Hello everyone

How are you all? Are you self-isolating?  Or distancing? Or going to work?  Hats off to all the workers that, just maybe, some of them, we took for granted in that other more normal life that seems to have disappeared into the ether. I’m thinking not only of our wonderful NHS workers but also the people who work in supermarkets and small food stores. How we underestimated their hugely essential services.

We are self-isolating, albeit still going out to the little shops we have nearby (although I’m beginning to think maybe we shouldn’t) and then on to a walk on the prom. Of course, all the coffee shops, hairdressers, pubs plus the quirky vintage and charity shops are closed but we do have a little supermarket (Co-op), a butcher, a baker and a deli, all of which allow only two people in at any one time. That means queues outside, but people in this part of Brighton are keeping their 2-metre distance. But whatever you’re doing, these are anxious times so here are some thoughts on these strange days.

How to occupy yourself.  We do have a good routine going. The morning is taken up with writing, admin, and making a home-made soup, plus stretching and strengthening exercises. My Pilates teacher is using Zoom to teach an online Pilates class, which Mr F did. I don’t yet have quite the energy to do this, my recovery is slow and I must be patient. Anyway, one day I went out in the morning to get to our local butcher and I didn’t like the way the afternoon stretched out in front of me. I like to go out in the afternoon and then come back to a cup of tea and a hot cross bun (got some of those during the week). We also allow ourselves to watch one hour of daytime telly, usually Homes Under the Hammer!

Although I haven’t got sufficient oomph to do an hour-long Pilates class the energy needed to write has returned and I’m back most mornings on my laptop. I made plans over Christmas to write a memoir. Last week I tinkered with the structure and began the writing of it.

I’m aiming to get a kit with wool and a knitting pattern to get back to being someone who makes things.  And I read: still not tackled Hilary Mantel’s latest, but it’s lovely to see that huge book waiting for me!  Otherwise I have read the entire China thriller series (6 books) written by Peter May, but need a break from that type of book. See Gail Hanlon’s blog of This is Mutton fame for some reading.  Also this for some ‘stylish’ reading suggestions. Then it’s cooking an evening meal from scratch which brings me to,

Food. I am not blaming the panic buying on the general population. There was time to plan for the increase in demand, but I’m afraid the UK really was a bit slow to organise and prepare for this unprecedented event. Think about it, the population has been told to stay at home. Consequently, children are not eating a lunch at school, workers are not eating out and grabbing that sandwich, couples are not going out to restaurants in the evening, and those of us lucky enough to be retired with sufficient funds are not going out for that coffee or lunch with friends. I read somewhere that 30% of all food is (now was) consumed outside the home. But we’re all at home and need more food in the house and it just isn’t available. And for those of us who are over-70, who have been told to distance ourselves from crowds, food deliveries collapsed.

I didn’t realise that online deliveries were at a very low level in the UK at 7% of all food sales.  I wonder what the demand is for it now? As I said in my last post I’ve been getting my food delivered to my door from Sainsbury’s for over a decade and as I shop online nearly every week I have a delivery pass. But now? It’s very tricky getting a delivery. Last week Sainsbury’s website told me I was not considered vulnerable so I wouldn’t be getting any more deliveries. I tried to phone but there was nothing but recorded messages and they repeat what’s on the website that if you think you are vulnerable go to the government’s website and register, which I have done. I must say that as I know some over-70s who are getting a delivery from Sainsbury’s I wasn’t happy with their attitude towards a loyal and long-time older (and vulnerable) customer. Neither of us want to queue up with the crowds, and nor should we. But hoorah, yesterday there were a few slots available for today (quite late in the evening) and I got one of those – yay and big cheer.

I do by the way have some basic (cooked) mince in the freezer waiting to be turned into either a spag bol sauce, a chili, or a cottage pie, plus home-made soups and other home-cooked meals, but you do begin to run out of stuff. Over the weekend it was onions, carrots and green veg!  On Saturday Mr F went to get the newspaper and our little Co-op was bare – nothing on the shelves. But in the afternoon we popped out to the local deli and stocked up. We’ll be fine. But not everyone is. Also I wonder what will happen to supplies from Italy and Spain. It’s a sobering thought that the UK imports half its food and the just-in-time method of food supply is, in actuality, fragile.

But on the positive side it is heart-warming to see local initiatives of people coming together and forming self-help groups to deliver food to the vulnerable in their locality. Really, most people are good and kind and think ‘how can I help?’ I salute you all. Btw, I see a lot of these groups on Facebook. There you are, another reason to not distrust social media. There is a good side to everything 🙂

The evenings – how to occupy those hours now we can no longer socialise with others? I expect some of you do jigsaws, play games, and/or do craft in the evenings but we’re very into watching stuff on our television which is equipped to download and stream. And we don’t watch television in real time, instead it’s mostly box sets – just finished Series 3 of Peaky Blinders (Netflix) then there’s Better Call Saul (Netflix) the prequel to Breaking Bad, which is a very fine watch indeed. We’re also watching Babylon Berlin and Westworld Series 3 on Now tv. Geez, I watch a lot of obscure stuff but that latter series is a bit baffling, nevertheless, I still like it. Also anything Scandi Noir (usually found on BBCiPlayer) is very much us, plus I also get other foreign box sets from Walter Presents. And oh my word, we’ve watched a lot of films on Netflix and Amazon. There’s a humungous amount of dross out there but equally there are some gems including old favourites like Alan Bennett’s The History Boys. The Report starring Adam Driver and Annette Bening is to be highly recommended. Many films have delayed their release but some that came out in March are coming on stream earlier than usual, e.g. Emma, but they’re not the usual £4.99 instead they’re priced at £9.99 so I’ll wait for the cost to come down.

Beauty and clothes – It is important to keep up standards.  I do not slump on the settee in leggings or a worn tracksuit.  I dress well, but have found that a lot of my clothes are for going into town and meeting people (tight pencil skirts, some of them short) or for a party (edgy and/or frilly skirts). Items for sitting around in are rather few and far between in my wardrobe.  Throughout January when I was unwell I had only two skirts suitable for the little I did in the flat. These were worn with leggings but gosh, did I get sick of them. I now wear jeans. There’s a lot in my wardrobe that’s going unworn at the moment. When this is all over I’m going to wear far more frilly and quirky stuff and not keep them for parties 🙂

And of course, no beauticians are open at the moment. You might think how frivolous, but it is part of my lifestyle to have one or two appointments every month for nails, maybe a facial and always the hair removal including waxing and electrolysis. The one appointment I was able to make (in early March) in the small window of opportunity I had between me recovering sufficiently to get out, and the coronavirus lockdown was an electrolysis appointment. I said, ‘see you in a months time’. Oh calamity, I shall have some whiskers by the time we’re let out!

There are three appointments I never got to: my dentist; my chiropodist; and my hairdresser – my hair is going to get really, really long!

I’ve stopped buying clothes online as I found that half of the items had to be returned and that’s such a faff, and now I don’t want to go the Post Office. But at some point I will show you what I bought.  Also just before they closed I bought two items from a charity shop: a coat and another quirky skirt 🙂 You will see those when I’m up to taking photos.

Technology – we are keeping in touch with friends and family through various technological means. Thank goodness for WhatsApp and FaceTime. We haven’t used Skype yet.  Are you au fait with these?  We hadn’t used them before but knew of them.  At first we had a few wobbles but there will be a steady learning curve over the coming months and I’m sure we will become really familiar with and good at using the apps.

The online society – as we know online shopping has soared and all the little shops nearby ask you not to pay with cash and use only cards.  It must be sobering for those who do not trust online purchases, or the use of contactless cards and perhaps do not have a mobile. It was going that way anyway, but now the online cashless society has been rapidly accelerated some are going to be very, very left behind. What are your thoughts on that?

Questions – what did I say in the past? Face the reality. Ha blooming ha. I found the reality of facing a seriously out-of-control heart exceedingly frightening.  And now? These are anxious days and nights. I’m not sleeping particularly well. There is much to think about.  I’d love you to read this. The Guardian columnist Suzanne Moore has written a very profound article on our situation and as I know not all of you click onto the links I’m giving you a direct quote from the end of her piece:

The poet and novelist Rainer Maria Rilke knew about uncertainty. He told us to stop looking for answers and to learn to love the questions, “like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language”. We don’t know what is going to happen. “At present you need to live the question.”

Yes, we live in such uncertainty there is no point in trying to reach for certainty and answers, just look at our experts floundering around, but we can ask ourselves, and of our society, what will our lives be like after this pandemic, can we change, can we continue the reduction in pollution, can we live differently? Can we?  I find that quite exciting and inspirational – to ask.

That’s all for now. I do hope you are keeping well.

Until the next post, much love to you all

Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper

P.S. Pix of outside 🙂

Brighton promenade

Brighton beach

Woodbridge, Suffolk

Christmas day, 2019

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37 thoughts on “Lockdown diaries – 31 March 2020

  • 31st March 2020 at 8:25 am

    Hi Penny,
    So good to have you back and warmest wishes for a continuing and accelerating recovery.

    I remember, as a free spirited teenager in the Sixties, being so dismissive of my parents “routine” Now here I am like you getting through this with a daily, although flexible, routine. The soup making struck a cord. As someone who lives alone it is hard not to have things to go out to but I am immensely proud of getting to grips with technology. I think this is where the routine helps because it focuses you on the next task/treat/meal etc and making the best of what you have and not what you don’t. This is not to say that I don’t have my down moments but as someone who has been through some challenges in my life I feel if you can just acknowledge the fact that it is natural to have lows but try to keep in the moment, in the present that is helpful.

    I shall look forward to your next post. Keep safe. Keep well.

    • 1st April 2020 at 7:20 am

      Hello Jane and thanks for your comment. I agree with you that when we were younger a routine was not something to aspire to, but yes, it is a really good thing to get into – for me the mornings are sacrosanct as a kind of ‘work’ morning. So glad to hear you have conquered technology – what would we do without it. I see my phone as a portal to so many worlds. Keep safe and well 🙂

  • 31st March 2020 at 9:30 am

    I agree with all your comments Penny , including non existent food delivery.I do count my blessings all the same.I do have tins, and a couple of bead mixes as well as dried milk.
    I couldn’t get bread-mix online so bought a tin of Quality Street instead.My sister tells me that is good for my mental health.
    Good mental health to everyone.😉

    • 1st April 2020 at 7:23 am

      Food deliveries are so tricky. I’ve found slots by going on to the supermarket website every day early in the morning – that’s when a few slots seem to be released for the next day. About every 7 days I find one and pounce!

      Glad to hear about the tin of Quality Street! You take care 🙂

  • 31st March 2020 at 10:44 am

    A positive about this epidemic is that the environment is been given a breather. So I take a lot of pleasure in my daily walk round a nature reserve to see all the signs of spring and listen to the birds . There is such a lot of support where I live, it’s in a urban road and there’s every age group so we try to help each other. Like you I am self isolating as over 70, and this is made easier by bicycle deliveries from the covered market. There you can get fish, meat, fruit and veg, cheese, pies and local wine. Actually apart from the fish and cheese it’s all local. Like you Penny I am writing a diary every day, so I have to do something to put in my diary. And doing things can be a hunt. Yesterday I braved cutting my hair, it is short and quite jagged, so it was relatively easy! I was talking to a friend who is a hairdresser and she said it’s hairstyles with straight lines that is really difficult to get right. Wish you well.

    • 1st April 2020 at 7:29 am

      I agree about the boost to the environment and hope that we can continue this trend after….. I mean I used to like a cruise but will I ever go on another – probably not. Poor things still stuck on the Holland America cruise ships – simply awful. But will the people who love a holiday abroad give up flying? I hope they think about it.

      I look out on to a very urban scene but it is so much quieter with the buses almost empty even in what was once the rush hour. For me my spirits are lifted every time I see the sea. Good for you being able to cut your hair. I wish you well too – take care 🙂

  • 31st March 2020 at 5:12 pm

    It’s wonderful to have this post and know you are recovering. I missed your posts here and on your other blog.
    Your friend in Philly,

    • 1st April 2020 at 7:31 am

      Hello Sharon – it’s great to hear from you. You take care and stay safe. Love from your friend over the pond 🙂

  • 31st March 2020 at 5:38 pm

    So very happy to get your email today. Glad you are feeling a bit better as time goes on. Thanks for adding the glorious pictures as well. We have been distancing for 2 weeks already and plan on continuing for a few more. Went to the grocery this morning and there was a few more items but limited to 1 or 2 per person. I wanted to stock up for the next 2 to 3 weeks worth so we don’t have to go back. Numbers are increasing in our area and I will not take the chance for either of us. Thank goodness we have a yard to get out into for fresh air and that makes me feel normal when out there. We must get through this by listening to the top medical people and staying sane. Looking forward to seeing your purchases in the upcoming posts. We still need the fun as well. I do miss the charity shops. Best to you both.

    • 1st April 2020 at 7:34 am

      We will self-isolate until June I think. It’s a long time but we use FaceTime to see the kids (in their 40s!) and really do have a good routine to get through the day. Getting food is the trickiest part and while I’m quite savvy about it, it’s challenging. I feel for the older generation who never got into online deliveries.

      I’ll show you some of my charity shop and online buys in my next post. You take care 🙂

  • 31st March 2020 at 9:29 pm

    It is quite crazy and I have to admit that technology of being able to connect is fabulous. What would we do without it??
    I have still been online shopping only because its something that does bring me joy. And I want to help out the small businesses as much as I can. I figure that my mom can always alter it for me if it doesn’t quite fit? Hopefully…haha.
    I love the idea of a zoom pilates class. I wish ours did that. I am trying to do online yoga but I’m not so inspired lately. Ugh..

    • 1st April 2020 at 7:40 am

      The Zoom Pilates works very well indeed and our teacher always had a way of addressing you by name which she continues to do, which feels very inclusive. The participants are muted so all we see is her and we’ve ‘sling/slung-shot’ her image on to our large tv screen so we get a very good view of her demonstrating what to do. I shall be doing a class soon – a more gentle class for the feeble! Sorry, I meant for beginners and those with health/physical issues.

      I agree that the small businesses need support but actually I was only buying from a large company (Warehouse) and that has to stop as I don’t want to do the returns anymore. I have enough now to shop my closet!!!

      You take care xxxx

  • 31st March 2020 at 9:37 pm

    Hi Penny,

    I follow you from Guanajuato Mexico. I love your blog, but I have never commented. Now, with a lot of time, I am able to do it. Hope you get everyday better. It is my third week of isolation (I belong to the risk group (age 🙂 and diabetic). I am trying todo the best of my time, but, I somedays get paralyzed with fear. Uncertainty has always been my worst companion. Thank you for the link to the article in which it is considered. I will carefully read it. Stay home and well.

    • 1st April 2020 at 7:48 am

      Hello – it’s so nice to meet you 🙂 Yes, if we are in the vulnerable group because of age and health issues we must self-isolate. I think that feeling of anxiety is felt by everyone – it’s only a few who are not taking any notice – I have lain awake in the still small hours of the night and felt sick with worry. But we have to move on from this. And I think I am more reconciled now. We have to concentrate on the positive and what we can do. We can do exercises indoors and deep breathing, and read, and write a diary, eat healthily, and go out once a day to get a breath of fresh air.

      For me every time I see the sea my spirits are lifted. Is there something near you that will lift yours? We must take care of our physical health but our mental health is just as important. Wrap yourself in a golden bubble of healing light. You take care xxx

  • 1st April 2020 at 7:46 am

    An update – yay! Thanks Penny for the call-out. I’m also looking forward to reading the new Hilary Mantel. I was saving the new Marian Keyes for our July holiday but I suspect that won’t be happening until 2021 so I am sure I’ll be reading it soon. Glad to hear you are making a gradual recovery, your strength will return and you’ll soon be back to those Pilates classes.

    • 1st April 2020 at 7:51 am

      Hello Gail – very pleased to mention your very good blog 🙂 The Zoom Pilates is working very well and quite soon our teacher will be doing a class for the likes of me and others with health issues – will be good.

      I’m going read the Hilary Mantel next 🙂

  • 1st April 2020 at 8:24 am

    I am glad you feel a lot better! And photos of Brighton are always welcome, especially now that we had to cancel our April holiday! You should see my hair! Haha, I had a appointment on the 13th of March but cancelled it as I was not feeling well and made anther one for the next Monday! And then she was closed! Oh horror. Stay safe my friend!

    • 1st April 2020 at 10:19 am

      So good to hear from you Nancy! I shall look forward to seeing you at some point when this is all over 🙂

      And OMG the hair thing! I last went to the hairdresser in September!!!! I nearly made an appointment before Christmas but was too busy, instead I said to myself I’ll go in the new year. Ha, ha, that didn’t happen – so it will be July I guess before I go again -that’s 10 months!!!!!!!

      Stay safe and well, dear Nancy xxxx

  • 1st April 2020 at 9:59 am

    Hi Penny, Good to hear from you and know that you are getting stronger all the time. Where would we be without our online contacts in these troubled times? So many people are coming together via various online gizmos just to give each other a lift and try and put some normality back in our lives. We are in the country so it is easy for us to live our fairly isolated normal existence, but like you we do miss our weekly routine of classes and coffees, films and get togethers with friends.
    On the up side I have found myself slowing down and appreciating things more now, things that I would have either missed or taken for granted. I can spend a bit longer in the bathroom using all those lotions and potions that lurk forgotten at the back of the cupboard and feel better for taking a bit more care of myself. I am no longer rushing out of the door to the gym or a class and instead I am using the body lotion or experimenting with some new make-up or trying a new look with the clothes that I will wear when they let me out! Take Care and keep feeling strong and well.

    • 1st April 2020 at 10:23 am

      I just looked up when I last went to the hairdresser (September – eek) and I notice how very busy I seemed to be with always rushing off to this and that. I agree with you and think it is good that we’ve been forced to slow down. Let us hope that we can all change our ways and consequently help the environment and the climate to improve – that would be so good.

      You take care too 🙂

  • 1st April 2020 at 11:18 am

    So nice to read a post from you again Penny. 🙂 Lise in Bulgaria.

    • 2nd April 2020 at 7:27 am

      Thank you Lise – stay safe and well 🙂

  • 1st April 2020 at 3:00 pm

    Thanks for a good read – your thoughts and comments always welcome. I have not heard of House Party so will have a look at that one. Also, yes structure to the day. I am drifting and constantly looking for delivery slots!!! Re online shopping – I have tried to get a Tesco or Waitrose delivery slot for 10 days. I have been going on at midnight, when the next date clicks open, and lo and behold, at 1 minute past midnight message appears “There are no slots available” – this is the only message I’ve seen since a week and a half ago. I feel I must be doing something wrong! I live in Herefordshire where the population is low so perhaps there are less delivery slots allocated to a low population area? Anyone Know? I think we will all have to have a good laugh at ourselves, with our friends, at our neglected Hair Styles, Mine grows really fast and am not looking forward to missing two or even three hair cuts!!

    • 2nd April 2020 at 7:40 am

      We tried House Party over the weekend and played a silly game altogether (with both sets of kids) but I’ve since heard that the app is compromised and unsafe. Mr F then heard that it’s fine and that the rumour is from its rivals. Nevertheless I’ve taken the reference to House Party down.

      Just been listening to Breakfast on BBC and the challenge of getting deliveries. Some of those interviewed were very much in need but just can’t get a slot. My experience is that twice now I’ve gone on to Sainsbury’s website early Monday morning and found a few slots for the next day – which I naturally pounced on.

      I searched my diary for the last time I went to the hairdressers and found it was September!!!!! Oh my word, I hadn’t realised it was that long ago! Yes, we’ll all have a laugh! Take care x

      • 2nd April 2020 at 9:39 am

        Hi Penny,
        Thank you for taking the time to reply – your contact and comments are much appreciated. I am still trying Tesco/Waitrose for delivery as I’m not a Sainsbury customer – maybe I should register though – there are no Sainsbury’s near to me. It’s good to be in touch. Look after yourselves.

        Pauline M.

  • 1st April 2020 at 3:06 pm

    Like your other followers I’m glad to know that you are feeling better and writing again. We are staying at home as we have been told to & also because we had a week away earlier in March. It does not look as if we have picked anything up, fortunately.
    I’m doing my weekly PT session by Skype and have increased my own sessions to 2 a week. Other days I’m walking ; very lucky to have fields on my doorstep. We have only ever done a weekly shop & there seems to be plenty of food available in the local supermarket.In fact our lives go on pretty much the same apart from lack of dancing and singing for me. I don’t have a particular routine so my days are varied. Sometimes I watch television straight after breakfast! My group is planning a virtual book group meeting in a couple of weeks – gosh I’m struggling with the book this time.
    In fact I’m starting to worry that I’m not worrying and feeling pretty much the same as I did before this all blew up. Of course if a family member or someone I know gets ill I’ll no doubt worry a great deal. I counted that I have 100 dresses (including cruise stuff), although I hardly wear anything else. I do feel very guilty so I’m sorting out some clothing ready for when the charity shops open again. and trying to be ruthless. I expect they will be inundated as everyone will be doing the same thing! I’ve cut down my internet shopping and not selling on E-bay as I want to avoid the post office. I just love getting parcels so a few items are creeping in…….. I got a wonderful bargain for my jewellery collection the other day, very satisfying. I’m concerned about overloading Royal Mail but delivery drivers are suffering from reductions in orders.
    My husband won’t let me do social media but I am watching LFF’s daily ‘Teatime with Tricia’ on YouTube. Although I enjoy socialising I don’t really need it like some people do. That’s not a critcism, & I have my husband with me so I don’t know how I’d feel if I were entirely on my own.
    I’m listening (radio 4) to an older person, a doctor, saying that if he becomes ill he is ready to have no treatment rather than compete with younger people for scarce resources. I agree with him completely & it’s what I would do myself. I would hope to have some palliative care if I stayed at home as I’m not keen on suffering unnecessarily but actually the necessary increased capacity is not available. Of course it’s easy to say this when I’m feeling fine.
    We have 2 cruises booked this year, the first at the end of June and I’m still hoping to go but we shall have to see. I will probably get quite grumpy if I don’t!

    • 2nd April 2020 at 7:59 am

      Hello Lynda, I was absolutely amazed when you said you had 100 dresses – makes me seem very frugal and abstemious. I have I think 4-5 summer dresses and 6 cruise dresses! But many more skirts. Just counted 12 ordinary winter skirts, of which only 2 are suitable for sitting around in, plus 12 frilly, edgy skirts that really do need to be worn out and about, for London and/or a party – all of which I intend to wear more after this ‘disagreeableness’ has passed. Then I have summer skirts packed away.

      Re: your booked cruises, I think the September one will be fine, not so sure about the June one, though, fingers crossed. Keep feeling the way you do, it’s good to not feel anxious, long may that continue for you 🙂

      • 2nd April 2020 at 12:19 pm

        As of today I’m down to 83, about 45 of which are every day winter and summer ones, the rest being smart, evening or cruise. A few of them I’ve had for years and the majority are second-hand & cost only a few pounds each. I’m trying to justify my profligacy of course as it is still a huge number………………………..naughty, naughty me! Whenever I say ‘why’ I inevitably say ‘why not’, also applies to another gin and tonic. In other ways I’m very disciplined when I decide to be and have considerable willpower.

  • 1st April 2020 at 3:56 pm

    Hi Penny, I enjoy your posts and I’m very sorry to hear about your health problems. like you I am a charity shop addict !! also a senior lady. I am originally from England and have lived in the USA for over 30 years. Here we call charity shops ‘thrift stores’.
    I have been wanting to start a bog for some time. I have tons of pics of my holidays: South of France, Queen Mary crossings , food recipes, and much to talk about.
    I don’t want to write too much now as I don’t know if this will get to you.
    I would really appreciate any help and advice you could give me preferably to my email as I think it would be a good time to begin this.
    Many thanks Penny and please take care and stay safe .
    Thank you

    • 2nd April 2020 at 8:12 am

      Hello Diane, yes, your comment came to me and just needed approval as it was a first time comment. From now on approval won’t be needed 🙂

      To get a blog up and running needs a certain amount of technical skill, and both my husband and I went on a course to find out what we had to do. We use the platform WordPress which has many blog formats to choose from and is easy to use once you’ve set yourself up. Of course, there are other blogging platforms like Bloglovin’ Actually, you might find it possible to set up a blog without going on a course, which of course is not possible now. Indeed there are many helpful tips about blogging online. Do Google your needs and see what comes up and here’s wishing you well with your project. It will be so rewarding and you will get so much from it. All the very best to you and good luck 🙂

  • 1st April 2020 at 4:41 pm

    I probably will have to order some clippers to cut my boys’ hair if they lasts a couple more months. Also I am going to need to come up with a hobby to keep mue entertained. We ordered some puzzles, we are renting some movies and I am blogging but I am going to need something else. I cannot wait to travel!

    • 2nd April 2020 at 8:23 am

      Hello Mireille – I can’t imagine what it’s like having kids to entertain and home school – hats off to you! I love my routine but it is, to be absolutely honest, all about how I keep myself and my husband occupied through the day. For you it must be a completely different ballgame altogether. Keep safe and well and huge good wishes to you and your family 🙂

  • 2nd April 2020 at 4:41 am

    Hello Penny , so pleased to hear you are starting to feel so much better and are back to your writing. I am finding it interesting to read my favourite blogs and see how everyone around the world is in the same situation and how we are filling in our home time.
    I am on Day 11 of full home isolation after returning to Australia following our trip to Cuba in early March. We saw just how rapidly things have escalated both here and overseas. I am at present spending time editing trip photos and catching up with friends and family by phone and writing the blog and reading others. Stay safe and well. xx

    • 2nd April 2020 at 8:30 am

      Thank you Jill. It must have been wonderful to go to Cuba – it is a place I’d really like to visit.

      I’d like to do full isolation as actually I think being an introvert (really I am) I’m not finding this staying at home too bad. Social media and the blogging community is a whole world of connection that is richly satisfying. Also looking back at my diary I was always dashing hither and thither – it’s good to slow down. But i)I don’t have a garden so I must go out for a walk and ii) in the UK we’re finding it challenging to get food delivered – just listened to some very deserving and vulnerable people being interviewed on BBC Breakfast who cannot get deliveries. How are the supermarkets in Australia managing the increase in demand?

  • 2nd April 2020 at 2:38 pm

    I usually go out in the mornings, (unless there is something special going on of course), and so I don’t feel the afternoons long. I usually read at least 3 books a week but I am struggling to finish one although it is a wonderful book Adichie’s ‘Under a Yellow Sun’. Last week I read ‘Right ho, Jeeves’. I don’t watch much tv but here in France we have re-runs of Law and Order. Sorry but I’d poke my eyes out before I’d watch HUH, :). You are right to stay in if you can although it’s tough. In Ireland, where my son lives, people over 70 are asked not to go out and to practice ‘cocooning’. It is important for you especially after being so unwell but it’s hard if you are normally active. Stay well.

  • 3rd April 2020 at 9:44 am

    I do SO agree with your comments about food and for the reasons that we’ve been buying more of it. Having been told that lockdown was likely, of course people stocked up. It would have been madness not to. That said, some of the pictures of people’s trollies was madness itself. We’ve not been into a shop for two weeks, and even then it was small local ones. We’re almost out of some things, but thank goodness for improvisation skills! I’ve been doing online shopping for a while now (and how absolutely right you were in your previous assertion that older people should learn and get used to shopping in that way) . I have a delivery due on Monday and think that our milk will just about see us through until then. We’re out of bread but can cope with that. Most of our usual socialising is done in the daytime so evenings in are not a problem. I can see that things may feel different if this goes on for month, but for now we are occupying ourselves OK. I know exactly what you mean about clothes – I too have few ‘sitting around’ clothes. I’m definitely geared up for being out and about! Take care and stay safe, Penny.

  • 3rd April 2020 at 9:19 pm

    Penny, how wonderful that you are on the mend. Aye, we do have a turnaround chance for our lives and for society; here’s hoping we take it. I for one, am making some resolute decisions that I can make in my own life. And on a lighter note: I shall no doubt have a lot of grey roots showing at the end of lockdown. I’ve saved one box of dye for when it ends. I started at a gym for muscle tone before this virus, and am now walking as much as I should have been (!), lifting light weights, and doing yoga. Life goes on, in one way or another.

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