Thursday, 26 March 2020

As Time Goes By

We are living in scary and surreal times here in the UK, and despite my best intentions and efforts to document all that is happening on a daily basis that somehow hasn't happened.

To be fair, some of this can be found over on the business blog at  There I have outlined the steps we took as each announcement was made from the government. I spoke with Herts Live just this week about how we agonised, every step of the way, as to how we might continue in some way. Reduced opening hours, takeaways only, call and collect. Crowdfunding, pay it forward, gift vouchers. All were considered as possible ways to ensure the survival of The Kitchen until such time as this pandemic has passed.

To the title of this post then - As Time Goes By. Time appears to have warped itself in a most peculiar way this week. It feels like forever since the Peace Hospice Black Tie Ball was cancelled and Watford didn't play Leicester. At the same time it seems only yesterday that Ian and I were walking along the promenade in Monte Gordo, telling our Portuguese friends that in April we would be going to Vilamoura to look at wedding venues with our daughter and her fiance.

Time may have warped itself but the rollercoaster ride that our emotions have been taken on has been perhaps even more interesting. Someone helpfully posted on Facebook that if we are feeling anxious we are feeling grief. And as many of us know, grief consists of many stages from denial, anger and bargaining to depression but eventually acceptance.

Initially this week the overwhelming feeling was with hindsight denial. On a personal level I spent perhaps 48 hours hibernating! Sleeping late, snoozing  during the day and sitting in the sunshine doing very little indeed. Possibly inevitable after the madness of the past few weeks, when you then added in the realisation that a business built over almost eight back breaking years, first from home and then in The Kitchen, was perhaps on the brink of collapse.

Following this initial period anger did indeed set in. With no-one, nowhere and nothing to direct it at this anger found itself in a difficult place. The obvious way for it to go was inside, to transform itself into depression but instead it found itself sparking at the silliest of issues. At every point I had to remind myself that we are all in this together. Everyone is responding to the unknown in their own way. Everyone's circumstances are different, and for everyone requesting a refund for a cancellation there are perhaps four or five people willing to donate or postpone their deposits. We've never been here before and there are no "rules".

In between dealing with these emails, listening to all that the government has to offer, chatting to friends/colleagues/family and still finding time to eat and go to the toilet, I have tried to write. Rather - my brain has tried to do so. This whole thing about what we do in these surreal times has fascinated me if I am honest.

There are those who champion mindfulness of course. Running, jogging or simply walking are also up there with things to do during times of social distancing. Colouring, cleaning, decluttering and knitting are alternative options but beware the closure of charity shops and the dump if you're hoping to Hinch your home in these tricky times.

I am going to unashamedly nail my colours to the mast and say one thing... WRITE!

I would encourage everyone - whatever your age, whatever your experience of writing/journalling or blogging - to record your experiences and thoughts during these troubled times. For two reasons...

1. We are living a historical experience. I certainly didn't see this coming, and to be honest it came upon us so suddenly that I doubt many were prepared to document these days. Don't worry about grammar, alliteration, paragraphs or prepositions - just chuck down on (virtual) paper what you are doing and how you are feeling about it...

2. If you do the above try to add in how you feel about it. Again there's no need to make this stressful or more difficult than it needs to be. Easy words like "happy" "sad" "worried" "scared" or even "curious" will do just fine

Curious...? I'm not altogether sure where that came from other than it is a word that sprang to mind. When I think about this situation we all find ourselves in just now curiosity is definitely a word that comes to mind. So many questions about where this virus came from, how it spread, what we can do to help and why we are all so fearful...

That is it for now but will be blogging again very soon - see you there!

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