With most pubs, clubs and restaurants set to re-open tomorrow and the possible end of lockdown – barring a second wave – looking likely, I thought I would check-in and give an update on how lockdown has gone since I last posted about it almost three months ago.
My last blog post concentrated on my working life, so that seems as good a place as any to start again. Work has been hard, but also fun at times. I was having issues being the primary till operator, so I have been mainly working with stock and as second till. I had a couple of panic attacks while on till, and my manager very kindly gave me a week off from my holiday allowance to recuperate and sort things out – I have since contacted my local CMHT for additional support, although this might not be forthcoming for a while. I still feel supported and respected by those I work with and have good relationships with everyone, and even though I don’t always understand or join in with some of the banter that goes on, I still find it amusing. (Trust me, a lot of what gets said via headset would not be repeatable!) We all work well together, I think. We did have an incident last week where my colleague was robbed at the till point; someone broke the protective shield and demanded the money from his hand, which was only £15, but still, it was a little scary for all involved. I thought my colleagues handled the situation marvellously, though. I didn’t see what happened as I was in the back stockroom at the time, but we had to shut the store early and get the police to come and take evidence, etc. After that, it was mainly a case of carrying on as normal, just without customers!
Work gets me out of the house, but as I only work twelve hours a week, there has been a lot more time to fill. In the main, I’ve been content with what I’ve been doing, but sometimes things have got to me. One thing I have tried to do is stick to a daily routine and fill it with creativity and education. I’ve got into morning and evening habits – how I got to the age of 37 without proper skincare and breakfast routines, I do not know, but I fixed that around New Year and have kept up with it. I’ve also been drinking more water, which has made me feel better, although I’m one of those crazy people who actually like it.
I have taken our dog out for a walk most mornings when it hasn’t been too hot to do so (remember: if you can’t put the back of your hand on a hot pavement for five seconds, then don’t take your dog out!). I often do this with my mum, and it gives us a chance to have a chat without the distractions of technology, and to set the world to rights. It’s also marvellous to see other dog walkers out too – and meet their dogs! Sadly, our Jack Russell is quite highly strung and scared of other dogs, so we don’t always get to stop in case she starts growling. She is a rescue dog who we adopted when she was seven (she’s now thirteen), so many bad habits had already been established, unfortunately. She is, however, a very loving dog and adores us all, and loves other people. If there were no other dogs about, she’d happily go up to anyone for a pet!
I do my computer admin tasks in the morning, such as keeping an eye on my finances and checking my paid survey websites, then eat lunch before I start my afternoon. My eating habits have sadly not improved, much as I would like to work on them. I have a rather unhealthy relationship with food and always have had. Being autistic, there are certain types of food I literally cannot stand to have in my mouth, because of their flavours, textures, or both. Sadly, a lot of it is healthy food, because it just overwhelms me in those ways. I would love to eat more healthily, but it isn’t a case of just being picky! I have resolved to look at recipes that contain foods I do like, although preparation is difficult for me also, for reasons I won’t touch on here. If anyone has any tips in this direction, please do let me know.
In the afternoons, I have been making things. I would like to turn my crafting into a little business soon if I can. I am involved with several crafts – yarn arts such as knitting and crochet, hand and machine sewing and embroidery, digital art, and jewellery-making are my main ones. They can be a bit strenuous on the eyes, especially where my vision is so poor, but ultimately rewarding when a piece is finished. I have recently been making little toys for young relations of snooker players and others connected with snooker, and everyone has been so grateful, which makes me happy that I could bring a smile to their faces. However, if I can turn it from freebies into selling a few pieces here and there, that would be a dream come true. When I am more established, I will post links to my work on the blog if anyone would like to own a piece of Gothcraft! I am currently selling my T-shirt designs on Redbubble; the link to my shop is here: MissPear at Redbubble. I have several snooker designs, as well as a few comedy and Manic Street Preachers ones and other miscellanea. I only get a small commission on sales, but it is nice to have a bit of cash to feed back into my crafting.
Evenings are spent as they were before lockdown: having marathon conversations on the phone with Red, even more so now we haven’t seen each other since the Shootout (has it really been that long?!). I’m also starting to re-learn German with Duolingo at points during the day. I studied it at GCSE, but have forgotten most of it! My grandmother was German, so I would like to start again with it in her honour. I watch YouTube videos a lot to try to help better myself; mainly watching videos about productivity and life hacks. I would like to start reading more, as well – I bought a Kindle this week, mainly so I can change the font size to something easier on my eyes than print. I’m reading up on craft businesses and marketing – I’ve never been one to push myself forward in my creative endeavours, but it looks like I’ll need to if I am to get anywhere with it!
I have had a period over the last few weeks where I haven’t been getting on with my days as well as I’d have liked, where I’ve slept a lot because I’ve been a bit aimless, and felt quite depressed at times. I think being in the same household with two other adults where I don’t get much say in things has been a little hard. It has made me want to live independently, which is something I might try for when things are more back to normal, although I might feel a bit better about things when we’re all allowed to go out properly again! My dream is to eventually move to Glasgow, as I love it so much there, and finding a suitable place to live where I am currently based (that doesn’t want to bleed you dry) is an impossibility. I’m aware I have health needs, too, so that needs taking into account, but I would love just a little flat somewhere, where I can work on my crafts. I don’t want much from life, really.
We’re missing the snooker like mad. It has been great to have some on TV during the lockdown, but nothing beats going to watch your favourite players in person. I totally understand the need to have tournaments behind closed doors, but selfishly, it’s so hard not to be able to go! We haven’t missed the World Championship qualifiers in five years, so not getting to go this year is disappointing (although, as I say, I understand why). I only hope things are better by November, and the Champion of Champions goes ahead, as that is our “big one” of the year. It’s going to be strange anyway, having it held in Milton Keynes and not Coventry, but if we can still attend, we’ll be there.
I would love to know if anyone has any advice for more coping skills in lockdown, and also what types of items you would buy handmade from a crafter. I need all the feedback I can get!
Hoping you are all safe and well, with love.