Uncommuting

Hi,

First off, I hope that you and yours are all safe – no matter where you are or who you are.

Today was the last school run for a bit and both kids are now at home. True also for Muggins here and the Ever Lovely Mrs J. Sadly, Mrs J is run down from a bad cold – no, not COVID, thankfully! – but other than that, we soldier on.

How is the virus affecting us? Well, like a lot of families, there’s been the disruption to regular life due to folk panic buying. There are four of us in the house – two adults and two teens (of which one is man-sized plus, I should add, bless ‘im) – so we do eat, drink, and use things up. Loo roll was a slight issue as we – like a lot of folk – get ours on a regular order from Amazon. We didn’t stock pile, so when our order was cancelled, I did have to visit a few shops. We weren’t quite at the stage of well, I guess we best look for leaves! so there is that to be thankful for 🙂

I’ve been working from home since… actually, I’ve lost track. I think it might have been last week. Frankly, the lack of travel has thrown my internal clock (careful how you type that :-), so I’m a bit sixes and sevens at the mo. Since the traffic issues near us, not having to struggle through the bridge repairs to get to work, that’s been a blessing. Oddly, with the lack of travel am I starting work earlier and finishing later. I am trying to take a lunch break, because A) it’s good for me mentally, and B) I can get out with the dogs and get some fresh air. Plus, most of my work was helping set up remote working, so I’m kinda in my element. In a strange way, it almost feels like things have aligned to make what the team and I do relevant.

How does the play into Trans related things? Well, you would think that working from home on the long term would very much play into my favour. That would have been true where it not for the Ever Lovely Mrs J’s firm sending folk home and, of course, the school closures too. Ah well, I’m sure I’ll be fine.

The bigger question is around Chams. Before the start of this week, I wasn’t sure if we should shut or not, and frankly, I’m not yet decided either way (it is really a group thing, even if I and Val have to open the place up). As I’ve said in the forum, the Centre’s manager has reassured us that we can hold our bookings and if we don’t go, we won’t be charged. That’ll certainly help avoid a big hit to the funds. Luckily, we have a few quid saved for emergencies! There is very much a need for people’s physical safety and there’s also the mental health aspect: if you can’t dress at home and you can’t go to Chams: what next? I think what we’ll do is run next week’s meeting and talk to those who don’t use the forum to keep in touch. Then, we’ll see how it goes. I have a strong suspicion that numbers will be very low that it will cost us to open.

On a personal note, it feels a bit… silly in a way… to be thinking about… my need to dress up (?) when A) there’s folk who’s lives are at risk, and B) truth be told, it is not about ‘dressing up’. For the latter, it is so much more than that. Yes, you could look at it through a cold lens of logic, but like a lot of things in life, the reality is more nuanced. Being out is a time where I express who I am and it keeps me settled. I’m not yet hearing the proverbial clock ticking and currently, the need-to-be-pretty rev counter is bumbled along on a low rating. Hopefully the measures we’re putting in place will help us stay safe and things won’t be too bad for too long.

On the upside, I’m hoping that folk get used to working from home and maybe, just maybe, we can all stop driving and flying so much. I think that might be one of the best outcomes for the planet. Plus, I have heard of random acts of kindness to folk. That’s got to be a good thing right? For my own part, when I listen to colleagues through the teleconferencing software, people seem more relaxed, more jolly even, now they are not in the office.

The road ahead seems unknown and unknowable, but at least we can travel in hope and be with those we love, virtually or in the real.

Stay safe,
Lynn
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9 Comments

  1. Hello Lynn, Eerily strange times we are in. I agree with your assessment of the need to maintain our mental health while the plague plays out and that is said to last more than a year.
    This is just an exhortation to take the current corona crisis very, very seriously. I know Britain is getting a lot worse very quickly. We in Australia are not that far behind and will fall into every hole you have, and are, falling into.
    There are still those around who dismiss it as a beat up.
    Lynn, you know not to accept crazy ideas from some crank on the net. I am not offering bizarre ways to beat the virus. Just asking that you adhere to your government’s instructions to the letter to lock down, take this seriously and stay away from others.
    It is only a numbers game. Fewer people, more chance of escaping it

    I have two medical doctor daughters.
    They are terrified by what they have seen of covid 19 and they are usually confident and competent and fearless.

    So, take this seriously. Analyse your family’s risks and ameliorate them or better still, stop those actions now even if this is dislocating. And the news is far worse for older people.

    Love reading your posts and they may become even more important to us all as other social links are seen as too dangerous and evaporate.

    Sorry to be so sobering but hopefully it will allow us all to grow old. And there is only one thing worse than getting old. That’s NOT.

    Geraldine

    1. Thanks Geraldine. In terms of taking things seriously, I think we’re doing what we can. As a family, we’re not quite at the level of racal suits and leaving the coins in vinegar. 🙂 We are fairly remote and with the work/school closures our attack surface – to use an ITism – is reduced. As you say, keeping the numbers low will help further.

      Listening to feedback from the group in the forum, most are looking to stay away. I think what I’ll do is turn up, but not open. With some social distancing, I can tell folk how to keep in touch and we’ll just have to play it by ear.

      Oh, as to crazy ideas from the web, a look at the fact checking web sites is a must, IMO. In addition to less travel helping the planet, I’m hoping that people get used to checking what they see on social media, rather than sharing any old toss that pops up. But, pigs may fly sooner 😉

  2. Hi Lynn,

    Firstly I hope you and your family are keeping well in this difficult time.

    I shopped in a big supermarket (every little helps) and I couldn’t believe how many shaves were empty, I was expecting no toilet rolls, but they had almost run out of all meat, no chicken at all, the freezers were almost empty no vegetables at all, very little bread, most of the wine and beer. It was unbelievable, what do these people do with all this stuff? My heart really went out to the poor nurse for York who tried to get a bit of shopping on her way home after a 14 hour shift only to find the supermarkets had sold out, the poor woman was in tears.

    Not being able to dress will no doubt be difficult of all of us, there is not really an answer to this except to try and supper each other when ever we can….

    Have a lovely week

    Andrea

    1. Yes, what are folk up to indeed? My first thought would be they are afraid and fear does all sorts of crazy to people.

      Maybe there will be opportunities here and there when it comes to being a little less drab.

  3. Wishing you and your family all the best in these strange times, Lynn.

    You’re a responsible, competent sort and I rather wish you were in charge of more than just Chams. Inevitably, in these times of idiocy, the UK and the US haven’t learned anything from the mistakes of those ‘stupid foreigners’ and are repeating all the folly that places like Italy went through a month ago. The cavalier attitude of government and people round your way could well end up with the virus being a worse problem than on the continent. I hope I’m wrong.

    I’m well used to working at home and it can be enjoyable and relaxing, though self-discipline is a must. Working with wife and kids also at home is something I can’t comment on. Maybe create a work/school timetable so that working and schooling are done only at the set hours, leaving actually quite a lot of time for fun as a family. You’ll find you’re less tired from commuting and stress and you should end up eating less than normal as less energy is expended (be disciplined – no nibbling!). This could be a social revolution as people appreciate the benefits of working at home more once the emergency is over and things get back to normal.

    All the best. My old mobile with your number blew up but if you still have my number do text me. I’d enjoy calling you for a chat if you like.

    Sue x

    1. Thank you, Sue. I think we’re doing okay at the mo. Let’s hope the precautions folk are taking help. As to being in charge, I would – err – confess to winging it more often than not and trying to coax some agreement between parties. I guess that coaching course last year really went in.

      In some ways, it’s probably best not to go into the possible comedy hold of What Would Lynn Do If Put In Charge. There’s that old adage: you can please some of the people some of the time, but of seems really easy to p*** everyone off 😉 Oh dear, now I’m thinking about a better Welfare system and Universal Basic Income. /sigh

      But, dare I say we can’t pin everything on government? We live in a highly connected society and there’s a number of factors at play. I’ve grumbled about the tabloids before and also the negative aspects of social media before. I think people – be they in charge of something or just as individuals – all influence things. Maybe a certain level of compassion and critical thinking might help (“if I do this, what happens next?” or “what’s the evidence for what I’m being told?”). Plus we all have biases and we see the world through that lens….. although a dose of empathy and curiosity wouldn’t go amiss, IMHO, rather than “show me the money”.

      Where were we? 🙂 So, it’ll be Day One of everyone at home next week, so I guess we’ll see how that goes. Thanks for the WFH tips and yes, I’m loving not having to drive in. That’s awesome. Both kids have PCs and smartphones to keep in touch with their mates/school: the tricky bit will be getting them up in the morning. I know I was the same as the glaciers retreated. 😉 The Ever Lovely Mrs J could use a spare laptop or my PC upstairs (note to self: encrypt and hide the decade+ of photos 🙂 ). I’m trying not to snack and also remember to drink/stretch enough. That’s proving to be the difficult bit with back to back video calls.

      I’ve got your email as WordPress hangs on to it when you post. Calling may be tricky given everyone is under one roof, but we’ll work something out.

      Stay safe!
      L x

  4. “Loo Roll”. I actually thought you were referring to some sort of Chinese egg roll at first….seriously!!

    Then, my left brain said to my right brain….”Calie, I think Lynn means “Toilet Paper”?

    Ah…..we’re all so different, yet we’re all the same. Such as it is with Loo Rolls and Toilet Paper.

    Glad everyone is healthy and practicing social distancing. Really glad that damn bridge work isn’t stressing you now.

  5. For the second time in two days, I left a comment and it never made it through the ether. My internet dropped out for a few moments just as I hit send.

    Anyway……as I read your post I actually thought a Loo Roll was some sort of English version of a Chinese Egg Roll and you were craving them…..seriously. Then, a light went off in my left-side brain and said to my right-side brain: “Calie…..Lynn is talking about Toilet Paper, you moron!”

    Never heard it referred to as a Loo Roll. As much as words can be so different, being 5,350 miles from you, it really is a small world where everyone needs to use that white paper when sitting on that white porcelain. Please tell me the paper is white in England!

    Glad everyone is safe and healthy and that you don’t have to go through that awful bridge traffic right now.

    Calie xx

    1. Ah, sorry about the delay. The spam filter seemed to hold your comment back. Apologies!

      Yes, loo roll is toilet paper 🙂 See also “bog roll” if you’re in trusted company. Yes, the paper is usually white, although beige seems popular and recycled paper makes the loo roll have a grey tint.

      I’m really not missing the commute in and dare I say I’m enjoying working from home. I could get used to this.

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