The Lockdown Diary – Chapter 4
Welcome back to our lockdown diary chapter 4. I am enjoying writing up these blog posts as they will hopefully serve as a lovely memory in future where I can look back at the time we all lived in each other’s pockets at home for months on end.
Lockdown Diary Chapter 4
Quite a bit has changed over the past couple of weeks, some bits I am comfortable with, other bits not too much. But I am making the most of what I can whilst avoiding the bits I’m not sure about during this journey. At the end of the day, the guidelines from the government are only guidelines, they don’t rule how far we can spread our wings during this time.
There are a lot of changes happening at the moment with the government guidelines. There barely seems to be week goes by without some big change in the guidelines we’ve all grown to accept. For example, as of today (Monday 22nd June 2020) we are expecting a rather big announcement tomorrow with reducing the social distancing. For some this isn’t going down too well, for others it seems fair. Everyone is seeing all these changes differently. What’s important is that we all keep open minded to other peoples space, if they look worried keep as much distance as possible and if not you should be ok. People just need to communicate a bit more to establish is other people are ok.
Another big change this month is for all non essential businesses, they were granted to reopen from the 15th June which is beyond fantastic to try and save the high street. A vast majority of businesses have been closed since March 23rd and being a small business owner in a small town we have seen first hand just how quite the high street has been, its been awful to witness. It’s lovely to see doors reopen on stores again and it’s certainly been an eye opener for myself to do more to support the smaller businesses in my local town, especially when a very high number of local stores are independent businesses. Even our town Mayor has backed a local campaign to shop local and “Choose Newport”.
Another big reopening has been attractions, National Trust properties, gardens (the likes of Trentham Gardens) and Zoo’s. To hear of these all reopening again has been fantastic to hear especially as a recent campaign from Chester Zoo really brought to light the costs involved with running an attraction of such a vast size. Opening of such site has been met with delight with some families as they are finally able to take their children on days out, and then in some cases is been met with a reserved manner. Personally, I’m in the reserved manner section, not wanting to visit a location with such a high desire to other members of the public. For this I am currently steering clear of National Trust locations, not that I can even book tickets anyway, they are constantly sold out! But later this week we are visiting Trentham Gardens for a social distanced walk and picnic with friends.
Everywhere I am going I am making my own decision if I feel the location is safe, not wanting to run the risk of contracting the infection and steering clear if needed. I am more than happy to make my own conclusion and decisions.
Return To School
Lewis has returned to school and he’s loving every minute he is there! He returned to school on Thursday 11th June so he’s now completed 8 days at school. He’s admitted that school life is very much different to how he’s known if for the previous 6 years, but he’s still happy to be there getting help with school work that he so desperately needs. He goes to school each morning with a smile and comes home at the end of the day with an equally bigger smile.
I’ve been really impressed with the steps that the school has put into place for the kids to return and what’s made that bit easier too is that Lewis attends a junior school so there is only year 6 currently on the premises. The uptake on kids returning to school had initially been met with some hesitation from parents but as the weeks have rolled by the playground has got busier and busier. Today in-fact the school yard was busier than I’d seen it in previous weeks.
Our level of contact with other people has increased slightly this past 10 or so days but we are always maintaining our social distance. We had family visit us (in the garden) for Lewis’s birthday, we visited more family (in their garden) again for Lewis’s birthday, Leah and I had a social distance walk with friends last week whilst Lewis was at school and then again at the weekend we sat on the front of the house whilst we sat and had some drinks with our neighbours. It’s been lovely to chat to people again, I’ve missed the social interaction that lockdown produced and as a result, my mental health is feeling quite a bit better.
As mentioned earlier we own our own small business on a small but majorly independently run high street. During lockdown we were able to keep our business open as we own a Dry Cleaners but footfall and trade was drastically impaired. Recently we have witnessed a big increase in the trend to this, with the reopening of other businesses people are coming out of hiding and our trade has increased too. We are very optimistic of a recovering trade but like all things at the moment, it will take time.
Keeping Spirits High
As all chapters to our Lockdown Diary, I am always trying to help keep our families spirits high. With Lewis returning to school he is much happier, less lethargic and generally happier in himself. Leah is happy either way, she’s not missing school unlike Lewis was, she’s happy with her social contact with her friends at the moment with numerous video calls to her best friends and playing games. We are currently working our way through Harry Potter films, but getting her to complete her studying is still proving a task. Sam is happier as trade is picking up in our business so that is relieving a fair bit of stress from his shoulders. Meanwhile, I’m happy that everyone else is happy. I mean I could desperately do with a Spa Break right about now and a good shoulder massage but I know it won’t be long until that happens. I still feel rather empty and deflated but I’m doing what I can.
Alongside seeing family we are still enjoying our local outings, the kids have loved witnessing the tadpoles on the canal path nearby flourish into tiny frogs. Watching the baby Sygnets hatching and growing up. It’s been a wonderful time of year for us to be pretty much locked away with only our local amenities to keep us amused. I have always said that we are so lucky to live where we are and now more than ever I adore this little town more. We have so many walks on our doorstep, if I turn right from our driveway we can head out into the countryside within 20-30 minutes of walking, turn left and we have our small high street and canal walk only 10 minutes away.
Another change which I didn’t mention earlier in the government guidelines was the return of some outdoor sports at the end of May. This I didn’t mention for one reason, unfortunately our local Archery club didn’t allow us to return to shooting until last week. There were a lot of guidelines put in place, a lot of decisions to be made and measures to be put on site for all visitors.
How are you feeling with all the government changes recently?
What are you managing to do to keep spirits high?
Let’s discuss in the comments below.
Thank you for reading Lockdown Diary Chapter 4.