Another crazy day

It seems like Lockdown (or lack thereof) has brought some swings and roundabouts with it. Or ups and downs out of the blue.

Yesterday another round of corporate lay offs was announced and sadly, closer colleagues were “let go.”

The corporate terminology involves words like streamlining, restructuring, cost effectivity and efficiency. All good until you’ve been streamlined as that won’t pay the mortgage.

On another note (having so far dodged the streamlining) I had a performance review with a member of my team yesterday.

Things have not been going well for the past few months. The person in question was a temporary employee, still on probation and decided that, as the feedback was constructive but less than positive, she would just quit. Effective immediately. Now that’s streamlining!

To be honest it’s a case of problem solved as I’ve been doing her job (as well as my own) for several months anyway and things clearly weren’t working. Sometimes things have a way of sorting themselves out.

And so now to clean up the mess and get on with the job at hand.

The Communal Garden

As we have been enjoying the Hottest Spring in the History of the Universe and have been stuck at home, we have discovered the joys of the communal garden.

Small children come and visit every day. We have four year old Sophia who is a little bit bossy and very confident. She likes to come and see Agnes and then stays for a while until her parents retrieve her and I can get on with some work.

We also have Ellis and Finbar, a sister and brother (7 and 4) who live a few flats down. They have a little toy Welsh Terrier called Buttons who also comes to visit.

And then there are two little boys who live across the garden. They always wear matching outfits and play with enormous inflatable gladiator hammers. They get into trouble a lot!

Above us is the baby Archie who has to wear a helmet as he had a very special operation on his skull because it wasn’t quite fused when he was born. He belongs to a lovely couple who dropped off home made brownies. We like them a lot.

And then there’s our next door neighbour Harriet who is going through a breakup in lockdown. We enjoy chatting with her and have introduced her to Sophia, the bossy four year old who is helping her clean things.

And after a bit of a rough start we met John the gardener who wasn’t so bad after all. He was extremely drunk mind you, and had lost his key to the garden.

There are a few people we don’t like but the good apples are outweighing the bad and it’s like having the biggest pub garden right outside your back door.

There’s always something going on and the people watching is fascinating!

Rules or no rules

The rules of lockdown have become a little confusing. It’s ok to play tennis, golf and go sailing and it’s ok to have your cleaner round to clean your house. So very middle class!

After that it’s a bit grey. You can have one parent round but not two. You can go to work but ideally not on public transport so either by bike or walking. If you drive, the congestion charge in central London has gone up to £15 and is now applied every day instead of just weekdays.

Regardless of the rules, Britain has basically decided that lockdown is over but the long hot summer holiday of 2020 continues as surprisingly, no one wants to go back to work.

Well, that’s a surprise. Pay them their salary not to work and tell them to stay at home and then turn on the best Spring weather ever seen and it’s a recipe for Brits to head to the parks and beaches and generally enjoy themselves.

Our local park looked like the summer of love this week as people basked in the sun, picnicked, played football and kissed on stripy towels.

Is it really appropriate to wear a thong bikini in the park?

This week

While most of the UK are furloughed, unemployed or basically on holiday, I’m finding myself busier than normal working a solid ten hours at the garden table. I forget to stand up and have to unfold myself at the end of each day easing my back straight and stretching my legs.

Whatever happened to working from home being more flexible?

It seems there’s no excuse for being late to work, not attending a meeting, going to a doctor’s appointment or just taking a day off.

Holidays are a thing of the past as there’s nowhere to go.

I haven’t taken a day off since Christmas and have weeks of annual leave to take. Still, the annual treat of summer Fridays will be starting up in a couple of weeks and I will happily be taking Friday afternoons off.

As recession, rising taxes and unemployment will inevitably follow the fun times of Coronavirus, I’m just happy to have a job for now and am doing everything I can to hang on to it.

Getting back on track

As it looks unlikely that I’ll be going back to work in an office for a while, things had to be taken in hand.

I am now on day three, low carb, no booze and clean(er) living and I’m feeling much better for it.

It was getting too easy to drink on Wednesday (the new Friday), eat massive plates of food, do no exercise and take part in virtual quiz nights and cocktail making. All good fun but quite detrimental as the scales crept up and the mental health went down.

And so, time to get things sorted as things are not going to change for a while.

I have ordered a new chair as I need to organise a better work set up. The garden chair is doing my back in and the garden table is not ideal for a laptop on a yoga block. Not working well from home.

Good news today as we have managed to persuade the kitchen fitter to come and finish off our 90% kitchen next week. Great excitement as we currently have half a door on one cupboard and can’t open the soap drawer on the washing machine.

All this is looking positive and what with trying to find loopholes into France, we’re hoping we might even be able to go in early July.

After all, it would still be working from home.

VE Day Celebrations

Seventy five years later and we’re still banging on about VE Day. Will it ever be laid to rest?

This year Coronavirus has reignited the Blitz spirit apparently as everything is being compared to WW2 including Captain, now Colonel Tom shuffling round his garden and “We’ll meet again” having a resurgence in popularity. For goodness sake!

Walking across the road to our nearby park yesterday afternoon, I would challenge you to spot anyone in Lockdown.

No one was social distancing, football, frisbees, kids, dogs, bikes, sunbathers, picnics and not a face mask insight.

It was all there and while everyone was having a jolly time and it’s a bit like an extended holiday for a lot of people, what’s the point of shutting down the entire economy?

And so back to virtual VE Day where we’re all supposed to go outside for a singalong this evening, let me guess… We’ll meet again!!

Lockdown Lardarse

I am going public and stating that I am now officially a lockdown lardarse.

I have put on a bit of weight due to lots of delicious home cooking, lots of comfort eating, not exercising much and possibly drinking to cope.

Last night I dreamed I was the fattest I’d ever been and was eating food with a pair of kitchen tongs. Sadly not far off the truth.

Something has to be done before I can’t get out of the front door. Time to get back in shape and ready for release!

Hyde Park

Another Saturday morning and a lovely morning to walk to our new favourite place, Hyde Park.

A huge open green space in the middle of London, where, with few tourists in town, locals are widely dispersed through the long grass. No problem social distancing here.

And with a Whole Foods conveniently located near one corner which was like going to Nirvana after shopping in our local shops for two months, and a happy dog chasing geese and swans at the Round Pond (oops) a good two and a half hour walk was had by all!