In case you’ve been living under a rock: the UK is in lockdown and it’s a bit weird.
I’ve really struggled to adapt to a new way of keeping this blog running and if I’m being perfectly honest with you all, I haven’t felt in the mood to write much recently.
I think this is because I truly believe the best parts of this blog is when I share all about going out, eating at independent cafes and restaurants and navigating Northamptonshire.
I find navigating my local area the best form of inspiration for me, so when you’re forced to stay at home, I feel so uninspired.
And now that’s been taken away from me temporarily and I’ve found myself navigating less lately, it’s left me feeling pretty lost.
And it’s hard to see other people who seem to be absolutely smashing lockdown life, who seem to be feeling happy all the time (social media can be such a filter!) when actually, you feel a bit naff.
However, I don’t want to leave this blog unattended, but at the same time, I am trying to ease the pressure off myself. I’ve had endless nights recently when I’ve gone “I should REALLY write a blog post” or “ I should REALLY keep active on Twitter.
But suddenly, a dose of reality came to me! This is MY blog. I can do with it what I want and it’s my space to share.
That’s why I have decided to document my week’s in lockdown, specifically from me, a girl living in Northamptonshire and how best I am navigating it.
Since the beginning of lockdown (when Boris Johnson announced closure of pretty much everything back on 23rd March) I have been jotting down little thoughts, things that have happened and how I’ve been feeling ever since in my iPhone notes.
It’s been helpful to track my moods, how I’m feeling and overall, it’s like a little diary as to how I have been reacting to lockdown life, so I thought it was about time I shared my very spontaneous and random little series.
I hope one day, I can look back on this and laugh, but also I hope it becomes a truly treasured piece of documentation that my kids (not pregnant) can look back on whenever they ask me what happened in 2020 – imagine our responses and imagine their reactions!
I’ve had to work my way back a little bit, but I’m going to try and share these lockdown moments with you slowly by surely and I hope it can be nice reading for you, as well insightful and honest.
Here is the first post for my Navigating Lockdown Life in Northamptonshire series.
Week 1: W/C 23rd March 2020
We have witnessed history.
Just as we were about to sit down and tuck into homemade Mexican chicken wraps, we see Boris Johnson come on screen to announce strict lockdown across the country where all non-essential shops will be closed, we are only allowed out for shopping, work, one daily exercise a day or to pick up medical supplies.
We are both sat there in complete shock over the events that are happening in front of us. I feel a sense of sadness, shock and utter disbelief. I’m wondering how long this will last, until Boris announces it could last 3 weeks.
Highly doubtful, but one can only hope and pray this lockdown won’t last long.
Today felt like a normal day (or as normal as possible) at the beginning, but that ended on a weird note. I think the whole country is shook, so I take some time away from my phone and social media, go out for a walk with Josh and discuss what on earth has just happened.
I had also announced that evening that another Northants Food Guide was coming, but due to the sensitivity of what had just happened and how I was feeling, I delayed it once again (I swear whenever I make a big announcement that something is coming, the news throws another huge curveball and stops me from fulfilling them!)
I am also completely and utterly bored after our walk, so I decide to make a homemade coffee mask because I feel like I need a bit of DIY pampering, plus it filled a good hour of my evening.
I wake up feeling just… flat.
There’s nothing that has made me feel like this. I just feel flat and I think it’s just the reality of what’s happened.
However, Josh put a smile on my face as he made me a sausage sandwich on fresh sourdough bread we purchased from Whittlebury Bakery and gave it to me at my desk. LOVE HIM!
But also thank goodness for having an understanding boss, who decided to give me an afternoon off to self-care and pamper. I don’t think anyone will realise just how much I needed that.
But it was greatly appreciated, so I was able to do my work and have a pretty chilled afternoon taking care of my mental health.
I ran myself a bath, did some tidying up (amazing how untidy our house can get during the week!) I spoke to my parents and I had a lovely order of BiteMe Spices come to my door after ordering it from the previous weekend’s Northants Online Food & Drink Market.
We also FINALLY got our Disney+ subscription which came at such a good time, especially with an afternoon off.
I felt rejuvenated and I don’t think anyone will know just how much I needed that afternoon off after the previous day’s shock.
That evening, we went for a proper walk for the first time around our neighbourhood and discovered some new places we have NEVER seen before, including a house that we are pretty sure is haunted.
But we were treated to some stunning sunset views.
Back to the grind today and I feel pumped and ready for it, despite what’s happening in the world right now.
I feel good that I managed to publish my blog post all about Independent Bakeries in Northamptonshire who are doing such a service in doing deliveries of fresh produce, eggs, bread and more.
I’m dressed in my favourite Pink Clouding t-shirt (a tits one, because who else is going to see but me?!) which reminds me to put another order in and purchase an isolation pack and new t-shirt from her website.
Overall, I am feeling pretty tired today (I think the whole situation is making me feel mentally tired) but it was a really good work day to be proud of and we made an EXCEPTIONALLY great dinner of Beef Ragu.
We followed this with another walk into Towcester where we couldn’t believe how quiet it was.
I don’t think I’ll ever get a more empty picture of Towcester Town Hall than this.
I’ve struggled to wake up today, with Josh having to wake me up at 8:15am which for me, is pretty late!
I like to wake up naturally or to our alarm around 7:15am/7:30am and slowly wake myself up, before I attempt to get up and ease into the day with coffee and music.
So this particular morning, I just felt tired.
However, a nice little DM from one of the producers of BBC Radio Northampton put a spark in me when I was invited to chat on the radio about my independent bakery guide on the Annabel Amos morning show – woop!
Overall, a pretty steady day and felt particularly emotional when going out to clap for the NHS. It’s wonderful seeing my neighbourhood come out and to actually have a brief chat with our neighbours – it’s lovely. I hope this community feeling continues way after this is all over.
Compared to my day yesterday, I actually started on a much chipper and much more awake mood and actually decided to straighten my hair, put makeup on and something nice. Oh, it does feel good when you make the effort!
I also did my quick little 10 minute interview about my bakery blog post on BBC Radio Northampton which gave me a pep in my step. It’s nice my blog finally got a bit of PR promo after what feels like a while.
Again, work has kept me busy and I am thankful to have a job that keeps me challenged throughout the day – it’s a nice distraction during all the outside drama happening.
As it was a Friday, we treated ourselves to a glass of wine (or two) and ordered a delicious Chinese takeaway from The Rice Bowl in Towcester. I’m ending the week feeling content and happy to have a relaxing weekend ahead of me.
Surprise, surprise, Josh wakes me up early so no lie in for me! However, I had a slow morning on the couch watching That’s So Raven on Disney+ (what a throwback!) the sun is up and I’m happy it’s a Saturday.
Josh and I decide to sort out through our DVD’s and post on our community group that people can come and help themselves to DVD’s to keep or exchange.
We felt it was a nice random act of kindness we could offer – no one took up on it, but at least we tried!
Afterwards, we went on a massive walk around Towcester as well as went for an essential shop. I still can’t handle going to supermarkets right now as my anxiety flares up and I go all emotional. Just watching the people queue up makes me feel sad that this is our world.
So straight away, that seems to put a damper on my mood, so we go home and I cry a bit. Until a neighbour did a lovely act of kindness by giving us some washing up liquid (as we couldn’t find any anywhere!) and with it, came a pot of Biscoff – I sense making brownies soon!
This is the night where we decide we should finally commit to a series on Disney+, so finally, we start the Star Wars series starting with The Phantom Menace whilst we enjoy pork rice with veg for dinner.
A mixed day, but ending on a calm note.
I’m not sure what has come across us, but we have been on a walk every day this week! This is probably the most we’ve been walking.
We decide to walk from one end of Towcester to another which included a breathtaking view of the river where I couldn’t believe how blue it was – maybe everyone staying indoors is a good thing for the planet!
We decide to visit my parents, whilst socially distancing which involved us going into their back garden for a chat, whilst they stood in the conservatory away from them.
It’s such a weird feeling not be able to go inside, say hello properly, give them a hug and have a cup of tea.
We have a good catch up and chat that it’s obviously not a good idea for us to go into each others houses, chat about the weather and the random wind that was picking up and our plans for the evening.
As soon as we say bye and walk up the road, I just feel instant tears come to my eyes.
I’m the type of person that can’t go long without physical contact and hugging my parents goodbye is such a natural thing. So the fact I can’t do so, really eats me up inside.
I stop and cry and hug Josh in the middle of the neighbourhood over how sad I feel. He suggests buying ice cream to cheer me up. Thank goodness for Josh.
That emotional stint kinda sets the day; watching films, chilling out on the sofa and doing pretty much nothing else for the rest of the day. All my to-do list and blog admin can wait for another day.
There you have it. Week one of lockdown in Northamptonshire done.
I’ll be writing each week as I go. There’s no timeline or set date when I’ll publish these, but this has really spurred my writing juices and I hope this content proves to be useful, insightful, honest but as upbeat as possible.