How has Jen been spending her time during the pandemic?

July 7, 2020

As soon as the pandemic started, I began looking after my best friend’s 10-year-old daughter Maddie. My friend is a nurse at Northampton General Hospital and her parents normally care for her daughter outside of school hours and the weekends when she is working, but as they are both over 70 they went into isolation.

In these strange times, it has been great to offer my support to my friend and I’ve really enjoyed Maddie’s company.  We’ve had some fun times celebrating VE day, feeding the tadpoles at the allotment, and creating rainbows and colourful art to display in their windows.

I'm also a primary taxi for my daughter Niamh who after finding her sixth form studies suddenly coming to an abrupt end, managed to secure a temporary job at Asda. Most of her shifts start at 6 am, so I am now used to a 5:30 am alarm!!  As her driving lessons also came to halt, we decided to insure her on my car so she could continue to learn to drive.  I admit it’s not been smooth sailing; but we’ve not crashed, and I’ve started to feel much more relaxed on journeys with her.  Hats off to all the driving instructors out there, it’s certainly not a job for me!!  She’s just been offered a permanent job, so I’m hoping she can take her test soon!

I have also been helping where I can, to support people in need in the village where we live.  There is a wonderful group within our village called 'Wollaston is Kind'. It is a community-based group that will show kindness to people who live in Wollaston and Bozeat. This kindness can take many forms, a smile, friendship, food, money, clothes, furniture, and baby items. The point is to show people that they are not on their own.  This has been extended to assist those that are shielding or isolating, so I have been helping to deliver food, deliver prescriptions, and carry out tasks like posting parcels and mowing lawns.

On a more personal note, I’ve been attending some great online webinars presented by Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) on food safety and COVID to try and keep up to date with issues affecting the food industry.  I have also joined RSPH as an associate member. I am also in the last week of a three-week course 'COVID -19 Psychosocial First Aid - which is a Public Health England online course. Fingers crossed I pass 😊

I’ve also been de-stressing in the garden knocking down an old shed and playhouse, laying a new base for a new shed which has just arrived, reshaping borders and a path and when it is rainy turning my attention to painting inside and setting up a home office.  My little pooch has also been enjoying longer walks and has mastered the art of notifying me of anyone walking past the house or delivering letters!  My next delivery due is earplugs!