21:24

My days are blending into one however I have been finding some more productive ways to use my time. I tried my hand at baking bread, did some gardening and picked up my ukulele (after a few years of not touching it). I also have recently started enjoying my runs more.

The sourdough starter I made from scratch went well but I was unable to buy strong bread flour in the shops, so my sourdough bread turned out quite dense. I also baked banana cake, scones and three ingredient banana pancakes. I have also shared my recipes and creations online as a way to interact with friends and family too. It is a way to share and create together but apart.

The front and back gardens have been weeded and I am proud of my efforts! Not something that I often did in my childhood home but now it gives me fresh air and sun on my skin.

Learning ukulele was a hobby I picked up back in 2013. It was an easy instrument to teach myself and I found that I enjoyed re-learning the chords as well as songs that I could play well before. Definitely a work in progress but practice makes perfect!

With all leisure centres and pools closed, I have been missing my swimming sessions immensely. It was my way to let off steam and destress after a long day at work. Recently I have started to get into my runs and use them as time to let out my pent up energy, as well as to catch up on my podcasts (as I do not have a commute to work).  I can feel my muscles getting stronger after the initial pain and tautness, and my stamina is building up step by step. I have also used my runs as a way to explore my local area and to appreciate nature more.

While it is an unsettling situation that we are all in with no idea when things will ‘go back to normal’, it can also be an uplifting time to build on ourselves and to strengthen our souls. Investing that extra time into myself has allowed me to develop skills I previously would not have thought to hone. All we can do is take each day as it comes, and to do our part in staying safe by staying home.

21:38

After a long weekend back in my home town I am safely back in Edinburgh. So did I get a chance to recharge and to rest up before returning to my work life? In a way; yes, but in many other ways; no.

  1. On Friday evening I took the train intending to have a smooth journey home, and to get an early night in before the wedding festivities. However my train was delayed in Newcastle for over two hours so I missed all my connecting trains… The signal failure was due to deliberate vandalism! I was not happy.
  2. After sitting in the station for an extended period of time I eventually made it to York station on a packed train. As I had missed all my connecting trains I had to rush here and there to find trains which would hopefully get me to my home town that day. Luckily I brought a tiny suitcase which I could run with! I ended up in Leeds late into the evening, and reached Sheffield at past midnight.
  3. As it got later and later I realised I would not be getting home that day. The train carriage was filled with drunken revellers on their way home from a night out, and the noise gave me a headache. Trains from Sheffield to Leicester only ran on the hour and I had missed all of those for that day, thus meaning I would have to wait till morning. So frantically using the last of my battery on my phone, I searched for hotels near Sheffield train station so that I could rest up. I found a cheap-ish hotel which was close by and power walked to it. Being alone in a strange city late at night was very scary, especially because I was tired, frustrated and upset.
  4. As I checked into the hotel I could feel my body relaxing a little. There was nothing else I could do about the situation so the least I could do was get some much needed rest in the hotel. The room was really modern and the king-sized bed was super comfortable! The waterfall shower was very soothing and it felt amazing to wash the evening of travel off. I had been reassured by the train conductor that I could use my tickets the next day and not have to pay for new ones, so I slept soundly till morning.
  5. On Saturday morning I woke up feeling refreshed after such a manic evening, and got ready to travel home. The trains to Leicester were much more frequent than the previous night and were much quicker journeys! Within an hour and 15 minutes I was safely back in Leicester and I got picked up by my brother. I was very much relieved to be back and to have the ordeal over with!

I feel like every time I face a hardship I can learn from it. I also thank God that it was not as bad a situation as it could have been. Although I did get upset at the time, I also was able to find a way out and to make the most of a bad event. The night alone in a hotel gave me some time to reflect on my evening, and to realise that I am stronger than I perceive myself. My independence has made me a more well-prepared person, and I can deal with tough situations. Hopefully I can continue to grow and learn through my struggles and to empower myself more from the lessons I receive.