I don’t think I’m going to be very good at this. I don’t have a regular routine at the best of times – get up when I feel like it, eat at odd hours, read and listen to the radio through a lot of the night. Should I keep to my non-routine or change to the ones recommended everywhere at the moment?  The best I’ve seen was a video from an ex submarine captain who was used to months underwater in very confined conditions.  Worth a look…

It may work for you but a couple of weeks in and I haven’t changed so it looks likely that I’ll plod on as I am.

I wake at maybe 8 o’clock, come downstairs to make coffee and feed the cat. Now I have an extra job – bring in the milk from the doorstep and wash the bottles in soapy water. Don’t believe I’m writing this, what hope for people with OCD? My hands are already getting chapped with all this soapy water washing. I never thought when I started this humble blog site about rock climbing and walking that I would be posting a picture of milk bottles.

I take my coffee back to bed and have a look at what’s happening in the world and in my Emails on the computer. I get distracted by some climbing videos on youtube, you know how it is. One often links into another and another, better make another coffee.

Once up and about I go into the garden. I’m slowly working my way around the beds weeding and clearing up. I tend to do about 2-3 hours until my back has had enough, there are plenty of days left for more. I’ve a good selection of all the common weeds as well as some plants I introduced and wish I hadn’t. This is the first year for a while to have the time to do a thorough job and try and catch the weeds before they become established.

Common weeds…

Bittercress. Seeds early and everywhere.

Cleavers. Sticks to everything.

Dandelion. Deep tap root, worse in lawns.

…Herb Bennet, Nettle, Buttercup, Rosebay Willowherb, Chickweed, Ivy, Bramble  – the list goes on.

Plants I introduced by mistake…

Dog Violet. Tenacious little b…..

Cuckoo Pint. Bulblets and seeds proliferate out of control.

Welsh Poppy. Orange variety has a deep taproot.

Yellow Variegated Dead Nettle. I wish it was dead, suckers everywhere. I was a sucker to plant it.

And then there is my lawn in amongst the moss. Need to buy some lawn sand, I will have to look online.

Lawn in my moss.

I could write a whole post on weeds, I almost have. When is a weed a flower?  Catch them early before they flower. They’ll all be back tomorrow.

The cherry blossom I pictured in my last post a week ago is shedding petals like snow in today’s breeze, it’s such a shame they only last a short time, rather sad really.

The fields opposite my house are earmarked for development and in the last few weeks the bulldozers have been in and stripped the hedges and destroyed most of the trees. They had started on the drainage and access roads but now the site is closed down leaving the whole place in a mess. I used to see deer and hares in those fields and the hedges were full of birds, what now for wildlife? Anyhow, I’m straying off the subject but this has prompted me to build a few more bird nest boxes which are now in place around my garden.  The sound of bird song is very noticeable this spring as there is little traffic noise.

The day passes quickly and cooking my evening meal is something to look forward to. Normally I shop up in the village every day and buy what takes my fancy for that evening’s meal. That’s all changed of course and now I delve into my store cupboard for inspiration, tonight I used rice and lentils to make dal bhat. Dal bhat is a traditional popular meal from Nepal consisting of rice and spiced lentils.  It is a staple food in these countries so as I have a good supply of rice and lentils I should be able to see out many weeks of isolation. I learnt to cook it fairly authentically whilst travelling in Nepal and I still have some spices bought there which are difficult to get in the UK.

What I’ll miss most are fresh fruit and vegetables. I’ve tried to book supermarket deliveries but all the slots are taken so I’ve turned to a local fruit and vegetable firm who normally supply to the catering trade. I’ve just phoned them and they couldn’t have been more helpful, I’ve a box being delivered tomorrow. Maybe picture then and give a plug if they are up to scratch.

The evening is passed with maybe an hour trying one of the cryptic crosswords from my bumper book of TheTimes Crosswords. Then tonight I’m going to watch some films from the Banff Mountain Film Festival. Every year they normally host an adventure film festival and the organisers have selected a series of films to view free every Wednesday throughout this isolation period. Very good of them, thank you, my own little film festival – I’d get out the popcorn if I had any! Fell asleep halfway through the last film – just like the real cinema.

  Times moved on quickly and I don’t have much to show for it. That just about sums up my day. So don’t take any advice from me regarding isolation strategies as I don’t really have any except…

“Take one day at a time”

14 thoughts on “HOW NOT TO ISOLATE.

  1. Michael Graeme

    Yes, I’m getting round my garden faster than usual. Interesting you have the same weeds as me. Did’n’t know half their names though. But I do now. Keep well.

    All the best.


    1. bowlandclimber

      Pleased to add the names to those weeds, could have illustrated a lot more. We all have the same weeds.
      We will all cope with this isolation in varied ways but I feel there are going to be some severe emotional casualties at the end of it. There are so many different stresses coming at us. I reach out to the relatives of the deceased who are having to face so much grief and probably anger.


    Sorry to read of your gloom – not like you at all. Are you not going for your daily permitted walk – it has been said that one may drive a modest distance to get to a more interesting starting point? I have bit of a routine: breakfast. Read BBC News and Guardian on computer. Follow up on blogs that I follow and do replies and comments. Walk up and down my stairs ten times. Go for my 1.25 mile walk. Make a bit of lunch. Do no more than an hour’s gsrdening or tydying/cleaning in house and progressing washing – now with better weather drying outside on line. Come back to review blogs again on computer and/or read or do on-line crossword. And by about 4:00pm start thinking about evening meal preperation. Unashamedly watch tele in the evening and finish off, as now with another rattle through blog posts and comments – bed around 11:00

    I have found out that Asda (at least) open up their new slots again at midnight so that is the best time to try and get one. I have had one delivery already and have another scheduled for 10th April.

    I reckon you are still recovering from your recent symptoms without realising it so hopefully more cheer ahead.

    1. bowlandclimber

      Thanks, Conrad,
      There was me thinking my coping strategies were working well. I was trying to emphasise the fact that “one size fits all” doesn’t apply. I’m actually quite enjoying pottering along with no pressures and I feel very safe in total isolation. The only negatives are what I see as mistakes by our government in the initial handling of the crisis but I’m not going into that here.
      I agree that the lack of exercise is not good but will be able to put that right by the weekend.
      Go careful.

  3. 5000milewalk

    Hiya mate, the tone of that post certainly sounded a bit down, so good to hear that you’re actually quite enjoying the “pottering about”! I’d agree with Conrad about still trying to get out and about a bit, especially where you live.
    I was asking – I think on one of my blog comments – what other people’s plans were once they had finished circumnavigating the coastline. I’d said that I was thinking of doing all the canals (coasts, canals, I’m a sucker for flat walks 😊). Then it occurred to me only the other day that I could start that adventure off right here in the centre of Manchester. I could probably get 50 miles of canal walks within 5 miles of my flat – the Rochdale Canal is 30m from my door! I’m still very weak from the coronavirus at the moment, but I reckon I could manage a couple of miles this weekend. So I’ll probably start with Castlefield to my home in Ancoats first, and write that up…. loads of history in that one.
    Anyway, it’s great to hear from you, even if it’s about weeds and milk!
    Keep it up matey👍

    1. bowlandclimber

      Good to hear from you and I’m very pleased to hear you are recovering.
      I’m going to have to reread my post from a different angle as I was actually trying to say that I’m coping well with isolating, just have a different way of approaching it. I’m not regimented at the best of times, would have been no good in the forces. I’m happy to potter along but agree I need to take up regular exercise now I’m not completely confined. [I’m sure I just had some other bug last week but felt I should follow the rules]
      Yes, I’m far better when planning a walk or expedition, aren’t we all, but I don’t get frustrated when unable to.
      Your idea of exercising on the canals is a good one, as you say plenty of interest. You certainly see another side of the cities. I have walked the Cheshire Ring and the South Pennine Ring in the past [you can find them on here] both centred on Manchester and very enjoyable they were. I was going to say that social distancing could be difficult on the narrower towpaths but then hopefully you will have resistance, shame you can’t be tested but I suppose priority goes to patients and health workers. What hope of testing 100,000 a day by the end of the month?
      Go easy.

  4. venice85

    Sounds just like my days. Add to that 2 to 3 hours on the computer writing emails and giving feedback to students about their work. It’s a flow, though. Bit like in literature 🙂

    1. bowlandclimber

      Generally, the public are understandably poor at maintaining even semi-clean surfaces and the government announcements haven’t been detailed enough. Even the handwashing videos are not good enough – where’s the use of a nail brush? essential in any scrubbing up room [the clues in the name] in hospital environments.
      There are new houses everywhere in Longridge. None are cheap and I’m not sure they are selling.

  5. Pingback: FEEDING MYSELF IN ISOLATION. | bowlandclimber

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