It's been quite a while since my last blog post. I've been busy with lots of things including music but obviously the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed all of our lives. What a time to live through... we went from what we know as complete freedom to huge restrictions (completely necessary in my book) in a matter of days. It feels like a real life version of 'The Walking Dead' to me, just without the zombies.
We are currently in week 7 (I think!) of lockdown here in the UK and I've only left the farm in that time to get food for ourselves or deliver supplies to my parents when needed. My carbon footprint has certainly gone down that's for sure! I've been getting pretty much all of our supplies from the local shops and so have barely travelled more than ten minutes away from home. We are now extremely grateful for the technology that allows us to video call grandparents on a daily basis (we really do miss them!) and also for where we live. It must be so much harder going through lockdown in a small flat with no outside space, and I really do feel for those who are.
This sort of situation affects everyone in different ways. We started out needing to watch the news every night to see what was happening but, after a couple of weeks, I found this really affecting me. I'm not an anxious person at all however, when I decided I had to go to a supermarket for certain things instead of my local shops, I found myself really worried about it for a good three days before. On the drive to the supermarket I was gripping the steering wheel to the point where my knuckles were white as I was so nervous about what I would find. I ended up queuing for half an hour to get in next to two lovely ladies (all two metres apart obviously!) and chatting to them helped the anxiety to pass. It was so nice to have a face to face conversation with someone who wasn't a 2 year old! We now watch the news once a week as social media tends to fill us in on anything we might need to know in between.
The initial panic-buying phase got me worried too as it had an undeniable knock on affect on those who weren't panic-buying. We were getting close to needing loo roll (I will never understand why a years supply of loo roll was necessary but hey ho) and I kept thinking to myself 'if I see some loo roll I must buy it just in case I can't find it when I actually need it'. How crazy is that? That phase thankfully seems to have passed but it will always be etched in my memory!
Music is still at the fore in my house, although motivation has reduced slightly due to not having anything to work towards. I find if I have endless time with no deadlines I get a lot less done! At the end of November 2019, Jimmy was in a bit of a tight spot and so ended up staying with us. He is still here which has actually been quite handy during lockdown. Not only is it another person to talk to (albeit only in the afternoons as he is a night owl) but it means I can go to the shops without having to take Finnian with me. We are writing new music together, he's teaching me guitar - now on my fabulous 'new' acoustic, a 1976 Cherry Red Gibson Hummingbird - and I'm supposed to be helping him with his singing but he's still rather shy on that front! If you missed it we did a live concert in April from my living room and hopefully will do another one this month.
Watch the highlights below and the full performance here.
Life with a 2 year old who never goes out anymore also has its testing moments. We've gone from swimming, groups, play dates, seeing grandparents regularly, to essentially nothing. Again, thankfully due to where we live, we have been able to carry on walking the dogs as normal and we have a lovely garden we can play in (so glad the weather has been generally decent) so that has helped with the entertainment. Talking of gardens, mine has never looked so smart. Our veggie garden has been dug over and planted (assisted by Jimmy - farmer in training!), the patio weeded and the lawn has been edged. The house has been reorganised, decluttered and spring cleaned as well which is lovely to live in. The boredom is starting to set in though now that's all done.
I think the highlight of the week for Finnian is our trip to our fabulous "Hammonds Butchers' in Matfield, Kent who are operating a drive-thru service and working their socks off to keep everyone fed. I take Finn with me on this journey as we don't have to get out of the car, they pop our order in the boot, wave and smile cheerily through the window and off we go. It's the only time the poor boy sees anywhere other than the farm at the moment. He is coping remarkably well though, I'm so proud of him.
My husband, Graham, is a farmer so he is still working flat out as usual. Obviously being a keyworker there is a higher risk of him catching the virus but, touch wood, we are all fine so far. Despite 'feeding the nation' as such, he has also put his woodwork skills to use and built some amazing kennels for our dogs from scratch. All three of them live in the house with us but kennels make life so much easier when they are wet and dirty! You can find out a little more about our dogs on Instagram and Facebook.
If anything, this lockdown has certainly made us spend more time together not in front of the TV.
Board games, card games and puzzles have become a bit of a fixture in this house. Monopoly, Cluedo and the classic Guess Who have been dragged out, a bit of Rummy and Blackjack have been thrown in and a few Wasjig puzzles have helped with the variety too. It's been a bit like reliving our childhood years, being of the generation who grew up without smart phones, endless TV channels and streaming services, and even the internet!
I'm aware I've waffled on a bit as always but it's nice to get things down in writing. I find it cleanses the soul a bit! Talking of writing, I'll take this opportunity to suggest another way to pass your time in lockdown. My wonderful Mum, Anne Ludlow, has just published her first novel and oh my god, is it good! It's currently free to download for kindle here, the paperback is available for preorder from Waterstones if you prefer the real thing like me, or if you want it now, you can order it direct from the publishers here.
Please let me know how you are getting on during this difficult time. Any ideas for entertaining a toddler, or even adults for that matter, would be hugely appreciated!
Make sure you don't miss out on any future happenings by signing up to my Mailing List (no spam sent ever!). You can also find my music and further updates on the links below. A follow or like is always appreciated!