Thursday, April 30, 2020, Day 46, Week 7, Month 2 of Self Isolation.

The Numbers

We have now reached 26,771 deaths. We have the third highest death rate in the world. However, the good news is that we are officially past the peak.

The News

The government is beginning to think about exiting lockdown. It’s all about the R number now. Little steps to see if we can keep it below 1. Looks like we will be asked to wear masks when we all start venturing out again.

South Korea has reported that they have beaten the virus – for the moment anyway. The big fear is around a second wave – possibly more lethal than the first. Remember the Spanich Flu?

Captain Tom was 100 today. He’s raised over £30 million for the NHS.

The New Way of Life

It wasn’t five-spice last night. I think I may have had an olfactory hallucination. Maybe I am losing my mind! It was still really nice though.

We watched an episode of Our Girl and last Saturday’s BGT last night. Exciting times!

It’s been a funny old day today.  Pouring rain pretty much all day. And cold, it felt so cold I had to turn the heating back on. Isolation is so much easier in the sunshine!

I had a walk round to drop in a prescription for M’s antihistamines. He thought he was getting hay fever when the weather was good but it will probably go away again, along with the sun.

Rape is usually a good predictor of his hay fever. We cycle through some rape fields on our bike ride. When we started it was still green and only 6 to 8 inches tall. Now, it sin full bloom and looks about waist height. I’ll take a picture next time we’re out.

We couldn’t cycle today. It was too wet. I missed my bike ride yesterday as I was sleeping instead. So today, I did and hour on the exercise bike while I watched an episode of the Great British Menu as a distraction from the boredom. I did 18.6 km and challenged M to see how many he could do in an hour. I think he did 21 or 22. I’ve forgotten.

I answered an emergency call from my daughter and took a phone charger over for her to borrow, as hers had broken. I dropped in on her doorstep then stepped away whetn she came out to get it. My little granddaughter was so excited to see me. I so want to give her a cuddle! We had a chat through their dining room window for a while until the rain forced me back into the car.

It was weird being out. I’ve almost forgotten how to drive! I took the long way home just for the hell of it! I drove down Shirley High Street to see what was going on! Nothing! Saying that, it was busier than I expected. Quite a few cars. Banks and some takeaway food shops seemed to be open. Aldo looked especially busy wit very little sign of social distancing going on between the crowds of people around the entrance. I shan’t be going there any time soon.

The weather made me crave a lazy afternoon snuggled up on the sofa watching TV so thats what I did.

I made a bake with all my leftover vegetables for dinner; potato, tomato, red pepper and aubergine with feta cheese and porcini mushrooms. It’s in the oven now, bubbling away while M’s has a bath.


Wednesday, April 29, 2020, Day 45, Week 7, Month 2 of Self Isolation.

The Numbers

Numbers are up on yesterday. As expected we are still catching up with the weekend. The total numbers of deaths is now 26,097 as community and care home deaths have been included for the first time. It seems that we are still in the middle of the peak and not coming down the other side after all. It’s relentless.

More people n London have died of coronavirus than died in The Blitz.

More people have died in the USA than died in the Vietnam War.

The News

Boris Johnson, and his fiancé Carrie Symonds, have announced the birth of a baby boy. It seems earlier than expected but this has not been confirmed. I’m not a fan of the man but 2020 is turning out to be quite a year for him!

A massive asteroid has whizzed past the earth today. It got as close as 3.9 million miles away which, in space terms, qualifies as a near miss.

The News

Yesterday evening we watched more Simon Reeve in the Mediterranean after dinner.  M had a busy day working on his “Resilience” project and didn’t make time for his exercise during the day, so he did it upstairs later on in the evening and I watched some TV on my own downstairs. I caught up with the end of a BBC Production of Dracula. It was screened around Christmas but I never watched the last episode.

Spending the evening alone seemed to give me too much time to think and I’ll admit to having had a little wobble. It all seemed to catch up with me and I felt a bit sad and emotional. I think it was probably a good thing as it got it out of my system and I didn’t have any tiger dreams last night.

Generally, I think we are all getting very numb to the whole situation. When I think back to 7 weeks ago it was all so shocking and strange. Now it really has become the new normal never to go out anywhere other than for exercise and the odd bit of grocery shopping (and these are few and far between for us), to have minimal face to face contact and zero no physical contact with friends and family and to watch the news ever day to see if the number of people who have died overnight has fallen to just a few hundred instead on almost 1000.

I probably didn’t dream last night because I didn’t manage to sleep much again. I woke around three and couldn’t get back to sleep. Head buzzing with lots of questions and concerns. When is it all going to end? When will M and I be able to resume some aspects of our life and how will that happen. How can I avoid putting M (and myself for that matter) at risk when I attend my hospital appointment in June?

I have decided to attend the appointment because if I push it back further I wont be able to get my gallstones sorted out in time for our trip to Barbados next April (assuming we will soon be going but that’s  just another thing to wonder about). I’m going to have to self-isolate from him for 7 days after I come home. We’ll have to work that one out very carefully!

M has an appointment next week to see an immunologist. His consultant thinks that some of his problems with persistent weird and wonderful infections could be due to some sort of immune deficiency. There is no way he’ll be setting foot in a hospital next week, so he rang up to postpone or arrange a telephone consultation instead. They’re going to get back to him.

To be fair, it’s not urgent at the moment as he is better than he has been for the past 2 years! He’s infection free, feels great and is hardly coughing at all compared to a few weeks ago. Sometimes, you would look at him and think there was nothing wrong with him. It’s brilliant!

Today, I have written my critiques of my three fellow writers last “homeworks”. That took most of the morning and then I slept in the afternoon trying to catch up from last night.

It’s 7pm as I write this and I’m off to have dinner. I can smell M cooking from up in the bedroom, Smells of aniseed! Five spice? I wonder what he’s making. I thinks it pork of some kind.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020, Day 44, Week 7, Month 2 of Self Isolation.

The Numbers

Yesterdays new deaths were 360 but today they are back up again to 633. There is always a delay in reporting after the weekend. But, things are moving in the right direction. Globally, there have now been over 3 million confirmed cases and over 200,000 reported deaths.

They have also reported that there have been 4343 Covid deaths in care homes across the country since Easter, in addition to those that have already been reported in hospitals.

The News

Today the country held a minute’s silence at 11am to remember all the key workers who have died during the crisis.

They are still talking about how they are increasing testing capacity even though we are way below their target of 100,000 a day, and we still have some of the lowest testing rates compared to other countries.

There are reports of a dangerous new, Covid related, inflammatory syndrome that is affecting children. There is still so much we don’t know about this virus.

The New Way of Life

The weather has changed. We woke up to rain this morning and it has rained all day.

Last night, after dinner, we watched a couple of episodes of Mediterranean with Simon Reeve and then the latest on of Killing Eve. I’m beginning to tire of our evening routine; cook, eat and watch TV. I’d love to go out for a drink, a meal or to the cinema, even a takeaway would make a change from cooking and washing up every night. Of course we can’t. M suggested maybe playing a game instead. It’s not something we’ve ever really done together much, but maybe we should give it a try.

Today I’ve done some more work for the business. I’ve baked some coconut bread and finished editing Chapter 4 of Wait for Me! At last! Only another 11 to go.


M has heard that the funeral of his cousin in New York will take place via Zoon in a few days time. It’s being streamed on Zoom so that mourners can take part during lockdown in New York, but ironically, it has worked for M in that he will be able to attend whereas he would probably not have been able to travel to New York for it in normal circumstances. There again, she would not have died in normal circumstances.

Dreams in the Time of Covid

I’ve been having really vivid dreams over the past few weeks.

Normally, I don’t remember my dreams at all.

Last night I dreamt that we had decided to take a chance and have a Chinese takeaway. When we got there we were shown along some secret passageways (probably prompted by a snippet from the Simon Reeve programme on secret Mafia safe houses) to an underground, illegal restaurant. It was heaving with people. We couldn’t find anywhere to sit and people were constantly getting too close to M and even touching him. I was frantic.

In another one, I was at the hospital where my granddaughter was being examined in A&E for symptoms of the new illness that is affecting children (this time probably prompted by my daughter telling me she had a rash and fever a few weeks ago and wondering if she had had it). I was cuddling her and kissing her before I suddenly realised I shouldn’t be doing that and was anxiously trying to work out what I could do, whether it would be ok just to shower and wash my clothes when I got home, or whether I would need to  go and stay somewhere else for a while, to avoid passing on the infection to M.

In both dreams, there was tiger lurking about in the background. Passing through the crowds in the restaurant, moving past doorways in the hospital, always just slipping in and out of view, but adding to my fear and anxiety.

I used to dream about tigers a lot during another uncertain period of my life. After I divorced my first husband, I moved house and started a new job, all in quick succession. Tigers featured in my dreams for many months around this time. They only stopped when I finally confronted the tiger in a dream. It didn’t bite me. It just closed its mouth around my outstretched hand and pressed its teeth against my skin. It didn’t draw blood or even hurt me. I never dreamt of tigers again (until now). It was as if I had exorcised it by being brave enough to confront it! Weird!


Monday, April 27, 2020, Day 43, Week 7, Month 2 of Self Isolation.

The Numbers

It’s only 1.30pm and today’s numbers haven’t been announced yet. If they come through as I’m writing this I’ll add them at the end.

The News

There is a bit of anxiety that we are at a key stage right now. The rate of new infections is slowing but it is not slow enough to justify ending the lockdown. If people start to relax there is a real danger that a second wave could hit which could be just as bad, if not worse, than the first.

Boris Johnson has returned to work today and is reinforcing this message. He really seems to be very focused on the health of the population and saving lives, as opposed to rescuing the economy, unlike other government ministers.

Germany has followed the USA’s lead and made the wearing of masks mandatory. We don’t seem to have decided whether or not this is a good idea.

New Zealand have announced that they have currently eliminated the virus and are easing lockdown restrictions.

Italy and Spain have also started to cautiously lift carefully selected small restrictions.

Furloughed workers have been asked to consider taking work as fruit pickers due to a shortage of migrant labour as a result of the virus. Good luck with that!

The New Way of Life

We watched a lovely film last night on the BBC iPlayer; Victoria and Abdul. Would definitely recommend.

Anyway, its Monday morning, first day of week 7. Today we’ve been thinking about the state of our brand new business, Key Ways Consulting, in The Time of Covid.

Our work has all but dried up. We still have some outgoings but currently have no income so we needed to have a think about what to do. Don’t get me wrong, we’re ok at the moment, but we just need to think ahead a little bit.

So, I’ve shared our Mindfulness post on social media this morning, to remind people that we are still here and still working.

We’ve also decided to run an Insights Discovery Personal Effectiveness (Virtual) Seminar in May, and I’ve put together a little promotional piece on that. When K has put it on the website, I’ll share that on social media too. Fingers crossed!




Sunday, April 26, 2020, Day 42, Week 6, Month 2 of Self Isolation.

The Numbers

438 new deaths today. Definitely seeing a slow decline now.

The government figures show a slight increase in cars on the road and this is definitely the case in our cycling experience.

The News

The Prime Minister is returning to work tomorrow.

The New Way of Life

Last night’s birthday surprise for M went well! A week or so ago he said that the thing he missed most since the lockdown, was sitting outside watching live rugby. We have season tickets for Wasps. This all started only half way through the season, which has now been postponed.

So, I tried to recreate a rugby stadium in our back garden. I created a screen by clipping a sheet to the fence and projected a game from You Tube. I picked arguably the greatest game of rugby ever played; Australia versus New Zealand from the Tri-Nations series in 2000.  I served pie, chips and beans, washed down with Purity Ubu. It was fun and we both enjoyed it. It got very nippy around 9pm but we snuggled up under our fleecy blankets. The evening was made even more special with a great view of Venus in the sky above us.

Today, we went for a bike ride in the morning and I did some braised lamb shanks with mashed potato for Sunday Lunch. It was another glorious day weather wise, but the forecast for the next week is not so good.

I’m wondering how long I should keep writing this? It’s a long slow process and we are only half way through. There is very rarely any new or interesting news to report, and I’m sure our humdrum lockdown lives do not make very interesting reading.

I’ve decided that I’m going to continue for the 12 weeks that M and I kn0w we are definitely going to be in isolation. We enter week 7 tomorrow. After, that I may just post important or interesting updates.

Saturday, April 25, 2020, Day 41, Week 6, Month 2 of Self Isolation.

The Numbers

There were a total of 738 new deaths yesterday. Our rate is the highest in Europe now and we are rocketing towards the 20,000 mark. Turkey has appeared in the highest ranked countries now and over 50,000 people have died in the USA.

Over 100 UK  healthcare workers have died.

The News

The government offered home testing to any keyworker and their families with symptoms yesterday. The web-site was overwhelmed with demand and had to be closed after the first hour.

A vaccine being developed in Oxford, has moved into the human healthy volunteer testing phase. Fingers crossed its effective and is available as soon as possible.

Most of the conversation now is about how and when lockdown will end. I’m still worried that when it starts to be relaxed for the general population we will be forgotten. We are half way through our 12 weeks but what will happen after that? Nothing has been said about what the exit strategy will look like for the 1.5 million extremely vulnerable people that have been told to stay at home in strict isolation for their own protection.

The New Way of Life

It was quiz night last night. We nearly won again but lost it in the last round, which was on Disney movies. I can’t stand Disney. I think it’s down to overexposure to sickly sweet princesses, talking and singing animals and inanimate objects, when my kids were little.

We had good fun though, got a bit tipsy and fell into bed around midnight. We put some music on in the bedroom for a while but had to wake up to turn it off about 2am.

It’s M’s birthday today! He’s 63! Last year we celebrated in the Outer Hebrides, the year before in Mauritius, but this year we’ll be in the back garden. I have got a big surprise planned for this evening. I hope it works out and that he enjoys it!

I haven’t been able to get out to the shops (obviously),  but managed to add a few “non-essential” items to my last Ocado delivery. A beard grooming kit to encourage him to enjoy his developing facial hair, a bottle of Baylis and Harding Fuzzy Duck Whiskey bubble bath and a very special bottle of Columbian La Hechicera rum, that has been aged in an old Muscat barrel. I don’t think he’s going to want to taste it any time soon though after our little overindulgence last night!

We had a bit of a lie-in and a lovely long facetime with our son and his wife, and our grandson. Later, on our daughter dropped off an amazing birthday cake that she had constructed out of donuts, and we had a little doorstep chat in the sunshine.

This time she brought our little granddaughter with her. We haven’t seen her since the 15th of March. It was lovely to see her, but it was upsetting not to be able to give her a cuddle or play with her. She’s going to be 2 in May, so it’s all very hard for her to understand. She stayed on the other side of the gate and we stayed in the doorway. At first she rattled the gate a bit and tried to get in, but eventually she seemed to understand. Quite sad … can’t wait to give her a big cuddle!

North Indian Chicken Curry

I love this recipe from Indian Food Made Easy by Anjum Anand. It’s simple but delicious.

You start by heating some oil and frying; 7 cloves, 3 shards of cinnamon and 7 green cardamoms for a minute. I also added a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds at this stage because I love the authenticity that fenugreek adds to a curry. You then add a couple of finely chopped onions and cook them down until they are golden brown.


This takes a good 10 to 15 minutes, but it’s important to take the time to do this properly, to develop the flavours of this curry.

When the onions and whole spices are done, add some minced ginger and garlic. I used a good couple of teaspoons of each. Cook again for a minute or so then add the powdered spices and a teaspoon of salt; 1 teaspoon each of turmeric and chilli powder (I added a teaspoon of crushed dried Naga chilies here as we like our curries hot!), and half a teaspoon of coriander. Again, cook for another minute at the most.

Now add your tomatoes. Blitz 4 ripe tomatoes and add them to the pan. I used a can of tomatoes as they were all I had until my next Ocado delivery comes on May 1st.

Now cook it down until all the moisture has evaporated and the oil is starting to separate from the dry masala.


Now add the chicken and stir-fry in the masala until browned. The recipe calls for chicken joints on the bone but I used chopped chicken breast as, again, it was all I had. If you use breast meat, treat it gently so that it doesn’t dry out. I stir fried just to seal the meat and then added water to the pan to reconstitute the masala into a sauce and simmered gently for 30 to 40 minutes.

Add a teaspoon of Garam Masala and (if you’ve got some in The Time of Covid – I didn’t) chopped fresh coriander before serving.

I served it with cauliflower dal, steamed rice, raita and tomato and onion salad.



Friday, April 24, 2020, Day 40, Week 6, Month 2 of Self Isolation.

The Numbers

638 new deaths in hospital today. Over 19,500 in total officially.

The News

Donald Trump suggested that people inject themselves with disinfectant to treat the virus.

The New Way of Life

Very short one tonight I’m afraid. It’s 6pm and we’ve just come back from our bike ride. We did 10 miles again.

I did the back garden this morning – had a day off from writing. The weather is fantastic and I wanted to be outdoors.

I’ve finished reading The Handmaids Tale and started The Testaments.

Last night was “The Clap” – very poor turnout on our street! Are people getting fed up with this? What’s going on?

We had our first BBQ of the year last night. Started to watch a movie called Code 8 but it was so awful we turned it off and watched a BBC Series called Twin instead – quite promising.

Tonight is quiz night again with writers group and partners. Alcohol will be involved. Yesssss!

I’ve cooked a curry – its becoming a Friday night Covid thing. North Indian Chicken.

I thought I’d share the recipe with you but I haven’t given myself enough time! Will do it tomorrow.

Were going to eat early and get set up for the quiz! Byeeeee.




Thursday, April 23, 2020, Day 39, Week 6, Month 2 of Self Isolation.

The Numbers

It’s 3.30 pm. I gave you yesterdays numbers yesterday and todays haven’t come through yet.

The WHO have warned that up to half of all deaths in Europe have happened in Care Homes. Truly shocking.

The News

26.4 million people have claimed unemployment support. Almost a third of the population!

Guidance for resuming air travel has suggested leaving the middle seat on the plane free to enable social distancing. The boss of Ryanair (obviously a covidiots) has refused to do this, citing it as ridiculous.

Scotland has published their lockdown exit strategy. It will be phased with pubs and restaurants last to open and large public gatherings to be banned for the foreseeable future. Children may go back to school in shifts, so that pupils are not all at school at the same time.

Experts are predicting a second wave this winter that will be worst than the first. Echo’s of The Spanish Flu.

The New Way of Life

I’m sleeping much better and my concentration has improved. I’ve spent the 3rd day in a row working on my biography project and its coming along nicely. I’m finding if I start writing soon after I wake up, I can keep going till the early afternoon. After that I don’t feel guilty about relaxing for the rest of the day.

So last night I cooked and we watched an episode of Killing Eve followed by the start of a new series called Emergence. Quirky little crime/sci-fi with a hint of Fargo.

We’re definitely settling into the new routine. Eating and drinking less. My weight has stopped going up and I hope its starting to go back down again.

M is doing some work on Resiliance. He’s doing a course that will enable to him to deliver Resilience workshops. Very apt in the current situation.

Thought for the Day

My thought for the day is about hair.

Hair seems to be rapidly becoming something everyone is talking about due to the fact that the hairdressers are all closed.

The internet is awash with videos of people cutting their own hair (usually very badly) or shaving their heads for charity. Don’t make out it’s such a sacrifice guys. Be honest, it was all about vanity and not having much alternative!

There is even talk that hairdressers will be among the first business to be allowed to open. Really? How does that fit with social distancing. Must be fake news generated by sheer desperation.

Women are worried about their roots and all the men I know have stopped shaving. All of them that is, except my poor ex-husband, who is a doctor and has had to shave his signature beard off to make sure his PPE fits properly.

The shaving thing is a bit like what I was talking about a few days ago about our houses being for living in and not for show. If they all hate shaving so muhc why do they do it all? And, will they all do it again as soon as this is all over?

Everyone’s hair is getting noticeably long. One friends husband’s hair has got so long he is wearing it in a little bunch on the top of his head, which she has threatened to cut of with a pair of scissors.

The young guy who lives next door is Nigerian. He always looks incredibly smart and well-groomed. Yesterday, I noticed that even he is developing a slightly unruly afro.

I’m hating my own hair now. I usually wear it short and thinned out. Now, its getting long and thick. I can’t really style it the way I usually do, but I can’t style it in a different way because its not cut that way!

M normally shaves all the hair on his head and face. He’s done since before I met him. I’ve asked hundreds of time to grow it so I could see what its like but he wouldn’t. The closest he came was when we did a two week rafting trip but he shaved it all off the minute we got back to Las Vegas. Now in The Time of Covid, even he has grown a full head of hair and a beard. I really like it! I love the contrast of the tightly curled silver hair against his dark brown skin. I hope he keeps it!

I wonder what we’ll all look like by the end?

PS. Todays death toll came through. 638 in hospitals taking the official total to over 18,000. Were getting closer and closer to the number of 20,000 that they set out at the beginning as the number that they want to stay below.




Wednesday, April 22, 2020, Day 38, Week 6, Month 2 of Self Isolation.

The Numbers

I’m writing this late today as I’ve been busy. So, I have two lots of numbers to report. Yesterdays death rate was 828 and today’s is 763, so things do seem to be moving in the right direction at last.

The shocking numbers are those that we are hearing about from Care Homes, where it’s thought that deaths have doubled overnight from around 1000 to 2000. 1000 of these are thought to have occurred over the last 5 days.

The News

Its all about PPE. Not enough to go round, shipments going astray and some even being shipped out of the country to other places!

More issues around access to testing for key workers.

The New Way of Life

I’ve been really busy working on my biography project yesterday and today. It’s going really well and while I’m in my flow I want to try and press on with it.

I read a little bit in the afternoon and had a doze on the sofa, I was so tired after my bad night the night before.

M cooked hake for dinner and we watched the end of DEVS.

We had another “incident” of discovering people we know have broken their lockdown. I am surprised by the strength of my emotional reaction to hear about things like this. It really upsets me. I was tossing and turning for ages before I fell asleep thinking about it and it was the first thing that came into my head when I woke up this morning.

M seems much more able to tolerate it than I am and doesn’t seem to understand why I get so frustrated about it. When I think about it, neither do I. I’m usually the one that’s saying to him “You can’t control other people’s behaviour, only your own.”

I think for me it is about a number of things:

  • a selfish fear that our own situation will be prolonged if there is a second wave
  • a strong sense of unfairness that some people are toughing it out in really difficult situations and making big sacrifices, while others are not
  • a feeling of disappointment that we are not really all in it together – only some of us are

Anyway, it’s just making me fed-up fretting about it, so I’m going to try and let that one go now and juts ignore the people who choose to do what ever they want.


Tuesday, April 21, 2020, Day 37, Week 6, Month 2 of Self Isolation.

The Numbers

So, we just might be beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. At 449, yesterday brought the lowest number of new deaths for a while. The last time we were in the 400s’ was at the beginning of April, almost 3 weeks ago.

The News

Boris has said he is reluctant to end lockdown too soon, in case of a second wave.

The Office for National Statistics data is suggesting that the actual death rates may be 41% higher than those that are being reported.

Trump has halted all immigration into the United States for the foreseeable future.

Oil prices have hit an 18-year low, with the price of a barrel being -$37 at one point. I dread to think what is happening to our pension funds and our ISA’s. I’m not even going to think about that until I absolutely have to.

Some of the most successful (apparently) global chains such as Primark and Burger King, are reporting serious financial difficulties.

I dread to think what the world will look like when this is over. It seems certain that it will be changed forever in so many ways.

The New Way of Life

Yesterday, I had the uncharacteristic urge to give our bedroom and bathroom a damned good clean. Changed the beds, washed the towels and gave them both a thorough going over!

I spent all morning, and the early part of the afternoon, cleaning and after lunch I read my book in the garden. I’m still on the Handmaids Tale.

While M was out on his bike ride, I spent some time planning his birthday surprise. It’s his birthday on Saturday. It’s hard to surprise someone when you can’t go shopping and you’re together in lockdown 24/7. Nevertheless, I have a plan. Can’t say anything about it on here in case he reads this!

I made a butternut squash orzotto for dinner. It’s a barley risotto with butternut squash and mascarpone. It was one of my least successful culinary efforts in The Time of Covid. Honestly, it was disgusting. I couldn’t even eat mine. Creamy and rich with not a lot of flavour and a lot of chewing of al dente barley (if that’s actually a thing).

After dinner we took part in another quiz. This time hosted by one of M’s coaching buddies. That’s 3 quizzes in a week with another one scheduled for Friday! It was still good fun though, although we didn’t do very well. We don’t in the “family” ones. Too many popular culture questions aimed at young people!

We watched an epsode of Race Across the World before I went to bed.

I had a dreadful night. I went to sleep about 11 and then woke up when M came up later, around 1am. I don’t think I went back to sleep after that until about 4 or 5 am. I’m going to feel awful later today!

My sleep has been all over the place lately. I’ve been unbelievably tired and sluggish. I’m waking later and later in the morning, and finding it increasingly hard to wake up. I’m having bizarre dreams too. I feel like a teenager again! During the days I feel sleepy and lethargic. It’s just so unlike me.

I’ve heard that a lot of people have been experiencing sleep disturbances during lockdown. Sleeping much more, or not being able to sleep at all, and having strange and vivid dreams. Maybe it’s our subconscious minds trying to process it all?

But, I’ve realised that part of my problem is related to a painkiller I take sometimes called tramadol.

I take painkillers at night for the arthritis in my shoulders. I think I mentioned before that my right shoulder has already been replaced, and my left one is heading in the same direction. I take cocodamol at night and occasionally during the day. Sometimes, if the cocodamol doesn’t get rid of it, I take a couple of tramadol. I’ve noticed that exactly 4 hours after I’ve taken the tramadol I wake up and can’t get back to sleep. At first, I thought it was just a coincidence, but I’ve definitely noticed a distinct pattern now. Going to have to stop taking them at night I think. Trouble is, if I don’t the pain keeps me awake anyway. Hey ho, the joys of late middle age (or is it early old age?)!

Anyway, as a result of being awake most of the night, I’ve taken it easy today and been writing in bed all morning. I’ve been working on my biography project. I’m really enjoying it and its coming along nicely.

But, it’s 2 pm now, and I still haven’t had a shower, so I’d better get up!