I feel a bit zonked. Today was my first day off in a few weeks and I didn't know what to do with it. There is still a backlog of 'stuff', mostly chores. But they could wait another day. I've cut myself off from daily coronavirus news because I know what to do to stay safe and filling up on more news isn't helping.
So I got to not set the alarm. I watched a full episode of Mad Men over breakfast. I had a video call with family and a chat with an old friend ("Oi, less of the old" – Ray). Got called a bitch for suggesting he was in the risky age group.
I made up a story for my three-year-old nephew over FaceTime using props from around the home office. It turned out that a magic blue flying camel went to the zoo, then the park, then somewhere else and along the way picked up a cat, a digital mouse and a monkey to ride on its back. Only they all fell off his slidey hump when he did his magic flying trick. The end.
Then… a dose of BBC Doctors at lunch, which has been one of my regular shows since I started working from home 10 years ago. I groomed a bunny butt to help Old Man Bunminster with his hygiene.
I did watch a time lapse of the new Nightingale hospital being built at the ExCel centre in London, which is set to house 4,000 coronavirus patients and two mortuaries. Watch it here.
I talked to two friends at the allotment and it felt like a treat to see them. I miss my Stirchley people – it truly is a unique community in my experience. In the evening, we went back to the allotment and had a bonfire and a beer, and felt some kind of normal.
This whole thing feels like a reset. People are talking about the good stuff – the clean air, the car-free roads, the allotmenteering, goats coming into deserted towns and cities, the home-working and getting home DIY done, no costly commute. When this is all over… what will we take with us?
Of course, there is the bad. It's coming. A friend of a friend on Facebook has lost his wife. It's coming. Stay home. Stay home. Stay home. And yet tomorrow I am going to a supermarket. My 84-year-old friend with dementia lives alone and can't get on the vulnerable list for online deliveries. Worse, he can't remember not to take the bus or go to the supermarket.
But I learnt a lot from going on a dementia course with him and that is to set weekly goals, weekly rewards and look for things that you are grateful for every day.
Today I am thankful for… nature, dead or alive. It is very grounding. Here are three things I photographed today: a large bumblebee burrowing into the lawn, a delicately decaying filigreed leaf and the fluffy flowerhead of a defunct globe artichoke. I'm also grateful for having a decent camera on my phone. We forget but modern technology is astounding.