So, what changes have lockdown brought? Well, no parkrun for a start. To ensure we get our weekly fix, we are still going out at 9 am on a Saturday morning for a 5 km or so run – we’ve even had shirts made with the legend “Ruby’s Social Distancing (not)parkrun”. We usually go to the lakes about 1 mile away where, coincidentally, Eastleigh parkrun started ten years ago – it moved to its current location a few years later. We run opposite directions, so that we pass each other twice per lap. One evening I worked out where, based on our average speeds, I should lap Mrs B and the following Saturday we put that to the test (well, I put it to the test, Mrs. B wasn’t that bothered). And my calculations were within a gnat’s crotchet of the actual passing point.
That last paragraph was a bit of a shibboleth. Only a true Briton would mix miles and kilometres in the same paragraph. Look at our motorways: distances shown in miles but marker posts every 100 metres.
We’re probably been running more than usual; shorer working hours, no commute and the cancellation of other social events gives us more time, and the ‘daily exercise’ has given us the impetus to go out several times a week. Over the last few weekends we have run (in stages) from Southampton to Winchester and back.
Other changes include the amount of money we are saving, the lack of driving, and how quickly the laundry gets done:
Saving money: mostly by not being able to go shopping – though we are putting in quite a few online orders. In the second week of lockdown we had a delivery every day – sometimes more than once (the record was four). But also, I’m not buying coffee and lunch each working day; and we are not buying those incidental odds and ends. It has made a huge difference to the bank balance. I can’t remember the last time I drew cash out, and have had my ‘last’ £5 note in my wallet for weeks!
Driving: although Mrs B has been driving Child 2 to and from work, to save his having to use public transport, most of the time our cars sit on the drive. I probably drive about once every ten days. I last filled with fuel at the beginning of last month, and the tank is still over half full. Normally I fill up on a weekly basis - more money saved! I have bought a dash-cam and wonder whether I could simulate my daily commute by sitting in the car and replaying the last journey.
Laundry: again, this usually waits until we have time to do the constituent parts (place in laundry basket; empty basket into machine; run machine; take clothes out of machine; hang to dry (we don’t do tumble drying in the barefoot household – we don’t even have a drier); bring dry washing in; sort into “needs ironing” and “doesn’t need ironing”; iron the “needs ironing”; sort into individual piles; return to respective owner’s bedrooms). But as we are working at home, we can do the whole lot in a day (ok, maybe not the ironing bit – but we’re tending not to wear clothes that need ironing). Consequently, I am wearing a smaller range of clothes than usual. Incidentally, I was explaining the constituent parts of the laundry process to Child 3. She responded “I didn’t realise that. I just put clothes in the laundry bin and a few days later they reappear in my room”. I think she was being sarcastic, but you can never tell with Child 3.