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Anti-social distancing

Ok, I admit it, I haven’t spent every single day since Lockdown started in my pyjamas, watching TV and eating chocolate. I have actually got a little voluntary job. My Mum lives in a retirement village where 91 elderly residents are in total lockdown for 3 months.

As a result, there are a lot of folks who need food shopping doing and prescriptions collecting. I am that person. This means that most days I have to extract myself from my leisurewear and brave the outside world.

Rules Of Social Distancing

I have been known to queue outside Sainsbury’s three times in one day. What strikes me most about this is how differently people interpret the whole ‘social distancing’ concept. Hours and hours of standing in supermarket carparks, with a trolley, has actually made me one of the world’s leading specialists on this topic. On the whole people can be divided into three groups:

  • The ‘I don’t give a toss about all this’ Group

These are generally males, under the age of 25. They stand as close as they can to you, so you can feel their breathe on your neck, they usually come in gangs, wear baseball caps and pyjama bottoms, and play with their mobile phones incessantly

  • The ‘I am aware and doing the right thing’ Group

These have bothered to get fully dressed. The women have a little touch of lip gloss and mascara on, as this supermarket trip is a ‘big day out’, and they studiously keep to the 2 metre rule, whilst clutching their selection of sturdy shopping bags and a neat shopping list

  • The ‘Come anywhere near me and I will kill you before COVID’ Group

These are usually 60+ women, with pearl earrings, who have not let their grey hair grown out, they probably play bridge in normal circumstances, and are wearing full PPE. If you get within 6 metres of them, or merely sniff in their direction, you will probably get a look to kill. However, it is difficult to make out what their facial features are doing underneath the ski googles and face masks.  

Once you have finally made it into the store and are elated to find yourself in the fruit and veg aisle, Group 1 handle every carrot and tomato before selecting, whereas Group 3 wait until there is absolutely NO ONE else in the vicinity, before dashing to grab produce only in pre-packed bags.

Supermarket Trolley Dash

Should you meet one of this Group head on, you must either reverse your supermarket trolley and go down the next aisle, or sprint past, with your face turned to the side, whilst shouting ‘Sorry! Sorry!’ Anything less apologetic would mean that you would never be able to a join a bridge club (or WI) within a 50-mile radius of here.  

One thing I have noticed about shopping for old people is that they all eat the same things; digestive biscuits, tinned mackerel and marmalade. At least it has solved my lifelong question of ‘who actually eats tinned mackerel?’

Last week one lady also specified ‘9 soft toilet rolls – peach colour please.’ This dear clearly has no idea what is going on in the outside world. I have seen stabbings over a 4-pack of Tesco Value Toilet Tissue. Probably my most exciting shop was for Elsa who requested ‘two 1 litre bottles of Jameson Whisky and a large pack of salted peanuts.’ Now that is an oldie who knows how to survive lockdown… 

 

 

 

 

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No, this isn’t an old photo…

I usually get excited about Easter.  It is like a mini Christmas without the presents. It is a time when all of the Family get together under one roof for a few days, we tacitly agree not to wind each other up, and we enjoy nice food and good company. The problem is everyone is still here

Don’t get me wrong, I do dearly love my Family, but I do now realise why young men between the ages of 18-21 must go on to Further Education. Their mothers quite simply cannot tolerate them being at home for prolonged periods. It is seriously damaging to their health.  

The Son

During the university holidays I put up with Son rising from bed at about the time we are having lunch, doing absolutely sod all all day, apart from hogging the TV remote then shooting little men on a screen all night. Unfortunately, I cannot tolerate it for more than a few weeks. I have read that domestic abuse cases have risen steeply since the start of lockdown, and I am trying desperately hard not to become another statistic.  

Lockdown Shopping

The other problem with having Son, Daughter and Daughter’s Boyfriend living here is the amount of food that they manage to consume within 24 hours. Having stood in the Sainsbury’s queue for 45 minutes, avoided everyone in the store, unpacked all the shopping and breathed a sigh of relief that the ‘Food Battle’ is temporarily over, I am utterly dismayed when they eat the whole damn lot in 24 hours. Do people really need 5 meals and snacks a day?

At the start of lockdown, I loaded the fridge with nice ‘holiday’ foods – smoked salmon, boiled ham, good cheeses, and wine and beer, to make the whole experience more tolerable. Now, having realised the rate of food consumption, I am spending my days stalking Aldi to find the cheapest possible edible foodstuffs.

As well as two BBQs the Family decided it would be great to have a turkey for Easter Sunday, like a ‘Mini Christmas Lunch’. I duly cornered a bird at the local butcher’s and Husband queued for 1 1/2hours to collect it. I hadn’t specified a weight and was horrified when he staggered in with nearly 17lbs of turkey. It was so large we had to re-design the fridge to fit it in.

Turkey Time

On Sunday I spent the whole day cooking the damn beast, complete with home-made stuffing, bread sauce and posh gravy etc. Moreover, I could barely lift it in and out of the oven without doing some bicep curls to warm up first. I have now realised why Christmas is in December. I am normally cooking this special meal in a festive jumper and reindeer ears, not dripping in sweat in a kitchen reaching 35 degrees, whilst wearing my pyjamas. 

Hot Flushes And Sweating

I noticed that the rest of the family were sunbathing and sipping Prosecco, when I intermittently dashed into a shady part of the garden to cool myself off. By the time I served up I was in my 3rd pair of pyjamas of the day and trying to work out whether it was menopausal hot flushes and sweating, that were wreaking havoc, or the fat roast bird sitting on the table.

Whilst everyone was exclaiming ‘Mum! This is delicious’, I just wanted to lie naked in a cool room with a family-sized Lindt Easter Egg and HELLO! magazine. Thank Christ Easter comes but once a year…

 

 

 

 

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A Pair! The most exciting minute of my day…

Lockdown Life

Well, it is day 17 of Lockdown and I am pleased to confirm that all 5 adults currently living here are still well and have not sustained any injuries caused by me, or any other residing family members.  I think we have all decided, independently, that the best way to get through this incarceration is to bite our lips when we get totally hacked off with each other, and to regularly socially isolate ourselves, whilst self-distancing. For me this means spring cleaning the loft or the shed… AGAIN. Husband has an excellent excuse; he still has a Proper Job and so he can retreat, justifiably, to his ‘office’ for 8 hours a day. 

24-year-old daughter has changed beyond all recognition in the past 2 weeks. This London-loving party animal, who adores nothing more than a glass of Prosecco and a pair of high heels, has taken to doing jigsaw puzzles and going running. Moreover, I have actually seen her without full make-up for more than 2 days on the trot. Obviously, she is not posting anything on social media at the moment, as doing that without a flawless face and couture is totally out of the question.

Lockdown Hair

Son, 21, is growing facial hair, which he is terribly proud of. By the time he returns to university in September it might actually look like a proper beard.  He currently looks like a younger Ed Sheeran. I have never worked out why men grow ginger beards when their hair isn’t even ginger. I am pleased this is normal, as I really don’t want Husband requesting a paternity test in the midst of Lockdown. 

Husband in the meantime, who never goes for more than 4 weeks without a ‘Good Haircut’ is starting to look like an ageing rock star and sporting true lockdown hair. I did suggest he could rock a Mullet, but it didn’t go down too well. If he too decides to grow a beard, we will have our very own Father Christmas by June.

Even the poor Schnauzer Zac, who goes to the poodle parlour every 6 weeks is starting to look like Bob Marley, shame he can’t sing. I am, meanwhile, watching numerous YouTube videos on ‘how to touch up grey roots,’ and I have already ordered a tinting brush and mixing bowl in readiness. I don’t mind being released from Lockdown wearing my pyjamas, but I am not emerging with a blonde mop that starts halfway down my head, that would really let my secret out the bag.

Friends Reunited

So, what else have I been up to? Well, I have been pairing odd socks! I know there are numerous theories on why two socks go into the washing machine and only one comes out, but none of them are terribly convincing. We have a large plastic bag of odd socks and every week a few more solitary souls are added to the collection. Sorting them out has been on my list of ‘Things to do when there is absolutely nothing else to do,’ for at least 2 years.

Fortunately, up until this point in my life, I have never been that desperate for entertainment. Well, yesterday that day came; I tipped the bag out and spend two joyful hours reuniting socks with their lost partners.  Every time I got a pair matched a wave of excitement came over me and I let out a resounding ‘Yes.’ God, it hasn’t taken long for my datum to change on what constitutes an exciting afternoon. If I still think this is fun in a year’s time, can someone please shoot me? 

 

 

 

 

You can always follow me on Instagram @hownottohaveamidlifecrisis

Jayne is sat on her front doorstep surrounded by lots of parcels – she has done a lot of online shopping!

Online Shopaholic

One of my favourite pastimes is, and always has been, online shopping. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I ventured into a clothes shop. Why drive to a shopping centre, pay for parking, and spend hours trundling around the fashion department of John Lewis when it is all there online in the comfort of your own home?

I can scan the entire fashion offering of John Lewis in 30 minutes.  Whereas it would take me a good few hours on the shop floor. I also have a phobia of changing rooms. There is just too much faff. 

Changing Rooms

You have 27 items over your arm, and you are told that you can only take 5 in at a time. This means that after every 5 failed frock tries you have to wrap yourself, in your undies, in the changing room curtain whilst shouting ‘Please can I have another 5?’ Besides, the lighting and mirrors in the cubicles have been cruelly designed to make you look at your worst from every angle. You can go in feeling quite body-confident and come out vowing to take up HIIT training and eat spinach. 

No, these days are long gone for me. I much prefer to get a lorry load of garments delivered, so I can try them on in the safety of my own bedroom whilst watching ‘MasterChef,’ and with the lighting sufficiently dimmed to soften flesh folds and cellulite.

Online Pyjamas

This hobby/addiction has always amused me, but in these Corona Days it is vital.  I need to buy so many pyjamas online these days. The problem is that Husband is now working from home. For the first time, he is aware of just how MANY deliveries are left in the porch every day.

Caught Out

Yesterday he went for a run and actually couldn’t get in through the front door on his return. Sadly, Ian from myHermes, Steve from DPD and Joe from UPS are not chatting these days. They just ring the bell and ‘drop’. We did have such a social thing going.

Last month Husband and I were in Costa Coffee when this gorgeous, lean, stubbly, young man bounded in. He saw me and said ‘Hi Jayne, how are the dogs? See you next week!’ before winking and heading to the counter.  To which Husband said, ‘Who the Hell is he?’  He seemed both relieved and terrified when I explained that he was the UPS delivery driver; relieved that he was just the delivery driver and terrified that I had enough deliveries to be his best friend. 

My little game really is out in the open now. I do hasten to add that I do return 97% of all the clothes I order. This means I am also very friendly with the lovely Rahul in the Post Office…

 

 

 

 

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Jayne sitting on sofa watching TV not keeping fit over 50

Corona TV and Me

Keeping Fit Over 50

Ok, so it’s Day 4 of Lockdown and things are going quite well. I have got into a good routine; I lie in bed checking Insta and Facebook until 9.30am, and then I get up and watch ‘Corona TV’ and do housework until 4pm, in my pyjamas. At 4pm I have a shower and put on clean pyjamas. I do realise the importance of trying to keep fit over 50. So on a ‘Fitness Day’ I put on leggings, and plod around the village for 30 minutes at some point, before the shower and clean Pjs. I could call these ‘leisurewear’ but no, mine are quite definitely ill-fitting floral jersey Pjs. The great thing about this dress code is that I am not generating any ironing at all.

The Rota

I have made an Excel spread sheet, which is a total work of art (names highlighted in different colours etc) for a ‘Housework Rota’. As I am distancing with 4 other adults, I am not doing it all! Twenty Something Son, who should be at university, is coping particularly well with the Lockdown. Actually he hasn’t noticed any difference. He gets up at 2pm, eats the contents of the fridge, watches ‘Celebrities Go Dating’ from the sofa all afternoon, eats more and then plays PlayStation all night. He doesn’t even have to feel guilty about all of the lectures he failed to get out of bed for, as they are now online. On the ‘Housework Rota’, I have put him down for ironing. Son has never ironed a garment in his life before, but I see lots of merit in allocating him this task:

  1. He will learn a new life skill
  2. He won’t be chipping every skirting board with the Hoover or spilling bleach on the carpets
  3. He won’t notice what he is doing, as he can still watch ‘Celebrities Go Dating’ at the same time.  He will just be vertical rather than horizontal

My plan is to spring clean the entire house in the next 3 weeks, but I am having to pace this. I don’t want to get to the under stairs cupboard too quickly. In truth I can’t wait to find out what treasures I have shoved in there over the past 10 years.

 

 

 

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fitness over 50 Jayne sitting outside closed gym
Bye Dan…

Gym Free Days

Well, it has finally happened… The one measure I was dreading. Boris shut my gym down on Friday. Don’t get me wrong, I actually HATE the gym, but I do have a rather handsome personal trainer… 

 A year ago, I realised that gravity and age were taking a noticeable toll on my torso and so I decided to join a gym. I suddenly concluded that ‘fitness over 50’ was pretty important. I must point out that up until this point I had NEVER set foot in such an establishment. Merely the thought of going made me break out into a post-exercise style sweat.

I decided that the only way I was going to stick to regular attendance was to find a handsome, young, male trainer. I therefore diligently ‘researched’ every gym in the area. Whilst various sales staff were pointing out the jet powered hair dryers in the changing rooms and the coffee bars, I was scouring the workout classes for an attractive male instructor. I finally found one. 

This is Hard Fitness

Sadly, this was in a gym called ‘Hard Fitness’, which is exactly that.  This facility has no proper changing rooms, no fluffy towels, no Chardonnay and no pastel yoga mats. Instead it has a boxing ring, a comprehensive set of torture equipment and an army of unattractive male clientele in baggy shorts and grey socks, but it does have gorgeous, toned Dan. 

 Unfortunately, The Lovely Dan is bipolar. During my PT sessions he is brutal; he shouts at me; he scolds me for slacking and he reminds me that ‘I don’t pay him to be nice’. Then at the end he puts on a winning smile and says, ‘Nice one Jayne, see you on Friday!’ 

Lycra Free

The only other plus point here is that there are no glamorous and toned ladies in Lycra to make me feel woefully inadequate in the abs department. I can turn up in some old leggings and come out looking like a sweaty unmade bed, without anyone batting an eyelid or commenting on the fact that I have mascara dripping down my face. 

Dan is offering to do Skype session with me from today, but it really won’t be the same. I am thinking of cancelling my membership and eating my body weight in Galaxy bars for the foreseeable future.

 

 

 

 

You can always follow me on Instagram @hownottohaveamidlifecrisis



Jayne sitting in chair smiling ready to write midlife crisis blog
Ready for anything!

The Midlife Crisis Blog Is Back! 

When I was travelling around Asia last year, I wrote my blog to amuse myself whilst living in some very remote locations.  If people read it that was lovely, but that wasn’t my main motivation for writing.  I am now writing my blog whilst living in a, soon to be, very remote location called ‘Home’ in a Surrey village.  If people read it that is lovely, but that isn’t my main motivation for writing, my sanity is. 

Only a few weeks ago I was merely aware of something called the Coronavirus which originated from bats sold in a market in a far-off city in China beginning with ‘W’.  Now the ‘C’ Word is on my doorstep and I am frantically trying to keep it out. Do follow me over the next few weeks as I try to put a vaguely humorous and somewhat irreverent slant on life as we will soon know it.  Hopefully you won’t have to read this for too long.  If it does stretch into many months the content will be non-existent and any attempts at humour will have long gone.

I have everything I need; one toilet roll, a large bar of Galaxy, a coffee and a year’s supply of E-cigarettes.  I’m ready….

 

 

 

 

Follow me on Instagram, if you can bear it @hownottohaveamidlifecrisis