Tag Archives: Covid 19

What I’ve Done This Month #August…

I didn’t do any fresh writing this month, which – although a little disconcerting – is not altogether unexpected. Covid-19 has knocked everything into a spin, which is certainly no excuse, because I have absolutely had more time to write, but it has tweaked the way I go about my days. One good thing about the pandemic is that I am no longer having to wake up at 4am. That’s something I won’t miss.

I am slowly making my way through my exhaustive filing of stories, and I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. Starting with all the stuff I did far too many years ago to mention, I have filed and dated everything (in colourful lever-arch folders) up to and including 2012. By the time I write next month’s update I am confident I will have it all squared away and be able to dedicate some time to coming up with new stuff.

Over the last few days I have submitted a lot of stories to various markets, primarily to get back in the habit of doing it. There was a time when I’d get a response from a pubisher every day. Now, I go many weeks between replies, and that is mainly because I just don’t throw my stuff out there the way I used to. Well that is going to change. 2020 has not been a good year, but I’m determined to salvage something positive from it.

In other news, I was officialy made redundant this afternoon, so – with the thought that such an endpoint was coming sooner rather than later – I’ve been looking for other work as well. I don’t have anything yet, but I have a few irons in the fire, and I’m sure it won’t be long until I’m back out there earning a wage rather than taking the furlough payment for granted.

Take care folks!

The Next Chapter…

After several months of being on furlough, it seems that Covid-19 may finally have added my job to the thousands of others across the world it has chewed up.

I’m disappointed, of course, but I won’t moan about it. There’s nothing I could have done to change things, and there are many others who have been dealt a far worse hand this year. Everything happens for a reason, as they say, so perhaps this is my chance to move onwards and upwards, and find a job that allows me to stay in bed later than 4am.

I’ll get something else, I’m sure, but the uncertainty of everything that is happening in the economy at the moment makes it a little frightening to be without that job security.

Things would perhaps pan out differently if I was single, and I only had to look after myself, but I have The Fiancée© to consider, and a house to maintain, so that is a responsibility I cannot forget or neglect.

Hopefully the world will settle down soon, and we can pick up the pieces of this broken year.

On Our Way Back to Square One…

So – after confirmation of dozens of positive Covid-19 cases from a handful of pub in the city-centre – it was announced this morning that Aberdeen (a place that doesn’t lead the pack in anything) would be the first city in Scotland to be subjected to a local lockdown.

And you know what? We deserve it.

I say we, but of course, I’m actually talking about the dickheads who have deemed alcohol to be of such great importance that they will go to any lengths to sit in a crowded pub, and nurse a £5 pint of beer. Because the virus won’t strike them, will it? Nor will it touch anyone they have been in contact with, right?

No. Don’t be silly. You just sit there with your drink – you’ve waited so damn long for it.

If people can’t stick to the rules (rules that have been put there to protect all of us) then they deserve to stay home and forego the social norms that were recently given back to us. Because guess what? If you break your toys, then you can’t play anymore.

It’s just a shame that these bad apples (and yes, it’s a minority) spoil the progress for everyone else as well.

Most of us are doing our best to put Covid-19 behind us, or at least, learn to live with it responsibly, but until people wise up to what is going on – to what has been going on for months now – it’s going to be a long time before this pandemic is in the rear view.

Lockdown Ain’t So Bad…

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Confirmed global cases are now over 2.6 million, and over 186,000 people have died. The people who think they know are saying that we are starting to see light at the end of the tunnel, but I’m not so sure. We are certainly not out of the woods yet by any means.

I have now been off work for almost four weeks and the time is certainly zipping by very quickly. While I do miss work in as much as it gives a pattern to my day, I don’t mind the down time, and I can’t relate at all to those people who can’t seem to find a way to deal with the confinement. It’s all fuss and bluster for no reason that I can see: a lot of people looking for some attention.

Just find something to do – it’s really not that difficult. Mow the lawn, paint a picture, build a birdhouse, take a walk, read a book, write a book, learn how to knit, learn a foreign language, paint the fence, change that lightbulb that you have been meaning to look at for ages, bake a cake, get drunk on all that wine you have been gifted but has just been sitting in the rack gathering dust, wash your car, call your mother, learn to juggle, learn a magic trick, sing along to your favourite songs, catch up with your Netflix queue.

Just wash your hands before and after.

I am filling my days by reading (something I wasn’t doing too much of before), working on those jigsaws that have been sitting in the garage unattended for months, and making quizzes for the family… mostly general knowledge, although the others in my household do not consider them to be general at all. I’m also squeezing in some writing, which is nice.

Stay safe, folks.

What I’ve Done This Month #March…

Unfortunately my short story More of a Wednesday Girl didn’t place in that contest that I was waiting for at the end of February, but I’m all right with that. It was nice to be shortlisted, seeing as it has been so long since I’ve even been that close to success. And more chances will come my way, I just need the right story and the right judge looking at it.

Obviously, the coronavirus has been all-encompassing this month, and rightly so, but the downtime at home has given me (and will hopefully continue to give me) the opportunity to catch up with some writing.

I finished a short piece called Paid in Full, in Plastic, which was a lot of fun and turned out quite well. It’s the fifth tale I’ve completed in 2020 and the 100th short story (upwards of 1,000 words) I’ve done since I started keeping detailed records of my writing exploits in 1995 – some of which are even pretty good!

It’s nice to hit a milestone like that, and I just hope that the inspiration can continue in these strange and uncertain times.

Stay safe.

It’s What We’re All Talking About…

On 17th of March I posted on here that the number of confirmed global cases of Covid-19 was over 180,000, and that the number of deaths had passed 7,000. Thirteen days later and those numbers are now over 740,000 and more than 35,000 respectively. These are frighteningly large numbers, and they will get a lot bigger.

I am now off work for twelve weeks as a result of the furlough plan that the UK government has put in place. It wasn’t my idea, but once it was presented to me it quickly became apparent that it was the most sensible move to make. Nobody quite know how it works – least of all, my manager – but effectively I will be paid 80% of my wage to sit at home and ride this thing out… well, that is certainly the plan. Watch this space.

It’s a difficult time for everyone, not least of all the families and friends of those who have sadly died, or are currently suffering, as a result of the coronavirus. Everyone who reads this will have been touched by the restrictions that the virus has forced upon the world, and we all have to do the right thing and get through this together, so the less we all jump on the bandwagon and bitch about cabin fever or how we are becoming a nation of depressed zombies because we can’t go out, when we all stay inside on our tablets and mobiles anyway, the better we will all be.

There is no need to panic or raid the supermarkets for all that they have, but we do have to be careful by interacting with as few people as possible, and washing our hands often. You don’t have to agree with the politics of those who are telling you to do so, but – come on, folks – a little common sense is not beyond you.

Future History…

I thought about coming on here and trying to bring a little levity to this coronaviral situation, but at the point of writing there has been over 180,000 diagnosed cases and more than 7,000 deaths as a result of this, and those numbers are increasing all the time and rapidly. So I don’t feel much like cracking wise.

Disneyland is closed; pubs in Ireland are closed, (over St. Patrick’s Day, no less); concerts all over the world have been cancelled. Hell, many cities are off limits and a growing number of countries are locked down entirely. Businesses and governments have not gone to these lengths for shits an’ gigs, or without serious consideration. This is not a drill, people. This is the real deal.

There is enough rice and pasta for everyone. Bread and milk is plentiful if we all just buy what we need and not encourage stupidity by manufacturing a shortage. You really don’t need all of those Ibuprofen or paracetamol, and all those cereals and biscuits are not going to help either.

Remember, there are those who can’t get to the stores as often or as readily as many of us can, and a lot of us are being selfish with our purchasing and leaving shelves empty for those who really need it or are simply trying to buy a regular supply for their household.

Most of us have jobs we need, and all of us have people we care about. So let’s try to stay safe and stay smart in this unclear time.

… and let’s not be this person.