Has it really only been five days?

Why does last week seem like another era from a different universe? I think we all feel we’ve gone through a time warp and, just to let you know, Captain Kirk, I’d like to go back now.

Now, is that strictly true? I’m guiltily aware that we are very lucky to live where we are and to be at a pensionable age but is it dreadful to be appreciating this time off the hamster wheel?

Please don’t condemn me for confessing this- I, too, am watching the terrible death toll rise and feel deeply for those people who are suffering in this crisis and like everyone else, I wake at 3am worrying whether all my family and friends will emerge at the other side. I particularly worry about people who are stuck in a high-rise flat with no outside space and who live on their own but I suspect I’m not the only one to be re-evaluating life and finding some real positives there. I can’t help but notice it’s the best thing that could have ever happened to the planet and maybe we will be a different society when this is all over.

Did you see this one? The World- There’s no way we can shut everything down in order to lower emissions, slow climate change and protect the environment. Mother Nature: Here’s a virus, practice.

Hmm, yes, thank you Mother Nature.

So, in a bid to rediscover the Polyanna my family have always accused me of being, this is what I’ve learned in just five very extraordinary days:

Firstly, I can cope with far more if the sun’s out. It isn’t very good for writing but as the weather is going to change this weekend and temperatures will plummet so hey, I will just call this past week a holiday from work.

As a species, we are capable of adapting very quickly. From a busy diary, the empty spaces are quickly filled up by a packed agenda every day.

I’m taking ages to get up in the morning because of The Video Chats with family and friends. Then it’s The Chores- my house has never been this clean, towels never washed this regularly and preparations for inventive meals done quite so efficiently. Then it’s The Walk and yes, we are really lucky to be able to access the hills from our front door. The Garden Jobs follow and I fear, the relentless tasks devised by my self-professed foreman may begin to pall slightly. At 3pm, it’s The Afternoon Tea across our drives with our neighbours. Then of course, it’s The Briefing. Like families gathering around the radio in the war, we are there every day at 5pm. That leads to The Drink which, of course, has become worryingly essential to get over whatever they’ve pronounced that day. The Tea is followed by The Evening Video Chats and then, as a reminder of more normal times, we start The Therapy.. That consists of an episode of ‘Friends’ that I can thoroughly recommend. There are lots of them and they should last you the duration of this. Finally, it’s The Box Set and hey presto, it’s bed time!

So ask me, how am I going to fit in all the things I used to fit in when this is all over?

There are other things I have learned too: I can talk to anyone and everyone who comes within shouting distance and people, mostly, don’t think I’m mad. I can make a meal out of lentils and tomatoes. That congealed frozen package in the freezer still tastes OK. I can make two cups of tea from one teabag. I can walk up the vertical hill behind us without gasping for breath.

But most excitingly of all, I can make a loo roll last more than two days.

Who’d have thought we’d need a pandemic to make that amazing discovery!

Keep safe everyone.

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