Monday round-up: 9th November

This was the week that England went into Lockdown II: The Return, as I am lovingly call it. It started on Thursday – no Guy Fawkes parties around here, although plenty of fireworks. To be honest, thus far it does not feel that much different to where we were before. The children are in school, a lot of shops are open, places are doing takeout and we didn’t have loads of plans do social things so…. However, the weather at the weekend was beautiful and the Forest was packed. Some loose interpretations of the guidelines and there were times when the paths were packed, but … great to see lots of people discovering the outdoors! Try to see the positive, try to see the positive….

Spot the dog

In our Directorate meeting this week we discussed ideas for keeping positive wellbeing and mental health during Lockdown: The Return. I need to remember these too and I have been reading a poem a day to do something different. I’m finding it really positive to rediscover so many poems and realising how much poetry has had an impact and place in my life. Not surprising, I guess given that I studying poetry for my PhD, but I always claimed that I didn’t really like poetry and can’t remember many times that I have read poems recently, I need to readjust my perceptions!

The children returned to school this week, somewhat reluctantly it has to be said and the mornings are hard to rouse everyone. They also want to do very little at the weekend – I think the little three spent 80% of the weekend on the sofa, listening to audiobooks and playing Teddy School. Felt slightly guilty that wasn’t “doing more” with them so just decided this is what they wanted to do and we did all play Cluedo again on Sunday. Frankly I think some form of hibernation is quite attractive to be honest at the moment. Sylvia did want to go out though and enjoyed our low-key Mummy time dog walk on Saturday so much that she asked to do it again on Sunday 🙂

Feel like we are holding our breaths a bit in terms of whether the schools will stay open. They are preparing us for home schooling with sending out passwords etc for the online systems. We’ll see. Day by day.

Despite Lockdown II we managed to get in some fireworks and catching up with people before lockdown and had quite a social weekend, with lots of online chats and phone calls with friends and family. Particularly feeling for my brother in the USA and a good friend in France, both of whom come back to the UK regularly, and have found it really hard not being allowed back into the UK. Also interesting to discuss the different responses in different countries to Covid. In France, the children wear masks in school all day but there are no bubbles and their travel from home is severely limited. They have to have papers to go out. I cannot imagine that working here.

Phenomenal Women at the Southbank

I also managed a slightly mad trip to the Southbank before Lockdown II to see the Phenomenal Women exhibition. It ended at the weekend and whilst I wasn’t sure if it would end due to Lockdown, I didn’t want to take the risk and decided to just pop into Town to see it. In my leadership module, we discuss the lack of Black female professors in the UK as part of a quiz on leadership and leadership models. I’m pleased to know that it is no longer 23 and now 35 but still shockingly low. The photos were beautiful, inspiring and fascinating. It was a fantastic autumn day and travelling around a very quiet London was sobering. This will pass and I wonder what the future will look like in terms of our cityscapes.

I suppose the positive about Lockdown II was it spurred me into action to see this exhibition and do a few things this week as well as reach out to friends and family this week. Trying to see the positives at the moment. I also was inspired to reorganise my desk and “up my background game” (ha ha) as I’m sick of seeing the stains on the wallpaper and horrible blinds in all my team calls. I’m super happy with the results and this has inspired me to do a load of sorting out in the house too. Yay.

Although I am not doing NaNoWriMo I have committed to write at least 500 words a day in a work context and some at the weekends. During the week I am able to do this, sometimes considerably more which is great, it is more of a struggle at the weekend. Perhaps I need to plan what I am going to write a bit more rather than just have a word count.

London before Lockdown II

Lastly, I finally got around to ordering the fabric for The Chair Project. This seems to be taking a VERY long time but I am still hopeful it will be completed by Christmas. How it actually looks we’ll see and I am hoping that I can remember how it all fits together, it’s been a while since I pulled it all apart. That might be next weekend’s project.

The weather this weekend was absolutely gorgeous. Mild, sunny, glorious Autumn days. Even managed exercise in the garden, by the pond on Sunday morning – without falling in. Lets hope this continues, definitely makes lockdown positivity easier to maintain.

And talking of positivity …. how have I got this far without mentioning the US Election. I could barely hope on Wednesday, avoided the news all day, was obsessed by the news on Thursday and Friday and cried with relief on Saturday. This sums it up for me.

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