These are undoubtedly very difficult times for everyone. Staying inside and living severely restricted lives for so long takes it toll on even the hardiest souls and appears to be becoming more demanding with every passing day. Of course no-one is exempt from this and as the government and the media keep announcing, ‘we are all in this together’.
Strange concept though isn’t it? Saying ‘we’re all in this together‘ when we have never been so isolated? It really doesn’t feel like that with our lives all being turned upside, inside out, and back to front. We all know what they mean though, they mean that everyone has to obey the advice and rules and without all of us doing it ‘together‘ then the situation won’t improve. Not easy for anyone but a simple message.
So we are doing our bit for the NHS and society by obeying the social distancing advice and ‘stay inside‘ messages and find ourselves waking up on the 47th morning of our stay down in Devon in our little self-contained apartment. It’s a fabulously comfortable place with everything we need but we are obviously isolating like everybody else and the days can feel empty and long if you don’t do something about it. Well we decided as soon as we had settled in that we needed to get busy and fill our days as much as possible. That’s where our 31 days of May challenges come in.
JWalking Lockdown Challenges
These little challenges are just things that we have set ourselves, and each other, to make our time more enjoyable. We’re not trying to prove anything or outdo anyone else, just having a little fun. So for no particular reason we have decided to improve our fitness by daily exercises and running, improve our diet, cut out alcohol, learn history, read poetry, discover new music, and much much more. Jo is running every morning, I’m trying to 2000 press-ups by the end of the month, Jo is working on her family cine-films, and I’m attempting to learn to sew and bake.
But our favourite challenge is to do with our daily walks. We decided that we wanted to walk (virtually) from our apartment here in Braunton to Trafalgar Square in central London. It’s 195 miles which gives us a bit of a walk every day, more difficult in wet and rainy weather but thankfully Devon doesn’t have many days like that. Much nicer when it’s sunny of course. So far so good and right on track as we’ve completed 58 miles so far (just past Taunton) but a fair way still to go.
Keeping in touch
We’ve always been fairly good at keeping in touch with family and friends but another little challenge has been for us both to email, or write a letter, to a different person every single morning. Keeping in touch is always important but feels even more critical at this difficult time. Also we’re loving our weekly family quiz nights over WhatsApp where we get to spend time (virtually) with our amazing three boys and their wives. Priceless.
Daily Radio Station of the Day
One of my favourites is my ‘Radio Station of the Day’. Every morning between 8.30 and 9am I listen to a new radio station from somewhere around the world. Not sure if I’ve chosen the right time as it seems to be exactly the time when Jo sits down to breakfast and she has to endure Navruz FM from Tashkent in Uzbekistan or Radio Nacional Ushaiai and Islas Malvinas from Argentina. Quite entertaining though and often very funny. Hopefully I’ll be able to find enough stations from various interesting places to fill the whole month.
All of these little challenges are really helping us get through these difficult times and keeping us away from the TV. It’s so easy to just plonk yourself down in front of the box at the moment and just vegetate but we are really trying to resist that. We do sit down between 7 and 7.30 but are picking our films and series very carefully as we don’t want to get sucked into watching any dross. So any recommendations on good stuff to watch would be most appreciated.
Walking, Walking, Walking
Luckily we are able to get out and just walk and wander and explore all of the wonderful countryside all around which we are incredibly grateful to be able to do. We really do appreciate how lucky we are to be here and are trying to make the absolute most of it. Oh and of course each mile gets us a bit closer to Trafalgar Square doesn’t it?
V E Day
On our walk yesterday, down to Croyde Bay across the Aerial Road, we saw countless houses decorated with union jacks and signs celebrating the anniversary of VE Day. Great to see so much support but incredibly sad that so many well-planned celebrations have had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. So many people must have put in an incredible amount of effort that has now unfortunately been for almost nothing. Such a shame but wonderful to see so many people still making such a concerted effort.
Boris’s Big Lockdown Speech
Everyone in the UK, well perhaps everyone in England, is looking forward to hearing what our Prime Minister Boris Johnson is going to say on Sunday evening in the live TV briefing. The press and online news sites are full of stories about the lockdown being relaxed and restrictions being eased but it’s all supposition, no-one knows yet and I suspect they are all jumping the gun. I think we may be looking at another three weeks in lockdown but with perhaps an extra exercise trip allowed and perhaps a couple of minor changes. We just need to wait and see.
The Next 47 Days
Sounds depressing doesn’t it? Another 47 days at least being restricted and isolated. Well we’ve all done so well so far it would be crazy to ease up and break the rules now. We are expecting it to last at least until the end of June and are fairly relaxed about our daily lives now. With our new routines and challenges we’ve managed to fill our days with all sorts of activity. Although like everyone else we just really miss our family and friends.
Any thoughts on new challenges that we could do?
24/03 – 09/05/2020