The UK, like Italy, Spain and many other countries are in lockdown. The USA, from the News Media, I get the impression that a number of States in the USA are relying more on Social Distancing rather than actual lockdown?
The lockdown in the UK isn’t as tough as in Spain or Italy e.g. leaving your home for exercise is prohibited in Italy, whereas in the UK you are currently permitted to go out once a day for daily exercise, but encouraged to keep it short and local e.g. within a 1km from home, and to observe Social Distancing. Also, in the UK you are not permitted to be out in groups of more than two people; restrictions which seems to be a lot tougher than in many parts of the USA, and in supermarkets in the UK that’s now restricted to just one person.
Therefore, most people in the UK, like many countries in Europe, are locked in their own homes, unless it’s for shopping, medical reasons, essential worker, and for your daily exercise.
So how are people spending their days cooped up in their own homes for the duration?
Apart from my son feeling a little stir-crazy because he’s a profession photographer and used to being out all the time; we’re doing fine. Our son spent the first couple of weeks enhancing his website, and is now spending his time looking for bugs in our garden to photograph (macro photography).
My wife is spending a lot of her spare time using her sewing machine and overlocker to use up all the scrap material she has do all those sewing projects that she never normally has enough time to do.
While I’ve been doing what I would normally be do this time of year e.g. the gardening and DIY; plus a couple of DIY crafts projects.
So I’ve been spending my time as follows:-
1. After tidying up the garden from the winter months, including pruning the trees (mostly fruit trees) and burning the wood, and preparing the vegetable plot for sowing the summer crops, I’m now spending one or days a week leisurely maintaining the garden, and nipping out for a short period each day just to check on the garden and do little tasks as necessary e.g. daily watering as required. In between each little task I can sit out in the garden, with a cup of coffee or a pint of beer, as I admire the garden and its wildlife, including the water features and wildlife pond, or just sit on the decking by the conservatory and watch our robotic lawnmower cut the lawn for me.
2. DIY: In between the gardening:-
a. My first DIY task of the year has been renovating an old oak dining table we were given, and upcycling it to a sewing table; I’m now on the final stages, and all that’s left is to give it a good bees wax polish tomorrow before taking it back to the house for my wife to give it a good test drive as sewing table, so check that it’s suitable for her purposes and more advantages than her current large pine dining table that she’s currently using as a sewing table.
b. My next DIY project (next week) will be to replace some of the decking along our side entrance access, and then
c. Spend a couple of weeks making a cupboard to fit a set of drawers a friend gave us last year; in preparation for when I do a makeover of our home office later in the year.
For the last two DIY projects, mentioned above, I’ve had to order some decking and wood from a local wood merchant, to be delivered. Unlike the garden centres, which have been closed by the Government, in the UK DIY shops (like food shops) have been classified as an essential service, on the basis that while people are in lockdown they’ll be wanting to spend their spare time doing DIY; a popular pastime in the UK. The only provision is that you can’t shop in-store in the DIY shops, you have to order on-line and either have your supplies delivered or use ‘click and collect’ and pick up your goods from a designated pick-up point in the store’s carpark.
3. DIY Crafts: Also on my agenda for later in the week are two crafts:-
a. Firstly, making eucalyptus oil from some of the leaves I collected when I pruned our eucalyptus tree last month. For the past month the leaves have been sitting in jars, in the sun on our kitchen window sill, to allow time for oil infusion; so that I can drain the leaves later in the week.
b. Once I’ve got the eucalyptus oil I can then use some of it for my next DIY craft project, which is making some scented homemade soap.
We are under restrictions since March 16th. Won´t call that a lockdown, because only unnecessary travel is banned (German licence plates are quite telling) and most non grocery shops are closed.
Looked up my money spending distribution for recent months (March compared to January/February):
Expenses for food ( not restaurants): up almost 250%.
Expenses for consumption, travel, dinners: down to 25%.
I don´t know what April will bring, but i think the gap between January and April will even open up.
I go shopping for food every 2 days, and that literally means walking, because you need exercise these days. Home office is my head office to run my "worldwide empire". I even got my ongoing clashes with my favorite tax authorities settled.
Warm weather keeps us busy in the garden. Never had everything cleaned up so early in the year.
My wife told me not to do any DIY projects with my 2 left hands. So i had to call in craftsmen a few times.
Travel bans prevented us from visiting our son in Bavaria on his birthday. But then, our daugther and family lives only 1000 meters away. So we had a nice Easter barbeque with them. Grandchildren collected Easter suprises in our garden.
Some politicians talk about a war going on. Well, for us there is not much action to see. Everything is quiet. We obey to physical distancing when going outside. Doesn´t mean we don´t communicate. Much more gossip with neighbours over then fence. Being financially independent -may be we are only lucky.
And it helps to be married for decades. You develop routine to lay back and not stress nerves.
Besides the usual household chores....
Dabbling in watercolor painting
Picked up my guitar again
Taking a long walk every day with my pup
Training my pup on a simple agility course
Usually watch a movie after dinner
Baking, baking, baking. Did I say baking? lol
Edit: I live in a small town and rarely see anyone else out walking at the same time.
Converting a backroom into a workshop and hobby room, actually have gotten that project done; today as a matter of fact.
Sorting and throwing out old paperwork.
New article writing and old article updating.
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