Monday, 9 November 2020

Lockdown 2.0

Well, here we are again, back in lockdown here in the UK, except this time it's a lot less enjoyable. John and I are still at work, I still have a 4000 word essay to write, and the children are both at school. My anxiety levels are currently just below "panic" status - there just isn't enough TIME to do everything I need or want to do. Christmas, usually a time of anticipation and joy, just feels like something else I need to get my head around - I haven't even baked my cake yet! - although I have started some online shopping. Elements of lockdown last spring felt almost like an extended holiday, with all four of us pottering around the house, gardening, going for walks in the sunshine....less so this time. I'm sure it's the same for you.

Some things that are keeping me going during this turbulent time:

Comfort television, things like the Great British Bake Off, Midsummer Murders, Miss Marple...nothing challenging or upsetting (you can always watch the news for that) just lovely, cosy TV.

Cooking, always cooking. Turning all the pumpkins I bought before Halloween into a soup - if you roast them you don't need to peel them.

Crocheting socks. This is my current obsession. 

This is pair number two. I am currently working on pair number three using up all the leftover yarn from pairs one and two.

Planting bulbs. It's so easy and they bring such joy when they pop up in the spring.

Watching the light move around the house, creating beautiful shadows.

Nesting. For me, taking comfort in the idea of home, cleaning and sorting, buying new towels and some cosy bedding, cherishing the four walls we live in and letting letting your home look after's one of the biggest antidepressants. If we're going to be stuck at home for the next four weeks we may as well try to enjoy it.

Little rituals, like a steaming stack of buttered pumpkin pancakes and a hot coffee for breakfast. Again, taking comfort in the familiar.

Carving a pumpkin with this one over half term. We drilled holes in it - it was so much fun and so satisfying - until the drill got clogged up with pumpkin.

I added the slashes which looked good for a couple of days until someone (everyone is blaming the dog) accidentally trod on the pumpkin and, the structural integrity of the walls impaired by excess drilling and cutting, the whole thing collapsed.

The first frost. Waking up to a still, crisp, sunny morning after days of rain all through half term felt so uplifting. Our neighbours recently chopped back a huge, dense fir which is planted between our back garden and theirs. They literally just chopped it right across the top, along a horizontal line, no attempt at pruning or shaping. No messing. It does, however mean that we can now see the beautiful trees in the distance from the bedrooms at the back of the house. 

Rainbows always help.

Getting outdoors as much as possible, especially into the woods.

This is Stansted House, a favourite local walk, looking rather lovely and a bit like a painting.

And yesterday we had our first visit to the beach since the summer. It was incredibly misty and a strangely warm 15 degrees C, but still beautiful.

How are you all doing? What are your strategies for coping with a second lockdown?


  1. Lovely pictures as usual. I can empathise with the anxiety levels for Lockdown 2.0. We've only just finished 112 days of our lockdown here in Melbourne Australia, however we've also just experienced our 10th day in a row of zero cases and zero deaths. Lockdown 2.0 was much harder. Our kids were not at school at all and with three kids at home it was really tough. Fortunately, we had our health (mental health needed working on) and our jobs. You're starting off really well, cooking and exercising, nuturing and relaxing. I know it's hard but you have to take the positives out of each day. For me it was my craft time. Take care and we wish you all the best.

  2. Totally agree with you Gillian routine and the familiar are our best friends in these times. Prioritising what is important and not stressing about the rest. Hope you essay writing goes well.

  3. I have no strategies, sadly. I'm just keeping my head down and trundling through. We are in the middle of selling our house, moving 100 miles away, selling the family business and my husband is retiring early to look after me. We are also looking after a frail relative and will be helping my son to move house at the end of the month. We are busy! If I stop to think I worry so I don't stop. Thank you for writing. I tell myself that whilst our family are covid free there is much to be grateful for, there are so many grieving right now.I love visiting here. Good luck with the essay. ☺

  4. You put together such lovely posts...visually engaging too. I’ve not heard of crocheting socks but that pattern is really neat. In Canada, the numbers are vastly different from province to province. Here in Ontario, they are spiking but no change to our status just yet though I think it will happen soon. Masks are mandatory everywhere and folks are obediently complying.

  5. Judging from your beautiful pictures, one would never guess that your mental state is "just below panic", as you say. It all looks beautiful and very comfortable, so in tune with the season.
    I can see your "Anni" throw in one of the pictures, and I think I have mentioned before that I have one, too, bought from the National Trust, only that mine is yellow and grey to match my yellow armchair and the general colour scheme of my living room.
    Those baking trays with pumpkin look so appetising! And I really like the carved pumpkin with holes and slashes, makes a very nice difference from the ones with faces.

  6. We’ve just come out of a severe second lockdown in Melbourne, Australia. I think you’ve got it right, mindless tv, nesting, cooking, crafting and knowing that it’s all for the good of everyone. Wishing you all the best - you will get through this! Big hugs xx

    1. I'm in country Vic so we can now visit our daughter in Melbourne for the first time since...when was it? My goodness it has been TOUGH but we got there so it has so been worth it.

  7. I envy your walks - here in France we can only walk up to 1km from home and for no more than an hour. There is a limit to how mny interestingwalks we can do from home although I must admit that we are fortunate livining where we are and having a large garden. Good luck with the essay and get that cake made! xx

  8. I have no strategy other than making sure myself and my Pug get out for a good walk twice a day. Fresh air, no matter what the weather just makes everything more bearable.

  9. I said the other day it was lockdown without the Fun. All the rubbish and none of the nice bits. Any tips for bulb planting? I've bought some compost and want to do some inside as well but I'm very much a novice.

  10. Hi, I am from Holland. I am following your blog for a while. I love your photo's. They give me such a good feeling.

    Your socks, love them.

    My husband and I are also in lockdown. Our gouverment is calling it a half lockdown. I am doing the shopping in the supermarket and sometimes I walk around the house. As you our house is giving us so much pleasure. Baking, painting, also planting bulbs.

    Greetings from Geri.

  11. Everything you write, I could have written and yes, this second lockdown is not the same as the first and we have to make do with shorter days and the feeling that some of our past freedom is gone.

  12. I understand that simmering panic very well - I thought I'd got away with it this lockdown but it suddenly kicked in on Sunday after a sleepless night when the 'What if' demons just wouldn't be quiet. Being outdoors as much as possible is definitely a good antidote. Can I ask where you got your lovely patterned towels from? Take care and be kind to yourself.

  13. Love the photo of Angus with the power tool, attacking the pumpkin. It is priceless. Your socks look super cosy. Are they quite thick? DK yarn?

    We are not in lockdown here in Scotland but restrictions are in place. I do miss cycling to work and I miss my oldest, who hasn't been able to visit inside since September. Still, life goes on and we muddle through. I have been debating with myself if I should bake a Christmas cake. I am the only one who eats it. Best of luck with your essay, hope you get it done in time. I'd give you an extension if you were my student :-)

  14. I didn't find the first lockdown enjoyable because,I worked and continue to work through it .I'm prioritize s my mental health exercising daily preferably outside .I'm also enjoying what I can do meeting one friend to swim or walk .I'm finding it easier as schools remain open ,work and homeschool really didn't mix well.

  15. It is what it is. We deal with it. Tension is there. So silent though. You can do it, 4000 words are a piece of cake for a person writing blogs. You're together, as a family, things to do. Still the beach and the garden for you. You and others bloggers/vloggers provide a moment of warmth and light in these times. Thanks you so much for that.

  16. Working from home means no travel time so i get a daily woodland walk, i havent noticed much difference during locmdown as am a solitary person anyways but miss days out to brighton and swimming. Best to meep busy so k am decorating my your pumpmin, very pretty, betty

  17. I'm coping in much the same way as you, using familiar comforts. fresh flowers, good chocolate, a daily takeout frothy coffee, seasonal magazines, lots and lots of woodland walks, lighting the fire, cooking and eating good wholesome, nourishing food. Oh, and lets not forget the creativity - crochet, knitting and cross stitch, every day, always.
    Not a lot in this lockdown has changed for us, still doing the school run, J and I still working from home as we have done all year. The thing I miss most is not seeing my friends at the cafe each week, I miss that a LOT. But we chat endlessly on WhatsApp, so there is still the feeling of connection and friendship. Hasn't this felt like the looooooooongest year though?!! Sending much love to you and yours xxxxxxxxxxxx

  18. I'm really glad Younger Son is at college this lockdown, as he did not go out of the house at all last time. I'm at work still, but Elder Son is furloughed. As he usually does 13 hour days, it's quite nice to have him home more, & he can walk his dog, so I don't have to do 3 dog walks a day!

    I've got all the bulbs I'd bought planted, & met my mum at the park today for a run. Church is back on zoom.

  19. Truly lovely autumnal photos. Yes, nesting is what we should be doing right now, it's the best antidote to being depressed regarding the whole Covid situation. But we must remain positive. It will end, it might not be this week, this month, even next year, but it will end eventually.
    Margaret P

  20. We've been in local lockdown measures since the beginning of August; no visitors in house or garden and no meeting anyone in a cafe or pub, so this national lockdown is just an extension of that. I've been zhuzzhing in the house and exercising a lot. My husband works for the NHS so has worked throughout, and my daughter starts working for the NHS next week. I find that accepting the situation, and looking for the good things each day is helpful.

  21. Lovely Autumn pictures and the pumpkin looks fantastic. Shame it didn't last long but I bet Angus enjoyed using the drill!
    Good luck with the essay too.

  22. As Christine has said, no lockdown in Scotland but different levels of restrictions, some of which are near a lockdown. In my sparsely populated area in the north east we are in the second from bottom level, which is not too restrictive. Pubs and restaurants are open but close at 10.30pm, and we can't meet other households indoors. It doesn't feel any different from the summer, apart from the fact it's dark increasingly earlier in the evening and light later in the morning. But our building work continues and is nearing the end of having tradesmen in the house, and I'm enjoying cooking, baking and progressing with the garden. We haven't seen our children since September, and had to cancel a visit to daughter in London this month, but we're hopeful for the spring.

  23. Loving the socks but as I say every year Gillian, chill out and don't expect too much from yourself especially if you have course work to do. Priorities might be shifting. There will be a shift. Good you guys can all get out to beautiful places together though. Jo x

  24. I like how you carved your pumpkin. I'll have to remember it for another year. :)

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