Today was the day we became Tier 2. There are three tiers: shit, shitter and really shit. As we’re Tier 2, we’re in Shitter so let’s hope we don’t go up to Really Shit.
And so London Lockdown begins again but this time it’s so much more confusing.
As far as we can tell, we can’t meet with any other household inside a building, we (our household) can go to pubs or restaurants but we can’t meet up with anyone and we can go outside with a group of six people. Confused? Yes, apparently so is the rest of the UK.
The other question is, what the fuck is a bubble? It used to be so easy to answer, a bubble was just a bubble, now it involves a household with only one adult.
And so, just like that, gone are our Sunday lunch plans with family where I was planning to cook confit de canard (I think I’ll make it anyway). gone are holidays, weekends away and Halloween was cancelled a long time ago. Boo!
And as for Christmas, I imagine that will be just another day of isolation watching yet another bloody box set.
So the only thing to do is stay warm, eat well and try to stay sane for the foreseeable future.
It’s been hard to get a routine organised over the past six months. Cycling to work gave me a structure that I haven’t been able to match. I left for work at 9am and came home at 6:30pm. There were clear boundaries and my work didn’t intrude much beyond those hours.
Working from home since March has meant “flexible working” which basically means that you’re never offline. Without the boundaries and with people worrying about job security, there’s a fierce competition about who can look the busiest and be most essential to the business. I recently heard the term “land grabbing” which pretty much summed it up.
Returning now for the winter, I am determined to get more structure into my day and so this morning I used my half an hour cycle time to do yoga in the little bedroom. I closed the door so Agnes was unable to plonk her furry self in the middle of my mat and spent thirty minutes doing basic poses to get moving physically and slow down mentally. I think it helped but why it’s taken me six months to discipline myself to do this is a mystery!
The South of France has been decimated by torrential storms over the past few days. Luckily the house is ok (even the roof which is a bit of a miracle) and London had seven solid days of rain which meant we started working our way through the entire Hitchcock catalogue for something to watch. Wellies are on and flip flops are packed away.
It’s fair to say we’re all still transitioning as Agnes gets up at 6am asking to go in the garden and then wonders why she can’t and we’re all a little bit cold as our heavy winter clothes are already out of boxes, the heating is on and summer seems like a distant memory!
We’ve decided to think like Scandinavians and go out whatever the weather otherwise we won’t leave the house until next summer even without lockdown.
And so with the usual journey back on multiple trains we were suddenly back at home in the UK.
It wasn’t too bad despite Agnes throwing up on the train and then doing a poo with only fifteen minutes left. Bad timing but perhaps masks aren’t such a bad thing as no one seemed to be able to smell anything. Perhaps they all had Covid?!
It was certainly much cooler (and not in a good way) as we stopped briefly in Marseille and again in Lille. The obligatory European winter puffer jacket and scarf were out in force as wardrobes had already transitioned.
Arriving back in London it was jumpers and heating on as the weather had certainly turned from the hot and heady days of August, and with that, the party atmosphere of London parks combined with working from home had certainly ceased. Apparently the party now starts at 10pm with the pub curfew.
And so, with a nice few months in France to break up the challenges of 2020, we’re back to work (from home) and are busy thinking of new projects.
And in the meantime, Big T is trying to get his giant Biot jar delivered. That should keep us laughing for a while!
The horn beeped at the gate and Agnes and I dashed out to see… a rather forlorn looking chap sans giant Biot jar. Apparently (and not entirely surprisingly) the jar had refused to travel in such a tiny car and that was that.
Refusing to give up, Big T will now be organising a pick up and drop off while we return to London.
Yes, perhaps that would have been a good idea in the first place… but I certainly wouldn’t be the one to say that!
The giant jar also seemed to have damaged one of the back windows in the Mini so we had to cover it with plastic and tape it up so it’s hopefully weatherproof until it can be repaired. Did the jar have the last laugh after all?
With merely hours until departure, did someone say fiasco?!
I think I was about seven or eight when I wanted to sew. It’s all a bit vague but I think my first sewing machine was a blue plastic Holly Hobbie hand-operated toy in the 1970s. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t use it.
I think I was fifteen when I took myself to evening classes after school to learn to sew (properly) I got my first real sewing machine and I started sewing my own clothes. They were pretty bad… shorts, trousers, dresses, shirts all with wonky seams and badly fitting but I loved trying and in another world I might have gone into fashion design.
In 2020 where the world has turned upside down, I sewed my first piece of clothing in at least thirty years and after unpicking a few seams to make sure I’d actually wear it, it turned out quite well.
The question now is, will it be another thirty years or is this something to keep going with?
Sunday morning and Big T set off to chip a fountain out of a patio and try to squeeze an enormous jar into a very small car. I declined to attend as I had other (less insane) things to do!
Several hours later he returned. A large pot with a lemon tree sat jauntily on the passenger seat and a rather charming fountain (with a little chip in the foot where it had been prised from its resting place) lay very heavily on the back seat. He would be returning for the large jar apparently!
The fountain was extremely heavy and took a great deal of work to manoeuvre it out of the car and gently prop it up in its future home. It was the perfect fit and will create a lovely entry if we’re able to get it working next year. In the meantime it will rest for the winter and hopefully not fall over.
The new lemon tree was carefully placed on one of my brick circles in the side garden where it will also stay until we decide if it needs to be moved. Hopefully it will survive the winter.
As for the large jar, well I’m waiting to hear the beep of the horn which will announce the arrival of…