The one where it’s very different yet not different at all

Nalgo – part of Cayton Bay, south of Scarborough – a view 15 mins walk from our house

Yesterday was day 1 of schools being closed in the UK (to most but not all children) and today was day 1 of ‘lockdown’. The PM hasn’t officially used that term and I know some people hate it but, to me, it makes sense. My immediate household is in lockdown because hubby and I are both self-employed home-workers who have no need to travel other than hubby going out shopping for basics for us and his parents (mid-70s and early-80s) who live locally. Unfortunately my parents live about 1.75 hours away so we can’t provide them with shopping support. (Sending love to you both xx)

Because we both already work from home, each with a spare bedroom as an office, very little has changed to our ‘normality’. If I stay off social media and avoid the news, I can actually believe that this isn’t really happening. And that’s no bad thing sometimes because, quite frankly, I’m scared. But this isn’t a doom and gloom post so I won’t expand on that. Let’s get back to lockdown in our house…

Even our 13-year-old daughter’s presence doesn’t scream of ‘different’ to us because we’re used to her arriving home from school late-afternoon and being in the house while we’re still working, and we’re used to having her here in school holidays while we’re still working. So everything feels pretty much business as usual. Sending my love to all those for whom this is a completely alien, those who are unable to work from home and are still going out to work, those who have found themselves out of work and, of course, those who work for any of the key services, especially the NHS/other healthcare services and food retailers (and all those involved in the supply chain).

Ironically, staying at home for me is probably going to mean I go out more. We have a dog – a 4-year-old sprocker spaniel called Ella – and she needs walking. Hubby normally does this and meets up with a group of dog walkers as I usually work long hours and can’t find the time. Obviously that can no longer happen.

We’ve decided to make a walk with Ella our daily exercise as a family, in-keeping with the PM’s guidance of staying with a family unit, going somewhere where there aren’t people, and keeping that distance when we encounter anyone. I need to do this daily because, if I didn’t, I would sit at my desk solidly, work from morning till bedtime and never get any air at all, not even in the garden. I know this because I am a bit of a workaholic (comes from having two jobs – day job and author) and have done that for most of the past 4 years. Even with that mentality, I did at least get out and about for some fresh air with the odd trip to the shops, a weekly piano lesson and a fortnightly get-together with my good friend and fellow-writer, Sharon Booth. The daily dog walk is to make sure we all get some air and exercise and so that my bottom doesn’t continue to expand whilst welded to my chair!

We’re very fortunate to live in a village on the outskirts of Scarborough, a short walk along a coastal road to Cayton Bay. There’s a loop we can take which is about an hour and we did that this morning. It’s such a lovely walk. We met very few people and, in the main, distance was maintained when passing anyone. There were a few muppets, though. Take the couple walking towards us with a large dog. We were about to cross the road when the man moved so we thought he was going to cross the road and that the woman and dog would follow. She stayed where she was, leaving us trapped with no choice but to walk between them. Social distancing not observed. What is wrong with people?

A little further up the road, a woman was out walking 4 young children, probably aged 6-10. She wasn’t paying any attention to them, walking in front, looking at her phone, while  they meandered all over the place behind her. We tried to give them a wide berth but they got in our path. Clearly not been educated on what’s going on.

Empty main road into town

Then, on the home stretch along the coast, a woman sat in the middle of the footpath distracted by her phone while her kids ran about in the field next to her. We had to walk on the road to bypass her and then the kids ran out the field into our path. *Rolls eyes in despair*

Aside from those few numpties we did enjoy it and, if it wasn’t for the distinct absence of vehicles, you could believe that it was a completely normal day but the lack of vehicles, particularly on the busy main road into Scarborough (that we walk over), told a different story.

We walked through a bypass and I loved this sign drawn in chalk on the side. It hasn’t come out very well on the photos but there’s a rainbow at the end of it.

Wishing you all the best, wherever you are and whatever challenges you’re facing or worries you’re having right now. If it’s safe to do so, I hope you are able to get outside – if only for a short while or even just through an open window – to see the arrival of spring and find a little comfort from the flowers, blue skies and birdsong.

Love and hugs

Jessica xx



5 thoughts on “The one where it’s very different yet not different at all

  1. Jessica, after a broken relationship, I started staying away from people, learned how to work from home, and became agoraphobic to some extent. To break it, I started doing by errands and other things which had to be done.
    So staying at home is not a problem at all. Now we are in complete lock down, our prime Minister has said it is more than a curfew, only to buy essentials would we be allowed out. But there are a few as you said who are laughing and going out from my apartment complex too. I have elderly parents and I am so scared for them, I am also in the vulnerable high risk category, and I know my country does not have a good medical system. Yet people don’t get it. Because of them, we are more at risk.

    So now my agoraphobia actually helps, no problem staying in, but unable to read novels. People are dying in hundreds every day so I am only scanning news and worrying. Nightmares and dark circles are the norm. Ah well, we are in a new phase of life, we will get used to this kind of living too. Love you. Take care of yourself and your family. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Shalini, I’m so very sorry to hear about the affect that a broken relationship has had on your life. Nobody should be able to hurt somebody that badly and my heart goes out to you. Once you start working from home, it can be very easy to avoid the outside world. I used to thrive on being surrounded by other people and couldn’t bear my own company but quite a lot of workplace bullying over the years made me feel safer at home and I think I’d struggle to work in an office now.

      I’m sorry that you’re struggling to read at the moment, especially when books are such an important part of your life and perhaps that escapism is needed more than ever. I won’t try to offer you advice as everyone’s way of dealing with an unprecedented situation like this is going to be so different. I’m personally avoiding reading too much. Our PM or a senior official makes an announcement/holds a briefing each day and I tune into that but, otherwise, I avoid it. Some would say the ostrich approach is foolish but it’s the only way I can stay strong for my daughter and avoid breaking down in tears. The PM gives me the ‘must-know’ information so I’m not remaining completely blind to it but I’m not allowing myself to be overwhelmed. I can’t. Too scary!

      Love you too. So honoured to have met you. Hoping that you can find that stability soon and move forward with the new reality. If you ever want to DM me on Facebook, I’m here for you. Or on Twitter although I’m very erratic about logging on there. Sending you hugs and positivity for you and your family xxxx


    • Please don’t let it bother you for a second. When you feel ready, the book will be there with an uplifting hug for you. No rush at all. You do what you need to feel calmer and then immerse yourself in the world of fiction once more xxx


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