30th March to 5 April 2020
Monday 30th March – 1408 deaths – settling in
A new week and there’s a semblance of “normality” in our household, although there seems to be a lot of poetry going around in my head. We have all adjusted fairly well to life almost exclusively at home. We are rubbing along OK, mainly in different rooms working or studying for much of the day. It still feels like we are actors in a third-rate apocalyptic movie most of the time though. I still wake up hoping it’s all been a nightmare.
I’ve been tutoring my friend’s son in GCSE Maths since last August and he was registered to take the exam in the summer. DfE (Department for Education) promised that students would not be disadvantaged by the exams being canceled and that grades would be awarded in other ways. Exam boards don’t seem to be taking into account the significant number of home-educated students who are not studying at a formal place of learning, so do not have mock results or tutor-marked assignments from which to base the grade. They are also saying that they will not accept unofficial tutors, parents or anyone outside a formal setting providing evidence as to the students’ predicted outcome.
Frankly, this sucks.
It means that home ed students WILL be disadvantaged compared to their schooled counterparts and will be potentially unable to access their planned education paths in September. I’ve contacted the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson about it, but I won’t be holding my breath waiting for a response.
Tuesday 31st March – 1789 deaths – some poetry
I had two really good online meetings today which lifted my spirits. The first was a catch-up with my client New Shoots Photography. This is a collaboration between 2 very talented photographers. They run photography workshops helping amateur photographers to learn how to take great pictures using either a smartphone or a DSLR camera. Their face-to-face workshop is naturally postponed at the moment, so we brainstormed other options for the foreseeable future. It was really useful for me to get to know Liz and Nathalie better and to offer up some ideas that they are going to consider. Watch out for a newsletter coming soon to get the new stuff out into the world.
I also had a Women In Business Network monthly meeting. If you haven’t heard of WIBN, then check out the website. I belong to the Liverpool Street & City group and we usually meet near to Moorgate station, but of course, today, we were Zooming. It was really great to see everyone and to feel connected, despite our physical distance. Networking has so far been a really great way to find new clients and, crucially, get support and encouragement. If you need convincing of the merits, you can check out this post.
Boris Bulletin: he’s still self-isolating so he sent the alien that is Michael Gove in his place. I cannot bear to watch or listen to the man, so I have no comment on what was discussed today.
Instead, I have a different take on the situation:
Poetry: Tarquin, Gordon and Shamus – 3 pigeons on the pandemic
Three pigeons landed together one day
And between them had some things to say.
Tarquin plumped his chest, he looked fine
But really he had lost his mind.
“Where l am from, my dear old chap
The NHS don’t need a clap.
We all have so much dosh, you see
Coronavirus can’t touch me.
Gordon scoffed, “Yae’re a doaty git
I’ll bet you’ve got a testing kit.
It dunny mater where yur from, laddie
Cos l can tell ye, it’s gonnie end badly.”
“Sure Jeysus, we’re all feckin’ dead.”
Said Shamus, as he shook his head.
“Shure the Government don’t want to foight.
They look like they don’t give a shite.”
“Well, l’ll be fine, I’ve got my cash
I’ll fly to Monaco in a flash”
“Ye’re aff yer heid, we all locked doon
Yer cannae fly to another toon”
Shure, this is a craic, but I needs me stout
If someone says, shure you can’t go out”
3 little pigeons without a clue
What are they suppose to do?
They’ve only got one job it’s true
Fly over your head and release the poo.
3 lil’ pigeons will just have fun
They’ll carry on crapping when this is done.
Wednesday 1st April – 2352 deaths – no poetry
Today, I’m really struggling and I think it’s important to admit when you are finding things hard during this and not just to bury your thoughts and feelings, hoping that they will go away. I get a lot of migraines – I’ve suffered for around 25 years now. They are hormonal in the main, but they tend to get more frequent when I’m feeling stressed. This week has been a particularly bad one for the migraines and especially today, so I have tried to be kind to myself and cut back on my computer time. I decided to cancel a couple of planned meetings and had a rest instead. I haven’t been feeling very inspired today either so no new poetry today – perhaps tomorrow.
As I write, I am listening to Business Secretary Alok Sharma doing the Government’s daily briefing. I wonder who they will roll out next. Seems like a lot of platitudes to me. What do you think?
The consequences of this pandemic are reaching every corner of the community. I run antenatal classes on behalf of the NCT and the charity is doing all it can to ensure that parents still get a quality service from their courses despite not being face to face. The charity is now really struggling financially too. Many of my current clients have expressed their gratitude over having their course moved online mid-way through and getting brilliant support and information to help them make crucial decisions over this tricky time becoming a new parent.
Find out what clients have to say:
I’m hoping I will feel more upbeat tomorrow. #staysafe
Thursday 2nd April – 2921 deaths – not really poetry
Boris Bulletin: BoJo is still unwell, but Matt Hancock has bounced back – woo hoo! The figures on testing and PPE are not good. The Government has been way too slow with this. I heard that there is to be another #ClapForTheNHS again this evening, but I don’t know if it has been widely publicised.
Today, I have been working across both my businesses, marketing my services to try to replace lost income from baby first aid courses that I would normally have expected in the next couple of months. I received a lovely video testimonial from a financial adviser, Naomi Haynes who hired me to write her About Me webpage and her LinkedIn profile. Here’s what she had to say:
I’ve also added a third free online antenatal session on 14th April to help pregnant women whose NHS classes were canceled. These are proving popular and I hope that I can provide much needed support for these parents-to-be at this difficult time.
The Zoom Inn was open for business last night. – my networking group got together on Zoom for a virtual drink. It was good to catch up with friendly faces outside of the business context. We had a laugh which helped to release tension and stay connected. We are planning to meet again next week. Could get messy!
Some “poetry” to finish today:
There once was a writer from the city
Whose poems were not very witty
She thought she was good
She thought that she could
It was really a very great pity.
Friday 3rd April – 3605 deaths – someone else’s poetry
You know there’s some serious s**t going down when the Queen decides to do a special address to the nation. She’s only done it 3 times before in her 68-year reign. Her Maj will be live to her people on Sunday at 8pm.
Today has been a weird day, emotionally. I woke up feeling pretty rubbish physically (yet more migraine) but quite positive emotionally. The Athena Network is the most incredible source of love and support – thank you all, you know who you are and we had a great virtual “coffee morning”. Some great discussions about how to transform your business and reflect on your direction for the future. Thank you, Rosy Holt – you’re a star.
Since coming off that call, I’m feeling quite down this afternoon. I’ve only seen the outside of my house once since 11 March and I think it’s getting to me a bit now. I have stayed home because I haven’t felt properly well since January with a cough and figured if my immune system is low, which it must be, then going out at the moment is too risky. But I’m feeling a bit like a trapped animal today. I have a garden but I’m really not a gardener – I just have to look at plants and they perish – so the garden isn’t a pretty sight right now. What I long for so much is a beach. The sand between my toes and the hypnotic noise of the waves. But it could be a very long time before I can get to a real beach, so I’m going to try and find a meditation online and transport myself there in my head – better than nothing, right?
Hoping to do a Zoom dinner party with friends on Saturday which was due to happen last weekend but I was sick. Hopefully, that will lift the spirits.
Meantime, here’s some poetry to calm the soul.
© Edel T. Copeland
Published: June 18, 2018
Waves come crashing to grey sullen shores.
Powerful and strong, it breathes and roars.
Cascading and caressing each grain of sand,
A warm embrace between sea and land.
High above, a seagull soars high.
Wings of purity it spreads to fly.
Battling high against darkened cloud,
In a wind that blows fiercely, flying graceful and proud.
Beneath, the sand is soft and warm.
Sculpted by nature, it’s weathered the storm.
A passionate battle between calmness and rage,
A new chapter’s beginning; don’t turn the last page.
I listen again to the whispering waves,
Music of nature calming and brave.
Its power unknown, its stillness untamed,
Mysterious and magical, a treasure earth claims.
Saturday 4th April – 4313 deaths – Paddington poetry
Today l felt a bit better despite a terrible night’s sleep. Like many others, my sleep has been affected by 1) anxiety and 2) lack of exercise. Plans for a Zoom dinner party with good friends also made me feel much more normal. So much so that l even did a bit of home maintenance on the wooden kitchen worktops that have been staring accusingly at me for a few weeks, desperately in need of re-oiling. I’m missing my weekly cleaning person – I’m not so much domestic goddess, as domestic godawful.
Ventured out for a walk with hubby this afternoon. I’ve been very reluctant to go anywhere recently. I’ve been out of the house for about 90 minutes in total since the 11th March. I’m yo-yo-ing between stir-crazy and anxiety, so it’s hard to find a good balance.
If l were any good at gardening that would give me something very constructive to do, but plants have a death wish when l get too close to them. I most certainly did not inherit my mother’s green fingers.
I’m trying to reduce my consumption of COVID news because it’s so overwhelming. It’s tricky though because l have clients currently birthing or close to giving birth and they have lots of questions about what’s happening to maternity services at the moment, so l have to try and keep up with it all.
Paddington Ponders: 5th April 2021
Poetry from Paddington
“Dear God”, said Paddington, as he sat alone
“You know, l’m not a one to moan
But where have all the people gone?
It’s now June twenty twenty one.
Back in March of the last year
Saw children, women and men fear
A ghastly virus swept the globe
Turned us into germaphobes.
I really do not understand
What’s happened to our pleasant land.
They said, “It’s ok to go out”
And now there are no rules to flout.
But you’re all living life on Zoom
You might as well be on the moon.
No one goes out anymore
You only get to your front door.
Amazon is stronger than ever
Even when there’s lovely weather
Come out to play and just have fun
You’re pasty, and you need some sun.
The virus has not gone, it’s true
But right now, take this time for you
For one day soon, it may come again
And wreak its havoc and its pain.”
Sunday 5th April – 4934 deaths
Another beautiful sunny day. This has to be the sunniest start to British Summer Time ever. In fact, since schools closed on 20th March, it’s been wall-to-wall sunshine, in London at least. I’ve wondered if that’s Mother Nature’s way of sending us a message about the environment. Alternatively, l guess we could put it down to “Sod’s Law” – we are stuck inside when the skies are blue and cloudless.
Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?
My kids have gone into full lockdown mode – neither of them has left the house all week. One used the trampoline for the first time in months yesterday, but other than that they are pasty in their bedrooms. The idea of a walk with mum and dad is strangely not appealing to teenagers. I can’t imagine why not ?.
Don’t forget to watch the Queen at 8pm. I really hope this awful virus doesn’t get her or Philip. Been watching the third series of The Crown – very enjoyable and quite educational too.
I’m thinking, maybe stories next week instead of poetry, but we shall see…
Until next time, stay safe.