Isolation updates from two different lockdown locations...
Part One: Guernsey. Life on a rock.
We, like many of you, are still in varying stages of lockdown, but that isn’t going to stop us from living.
With yet another bank holiday to enjoy and the weather playing ball we weren’t going to let a little thing like lockdown prevent us from having the maximum fun and embarking on any adventures we could get access to.
So, being extremely lucky to live on an island surrounded by beautiful beaches and water, it felt almost mandatory to get out to the deep blue ocean and let the salt water do its magical work of relieving all of the world’s problems (momentarily at least).
To kick off the weekend of ocean enjoyment it was to the south coast on a kayak adventure, and so, with my small band of wanna be pirate companions, we set off exploring the caves and hidden coves. We wound our way through narrow channels in the rock formations, across burbling whirlpools of swell and into sheltered sandy inlets. With a trusty pack of beers we settled on a sheltered spot to take a break and just bob around in the warm sunshine surrounded by the sparkling (but cold) waters. We had this little corner of the world all to ourselves, well, apart from a friendly seal who popped his head out to share a ‘cheers’ with us before heading off in search of his lunch. And, although being extremely jealous of all the ski touring that I was missing out on in the alps, I was feeling particularly content with my little home adventure.
Back on dryland, I found time for some Nageln practice (gotta keep your eye in) and a skate session (in case you don’t know Jodie and I are both attempting to learn to skateboard check out our ollies on insta if you want to see how that is going), which largely consists, as it always does, of smashing up my shins and ankles while getting extremely excited when I land the tiniest ollie!!!
To relieve the bruised ankles and continue on the watery vibes, it was nice to find the time for some peace and tranquility with a cruisy sunset surf on the wide open sandy beaches of Guernsey’s west coast. Something about surfing just allows you to feel free and gives you space to think which is soo important in these current times, and I’m extremely grateful that this outlet has not been taken away from us, as I know it has in many other places.
When the weekend drew to an inevitable end, Jodie inspired me with her cocktail making skills (she is defo in charge of cocktails at the post lockdown Lifed party), and so to cap off my bank holiday, I sorted myself out with a lovely fresh caiparina. Island life isn’t so bad!
Part Two: Lindfield. Life somewhere between Brighton and Gatwick.
Lockdown in a village is slightly different. Being just that little bit too far from the beach, as well as not having access to a car, has meant that I have had to really have a think about how to enjoy myself in the English countryside. Unlike Pez, I don’t work from home, so I am fortunate enough to pick and choose when my weekend occurs! But it does mean I have a little more time to fill. That said, I’ve managed to potter about and keep myself entertained!
There is very little structure in my life at the moment, so here’s an overview, I assume people can relate...
Most of my days start by ambling down to the kitchen to grab breakfast around 10am. Usually this is late, but what’s the rush!? I then proceed to sit in the garden and ponder my options for the day ahead. I’m fortunate to live on a peaceful road, in a peaceful village, where you can see the trees, hear the birds and actually enjoy moments to yourself in the garden.
This peace gets shattered the second I decide that it’s time to practice my ollies. The quiet village rarely sees anything more than walkers in the street so I have felt insanely self conscious, even on my drive-way. But finally I’ve managed to vaguely pull a few standing ollies after 10 weeks, and with only two incidents resulting in me staring up at the sky and my board under a parked car, I’d say that was a success.
When I can’t face the risk of bruised shins, I’ll take my longboard out. Again, a little self-conscious because I’m pretty sure some people in the village are only just getting over the invention of the wheel, but on this board, I can cruise by faster and quieter. Highlight on this bad boy was being able to finally take advantage of the new tarmac they laid on the high street about two years ago. I’ve eyed it up everytime I’ve come home from season, and now, with fewer cars on the road, I’ve been able to send it from the church at the top, right the way down to the picturesque pond at the bottom of the hill. It’s really the little things in life right now, but I can tick “skate the length of the highstreet” off the bottom of my bucket list.
I always find entertaining myself whilst at home a little tricky, and entertainment has been severely restricted. But it has forced me to explore the world around this tiny village. So last week, I grabbed a map of local footpaths and took myself on a mini solo adventure to Ardingly Reservoir. This location used to seem like an average dog walk around a pretty uninteresting lake, but my tiny adventure by myself helped me appreciate what I have right on my doorstep a little more. Headphones in, ski playlist on and I was basically skipping through the woodlands and fields of the Sussex countryside. The beer in my backpack was well deserved by the time I’d reached the reservoir and found a quiet place to sit. And in the sunshine, who can resist a little paddle?!
Aside from my attempts at running 5km regularly for about a week, or a garden workout, the 28,000 steps I did that day was the closest I had to being active. And now I’ve realised that I can find this within 5km of home, my options have opened up a little.
Because we’ve been blessed with such nice weather, it’s hard to stay inside and do the odd jobs on my laptop. If i’m not out walking or skating, I’ve popped to the local coffee shops with Mum for some form of treat. I think we can all agree that now, more than ever, it’s so important to contribute to local businesses. I love the new community spirit…and I definitely don’t want to lose a chai latte opportunity at the end of my road! So, by the time I’ve filled the day time with one or two of the random activities above, the sunshine has disappeared from my garden and my hour of LiFed productivity kicks in. Sometimes..! Then, maybe after a few nageln practices or a cheeky BBQ, I settle in for a guilty Netflix binge. Latest series: Money Heist. Evenings in front of the TV generally seem pretty mundane to me and in a normal situation, I would be fidgety after 10 minutes. But right now, when each day comes to an end, even the smallest activities feel like an achievement and I think it’s ok to just stop. Gotta save tasks for tomorrow right?!
Being a seasonal member of bar staff, it’s been hard to spend so much time at home in a quiet village without the pub providing the catch up opportunities. I think a lot of people can relate to that anyway, regardless of whether you have a season job or not. The pair of us are also avid fans of a post-work beer surrounded by friends. So, with lockdown rules lifting slowly in both Guernsey and here, we’ve made sure that we’ve filled that gap with as many social distanced interactions as possible.
It’s not quite the Austrian or French Alps adventures that we both know and love, and it’s hard to feel fully LiFed at the moment, but we’re lucky enough to be safe and well, and we haven’t stopped living!