Angela Banner’s Blog – Life in Lockdown

I hope everyone is keeping well.

It seems forever since this started.  Yet the time seems to fly and the days are becoming shorter.

Of course, I have been doing a tremendous amount of housework but naturally only I would know that anything looks different. Our hair is growing longer and soon I will have plaits and Alan a ponytail. I am enjoying being at home and I think it is good for both of us.  The lovely weather helps. The garden is flourishing & tomato plants growing well.

If I wished I could be on Zoom all day. As with many places of worship our synagogue sends out notice of events for us to join plus prayer services & notice of bereavement. We attended a zoom meeting of one of the groups we attend but I have decided to give up on this. It just doesn’t work for me. It is good to have the options as I know this helps many people. Unfortunately it also leaves out many others. (I did attend on 3 occasions).

I have involved myself in various groups as a Telephone Befriender.    This takes up much of my time as each call averages 20 to 30 minutes.  I also have to report back to a co-ordinator on some of them. Alan makes lots of phone calls to friends & family.  I take care of the organisational ones.

We had a super VE day street party with neighbours all sitting in our own front gardens.  We decorated the front of our homes, brought out tables and chairs and then at 3pm out came the tea. The weather was scorching hot and I kept going in to refill the teapot.  We all kept well apart and a good time was had by all.

It is the same when we Clap for the NHS.  At first there were only two homes represented (we were one of them). Then gradually the street joined in and the flats nearby and joggers on the way back after their run.

Also cars going by hooted to raise the noise level. Banging a saucepan and crashing pan lids together can be quite therapeutic.

When we were first isolating it were very difficult to receive online delivery slots but this eased because of Government legislation.  You see Alan is on the extremely critical, vulnerable list so this information filtered through to supermarkets.  Meanwhile we were able to obtain groceries via neighbours who had slots as long standing customers and through other offers of help. We have a near neighbour who is a volunteer helper and this is useful in collection of prescriptions and fresh food.

As to offers of help, I can’t believe how many we have received.  I do try to ask different people for groceries etc because if someone has offered I don’t want them to feel they are being rejected.

Our local vicar, who we know quite well, has even given us his home telephone number.  I hope to ring and ask him to post a card for me in the next couple of weeks.

As to everyday matters, I have been asked if I have any spare items e.g. sugar, flour, baking powder, pasta & have been able to share with others.  As to offers of replacement I just say a few biscuits will do. Also if we receive an unsuitable substitute item in an order, I always manage to find someone who could use it.

I well remember when shopping at Tesco before self-isolating: I managed to find bread and the notice said two loaves per person so two went into my basket.  I reached the checkout and an assistant sprang forward and took one loaf away.  I said that the notice had said two but she said that the situation had changed ( this would have to had happened in all of five minutes).  I can’t tell you how much this upset me and this is why I remember it so clearly.  If the notice had said one only I would not dream of taking more. Now supplies are more plentiful I am able to order two loaves!