New Realities

My new reality, along with millions of others, has shrunk down to a world of home.

Everything is changed.

Work continues, albeit remotely, with conference calls and Zoom meetings run from my hastily erected desk in the bedroom. With two young adult stepsons, a husband and a dog in the house, everyone has carved themselves a small corner of space wherever they can. The house is bursting at the seams.

It’s important for me at times like this to build new routines to help smooth the passage of the day. A mug of tea and a biscuit in gaps between calls (even if it’s a home baked one. Hell, especially if it’s a home baked one).

Lunch half hour with Hugh so that we can connect over a sandwich briefly before the afternoon restarts.

An hour after the meetings subside in the afternoon to enjoy a book before starting dinner preparation.

Despite the fact that we all spend our days in different rooms, coming together as a family for dinner in the evening, all eating at the table and chatting, is an important part of the day for me.

Important not just for sustenance (there seems to be no natural limit to the number of Oreos or Doritos that teenagers can consume during waking hours) but also for connection and mutual support. Whilst we are all here together in enforced lockdown I want to make the most of our time together. With the boys at 19 and 22 who knows when we will do this again.

The evenings have morphed into lettuce eating competitions (I’m saving the pics from that for blackmail purposes with future potential grandchildren), poker games and Cards for Humanity sessions as well as the inevitable films and Netflix.

It’s nice. It’s our new temporary reality. Whilst the Coronavirus rages in London, it’s the best we can do to stay safe and take care of each other.

London Lockdown

The streets and squares are empty here in London. It’s quite surreal for a city that was packed with people only a week ago. I know that they’re in the houses and flats somewhere, living their lives behind the windows, but it feels deserted.

London is now officially in lockdown. Bars, restaurants, cafes, gyms and businesses closed. Very limited public transport. No cars on the road.

Buying food is now a problem. We have some stores of dried and frozen food, but have no idea how or when we will be able to buy more. Online food services are overloaded and either suspended or not taking on new customers due to demand. The local Tesco supermarket has been stripped back to the bare shelves through panic buying.

I have bread flour, and when my current loaf runs out I will bake bread at home. Sourdough, flatbreads, rolls, scones. As long as I can source flour we won’t starve. I know how to make meals from scratch and cook with the dried pulses and grains that we always have on hand, but I do wonder how many of the generation who don’t cook this way are going to cope.

Perhaps this will be a reset for humanity. Maybe this will act as a very real warning that we have lived disposably, wastefully and with excess for too long. I believe that we will get through this, but I also think that what we will be left with when we do will be a very different world.

On the Skye build front- it looks as if work should start in the next few weeks at last, subject to contracts next week. If we still have builders who are able and allowed to work, that is. I can’t think in chunks of more than a week at a time at the moment so where we go from here is very uncertain.

Both Hugh and I wish that we were a year further along and had the resources of the croft behind us for isolation, but there’s no merit in that thinking. We are here and we need to make the best of our current reality. All this has done is to re-strengthen my resolve to be more independent – to grow vegetables, keep a well stocked pantry of essentials, and build the life skills to get through such times as these as easily as possible.