Lockdown Two

Given how busy work has got recently the writing has well and truly been parked up for another year. I’m still doing the 200 words for BXP, there was a tentative notion of doing NaNoWriMo but that is certainly on hold for another year. 

The editing has stalled and the idea of writing the third novel will have to wait for now. I have simply taken on too much work and that is beginning to kick in now roll on the new year. The lockdown starts again tomorrow. That seems to be removing the fun but keeping the fact that I have to physically have to go to work.  

The New Normal

Image of me at Chester
Belt and braces with my PPE

As I get myself ready to get back into the classroom, the COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t seem to be slowing down. As I type this the North East is rumoured to be going into a fuller lockdown. The Liverpool City region is also close to the following suit. This is offset by rising figures of people catching the virus and the so-called world-class test and trace system seemingly in disarray. 

It is always with trepidation that I start a new term. Years have gone by where I have said that I wouldn’t want to start teaching again. That would explain my current freelance situation. The anxiety is heightened by the so-called new normal 

Since 2015, I have been trying to extract myself from full-time lecturing, but with little success so far. In 2018, I went freelance and I have been working at BIMM, Salford and I returned to an old job at Chester, last year. Given the current pandemic, many things have changed and have made the whole process of lecturing less of an enjoyable experience. The classroom stuff I enjoy, but the endless admin is a total bind these days. 

I will be working in several different places again next year. So far, the race back to work is chaotic, to say the least, some timetables have not been revealed despite being two weeks away, some take a lot of deciphering, especially with the blend of online and in-class teaching. This is offset by seeing colleagues wearing visors for their teaching sessions. That takes some getting used to. 

The uncertainty about campus life as a result of the pandemic is also stressful at the moment. Each day something shifts with regards to that. So that adds to the uncertainty. 

Today Sunday, I have been up since 6 am and have been working a full day just to get on top of things. Tomorrow I’m back teaching so hopefully that will go okay. It does feel like a roll-on Christmas sort of vibe at the moment. 

The Great Reopening

The Worker's Memorial, St Helens
The Worker’s Memorial, St Helens

Today marked the further relaxation of some of the measures imposed because of lockdown. I won’t say anything about my opinions of the government’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis, let’s just it isn’t favourable. To be honest I think the end of lockdown is going too quickly especially as the R number is supposedly increasing

The book and record shops are opening again. Yes, I know, that’s getting my priorities wrong. A world without book and record stores would be a poorer place. I have spent many an hour just browsing their shelves, usually followed by a coffee soon after. It would be the perfect way to spend a night after work or a weekend. 

Despite the queues around the blocks for stores like Primark, I can’t say I will be joining everyone. I’ll wait, I’m in no rush to get back to shopping in-store. I’m happy that I can now get shopping deliveries from my supermarket and the clothes I need or want I’ll get them online for now. 

I have been maintaining my lockdown of sorts. I have barely ventured out beyond the walks and when I visit my mum in her garden. I will keep on doing that for the time being. The record and books stores can wait for now.