(Jasmine is on the left and Poppy on the right)
I stole this idea from a few places on the internet. I'm sure, like me, you've found this lockdown hard, and maybe even hardest of the three. I think that's due to the darkness and coldness of winter. By the time Lee has finished work, it's already dark, meaning we've struggled to get out and do anything. We've had a lot of snow here, the worst we've had in years, which has actually made me glad that I haven't had to try to struggle to drive anywhere. It's also just such a grind - we've been here before, we've done this, I've stuck to the rules and for what? For cases and deaths to be worse than ever. I'm not blaming this on people, by the way - I'm blaming it very squarely on the government, who I believe have made wrong decisions at all turns. They have locked down too late each time, they've ignored scientific advice, they've opened up too early... But I'm not going to dwell on that.
Instead, I'm going to talk about things which have made me happy recently. Before Christmas and in early January I was quite depressed and very bored. I struggled to sleep and in the mornings I really struggled to get up. As things have got lighter in the evenings, I have been getting slightly better. The vaccines seem to be getting done (yay, NHS!) and I am hopeful for things getting better soon. I am looking forward to seeing friends and family at SOME point this year. I'm hoping to go away on holiday with Lee and maybe with Sam and Jac. Spring is coming! Covid will go away to a degree that we can do some normal things! I hope!
So, my happy things:
1) The kittens. Oh gosh, they are absolutely gorgeous. Every day I think how lucky it was that I saw them on the RSPCA website that day last July, how lucky it was that our application was accepted, and how lucky we are that they settled in so well to our house. They have such different personalities from each other and from Ivy. Jasmine is very inquisitive and affectionate. She carries toys around in her mouth and often sleeps on my head or near me. Poppy is a little bit more reticent - but when she is affectionate I feel so precious because it's so hard won! She likes to lie on me in bed in the mornings. She's also very into the phone - if she can hear my mum on the other end she comes across to see where the person is! I'm looking forward to when people can come visit them again as they're so desperate for friends! They both like people food a lot. They love little pieces of rubbish to chase around. They often take things out of the bin. They're ludicrous and I love them.
2) Writing. I signed up for Get Yours Words Out for what must be the fifth or sixth year in a row. Last year I managed 300,000 words, so I signed up for the same this year. It is a lot of words, so I'm really proud of myself for completing it. I've been working on something new, which is set in Hebden Bridge and is a romance with a band involved. I've been using Scrivener for the first time and I really like it because I've been writing this book in a non linear fashion, which Scrivener is really useful for.
3) Crafting. I try to craft for a little bit every day because it really helps my mind and my spirit. I'm working on a big cross stitch called Hello Deer, although I've been crocheting on and off too. I have so many cross stitches that I need to get framed when that is something I can do when lockdown is lifted. Then hopefully I can put them up on the wall. We redecorated our attic room last year - I'll try to remember to take photos although it's still a work in progress - and so far there's the cat activity centre and a dartboard on one wall and nothing on the others. Oh, no, I lie, there's two pictures of Ivy, bless her.
4) The Body Shop. I am enjoying being a consultant. I'm not in it for big bucks but I like my commission, and I've liked helping people choose products, and when I've dropped off some orders I've been able to see my friends for a few minutes on their doorstep. That's been lovely!
5) Video chats. We've been pretty consistent in chatting with my family and Lee's family over the past ten months, and I've video chatted with friends on and off too. For my birthday I had tons of people on a video chat which was LOVELY. I've also been to a virtual book club a few times! It's been good
6) Food. We've been trying really hard to make new recipes. I'm vegetarian and Lee eats veggie with me most of the time, although he doesn't like some of the meat replacements I do, or some of the things like chickpeas, so sometimes he eats meat and I eat vegetarian. But I'm proud of us and the stuff we've tried!
7) Reading. I know a lot of people have struggled to read over the past year, which is absolutely valid of course. It's stressful living in a pandemic. I have read less because I used to read at lunchtime but now Lee is still working in the living room so I don't get the chance to sit and read the same. But I have read some excellent books recently and I do read before bed every night, which is something I cherish.
I'm going to leave it at lucky number 7, it's getting late!