Peter and Jilly

We have found Lockdown a breeze! We returned from Hole-in-the-Wall the Sunday before Lockdown, and were initially a little confused about how this was going to affect us! However, we quickly took stock of the situation, and compiled a structured approach to how we were going to cope with it forthwith.

We wrote down a random list of projects we would like to address and complete in the following 3/5/10 weeks (added to as the period of Lockdown was extended, and extended.)
My list consisted of the following:

  • Cooking to freeze; I eventually cooked 40 meals for 2!
  • Knitting for charity and friends’ grandchildren.
  • Getting all filing sorted.
  • Going through and rearranging all cupboards in sequence; starting with the study.

I intended to be ruthless in all cases, evicting items I have balked removing for decades! In doing all this, I wanted to rearrange all cupboards into a logical format and label each shelf! This was particularly applicable to the study.

With winter coming, I recalled a number of long sleeves of jackets and t-shirts, which had long been waiting to be shortened, so that was added to the project list: I eventually gathered 18 items of clothing, i.e. 36 sleeves to hem!

Once I achieved the above tasks I decided it would be lovely to revisit all my cards and letters of sentimental value which I had kept over decades, including numerous precious cards and letters received from pupils from over four decades of teaching.

I always write a detailed diary for every special holiday I have had been privileged to experience: every overseas trip and local holidays to places that were very significant with family and/or close friends.

As a reward between tasks, I added “reading” to the list, I have a Kindle. I also phone and message family and friends on a regular basis.

Peter’s list consisted of:

  • Fixing security lights.
  • Sanding down every cottage window and re-varnishing each.
  • Reorganising his workshop.
  • Sorting his photos on his computer.
  • Painting a gutter down pipe.
  • Paint one of the spare rooms.
  • Make a shelf for our sister-in-law’s patio.
  • Sort all filing.
  • Sort all his cupboards in the study.
  • Keep in touch with family and his close friends who were alone.
  • On-going gardening, resulting in a stunning winter garden!

Next we planned a daily routine. Wake up time became interesting, as we were guided by daylight, so, we started getting up between 6.00 and 6.30! Currently we rise between 7.00 and 7.30.
Then onto bed making, exercising and tea in the upstairs sunroom, which offers us beautiful sunshine, as well as a stunning view over the Ebotse golf course. I have to add that the abundance of sunshine that has basked in all its glory, almost daily, makes a huge difference to one’s morale!
Then came shower time and downstairs for breakfast (around 9.00).

Thereafter we go our own way to embark on the task underway at the moment! Coffee has played a large part in our rituals, so we meet in our garden for a cuppa around 11.30 and catch up on what each of us has achieved! Snack lunch, again outside, is on the agenda around 1.30!
Back to the list until 5.30ish, when we adjourn to the lounge or upstairs, to indulge in some well-deserved liquid refreshment ! Candlelit dinner follows, then off to watch some TV: either a David Attenborough type programme or Hudson and Rex. 9.00pm sees us reading until we drop off to sleep.

We have achieved all items on the above lists! I must say, achieving them was very gratifying. However, the most rewarding for me was re-reading my cards, letters and diaries, as well as the numerous photos! What a journey down memory lane on all accounts, with many a tear shed along the way!!

I have enjoyed composing this record, and will add it to my diary file for me to look back on in years to come. Learning to manage Microsoft Team and Zoom, has of course, been an amazing experience for the two geriatric digital souls that we are.

In conclusion, I would like it noted that during this three and a half month sojourn, we have not once been at one another’s’ throats! We have realised that we don’t have to rush around “renting a crowd” for pleasure. We have missed our family and friends, nevertheless, and will value them greatly when we are permitted to socialise once more.


  • Wow what a beautifully laid out routine indicating your respect for individual independence and yet co dependent socially at just the right daily proportions.

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