Hi there, how are you all coping this week?
This week has been better than last week, however I foolishly spent some time on Facebook before I started writing this and now I’m feeling pretty anxious so that was evidently a bad idea.
This afternoon I plan to get my head back together for long enough to do some programming for my PT clients, then I might hide under a blanket for a while and nap.
But first, this week I…..
Running is one thing that’s helping keep me sane right now. It takes some co-ordination as walking the Pugs takes up one of our once-daily exercise trips so we need to schedule who’s walking and who’s running, but being able to get out and run, no matter how slowly gives me chance to forget everything and just focus on keeping my legs moving. It has its stresses as I’ve been forced to leap into hedges or run down the middle of the road to keep my distance from other people, but overall it’s been a huge release.
It’s also become a bit of a source of stress today, as I’m scared that the kind of idiots who think “outdoor exercise” means a barbeque on the beach or sunbathing in the park, or a trip to the peak district are going to take running away from me.
The weather at either end of this week couldn’t have been more different. Last weekend while running I was pelted with snow and hail, this week I was so warm that even the t-shirt I wore out seemed a bit much. Ah, the joys of a British Spring.
In a display of terrible timing, my 6 weekly hair cut was due about 4 days into the current lockdown restrictions meaning no haircut for me.
So this week I attempted to cut my fringe. I haven’t been able to get hold of any hairdressing scissors, and the only clippers I have only work while plugged in and the plug is also broken. Apparently I shouldn’t really use them anymore as it’s “dangerous”. I did though, because my undercut needed a quick bit of attention, then I used paper scissors to cut my fringe. My normal technique works best on longer fringes, so it’s not perfect and I had to even it up afterwards with some freehand cutting, but it’s better than it was.
On Monday morning I woke up, and one of the first things I saw was this headline “Astrophysicist gets magnets stuck up nose while inventing coronavirus device”.
It made me so happy that Mr LLL has printed the story and framed it on the bedroom wall.
We were actually lucky enough to have an online shopping delivery slot this week that was booked a few weeks ago (We’ve been regular fortnightly slots for about 3 years), however, the change in lifestyle (no meals out! No popping to the shop for bits n bobs!) and the stores rationing (No more than 3 of any item, no more than 80 items total) combined to mean that it wasn’t really possible to get everything I needed for 2 weeks on 1 order.
So, I thought I’d be brave and go to Co-Op. Being asthmatic I’ve been really, cautious about my social distancing, and even passing someone a bit close on a pavement has freaked me out, so I was worried about the shop, and I was right as it was a horrendously stressful experience. Worse than last weeks Doctors visit.
People were just wandering up and down aisles, popping round corners and squeezing past each other like nothing had changed. I tried to just go up one aisle and down the next to avoid people as much as possible, but other shoppers kept doubling back on themselves and ending up boxing me in.
On top of that the shelves were mostly empty of the sort of things I’d gone for. No soft drinks, beans crisps, bread or snacks, even the dog treats were empty. I nearly just hurled everything down and ran away crying. But, seeing as I was already there I decided to grab a couple of luxuries like a bottle of fizzy wine and a frozen pizza and head home.
At the tills they’d kept both of the self-service tills open, they were free when I got to the checkout. While I was using one of them someone else came and used the one next to me, which was all of about 2 foot away. You’d have thought closing one of them down would have been the first thing they did? I was incredibly brave (note: I am not brave at all) and did not meltdown completely.
Then I put all my shopping through and it came to £30.30, the day before the contactless limit increased. With all the stress I couldn’t remember my pin and I hadn’t taken out my phone (in which I definitely do not store my pin number, uh uh.) as I was trying to carry as little as possible. By this point I was very nearly in tears. I pressed the help button and eventually, a member of staff came to help. I just wanted her to take a tin of beans off so I could pay with contactless, but she couldn’t remember how to do it. I was very stressed and very crowded.
Finally I made it out of the shop, came home and put all my clothes in the wash and had a shower.
3 days later I ventured back in to look for soft drinks again and it was no better. I will not be going back to the Co-Op for a while.
I also had to brave my local corner shop for bread in the end. There was a plexiglass panel with a hole in it over the cash desk and no soft drinks in there either. I seriously might have a meltdown if I have to face a shop again.
When my delivery arrived on Wednesday I was relieved to find that apart from my favourite frozen pies and 2 tins of ravioli, everything else was in stock.
We then spent quite some time disinfecting all 75 items of shopping.
This is not a thing I thought I would be doing in 2020 if I’m honest.
My other shopping trip of the week was actually far less stressful. The real ale pub near us has started to offer a limited take out service, so I decided to get some nice beer in to drink while doing the Virtual Pub Quiz.
It was perfectly run. The back door had a table in it and 2m markings were marked on the floor across the car park for people to queue. A staff member in a mask took your order and contactless payment. Then your order was bought out of the back door of the brewery and left on the steps. It was contact-free and stress-free.
This trip was combined with other essential errands, like going to post a card through the door of someone who lives 4 streets over because the postie had randomly posted it through my door, and my second unsuccessful forage for inexpensive soft drinks.
Srsly. In February my social life consisted of a weekly pilates class, a couple of weekly trips to our local and maybe having a couple of friends over once a month.
This week alone I have “virtually” been to a pub quiz, the cinema and a disco and I have a beer festival, a trip to the opera and a Saturday night Pilates and Prosecco evening booked in for the coming weeks.
Movie night has now become a permanent feature of the week, so much so that we have decided we need a better projector and I ordered special popcorn pots. It’s nice to take an exciting trip to a different room of the house, and I do feel lucky that we have other rooms to take a trip to, even if we don’t have the luxury of a big garden.
Finally, the last exciting thing that happened this week is that I missed barbells a lot.
I’m lucky enough to have a set of adjustable dumbbells. Exercise equipment is in short supply online (See also hair clippers, hair scissors, yeast, cotton wool pads and other random items), so having 2 adjustable dumbbells that go up to 24kg each in my house is making me very happy and meaning I can still do some strength work.
At one point there was part of my brain that thought “Hey, that means technically you could do a 48kg squat still”.
That part of my brain is wrong.
While holding a 20kg unloaded barbell on your back might feel light as a feather (This is all relative remember guys, I’ve been weight training for many years), attempting to hold a bulky 24kg dumbbell while I do squats feels REALLY BLOODY HEAVY.
I know this is to do with the recruitment of stabiliser muscles, the energy it takes to get into position to start the reps and the position of the weight in comparison to your centre of gravity. But still, it’s REALLY HEAVY.
Bring back the barbell, all is forgiven.
And this culminates another exciting week in my life.
I hope you’re all staying home and staying safe and sane.
How was your week?