Today’s instalment for the Letters from Cardiff in lockdown series comes from Abbie Morgan. We’re looking for your stories, so please contribute to Letters from Cardiff in lockdown!
“2020 is going to be my year!” is the statement I made to friends at the end of January. So many other humans had used that phrase before me that it caused an eye roll for most, but I was trying to persuade myself that this would be the case. Moving to a new house, getting back to the person I have always been after the end of a really tough relationship and as I went through February and the start of March, it really felt like I was on track to make the most of that statement. Then came lockdown.
At the first suggestion of some time working from home, I was apprehensive but at the same time believed I could use the time wisely. I bought art supplies in the week running up to my last day in the office and reassured myself that I would be completely fine, knowing full well that loneliness had caused so many mental health issues in the past. Turns out I have done very little drawing or painting but taking photographs has definitely become a thing. Its almost like I have been trying to document what’s been happening to us all with the least amount of mental/physical effort.
Then the day came, as part of my job I had to make sure a few others in the office were okay before leaving. Little did I know that 7/8 weeks later I would miss their faces so much.
Working from home is okay… Just okay I’m afraid. One great piece of advice from my best friend was to make an office space so I could feel like I was in a work environment, not just curled up on the sofa every day or worse still, not getting out of bed other than to eat. My little breakfast bar is the spot, but it means sitting on a bar stool type chair every day leading to having to get up and stretch A LOT.
I have two cats as my isolation buddies and, If I am completely honest, are a great source of company despite sleeping for most of the day. They keep me in a routine and force me to get up at 5am to be fed. If you have ever experienced two cats screaming in your face at that time of day, you will know it is definitely a sound you cannot ignore. This in turn has led to me heading out for a run first thing in the morning and making the most of Cardiff Bay at that time of day. I stop at points on the route each time to take a photo or two and share them on my Instagram stories for those who sleep way past sunrise.
During this whole situation there has been the question of dating. I went on a few dates prior to lockdown being in full force and it was great to have the idea of getting to know someone new.
Dealing with what is now lovingly known as the new normal whilst trying to date or connect with someone new throws up all sorts of challenges. How many messages a day is reasonable? How much do you need to share about your boring day in the flat? How do you know if you actually like this person or how much do they like you without being in each other’s company? Is this just a lockdown thing or are the plans you have made for later this year real or just a fantasy?
It’s a mental health nightmare, especially for an overthinker like myself. All I can say is that the idea of company at the end of a phone from someone who thinks enough of you to reply is a nice feeling. Maybe it’ll be something or, maybe it’ll be a strange version of a holiday romance and once lockdown changes, their attention will head back to their life before. Either way, a connection with someone who you are slowly getting know, a message or call at a time, has allowed me to dream about a time without restrictions.
My favourite personal challenge during this time has been to post a photo of all the outfits I have decided to wear. It has to be plural as I often feel the need for a costume change half way through a day. I have spent 17 years collecting so many different items of clothing from vintage fairs, charity shops and even some expensive gowns for posh events in the past. Most have only seen the light of day once so it felt like a good time to show them off. There have been fancy dress Zoom parties and dressing up for VE day which have been little excuses to dig right to the back of the wardrobe for something special.
As I write this, I am currently wearing outfit 65.. and still have, I think, at least another 30 days’ worth to go. I honestly do not want this lock down to continue until I run out of clothes, but I get the feeling that may well be the case!
Follow Abbie on Instagram @babos87
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- LOOKING AFTER YOUR MIND IN LOCKDOWN