Letters from Cardiff in lockdown: Katrina Rohman

Today’s instalment for the Letters from Cardiff in lockdown series comes from Katrina Rohman. We’re looking for your stories, so please contribute to Letters from Cardiff in lockdown

Cardiff In Lockdown: from a woman in business to 1950s housewife

As a woman in my mid-thirties, I have created a life that I love. I have worked hard to climb the ladder, with few formal qualifications, to become a Marketing Manager in a field that I love – travel, tourism and food. My free time was spent enjoying the best the city has to offer with decadent dining and swanky events in the evenings and on weekends. As well as exploring the countryside or heritage buildings and with my partner Michael. All of that changed for me on 25 March, 2020, when I was furloughed.

I went from a busy social calendar to absolutely nothing. Like so many others, I am trying to fill my time with trying to get fit, a spot of DIY and of course making soda bread. Am I the only one that is completely fed up with this?

I don’t want to read another book or take another online self-improvement course. TV is tedious, and social media has become a bickering battlefield or is nauseatingly over-optimistic. (Don’t I sound like a grump!)

My days before lockdown were filled with meetings, reports, planning marketing campaigns and analysing how well the website, blog posts and social media was improving.

Now I clean the house from top to bottom, cooking healthy meals from scratch (something I used to love), while checking in with friends and family throughout the day. I count down the hours until Michael comes home from work. He works for the Police, and is so exhausted from arguing with people who flout the rules, that he wants to sit quietly and relax.

As I’m such a social person, this really does feel like a prison sentence to me. I wander around my cell all day, on my own. Once a day, I’m allowed to stretch my legs and walk around in circles in the neighbourhood. I also get to go out on parole, once a week, but this is only to do the food shop – something I detest anyway.

Immaculate kitchen

I completely understand that this is serious, I don’t mean to be selfish. I do not want my friends, family and colleagues to get this terrible virus or any of yours. Too many people have died, unnecessarily. I am not so naïve to believe that it’s going to go away overnight. I just need some sense of normal, even if it is moderated. However, saying that, I also don’t want the rules lifted too soon. It does need for it to be safe to do so.

I suppose after eight weeks, I just needed to have a rant and get that off my chest. Lockdown has clearly affected my mental health, and I am making adjustments to bring my wellbeing up to where it used to be. This is something I haven’t had to think about before. I have been starting the day with positive affirmations and enjoying exploring walks along the Taff Trail.

After the misery of the last few paragraphs, some things have changed for the better. People are shopping local, something I have been really passionate about for a long time. Cardiff has really changed over the last few years, fewer chain restaurants and more independent shops, and all of these seem to be thriving during lockdown. They have quickly adapted to getting their online shops up and running. Less fast fatty processed food is being consumed and fantastic fresh dinners delivered to your door. People are also cooking, baking and roasting. They realise that it doesn’t take that much time – and food tastes so much better. I hope this continues!

What have I learned from this experience?

  • We ask “How are you?”, mean it and want to hear the answer.
  • The people in your lives are everything, and your time should be invested in them.
  • Cardiff and the wider Welsh community are incredible, they support each other and local business.
  • The NHS is the heartbeat of our country, and the government now realise that more should be invested – if they will is another story. We should not be topping them up with fundraisers.
  • Our other first responders have not had enough limelight. I am giving a massive clap to the Police, Fire Service, Mountain Rescue, the Coast Guard, Paramedics, GPs and so many more that I have missed off the list.
  • I am a person who thrives on routine, it’s what keeps me focused and driven. It was something I won’t take for granted again.
  • If I am feeling motivated, I take advantage of it. If I am feeling down, I try to be kind to myself.

Katrina Rohman is a Marketing Manager in the tourism industry. She runs the website Real Girls Wobble, an award-winning lifestyle blog which looks to inspire readers with travel, food and drink, especially in Cardiff and the surrounding areas. She is a passionate cider drinker, a cooking from scratch advocate, a Cardiff City FC season ticket holder and Welsh rugby fan. Follow her on Twitter @RealGirlsWobble or on Instagram @RealGirlsWobble.

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