Following the recent announcement by the government to go into lockdown, I spent the first week worrying about what was to come, would I still have a job, could we afford to pay the bills (my partner is self-employed), how would my teenage daughter cope with not seeing her friends?  I was concerned about my family and friends, many of whom have their own businesses or are self-employed.  My Mum is in her 80’s and I have several nieces and nephews who work in the hospitality industry who instantly lost their jobs.   I also have a niece who works in a care home and at only 20 years old I was concerned for what she may have to face on a daily basis.

As soon as the government announced the furlough scheme and help for the self-employed, I got myself together knowing that the finances would be taken care of (for now, at least) and spent the next two weeks spring cleaning the house and pretty much everything in sight, if it was washable, it got washed! I have also had plenty of time to get all of those “odd jobs” out of the way, you know the kinds of things, the ones that we all tend to put on the back burner and never seem to get around to.  I even have a colour coordinated wardrobe now.

Once I had pretty much exhausted the list, it was time to get creative.  When I have time, I love to bake cakes (and eat them!), nothing too fancy just the home-made type that I love to eat so it seemed the natural thing to do.  Marble Cake, Lemon Drizzle, Banana Loaf, Rocky Road and some home-made scones which I was particularly proud of and have to say went down very well with some strawberry jam and a large amount of clotted cream!  If I can’t go to Cornwall then Cornwall can come to me.

I like to keep active so take the time every day to get out for my daily exercise with our family dog.  We have a cocker spaniel who loves long walks in the countryside and I have always enjoyed photography so I dusted off the very expensive camera that was bought for me a few years ago and got out into the open air and took some pictures.  I’m no David Bailey but it’s not always about being the best, just enjoying what you do.  We have been truly blessed with the recent weather and spring is such a lovely time of year with all the blossom and spring flowers so plenty of photo opportunities to be had.

For the first time, I was introduced to Zoom – something until recently I only knew as a record from back in the day!   It has become a regular feature for our Friday night quizzes and gives me the opportunity to catch up with other members of my family, some of whom still seem to manage to cheat even remotely!

One thing this experience has taught me is that we take so much for granted.  I think many of us will have taken the time to re-evaluate our lives and really appreciate the things around us and I hope that once lockdown is over, we will be able to continue doing at least some of the things we have had so much time to enjoy.