This morning I stood outside our local Gail’s bakery waiting to be allowed into the shop to buy a loaf of bread. We stood roughly two metres apart except for a woman with a pram who pushed her child right up next to me. I felt obliged to comment.
I pointed out politely that if she wasn’t going to keep to a two metre distance then what was the point of any of us standing outside at all. Luckily she agreed and moved back but I could see that things could kick off very quickly as people will be come more and more frustrated.
The park was still busy with people jogging and personal training this morning and, to my concern, lots of people stopped to stroke Agnes. She is a very social dog who loves interaction, loves to be stroked and petted and given attention. Unfortunately now I’m thinking she may be a carrier and might have to stay on the lead to social distance.
Other than that, it’s a lovely Spring morning in London and the builder is here making a bloody mess in the kitchen!
We had made it through week one and let’s be honest, it wasn’t the easiest week.
I had a reasonably nice day planned but all went tits up as, mid morning, there was a strange bang and the sound of gurgling water as something in the central heating system had exploded.
I had been coping with everything pretty well but faced with the prospect of working from home, no heat, no hot water, house arrest and a killer virus, suddenly it was all a bit much.
We rang our increasingly incompetent builder whom we initially liked but who is now seriously giving me the shits and insisted that he come and sort things out. He initially wanted us to wait until Monday.
The worst thing was, he’d been round twice already because the boiler was losing pressure, couldn’t find the problem but reassured me that there’s was absolutely no way the system could fail…
The rest of Friday was spent watching Kev cut holes in the new parquet floor trying to find the problem.
At one point I thought he’d died (wishful thinking perhaps) but it turned out he was lying on the floor listening to the pipes. I was quite close to killing him myself at that point.
Eventually the problem was found and temporarily resolved. There are now two holes in the kitchen floor which felt like two holes being cut in my heart and which will need to be repaired (the floor, not my heart which is sadly beyond repair) but at least we managed to get the heat and hot water back on. It must be said medicinal gin and tonic needed to be administered upon the departure of Kev.
And to top it all off, the bloody builders are coming back on Monday!
As the lockdown begins, the pubs, restaurants, cafes and gyms and anywhere remotely fun are now closed.
And so inevitably, predictably, Britain rushed out to stockpile booze. If you can’t get pissed out, you’ll have to get pissed at home.
Perhaps it’s drinking to escape, perhaps it’s comfort drinking, perhaps it’s drinking for fun or perhaps I’m overthinking it and people just like drinking. I suspect it may be the latter.
We have been self-medicating in moderation as a) stocks won’t last and b) actually I don’t have a b.
Rather than stockpiling, we took Agnes for a walk and somehow ended up at a wine warehouse where we casually selected a few bottles of wine for delivery and walked home again.
There was no panic involved, nobody got punched and I would question if twenty bottles could possibly be considered stockpiling?!
Our vocabulary has expanded in the past few days to include terms like social distancing, self isolation and quarantine. We keep track of the numbers; cases and deaths and it sounds as though London is going to be locked down in the next couple of days and we’ll all be under house arrest. Such fun!
Hopefully, as dog owners we’ll be allowed out to walk Agnes and hopefully the park doesn’t close. Apparently in Spain, owners are renting out their dogs to enable other people to go for a walk so Agnes’ four little furry legs may be in demand!
While this is the word on the streets, people on the streets are still busy stockpiling. We ventured out yesterday to our local shops where we have a small local Tesco, organic greengrocer and butcher. The queues were long and baskets were full except for a man in front of me who was buying a single bunch of spring onions. It’s people like him who give stockpilers a bad name. Where was his mega pack of toilet rolls??
On the home front we are well stocked and with my OCD Excel spread sheet, I have logged all incoming and outgoing supplies. The freezer is full and for the first time in my life, there’s more in the fridge than half a packet of lentils and a dry heel of cheddar cheese. I think we can survive for a couple of months although we may need to eat some of the organic dog food if things get desperate.
And so now we wait…
I’m now working from the kitchen on the most uncomfortable chair.
Of course it’s not ideal and while I’m able to continue working and checking in with the rest of the world via video conference, these are indeed strange times.
The one thing I was looking forward to this week, my upholstery class, has been cancelled and the school has closed until further notice. How dull. I’m determined to keep going so have bought a chair on eBay this morning which I’ll have go at reupholstering myself using YouTube videos.
Our other projects include finishing the kitchen, part of which arrived this morning and renovating the red room (now renamed Panic Room). We’ve got lots of boxes to sort out so there’s plenty to do with spring cleaning and DIY projects.
We are definitely NOT on hold until further notice!
We have officially been shut down as of today and the entire company worldwide is working remotely. It’s not ideal and is probably overly cautious but until further notice, that’s it and I’ve decamped to the kitchen. Luckily we have a kitchen!
This week has been spent ensuring that we have laptops, server access, software and video conferencing set up so we can continue to work. Of course this may all change and deadlines may be less important than they were before but for now, it’s business as usual, working from home.
With stockpiling madness taking over in London and around the world, we’re heading off to the shops this afternoon to buy some tinned tomatoes to start our weekend cooking fiesta. We haven’t stockpiled much but are thinking it might be an idea to get some food in the freezer.
In the meantime, I’ve ordered some dog food so at least we’ll have a nice fat dog to fall back on if times get really tough…