It is my last day at my parents (for now, who knows what the second wave might bring) I’ve been here since the 3rd week of lockdown (end of March/April - I am unsure of the exact time as it was all a blur) - I know we managed to get three lockdown editions of the newspaper out before print was paused.
The last week in my flat - lockdown on my own - was sketchy. I had left Skye, went straight down to Portpatrick in one go - that is about 8 hours of driving, picked up the dog and then set myself up for 12-16 weeks on my own.
Days blurring into one, sleeping was difficult - trying to carry on business as usual until my hot water stopped working and then the electricity went. I think I managed about a week of boiling kettles to wash my hands and chanting ‘this is fine, this is fine’ with gritted teeth. Having the coast to myself was lovely though - but walking through empty ghost town caravan parks starts to take a weird and creepy vibe, the season has started but you are the only one there.
The day I was furloughed I made the decision to pack my stuff, mothball my flat and head to my parents. No workman would come out to fix my hot water, I couldn’t even charge my phone by that point, a fuse had gone and no amount of youtube videos could help me fix it on my own. I still ‘feel bad’ because it was week 3 or 4 of lockdown, when everything was really scary, we were meant to stay put and the virus was spreading like wildfire. That’s the last time I drove any sort of distance.
Even though I live in a small village, in a remote part of Scotland - it was scary as every person coming and going was met with suspicion. I was cleaning the front door handle of my flat every time I went out. The dog was only only getting one long walk a day. Try explain that to a dog. Remembering just how anxious I felt - and how I was utterly prepared to wait it out as long as it took. Without hot water, sitting in the dark, it seems a bit nuts now.
Now I am preparing to pack up all my stuff. All those lockdown paintings and cross stitches that I actually finished. The phase I went through where I was buying shoes from companies that were going into administration. I’ve been able to spend so much time with my grandpa and my nephew, time I’ve never had before because the city consumed all my energies. My ‘home gym’ (two kettle bells, two dumbbells, bands and a yoga mat- I am so proud of my wee collection) - which I actually use, and intend to use throughout the winter - no gyms for me, although the nearest gym is a 16 mile round trip and getting the home workouts mastered means I am saving myself SO much time in the grand scheme things.
I am now ready to get back home and sort out all this stuff into the rightful place.
I am a complete dress size smaller, so I’ll be recycling clothes that I haven’t seen for three months. I am actually mentally stronger than I was 3 months ago - something that I have been working on, I’ve been here before and letting the wheels fall off again wasn’t going to happen this time.
I made it my goal the week I arrived at my parents to not hit the f*&k it button, use this as an opportunity to put right habits that I often blame “being too busy” on - to block out all the noise where people were posting about how it is ok to drink alcohol and binge eat to cope. That is not ok for me. I’m not going to disguise that. I have been plugged into good communities, taking part in challenges, getting my walking up to 6-7 miles a day - and next month I am going to focus more on yoga and meditation. This is not over, and we know what it looks like already so all of this going towards mental resilience to cope and not be thrown off my stride.
But at the same time, I am going to enjoy the next few weeks of sunshine and being back home - long nights and places to explore that I only really known through bitterly cold winds and dark stormy nights. There are so many walks and beaches to discover for the first time after treading every single path in the 5 mile radius of my parents. It’ll be seen as quite a fond time in a way, being able to get Rosie the dog’s nails worn down on their own, no need to see a groomer with the amount of pavement she’s treaded.
Look forward to be able to sharing the summer by the seaside with you.