What I did when I was furloughed.

Covid19 – When I received and eventually read the email from my employer with the terms and conditions of the Governments Job Retention Scheme.

I have to admit I did not fully understand what mentally it would mean to not have work in my life for 7 weeks.

I live in a Victorian mid terraced house in Ilfracombe. A small seaside town with its main industry being tourism, living on the hope that families will come here year on year for full board for two weeks. In the UK this industry died many years ago but the local hotel industry desperately hanging on to it.

Sadly during the lockdown time one of the largest hotel chain went into liquidation. The loss will take some time to hit the town. It provided many jobs both in the hotel and for its food suppliers.

My furlough email arrived in early April and I was told my furlough would last till 24th June a total of 7 weeks. Part way through this time it was rumored that I may be extended till the end of July. The construction industry had been hit hard and for the small business owner the future work had diminished if not disappeared.

The status – Stay at home, protect the National Health Service and save lives was at its highest and Team Imeson members were in their way back home. This would of been the first time since Christmas 2019 and potential for the longest time since 2016.

After the public notice of lockdown was made official, Ollie made it home within a few days as London shut down transport links.

My superstar daughter had been traveling in Indonesia. Her story is a whole item on its own. She had managed with a great deal of hassle to get back to the UK. The journey took 36 hours and one part they sat in an airport for 7 hours surrounded with panicking people desperate to get back to their own countries.

I would say that I started the first furlough week with positives and an excitement that I could actually spend quality time with my children. Support our team leader Mrs I’ she has a key role and was working from home.

On day one, I created an evolving to-do list, grabbed Teal (my guide dog) and set off to the shops with a rucksack, wallet and then went to my local supermarket.

I filled our food cupboards up with tinned food and plenty of booze. Our fridge and freezer was so rammed that we had to throw away those random bits of meals left over from past supers. A sort of mini feast in it self.

With the panic buying going on as we all felt we were about to be shut inside our homes for months! I bought way too much toilet paper, pain killers and tined tomatoes.

Our to-do list had some non hard work items including long walks, pizza making and baking plus learn a song. I thought this approach would help me keep positive and on track to make the most of the time at home.

One of the great memories was one Saturday Ollie and I ran around the food shops buying ingredients for a cocktail party.

When I wrote party it was just the four of us in our yard-garden. It was great fun, the weather was hot and sunny. Our neighbors also joined in with their own parties. We started at 1200 and drank, sung and laughed for hours. We even had a visit from a singing cow!

With the terms and conditions of furlough agreement I felt that I needed to avoid all things work related. This gave me a great chance to join a few new Facebook groups relooked at Twitter lists and spent hours looking for new interests. I basically read the internet and joined many different types of webinars.

One particular group I spoke to a few times was a variety of social media experts. These people are amazing they have been hit hard by the loss of income yet have reinvented themselves and created new opportunities! I will continue to network with this group and look for greater inspirations.

Some new buzz terms.

  • Micro Influencer
  • Analytical measuring
  • Mo-heat-o
  • drive inbound leads

I attempted to Learn new skills and as you can see from the picture started to decorate my home.

For years, I have put off decorating due to the eye condition makes it hard to do. I have found that I can do it, it just takes a lot longer and I need to be a lot closer to the wall!

We managed to decorate several rooms and even my back yard-garden gate!

I have walked and walked around my home town to the extent I felt like I was actually in my own version of Groundhog Day.

Over the past severn weeks I have walked tracked via my ViewRanger App a total of 85 miles. Using three different routes. Teal and I have managed to get into a routine that starts with a 7am feed 1000 two hour guide dog walk and then a 1700 feed followed by a pet dog walk.


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