At times like this, you really need your hobbies.  I turn my attention to the garden, which I have always loved, but now begins to take on a monumental role as the only place I may be allowed to wander and get out of the house for maybe weeks/months.  I have been dreaming about turning a raised bed at the bottom of my garden into an ambitiously large alpine bed for some time and spend the morning thinking through a design for it.  I talk it through with my husband – we never spend money without careful discussion.  Ever sensible and practical, he calmly states that, in the current circumstances, it would probably be a good idea to turn it into a vegetable bed instead.  The disappointment I feel at this is indescribably and disproportionately massive.  Cancelling dates with friends, holidays, and trips out is depressing, but now, even the plans for my own back garden have to fall apart?  I have been doing well at keeping calm and carrying on up until now, but this threatens to tip me over the edge.  Of course, it is totally irrational in the context of what the world is facing and I know that, so I get over my upset very quickly and waste only one sheet of toilet paper wiping up my tears. 

I go for a walk down to the High Street and spot someone with a 4 pack of toilet rolls from Waitrose.  I like shopping in Waitrose, but I would never normally buy toilet paper there – it’s way too expensive.  I feel my pace start to quicken now though as the store comes into sight.  I am so focussed on getting there in time that I nearly forget that I am walking on a narrow pavement and someone is coming the other way and if I don’t do something soon, they are going to be closer than two metres away from me.  I swerve off the footpath, head resolutely down the middle of an empty road that is usually packed with cars and try to resist the urge to let my furious power walking pace quicken to an undignified sprint.  I get there just in time – I buy four toilet rolls and I feel so very pleased with myself and fortunate.  Then, I realise that I didn’t put any surgical gloves on and it’s warm and sunny, so I don’t have any ordinary gloves either and I’m going to have to pay for these toilet rolls somehow …. ? I force myself to touch the self checkout screens with my bare hands and use my credit card contactless.  I come home and wash my hands more thoroughly than I have ever washed them in my life before and then I wash them again, just to be sure.  Then I wash my face.  Then I think – what about my ears?  I decide that showering is the only solution and I as I wash, I think how grateful I am that we live in a country where it rains a lot, because at least we won’t run out of water.  I feel much better now and then I realise that I am now running short of soap and I start to think about what on earth will happen in countries where they don’t get a lot of rain.  I reassure myself that the best way to get through tough times is to practise mindfulness, positive thinking and focus on the moment.  I survived my shopping trip and am now back safe inside my own front door again and I am very grateful for that ( as long as I didn’t get infected while I was out, which I won’t know for another 7 days?).

I sleep very lightly indeed, again.  Next door’s dog barks incessantly day and night and the rat is still running up and down in the loft, despite the poison.  I make a mental to do list of urgent jobs that I need to do when the morning eventually comes and remember that we have an appointment with a nice man from the Co-Op next Wednesday to rewrite our wills (Item number 10 on the 25 things to do to improve our home security checklist after the break-in) and we need to give some thought to what we need to ask him.  I resolve to try to think of something nice to do tomorrow to cheer myself up a bit and fall asleep thinking that I must remember to add rat poison to my shopping list, in case the rat man can’t attend for his two follow-up visits.

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