Busy lockdown, week 3

Sun 5 – Sat 11 April 2020

Work Life Balance

Big Night In

There is no way to describe the week just gone as anything but ‘busy lockdown’. And not just busy, bloody busy. As I indicated in my previous blog, I was standing in for my line manager. Things are incredibly frenetic at work as we prepare for the Big Night In on 23 April; a unique event bringing together Comic Relief and Children in Need.

Farewell part-time working

I sort of thought it would be quiet acting-up especially as it is only a four day week. However, I was drawn into many meetings, emails, and had to convene an emergency committee meeting to get some stuff sorted. My part-time working went completely to pot and I basically worked four full-time days with some work even spilling into the weekend. I will be asking for TOIL (time off in lieu) to recompense for the busy lockdown.

Busy lockdown


Acting-up made me realise how hard some of my colleagues are working which I hadn’t quite clocked before. One told me that she has never been busier than since the lockdown started. I find it draining dealing with video conference calls all day and at times my eyesight has started going weird from staring at a screen so much. 🙁

I need to think what I want for the future

Lots of people being furloughed in general but very few where I work. I actually wouldn’t mind being furloughed; 80% pay but no work hassle to deal with. But no chance as I am clearly busy. Longer term, I’ve got to think what I want to do career-wise. My busy lockdown week has given me a taste of returning to working full-time and I am not enamoured of it. Plus I’m getting older and health risks increase so what do I want to do to give me fulfillment?

I love Easter

This really is my favourite holiday, more so than Christmas. I love the general sense of chilling that fills December. But I love the four days off Easter provides. This always marks the start of summer for me – days of light and warmth to look forward to. Whereas Christmas tells us that we still have about three months of cold and dark to come. And spiritually Easter is about rebirth and renewal. 🙂

The importance of total days off

Tired man asleep

Great to have Good Friday. I have papers to deal with over the weekend but I deliberately did nothing on Friday. To balance work with real life then you must have days where you can completely switch off not even looking at work emails.

Going forward I need to take some time off not to go anywhere but simply to chill. I worry about those who seem to be in constant work mode. 🙁

Health and Efficiency

Exercise in the busy lockdown

Acting up at work contributed towards a poor exercise routine. Walked to and from the local food shops a couple of time, both times early in the morning before things get too busy. Me and Dave have also done some exercise walks usually around St James Park. Green Park is also nearby but it’s too dull. We normally only go out early in the morning or late at night so to avoid other people. Still haven’t got my mojo to go for a jog-run though. 🙁

The mental health angle is OK for me

surviving busy lockdown

I think I am coping with lockdown, sometimes it feels like I am being cocooned. Of course I miss going out and sitting having a coffee watching the world go by. But that’s not an option so I throw the windows open wide and enjoy being secluded from the world. Of course, not everyone has the luxury of feeling safe in their home. 🙁 The only thing I do wish is that the flat was bigger and I envy people so much who have a garden.

When this will end

Yes I would love this to be over – end of May if we are lucky I think. Although I also think we may simply be looking at a graded return to partial lockdown rather than totally ‘normal’ which may not be with us for a long time. Until we have a cure and/or vaccine then the world is going to be different. And still then I think we are going to be constantly on our guard in the future.

Reconnecting with wildlife

One of the lovely things is watching the birds who visit the balcony. We’ve put food and water out for them – tits and finches I think though also the inevitable pigeons. I think a lot of us have become more aware of wildlife, birds in particular. You can hear so much more bird song now with less traffic about. And walking around St James Park the other night, we saw a very audacious fox walking in the middle of the road.

Weight alarm

Weight scales

I definitely must keep an eye on my food intake with reduced exercise. I thought my weight seemed under control. However, on one daily weigh-in during the busy lockdown week, I had jumped to over 13 and a half stones. Don’t want to lose the weight I lost in last year’s sabbatical.

A not brilliant new sleep pattern

Not having problems sleeping but I am in a weird sleep pattern. I deliberately try not to sleep during the day – perhaps I should think about a siesta but it wasn’t appropriate during busy lockdown week. That does mean by about 10 pm I am knackered. As soon as I put my head on the pillow, I am asleep.

woman lays awake in bed

Generally I sleep well though I can work up with my head churning on work issues. This was true of last week with so much extra going on. But it’s not always the case and sometimes I can sleep incredibly deeply – totally dead to the world. Occasional weird dreams but I think we are all dealing with these.

However, I am now nearly always waking up between 5 and 6 am. I lay in bed but can’t get back to sleep so inevitably I have to get up around 7 am if not before. I quite like early mornings but getting up early makes for a long day.

Books and Reading

‘The October Man’ by Ben Aaronovitch

Only one book read last week – book 7.5 in the ‘Rivers of London’ series. A twist in that it is set in Germany and makes only fleeting reference to the London characters and setting that are what the series is all about. It’s also not a full novel, rather a novella. It’s great to have a new edition to the series but overall I found it slightly disappointing. It races to a poor ending and I’m left wondering why it wasn’t made into a more meaty novel? 🙁

Family and Friends


Mum continues to be safely isolated. Three weeks since I’ve seen her and it would be lovely to just see her in the flesh again. But even then it would be no hugs. I continue to phone twice each day (did forget one morning simply because it was such a busy lockdown week acting up 🙁 ) and she is in touch with her friends by phone. Dave’s mum also continues to be well and at the centre of a good local support network of extended family and friends.

Social media saves the day

woman using mobile

Obviously no physical contact with friends but ongoing contact via tech and social media. Amazing the way people have knocked this in the past (‘Facebook friends aren’t real friends’) but this has completely come into its own now.

Personally I think the online world is as real as the ‘everyday’ world to many people and now we ignore this fact at our peril. It’s like as I say about life about 50% reality and 50% perception. Do you can actually bullshit your way through anything.

Personal Development

Nowt major to report here partly because of busy lockdown taking away free time. However, carried on with learning on my language apps grabbing 5 min lessons whenever I can. And I managed to keep on top of emails (work and personal). I make sure at the end of each day there are none unread and as many deleted as possible.

Art and Culture

Busy lockdown has meant this hasn’t progressed. Work has taken up so much time and I have been so tired. Annoyed with myself that I haven’t even managed to catch up on any films making use of my new BFI i-player subscription. 🙁

The Week Ahead

  • Another bank holiday on Monday to chill and recharge 🙂
  • My line manager is back on Tuesday so I cease acting up; hopefully I can go back to my normal part-time hours
  • I am definitely going to try to do at least one jog-run next week
  • Also some exercise within the flat, perhaps press-ups and stretches in particular
  • Will finish a good sci-fi book I am reading and move onto something new. Aim is to read at least two books for next week’s blog.
  • Continue to do language learning and savagely control my emails
  • Keep on checking in with mum and stay in contact with friends
  • Must use my BFI subscription and watch some good movies 🙂

And Finally…

3 thoughts on “Busy lockdown, week 3

  1. Love the way you write your blog! I’ve been missing sitting and having iced lattes watching and judging the world go by. I’ve also been trying to summon up the courage to run/jog brave the plague ball of Earth outside. I’m also everyone’s worst nightmare runner as I had an op on my nose to fix a deviated septum and it was snipped and drilled and now I’m a mouth breather, I’ll probably get beaten up, I sound like an over excited pug when I run, I always wear a mask when I run because I look gormless with my trap open, also with my oversized sunnies I’m a real treat! Also I need to run beside Jaffa cakes keep falling in my mouth! Stay safe

    1. Hi Siobhan,

      Thanks for the comment. I did gear myself up for a jog-run and went out Sun morning early – about 7.30am. I always feel self-conscious when I run and like to do it early morning when few other people are around. Didn’t go brilliantly – 3.5km in just over 25 mins. But it’s a start and I’m going to try it again a couple of times before I write up my next blog. Keep safe and well.

  2. Yes must have mind encouraged each other! I braved the outside! That’s a great time!!! A hell of a lot faster than me, my pace has really dropped since I’ve been mostly watching traffic cops and eating dairy milk haha! My best 5K is 33 mins I think, I was quite ill so had to get fit, been trying to get myself less scared of the plague ball world. Hope you’ve been keeping well and your Mum is ok. When we went for a walk I noticed my favourite coffee shop was open, 1 customer allowed only, Had to chant repeatedly non-essential non essential, just saw 2 policemen patrolling and knew my pace had dropped and wasn’t feeling a footchase! (Sorry I type how I talk) stay safe xx

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