If you believe in parallel universes, there is another version of me in a non-COVID-19 affected world, who has been on two holidays this month - Disneyland Paris and camping over the Easter weekend. Back in reality it is the fourth week of working from home on a camping table in the spare room and I have only been out of the house in a car twice this month, once to the supermarket and once to collect things for work - how the world has changed…..
Mr H and I aren’t home alone of course, and I see people without kids on social media and think how nice it would be to binge watch anything on Netflix which isn’t a kids programme (other streaming services are available). The girls are 9 and 5 so we do have some school work for them to do and we have been indulging in a bit of Joe Wicks PE. Pheobe (who is 5) doesn’t really get it but Isobel does try to have a go. It is good to have something we all do together and helps us with structuring the day for them. Above is a photo from our first Fancy Dress Friday – Willy Wonka, Hermione Grainger, Elsa and the man himself Mr Joe Wicks!
We do have a timetable but we have to be flexible as Mr H is teaching some of his lessons online and I have a number of teleconferences every day, so we are trying to schedule Phoebe’s music lessons around the calls. She is starting to learn a brass instrument called a cornet (no not an ice cream, it looks like a short trumpet). It is quite painful to start with but Isobel went through the same and is now studying for her Grade 4. When Phoebe joins the junior band I will be the only one not playing an instrument; Grandpa suggested I start but I am not really musical. I will stick to making tea, selling raffle tickets and generally being the band roadie.
We have been using Zoom a fair bit; the brass band has been trying to play pieces over it with limited success, after seeing some other band posting pieces they had played. Turned out they had all recorded their pieces and someone had edited them all together. Still it means some of the band are meeting up, talking and having a laugh, so it is bringing good to the world. Isobel has also been using it to talk with her friends. We did try it with the 5 years olds but it was a mess - they were all talking over each other and wandering off to show their friends what they have been up to. I think we might be trying it for the June SRP Council meeting; we did manage the March one via teleconference but it would be good to actually see people.
The Events Committee is busy moving the Annual Conference and putting all the arrangements in place. A reminder, all existing bookings will be automatically transferred and if you are unable to attend you will be able to get a full refund by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
My work has been figuring out how to manage with less people attending work and we have conducted some reviews to understand how best to use the lower number of people. We have also set up a number of WhatsApp groups to stay in touch with different personnel groups; I got three new ones in a week. Working remotely is new for me and my team; we are usually embedded with the plants so being removed from them is very strange, but we seem to be getting there.
Generally, it seems to be that the new normal has settled in – we are getting used to the new way of life and being able to be increasingly productive and more positive with it as time is going on.
I can’t complete this blog without saying thank you to the SRP members who are key workers, inside and outside the NHS, and attending work at this difficult time. Without you who knows where we all would be now.
Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives.
You can get in touch on the usual details
SRP Director of Engagement
Twitter - @jenkhumphries
Email - Engagement@srp-uk.org