of things substituted and a few things missing, mainly a few items of fruit and veg. I forget that so much of what we eat comes from elsewhere. Garlic from Spain, and Ginger from China I think, are nowhere to be seen. We were though missing blueberries, mange tout, and plums. I’ve no idea where these come from, perhaps I should know. Fish is also missing and is likely to be throughout as the fishing boats are no longer going to sea. This is a shame as fish is so good for us. I’m sure we’ll manage though as long as we can get other healthy forms of protein. It can’t be forever after all.

Thursday 26th Gym day again and new ways to use the resistance bands. So pleased I kept the insert in the box which has loads of instructions on. Great to have new things to try.

The sun was shining so we went for a walk on the beach. Lots of cars but not too many people, family groups all keeping to themselves, the odd picnic and some elderly friends who had travelled separately, brought chairs with them, set them up apart from each other by their cars and were having a good catch up. Everyone was being sensible and as the tide was way out we got a lovely long walk, lots of sea air and some sunshine. Simple things these days 🙂 The picture at the start is the beach. I can’t take you there but I can share this with you.

Friday 27th I have had an itchy, dry,  uncomfortable throat for a few days now and don’t feel 100%. I know it is most likely hay fever or allergy asthma so I am taking antihistamine and using my inhalers carefully. Easy to fear the worst. I looked up hay fever symptoms and early virus symptoms and guess what – they are the same! Oh well.  I’m fine 🙂 Best not to look things up, I really should know better.

There is so much being offered freely online, art lessons, dance, gym workouts, music, maths, languages that it’s beginning to be a little overwhelming. People are very kind sharing everything online, in WhatsApp groups etc etc but I think it’s time to start filtering things out and ignoring everything that doesn’t seem important or useful.

Beautiful weather again so we went for a walk from the house. I think this is something we will do every day it’s dry, along with opening all the windows, as fresh air suddenly seems vital.

4pm tonight was a live briefing and we now have more restrictions. A lockdown in all but name. Life is closing down even more but what we are being asked to do is pretty much what I have been doing anyway, so for me nothing much will change at this point, unless I have missed something.  For others though this brings yet more change.

Actually we have just found out all golf courses are closed now which means the 15 hrs or so a week I had to my self have just vanished. Luckily we have space in our home and we have the garden, it does seem important that we both make sure we have time to ourselves over the coming weeks so I guess there is change after all.

Tonight we stood in our back garden and watched the ISS fly over us followed by the starlinks. The sky was clear and we watched the stars slowly appear above us. Best of all was the bats that were flying around the garden. This is the first time we have seen them for ages. Have they been here all the time and we have just not noticed? What else have we missed through being too busy to stand still and look?

My husband just happened to look out of the window around 9.30pm and saw this,


a red crescent moon. Someone said to me, when they saw the photo on Facebook, that our ancestors would have seen this as an bad omen, today though it feels like nature is showing us how amazing the world is despite everything that is going on.

Saturday 28th I feel really out of sorts today for some reason. Not sure what it is but recognise there are bound to be days like this. For now it’s best to sit with it, acknowledge it and try not to get caught up in it all. Eat well, exercise, sleep well and let it pass.

Sunday 29th My Zumba teacher has managed to work out Zoom and to test it out we had an impromptu dance around complete with all the laughter that goes with Zumba this morning which was just what I needed. Dancing bare foot on carpet, dressed in warm clothes is not the usual way I do Zumba but really who cares.

Looking back on this blog earlier this morning I found it hard to believe that it was only Friday that the deeper restrictions came in. Isn’t it amazing how quickly we adapt to new situations when we have no real choice and when instead of resisting them we allow ourselves to go with the flow and make the best of them.

The Strangest of Times

The Strangest of Times



This is certainly the strangest of times for many, if not all of us. Over the last weeks we have had change almost on a daily basis which can be very destabalising for the best of us. I haven’t been here, writing for a very long time but have a sense that I need to record this time, not for prosperity but so that when it’s all over I can look back and remember what it’s like. I don’t ever want to forget this for it will leave me and probably so many others changed in some way.

For me it all started back in January, the week after we had made the final payment on our trip to Indonesia and Singapore. We had spent time planning this trip as it was to be for my husband’s big birthday (one with a 0 at the end), no party with friends but chance to see Borobudur in Java, a place he had been wanting to visit for years.

We knew Coronavirus was in China but then came the international conference in Singapore where the virus began to spread. I watched daily as the numbers crept up in Singapore and gradually we began to discuss whether it was sensible to be putting our health at risk by travelling. Realising we would lose our money if we pulled out I began to read about how to protect ourselves whilst travelling. Hand washing, not touching surfaces, wiping cutlery with napkins before using them and so on. I stocked up on hand sanitiser to take with us knowing that if I left it too late and the virus arrived on these shores I would have problems getting any.

I became quite stressed mainly by the amount I was reading online, the daily reports from Singapore and fears and anxiety surfaced rapidly. Drawing on everything I have in my ‘toolkit’ as a therapist I managed to shift these and slowly, slowly began to relax and let go if it all.

Then on March 12th 2020 our lives changed completely when, sitting having coffee while the car was getting its roadworthy check, we watched the Taoiseach on television speaking from Washington, tell us schools, colleges and public institutions were to close that evening. Driving home we stopped to do our weekly food shop expecting there to be long queues and nothing on the shelves but were pleasantly surprised to find there was plenty of everything and it was all completely civilised.

We continued discussing the holiday but it had now shifted to ‘We could get   Coronavirus here so we may as well travel, it makes no difference.’

From that point though there have been a whole list of cancellations, closures, no going for coffee with friends, no lunches out, no gym, no Zumba, no art group, no historical society in fact  no anything really. The pubs are all shut down and restaurants are closing everywhere.

For the last weeks we have been practicing social distancing, staying at first one, then two meters apart when out, crossing the road when we meet anyone, really avoiding any chance contact. We are encouraged to go out, get fresh air and exercise and as I live in a rural area this is easy to do. I am lucky in that we have a garden plus I have set up yoga mats, resistance bands and my pilates ball in what was previously my therapy/teaching  room so have a very small gym.

We have also been exploring shopping online as we are in the ‘at risk’ age group. The earliest we could shop was a week ahead so in the meantime we have been venturing out for the odd shop to get wine and chocolate and  some food of course. Our first home delivery is due tomorrow which feels like an adventure as we are not sure how much of the order will actually arrive.

At the weekend a local restaurant was doing take away via phoned orders and strict collection times so we availed. So nice to have something I hadn’t cooked for a change. We were though surprised at the number of cars on the roads all driving to the coast, it was as busy as some bank holidays. Later in the day I saw many photos online showing crowds of people at the coast, at scenic spots around the country all of which make social distancing difficult and life harder for those of us who live in these areas.

We are mindful that everything may soon be shut down completely except for essential services so yesterday we had to make a trip to the recycling centre as we no longer have a bin collection. Shortly before we went I was hanging up washing and noticed the line on our rotary drier was almost broken in several places so after the recycling we made a quick dash to buy a new one. I almost panicked at the thought of going into the next weeks without being able to hang out the washing on a good day.

Yesterday we officially cancelled our holiday. There is no non-essential travel anywhere, visas are cancelled, planes grounded, even if we could go then we would be straight in quarantine on arrival in Singapore. We had talked of postponing but who knows when this will all be over or even what will be possible when it is, or even if we will still be here. Nothing like a sneaky virus to make living in the moment the only possible way to exist is there. Even tomorrow seems too far away to plan for.

The radio is on as I write this and the talk is that we are likely to see more measures put in place later in the day so maybe the washing line has been replaced just in time.

My plan now is to keep a diary on here and post weekly but for now I leave you with the beautiful sunset that was right outside my window. We will get through this and it is enjoying moments like this that will help us do so.