Coronavirus diary and where does the time go?

Today I found myself struggling to remember exactly what I had done this week and I realised that one effect for me of this protracted period of lockdown and semi lockdown is that the weeks blur into each other.  Tomorrow we are expecting an announcement to the effect that there will be what is being called a circuit breaker lockdown in Wales, a shorter period (but exactly how long?) of serious restrictions in an attempt to reverse the trend of rising infections and hospitalisations.

So in this week's blog I am going to pin down exactly what I have been doing over the last seven days to try to stop the weeks blurring into months!

Sunday 11th October

I went for a run about lunchtime and in the afternoon younger daughter and all her family (the only part of our family within reach at the moment as they live in the same county) came to spend the afternoon with us.  It was a lovely day, warm enough to sit outside, as we must right now.  We have two horse chestnut trees and much of the afternoon was spent collecting conkers, the children, now five and two falling on them with cries of delight.  Ian bashed at one tree with a huge stick and the sky rained conkers.  At the end of the afternoon Grace and Toby filled a carrier bag each with their treasure to take home.

Monday 12th October

Yoga in the morning.  I am pretty sure the new lockdown will put paid to yoga and pilates classes for now so it was good to get onto the mat and gently work those areas of the body where you hold tension which for me is my shoulders.  Afterwards we sat outside for a cup of coffee with our friends, needing more warmth but enjoying chat and a brief semblance of normality.

Tuesday 13th October

An hour of Spanish in the morning on Zoom with my friend from Valencia.  I love this window onto Spain and the reminder of our shared experiences with the virus.   Luz's English is considerably better than my Spanish but I am still aware of improving from week to week.  And we share a similar outlook on the world.  How lucky I am to have made this connection.  One day, when the virus is behind us, I hope we shall meet face to face.

And then in the afternoon a Welsh class on Zoom.  The first couple of times I tried this my brain seemed unable to switch from Spanish to Welsh but somehow this week it fell into place and I did not keep jumping in with Spanish words.  The tutor for this class is first rate and runs the whole thing with real energy, skill and enthusiasm.  I like the face to face experience but when Zoom is done as well as this it is a good experience in itself.  I admit to being shattered afterwards!!

Wednesday 14th October.

I meet a friend in the post office who tells me that a shared friend from my choir has coronavirus.  I hope he is OK and recovers quickly.  It feels chillingly close to home.  Afterwards I run to clear my head.

And in the afternoon we look after the two and a half year old for a little while, still allowed for now under the coronavirus restrictions.  Amongst our many grandchildren there are two little boys of almost exactly the same age but different in the way they engage with the world.   Daniel is quiet and self contained, poddling about busily and occasionally turning up for a story or to show you something.  This one, Toby, does not stop talking all afternoon.  He loves to laugh and to make you laugh.  It is the perfect balance to the morning's news.

Thursday 15th October  

Spanish conversation class on Zoom in the morning.  This is a very different experience from my Tuesday call, more jokey, less cerebral but also useful.  Afterwards I go to Pilates and then to lunch outside with our friends.  This must be the first day for months and months that I have had three appointments and I feel quite rushed.  I must have got used to slower days.  

Friday 16th October

On Friday I join a group to walk, the members of which are mainly native Welsh speakers where it is expected that the language of the morning will be Welsh.   This is really good for my Welsh as a real problem for me has been trying to learn a language in which everyone you speak to is bilingual in Welsh and English.  Inevitably, when I hesitate, make a mistake or fail to understand it is natural for the other person to turn to English, almost as a courtesy to try to help me.   You rarely have the experience which I have had in French and Spanish of knowing that if you want to communicate you just have to keep soldiering on! So joining a group like this pushes me a bit and makes me try to keep to Welsh, using my Welsh to ask for help if I need it and not lazily sliding off into English!  I nearly wimp out of this.  Even as I am waiting in my car for the others to arrive I think I could just go home.  It is hard to raise the energy to talk in another language all morning but I give myself a talking to and jump out of the car before I can change my mind.  I am so glad I did.  It is a beautiful walk and everyone is very friendly and encouraging.  

Mae'n Achwyfan, a Celtic cross from around 980 AD

Saturday 17th October

And on Saturday I didn't do much!  I got up late and ate a leisurely breakfast over the weekend newspapers.  I pottered in the garden and spoke to family and a friend.  In the evening Ian and I shared a bottle of fizz and watched Michael Palin's visit to Japan from the series "Full Circle" from nearly thirty years ago.  

Writing all this down has made me realise that even in this strange time my days are full.  I must remember that.  I mustn't let them blur into greyness.

I hope everyone is OK.  I often think of my virtual friends.  Hang on in there!


  1. You have kept busy. Collecting conkers took me back 70 years.

    1. I remember it vividly from my childhood too! I always loved collecting conkers and then when my own children were little I loved it all over again. Great to see the grandchildren so excited!

  2. I know just what you mean about days and weeks blurring together and the sense that one is not really doing anything. This can lead me to feeling that I'm in danger of wishing my life away as I'm in limbo - waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel to appear and not disappear! So.. I'm back to the being v doing dilemma and trying to cultivate more of the former - something that doesn't come easily.
    Weeks vary in their level of activity. Last week I had 3 meetings on Quality improvement and patient safety in the NHS and they kept my mind active. We also met our daughter on neutral ground in Cheshire for a walk and I had a cup of tea with a neighbour sitting in our coats in the garden. Yesterday's highlight was our 4 year old granddaughter requesting to speak with me as soon as she'd had her breakfast - that was lovely!
    This week has very little scheduled activity but we will go for walks, I'll join my Pilates Zoom class and I'll continue with the herculean task of going through all my old training files and shredding for England. Oh and await our predicted "elevation" to tier 3.....

    Have a good week all wherever you are and whatever you're doing(or being)

    1. Well we have just had the confirmation of a "circuit breaker" lockdown from Friday so that will be back to staying home and no contact with people, indoors and out. I think I'm going to do the accounts and tax return for the holiday cottage. That will give me a major sense of achievement! I will also have a go at putting some more miles on my Wales coast path challenge, slightly depending on the weather! I've got some extremely bright wool which I've been using to make hats for the grandchildren so I'm also considering making one for myself that might knock your eyes out! Ways to stay sane.....

  3. I love to read your accounts of your life. Despite all the restrictions, we really are the fortunate few aren't we. I keep reminding myself of that. Looking forward to your next instalment...

    1. Thank you Deborah and thank you for taking the time to respond! It's lovely to make these connections. I completely agree with you that we are lucky. I get driven a bit nuts by watching the news and seeing people whining and being encouraged to whinge. Yes, covid is hard. But yes, we here with our houses and families and roofs over our heads, we are the lucky ones.

  4. Time goes so fast in this moment of confusion, tension and all is quite strange! Thus we continue with our scheduled routines living one day at a time. Certainly, a time we will always remember by our own vulnerability and great uncertainty.

    1. Vulnerability is right luz! There is that strange sensation of swinging from feeling that things are quite normal to feeling suddenly aware that perhaps the risk is greater than you are acknowledging to yourself. I think it's quite impressive that so many of us are managing to deal with that and with the uncertainty without undue anxiety!


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