Part-time traveller, Full-Time Brummie

Dear Diary…Week 3 of Social Distancing/Week 2 of Lockdown

This is a blog post all about Week 3 of Social Distancing by A Brummie Home and Abroad

We made it to Week 3. A week when Mr Fletche and I should have been heading off to Japan for our long-anticipated trip. A week when we finally said goodbye to the longest March in history. And hello to what will probably be the longest April in history. A week when people still needed to be told to stay home. And a week when Tiger King’s Joe Exotic came into our lives. Welcome to Dear Diary Part 3Week 3 of Social Distancing and Week 2 of Lockdown.

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Day 13

Well, anxiety’s a funny thing isn’t it? On the day we were meant to be flying to Japan, I spent ten minutes staring at a potato as if I’d never seen one before. I had an existential crisis. Over a potato. Eventually I managed to get a grip and work out that the potato was just a potato and not the meaning of life. And then I burnt the chips, which had been the offspring of that potato. Should have stuck with salad.

Even the most emotionally stable of us are allowed a mental health wobble at this time. Particularly over a root vegetable.


Not the actual potato. Photo by Lars Blankers on Unsplash

Day 14

It’s finally sunk in that I have married a man who insists on sitting down and watching Bargain Hunt with his lunch. I am now carefully coordinating my own lunch around this so there is no clash.

Most importantly, have you seen this story about goats in Llandudno? What next? Llamas in Leamington? Miniature ponies in Milton Keynes? Where will this farmyard animal takeover end? George Orwell, you got it all so right…


EDITED: What’s next is apparently sheep on a roundabout.

Used my government-approved exercise hour to walk to the pharmacy to pick up my prescription. Arrived at 4:25pm. Closes at 4pm. Am fated to never receive this prescribed Vitamin D. Just going to wait til the summer.

Started watching Tiger King on Netflix. Just…wow. It’s appalling, but also riveting. I’m not sure who’s more unlikable; Joe Exotic, Doc Antle or Carole Baskin. Although Carole has a great cat print wardrobe.

Day 15

First Zoom video call with my team. Wow, that camera is unforgiving. Apparently my self-isolation scraped back hairstyle gives me a big forehead and moon face. And I have resting bitch face. And a puffy mouth. I’m going to be borrowing Mr Fletche’s fancy dress surgeons gown and mask next time. But it was lovely to see my teammates faces. They apparently don’t suffer from moon face. Or they all have some wonderful filter that they haven’t shared with me.

Day 16

I get a double dose of the outside world today. A trip to the supermarket AND my government prescribed exercise hour. I grab my trolley and queue. It’s a bit like Alton Towers. I half expect there to be a sign saying “30 minute queue to the most exciting ride of your life”. And indeed, I get a rush of exhilaration when I’m finally allowed through the barrier. I pick up the essentials. Chocolate digestives. Beer. Posh cheeses. When Mr Fletche goes shopping he comes back with fruit, veg and salad. I come back with mini eggs and two types of biscuit.

I also finally get hold of my prescription and knock back my first ampoule of Vitamin D. Let the sunshine in. The leaflet advises me against taking this if I’m going to be “exposed to sunshine”. As if I’m going to overdose on summer.

First family Zoom session. Ma and Pa Lee log on fine, I’m the one with technical issues. Pa Lee even takes me on a tour of his newly painted kitchen. I forgive him for the comments about my hair. It’s newly straightened and fuzzy but at least I have a fringe and I don’t look like Crystal Tipps or Moon Face any more. Although the similarity with Cousin It is now astounding.

Day 17

I spend the workday arranging Monkey into “fun” positions and WhatsApping them to my office mates. I may be going a little stir crazy.

When did WhatsApping become a verb? And Zooming is now a verb too… “I’ll Zoom you later”. We’ll come out of this situation with a whole new dictionary. Let’s face it, who knew what “furlough” meant before the last couple of weeks? I thought it was something farmers did to their fields.

4pm (4:30pm if my boss reads this) and my Out of Office is on! Now what shall I do with these annual leave days? Costa del Conservatory? Playa del Porch? Kayak in the kitchen?

Day 18

I spend the morning YouTubing Japan cherry blossom videos and snow monkey live streams. Torturing myself with an alternate reality. Still, at least the sun is out, and we have our first al fresco lunch. This is when we are eternally grateful that our move to a house with a garden all went through smoothly, and we’re not still stuck in our claustrophobic greenhouse of an apartment.

Everyone on Instagram seems to be making banana bread. This is my go-to dish but I buck the trend, ignoring my rapidly softening bananas, and make mini egg cookies instead. Not understanding how the mixture can possibly make eight, I make four instead. Which turn out to be four giant cookies. Quite possibly the spoonfuls of raw cookie dough mixture that I “tested” may have made another couple of cookies.

Day 19

It’s Mr Fletche’s birthday!! Thankfully my unusually-organised-January-self purchased various greetings cards for events up until the end of April so I’m not faced with having to knock up a DIY version. And I bought him a natty smart jacket as a pressie. Which will look lovely with his current array of loungewear. Ma and Pa Lee bought him a light-up dinosaur. Which was described on the website as a child’s nightlight. But currently looks great on our fireplace.

We take advantage of the sunny spring afternoon and head out on a four mile round trip. Having countryside on our doorstep certainly makes getting outside a little easier. Coleshill people seem largely good at social distancing.

The local chinese takeaways have all shut up shop, so with a hankering for prawn crackers we order from Chung Ying in Brum. There’s a hefty delivery fee, but they are offering a 25% discount on food orders at the moment to offset the cost. It’s Mr Fletche’s birthday after all.

What I’m Reading:

Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix – J.K Rowling (Affiliate Link)

The House We Grew Up In – Lisa Jewell (Affiliate Link)

The Fire Child – S.K Tremayne (Affiliate Link)

What I’m Watching:

Tiger King (Netflix), Better Call Saul (Netflix – current season), Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Netflix – current seasonn), The Walking Dead (Fox – current season), Westworld (Now TV – current season), Grey’s Anatomy (Now TV – current season), Outlander (Amazon Prime – Season 3), Peaky Blinders (Netflix – Season 2), Veep (Now TV – Season 1), The OC (Netflix – Season 1)

Films I’ve Watched:

Ad Astra

Ghost Stories (yes, the film version of the live show Pa Lee and I saw at the Alexandra Theatre earlier this year – you can read my theatre review here!)

Marriage Story on Netflix

And as this week started with a potato, let it end with a potato. A baked potato.



8 responses to “Dear Diary…Week 3 of Social Distancing/Week 2 of Lockdown”

  1. Rachael Stray says:

    I really think your should kayak in the kitchen. What are you watching during your lunch break then? What I’ve learnt about Steve working from home is he is incapable of speaking on a video or audio call at an actual normal volume. It’s like he forgets there’s a microphone and he creates a sonic boom every time he opens his mouth. Thank goodness he’s now upstairs in our makeshift home office so it’s a little bit further away from Elsie and I.

    • emfletche says:

      My lunchtime viewing is currently a mix of The OC, Peaky Blinders or Outlander, with the occasional Veep or Glee thrown in. Nothing which requires too much concentration! Sonic boom made me laugh – Chris throws in lots of technical IT jargon which is like a foreign language to me 🙂

  2. Helen Millard says:

    Love it, lots of laughs 🤣🤣. Keep ‘em coming x

  3. ‘Miniature ponies in Milton Keynes’ sounds like one of those Animal Ark children’s books! And I think I much prefer your shopping trolley 😉

    It is definitely going to be another long month – thank goodness for books and streaming services! And for blogging, after a long time of saying to myself I just don’t have the time I finally have no more excuses and can get back into it – silver linings!

  4. Really enjoy your lockdown diaries! I laughed at your existential moment of the potato as I had a moment over not being able to grow tomatoes, something I figured I needed to know in the new world! I’ve definitely read too many apocalyptic books 🙂 We’re also zooming all over the world and loving it. Take care and keep distracting yourself as best you can!

    • emfletche says:

      Thanks Debbie – sometimes it’s the smallest things that can send you into a tailspin! Seems so strange that we’re on opposite sides of the world yet going through the same challenges. Best wishes to all your family xx

  5. Oh, lord, that potato song! (I’m loving on these diary posts!)

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