Week 3: not a fronted adverbial in sight!

The Horde have been on school holiday this week, and their Dad has been furloughed so this week has been a lot more relaxed – at least for them! I have still been working, but have been (mostly) able to do just one thing at once. I’m still focusing on the potential for makerspaces and project based learning, reading and thinking about what’s manageable and possible to test over the next couple of years.

There’s been a lot of meetings via MS Teams, and I am finding them more tiring than being in a room with all the same people. I mentioned this over on Twitter the other day, and some wise people shared their thoughts with me about the extra cognitive work your brain is having to do to remember you both are and aren’t in the same room as people. My sister shared this link with me, which was interesting. Both this one and another that our museum director shared liken what we are experiencing to trauma, and the stress of being in a situation out of our control. I think we are all also very aware that we don’t know how long this lockdown will go on for, and that there is so much uncertainty about what the ‘new normal’ might look like.

One Teams meeting was delightful, though – an end of week chat with two lovely colleagues over a virtual drink – there should be more of this, and it was good to have a conversation with other adults that didn’t come with an agenda…

Walk this way….

One of the ways I am managing my own mental health is to keep walking – on Tuesday I was so tired when I woke up that I didn’t start the day with a 6am ramble, and the impact on my mood was surprising.

Despite not being able to set my usual pace due to last weekend’s running injury, just that 45 minute walk has a calming effect across the whole day. It helps, of course, that we are in the countryside but even when working I try and get off the train a stop early and walk along the canal towpath to Victoria Park.

Slowing down to hobbling pace has also forced me to look around a bit more as I go! It was suggested the other day that this seems to be a bumper year for blackthorn (so we’ll be making sloe gin later!) and it’s true that the Common is white with blossom.

Thing 2 – an early riser like her mama – has joined me the last three days, and it’s been a time for her to ask big questions about the things that worry her, and for us to have some peaceful time together. She loves to spot animals, and was thrilled today to see a tiny mouse as we came back through the forest.

Holiday activities

The weather has continued to be most un-bank-holiday-ish, treating us to days of baking sunshine instead of the torrential downpours we usually associate with school holidays. My beloved has been working in the garden, planting all sorts of vegetables and pulling weeds out of the ground, and Thing 2 has been joining in. She has shown a lot of interest in germinating fruit seeds – actually googling how to do it properly rather than shoving them in some earth and hoping for the best which is my usual method. We have a set of little orange trees that are now about 6 inches high, and a few apples and a plum underway. Thing 3 helped make a rack to put seedlings in, having a go at sawing wood and helping screw things together. All the wood in the garage that my beloved kept in case it came in useful has – yes! – come in useful.

Expecting oranges in about 5 years…

What’s Thing 1 been up to? She’s mostly been asleep, but she did let me cut her hair earlier this week – the thinking was that if I did a really bad job then lockdown means it has time to grow out. I can’t remember the last time she let me cut her fringe.

Once again there has been a lot of baking – the delight when I landed the last bag of flour in the Co-op was quite ridiculous. The highlight has been hot cross buns, of course, but we have also made rocky road cake, more flatbread and pancakes for breakfast.

My to-do list hasn’t seen much action, sadly, but I have cut out four sets of scrubs which will be going to a mental health trust in East London, and made up one of those sets.

Saturday was spent making ‘ear savers’ – the elasticated masks that medical staff wear hurt their ears as they are wearing them more often, so I whipped up some of these little gadgets and sent two dozen off to a friend who works in the maternity unit in our local hospital, for her to use and pass to her colleagues. They are super simple to make, and a good way to use up scraps. I won’t deny that an afternoon in the sunshine sewing buttons on was lovely, too…

Ear savers!

I put a plea out on Facebook for anyone who had buttons to spare to share them with me so I could make more of these, and the response from both friends and people across the village was amazing. So many buttons – people were going through their button boxes and popping them through my letterbox all day!

I have booked this week off, and am looking forward to spending some relaxing time with my family, pottering about and making things. Hopefully you all have something nice planned for the bank holiday at home!

See you at the end of week (signing off just as another package of buttons have arrived….)

Kirsty x

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