I would like to add before this entry that by using the word hangout I do mean sticking to current lockdown restrictions. Hanging out with my friends takes place during my exercise which is allowed as we follow social distance rules, such as taking 2 cars to somewhere that isn’t very far away and wearing our face masks when necessary.
Hangout With Linda
Last weekend I met up with Linda. We had arranged a walk a few weeks previous but other things came up so decided to postpone. We met at 6pm somewhere that was a 2 minute drive for the both of us. We hadn’t seen each other since last summer and I think we only met up twice the whole of last year.
We rarely get the chance to catch up these days, obviously due to lockdown restrictions but also that she moved house a few years ago. Although she lives a short walk away, I used to just ‘pop over’ last minute in the past and sometimes we would see each other 3-4 times a week and sometimes we wouldn’t speak for months at a time. As I’ve said in my ‘Lockdown Diary’, I have known her the longest. I have also written a little about her in my ‘Chronicles of Callum’ project.
The car park that we met at was completely empty. What would usually be full of cars at one of the local restaurants was now empty. Although I think the restaurant is open for takeaway only we didn’t see any other cars in the time we sat there. The walk wasn’t very long but Linda told me that she had been on the walk I was on last week so was exhausted already. We were together for about an hour and a half and there wasn’t a silent moment. We had a fair bit to catch up and it was quite nice. As she lives herself I’m glad that she has formed an extended household bubble with her mum who only lives about 5 miles from her. I hope to arrange another little adventure with Linda soon and perhaps try to stay better connected with her.
Hangout With Dani
Dani and I used to work together. I lost contact with many of my ex colleagues but she is the one I speak to the most. We had many 6am early starts at our supermarket job but now we have both left. We had regular contact during original lockdown to discuss the current state of the pandemic and what we were doing with ourselves. Also, because she is studying to become a doctor I was able to talk about my dad and she was able to ease my worries a little.
Monday evening we had plans to meet up for our daily exercise (although I don’t think we ever had any intention to exercise). We were supposed to meet at 6pm but she was a little busy doing coursework so we met at 9pm. We sat in our cars down one of the parks and we started chatting. Before we knew it, it was after midnight and we had to get home. That is the latest I have been out this year and it felt good. I love driving, in normal times, very late at night as the roads are quieter and that has always been my escape and chance to reflect on my current mood and feelings.
We always have so much to talk about. When we worked together we would always take our breaks together and chat about the goings on at the workplace. I don’t like to think of our chats as gossip, as that would suggest our words aren’t true and could hurt people. We just generally ask how people are getting on and we talk a little about ourselves. It was good to see her and hopefully we could ‘go for our daily walk’ together sometime soon.
Hangout With Lisa
Today, Friday, I met up with Lisa after work. After such a long hard week at work with lots of heavy lifting my legs wouldn’t be able to cope with such a long walk. So we drove to the next town over and took a short walk down to the beach (this park is only around 5 miles from our houses and is where I wrote a few entries of my lockdown diary last year). It was nice to catch up as there is never a quiet moment.
I think this week I have remained most sociable whilst keeping to the restrictions and I have felt the most connected as I have done in months. I am already making plans when things start to open up, such as a trip to Nando’s or Tony Macaroni.
Scottish Lockdown Exit
Nicola Sturgeon, The First Minister, told the country some dates for the easing of lockdown. As the lockdown restrictions have affected everyones lives so much I thought I would write a little about what that means for me.
2nd April: “stay at home” becomes “stay local” which means I can travel anywhere within my local authority and not just for essential purposes. That means I am able to go out for no particular reason instead of going out just for exercise or to the supermarket for my shopping. I hope I am able to travel a little and maybe go to the beach in the evening as that is one of the things I miss most about the outdoors. Even at night time I love the beach as just being near the sea makes life a little more stress free.
26th April: I will be able to travel anywhere within mainland Scotland. I might just plan a little road trip somewhere or travel somewhere to buy myself some takeaway food; chippy, ice cream or noodles. Also, all the shops should be able to open so I may need to arrange a little trip to the video game store. I am also most excited for the restaurants to re open as that is one of my most favourite things to do. Also my birthday is a little after this date so I’ve already planned where I’m going for my birthday with my different friend groups, I might even eat out twice in one day I have missed it so much.
17th May: Up to 4 people from 2 households can socialise indoors. This means I will be able to go to Steven or Lisa’s house to watch a movie, or maybe have a friend over to play video games with me. I could even travel a little further and visit a friend I haven’t seen for over a year.
There is hope that Scotland will be in level 0 of the tier system by the end of June. As all these dates aren’t “definite” dates as they may be changed and things may take a turn for the worse if there is a large increase in cases again as to put pressure on the health service. But I am hopeful with the current vaccinations that the cases and deaths will gradually drop to very low levels. But, I will still be writing in my diary regardless of what the outcomes will be.
This week has been so hectic at work. Doing a lot of heavy lifting and generally just working hard and it feels great. I feel like our workload has been quite steady throughout this year but this week alone has just been so busy. The hours haven’t been very much longer but there certainly hasn’t been too many moments where I can sit and chill out as I have been on the go most of this week.
I was a little worried as our contracts were supposed to come to an end at the end of the month. We were told a few weeks ago that they might be keeping some members of the team on for a few more months. I was worried in case I wasn’t one of those people. It caused quite a bit of stress within our team but I feel that we all discussed it like adults. Thankfully, they are keeping everyone on until the end of June. I haven’t been looking for new jobs, I felt as if I could just brush it under the carpet as I am just trying to survive one day at a time for now. I know by June I will be in a far better place mentally and I will be in better head space to write application forms. Take my life a little more seriously, but I will still be writing until the end of this year as I promised myself.
Vaccinations at 37.8% (3.7%)
This week the rate of vaccinations has increased quite a bit from the previous few weeks. I think the number to watch now is the second vaccination percentage as that offers the most protection from the coronavirus. Around 1 in 27 people have had their second dose, although the cases seem to have plateaued at just under 600 cases a day, the hospital admissions and those in intensive care are decreasing every day, with less than 400 people in hospital throughout the entirety of Scotland.