Nothing ground-breaking here, nor great revelations, no reviews, no insight into digital learning.

Like most people who work in education I’ve spent an amount of the past 18 months working from home. I’ve been very lucky – I have the space to do so and the only person I need to worry about is me in terms of managing the household. Cats don’t count.

Like many people who work in education I’ve also spent time working on site at different times and for the past month or so my time on site has increased to the point now, I’m on site full time.

And I have a problem.

I have lost my hard-won ability to plan a lunch. For many years I’ve used a system which boils down to leftovers, or a salad or soup, and once or twice a week buying a meal deal or going out for lunch. Working from home has meant that lunch can be leftovers, or a salad, or something I scratch together like an omelette, or bacon and egg, or macaroni cheese. When I have been in once or twice a week I’ve chosen to bring a sandwich or salad as I’ve not really wanted to use the microwave. Plus, at one point, buying lunch from a shop got complicated with limited options and uncertain availability. Also, because I’ve been at home, cooking from scratch of an evening has been less of a chore and something I’m less likely to do in bulk.

I should probably mention here that my attentiveness, not greatest strength, has tanked during the pandemic. All hail assistive technologies for their ability to deliver information in a different way that engages my brain!

Two things have been happening. I’ve been going out to shop, buying a basket full of groceries, the milk, the bread, the cheese, veggies, then cobbling together dishes each night (featured image on this post is one of my triumphs, fried rice with a chicken burger). Typically I finish the week with some tired vegetables good only for the bin and 2 brown bananas. Or, I spend the week eating frozen veg or tins of beans because I’ve overstocked 2 weeks ago and I’m trying to work everything down. I still have two bananas. Add to this the occasional buying of Things I Will Eat If I Get Covid Or Have To Self Isolate which, apparently, are all highly-refined carbohydrates which are probably not going to be very good for me.

Sometimes I remember and have a list. Sometimes I still forget things on my list and have to buy eggs in the shop over the road from work and have everyone ask, “Why are you walking round with half a dozen eggs in your handbag?” Like I’m ready at a moments notice for some non-violent protest action. Sometimes I then forget that I bought things on my list and on Friday night realise I’ve 2 kg of minced meats going out of date. This is never a risk with the highly-refined carbs which I seem to remember to eat within 2 days.

I am getting better again. I’ve had delicious nutritious packed lunches twice this week, and today I took myself out to VietNom for a banh mi which at least looks fairly balanced and was delicious. Working in Liverpool city centre means I have a fantastic range of places to pick lunch up from.

The second major hangover from lockdown is my ability to damage myself in new and strange ways. I have managed to give myself a bad ankle volunteering at Parkrun. No, not actually running the course, marshalling. To be fair it was the walk on the sand that did for me. Now the only exercise I’ve been trusting myself to do (walk) is closed to me and I’m trying to find somewhere that I can go swimming without the twin anxieties of crashing child leisure swims or having to swim lanes with the guilt that I’m going too slow and taking someone else’s place. I should be able to get support from the local health scheme (see previous mention of ability to damage myself) but I’m having to wait until mid September for my first referral. I’ve been waiting from end of June for my back referral. I’m just praying my ankle sorts itself out (I’ve googled, ankle not likely to just magically heal itself if it’s not better in a couple of weeks).

All in all if I get to 50 after the couple of years the world has had with just a bad back and resulting limp, a toxic relationship with cream crackers, and a tendency to wear clothes inside-out, it’s a win.