After Sundays mini meltdown, and a frustrating phone appointment with the sports injury clinic on Monday* I've restored some equilibrium and am hoping to find a more productive routine to get me through the next few weeks.
It's been a source of personal irritation that I've not read more (I could have cracked on with Zola in earnest, got through the remaining Palliser novels, tackled some Dumas - but no). It seems like such a wasted opportunity to have had all this blank time and not to have done some of that reading. Todays resolution is to forget about the nagging guilt, forget about stacking up the books I think I should be reading, and just find things I'll enjoy. Which will possibly be more Pushkin Vertigo's as I'm having fun with those.
Part of what's making this time hard for me is not having a job. I'm watching my savings diminish whilst there's a very limited chance of finding work, and whilst the money is holding out pretty well, the prospects for the job market improving any time soon are not encouraging. Trying not to worry about it to much is taking a lot of energy.
So the obvious thing to talk about next is spending money. Lockdown has made it easy not to spend much. All those cancelled hospital appointments alone have saved me a generous amount on bus tickets. There have been no coffees out, or impulse buys in charity shops, never mind in Waterstones, and even food shopping in the little local supermarkets has been limited in scope.
With all that in mind some thoughtful online shopping has felt appropriate. As far as possible I've tried to avoid amazon (though they have been useful for sending birthday presents) but I did order a couple of books directly from Greyladies books. Independent publishers and bookshops are having a hell of a time and right now it seems important to support them even if it's in a very limited kind of way.
One of the things I did when lockdown looked imminent was stock up on coffee from my preferred local roasters. This normally feels like an indulgence, and it is, but I rarely have more than one cup of coffee a day and it's been such a pleasure that it felt totally reasonable to order a selection of loose leaf tea (from here). These are the luxuries that get me through the day.
I've also made a point of buying a few knitting patterns. For a lot of designers the teaching work that is the main part of their income has disappeared and there doesn't seem to be a huge amount of support for the self employed. The patterns I've bought have cost about what those bus fares to the hospital would have done. It feels like money better spent. So far I've resisted the lure of more yarn because I already have a chest of drawers full and try as I might I can think of no justification to get more.
How's everybody else coping, and what are the little things that get you through the day?
*I have an ongoing problem with a ripped tendon in my foot, had just got to the point where I had every possible base covered regarding appointments for it, and then got them all cancelled or postponed. Currently it's not a huge problem so I'm not particularly put out by this, but a conversation with a doctor who seemed unwilling to accept that lockdown would affect the amount of exercise I could get was frustrating. She kept asking if time was the reason I wasn't walking further - in that we weren't meant to be exercising for more than an hour once a day until this weekend, then yes it was. Her last word was that the rules had been changed (that day) mine was to ask if she'd been out because it was bloody freezing, and the 40 minute circuit of a much busier city centre had been more than enough for both nerves and comfort.