Plough your own Furlough!

I had big plans a few weeks ago when home working was mandated as the way to cope with this current covid-19 situation…there’s lots of things I’ve never got round to writing about, so I could occupy my time writing a more regular series of blog posts while there was no kitchen to fret about or cookery to plan.

But, and there’s always a but, that was before the great furloughing of ’20! As I write this, around 75% of my friends and colleagues (including myself and all of the Kitchen Team) are on furlough or in the process of being placed on furlough. This is taking some getting used to…not working on plans for the year isn’t easy, and with no fixed end date it’s very much a state of limbo that I find myself in.
With Easter upon us, this would ordinarily be one of the most busy and fraught times of the year. We’ve just gone through the process of “closing” one financial year and would be beginning a new one, setting up budgets, allocating spending plans and such like. The Easter cookery would be mid-way through, with the holiday weekend soon to be in full swing and with it the the thousands of visitors that would usually bring. There’d be planning for the upcoming bank holiday weekend’s in May to get finalised, shopping to order, roster planning to tweak and details for the summer of daily cookery to get on top of…but now…nothing. Life is strangely silent. With no rhythm and routine to fall back on, the days all blur into one, and I’m finding getting started on something meaningful is proving tricky; whether that be blog posts or thoughts and musings about how live interpretation will look in the future, where social distancing is the new norm and how my team will cope with that.

Then of course there’s the worry…who’d have thought that a global pandemic would be cause for anxiety attacks and moments gripped by sheer terror!?! It comes in waves, sometimes small, sometimes cripplingly large, always connected with the thoughts of losing loved ones to something that you have no control over. I know I’m not alone in having these thoughts, I know I’m not alone in experiencing these for the first time; it’s rational to be scared at times under the current circumstances. These are scary times and being pre-occupied with the pandemic and trying to live a life through it is fine.
It’s one thing to realise that you’re living through history (Arab Spring anyone?!), but that’s usually history at a distance; history that comes with the comforting thought that it’s not on your own doorstep and that you are merely an observer, watching it unfold on a phone, TV or laptop screen. Covid-19 is history that’s hammering at the front door, everyone’s front door and I’d much rather have a thicker door if you please! I’m not afraid to say that with its arrival I’ve been found wanting at times, genuinely terrified as to what it would bring if it found a way inside but unable to distract myself with thoughts of other, less unpleasant things…oh how I long for the demands of constructing the staffing rota, or updating my cost plan spreadsheet…and THAT’S saying something!!

So that’s why posts haven’t been as forthcoming as I’d have liked…like many, I’ve had bigger things on my mind! Not that I need to justify my silence…hell, there have been much longer gaps that this in my posting, but consider this post a clearing of my mind…I needed to write it to throw the rubbish and clutter out of my head if you like, so in that regard it’s not that much different from the usual ramblings here.

The end of this week has seen me start to work through much of this, coming to terms with not being in control, switching off from the news more, searching for distractions (as long as it’s not DIY). I have plans for some posts for you and just need to get my proverbial finger out and write them. Can’t say when they’ll appear or what they’ll be about, just watch this space to find out.

For now though, and apropos the title of this post, I’ll leave you with some old photos of some of Adrian’s handiwork….a couple of miniature ploughs that he made for school sessions he runs on the history of agriculture. He used to cart full sized ploughs around to schools and harness up children to pull them, but carrying tiny versions is so much easier apparently!!

Tiny plough no.1
Tiny plough no.2

Obviously the Ikea sofa doesn’t do them the full furrow justice…but what are you gonna do eh!?

Stay safe, stay sane, stay 2m away from me!!


One thought on “Plough your own Furlough!”

  1. Richard, you always lift my spirits so thank you! You are definitely not alone in intermittent panic and strange inability to focus or tackle all those things you thought you’d do if only you had the time! Thank you for your candour, humour and time.

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