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Well we made it through Easter! Is it just me or is this raft of lockdown measures that are still keeping us all indoors beginning to feel strangely normal? Of course the daily updates are a stark and unhappy reminder of the reality we now face – but as we go into our fourth week I have to wonder at and admire the way in which we seem to be adapting to these restrictions. We did have an Easter of sorts – in many ways not so different to any other Easter spent at home with family, a Sunday roast in the garden, walking the dog and the usual indulgence of too many eggs in front of a film on Netflix!   It really wasn’t so difficult. There are times when it feels as if we have been confined like this for months – and it is hard without an end in sight – but, oddly, each individual day does seem to be going by surprisingly quickly.

For me, I think this comes down to the fact that I gathered up my entire outside routine – gym, work, shopping, socialising and anything else I could think of – and brought the whole lot inside. With a slight inclination towards OCD (some would question slight) I need order and routine to function with any shred of sanity – and let’s face it, sanity is something we are all trying to cling to right now. With a school run no longer on the agenda, I can’t seem to just take this extra early morning time to lounge around in bed. I’m up and about and working to the same time schedule that was life as I knew it before lockdown, which is probably at bit irritating for the rest of the family … But I need some sense of normality, and not just for me but for my girls too, who are here with me confined within these four walls!

At the beginning of this, one of the biggest restriction challenges for me was the alarming prospect of NO GYM! I am one of those gym addicts who gets a bit twitchy if I don’t have a class or a workout on my daily horizon. I know we are allowed one outdoor jaunt per day – and I love walking the dog along some of the beautiful walks around here – but less than a week in and I was beyond twitchy. THEN I discovered that there are literally hundreds of virtual classes going on out there! There’s a phenomenal range of fitness apps you can download, YouTube videos you can watch at no cost at all, virtual yoga classes and even free online ballet classes run by the Royal Academy of Dance. With my gym routine now restored I am loving the Live Like Louise online classes with Louise Thompson, Turns out it’s not so difficult to get a proper workout after all.

In many ways work has been the easy one to slot into my indoor routine – getting up at the same time to be at my desk at the usual hour, working my way through what needs to be done and just generally trying to keep ahead. What has been an eye-opener though are the amount of video conference calls I now have to do and – who knew – the ease with which we can actually do these! The fact that we only have to dress from the waist up for these makes me smile because it is all too tempting to parade around in ratty old pyjama bottoms and ancient slippers teamed with a gorgeous silk blouse, full makeup and perfect hair. BUT – I’ve realised that actually, for me, I am far better getting dressed (makeup, hair, the whole lot) just as I would have on any normal working day that took me out of the house. It’s another part of my indoor routine that brings a small semblance of normality to my day. 

Getting a balance between work and pleasure has been harder to navigate. We can’t spend an idle morning over coffee with friends or an evening in some snug bar with a glass of wine and old mates, but it seems that in a crisis we are ever resourceful and, undeterred, finding alternative ways to communicate with the people we can’t be with right now. FaceTime, Zoom and House Party have become our new ‘nights out on the town’ – our houses have become the bar and our kitchens the restaurant! Why didn’t we do this before with all of those family and friends who live miles or even continents away and who we rarely ever see?! I hope that when this all comes to an end and we’re able to go out again, we still take the time to sit in front of our laptops with a glass of wine and a few carefully prepared snacks and talk with the people who just make us laugh and feel better.

Until then we just have to stay indoors – and we have to stay safe. 

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