I’ve been placed into self-isolation, it’s been three days now. A friend of mine who I saw last week got a test after some very low level symptoms and he tested positive. He feels horribly guilty for the cluster of people around him who are now in self-isolation, which goes to show how much of this situation has been laid on the consciences of individual people, wrongly. I’ve been doing okay so far.

I woke up today and I was really, really tired. It’s the end of the first week in a new role at work. I lay in bed until an uncharacteristic noon and having just gotten up, everything feels like far too much effort. If I’m tired or unhappy I can usually carry it around with me as I get on with things but I feel very under it today. I hope it’s not COVID-19 fatigue (the clinical kind, not the morale kind).

The numbers are up again (the bad ones, the COVID-19 ones) and the daily cases are actually above where they ever got in the first wave. The response has been slower, patchier; nobody’s ready to jump straight into a full national lockdown again. It feels like it could be coming, though. I’ve mixed feeling about how ready for that I am. We have this new home: spaces to work and to rest that are separate from one another.

We’ve had a lot of peace. We’re spending a lot of evenings in the pool, where only twenty people are allowed at a time and only swimming in a clockwise loop. We’ve been taking sick days when we feel worn out. I’ve been reading a little more. Emma has planted the raised bed at the end of the garden with bulbs that are supposed to sleep over the winter and erupt in spring.

We’ve been on the coast of North Devon. Today the younger ones struck off from a larger group of trundling adults and children to get into the sea (we were standing on the headland and the water looked so calm and blue that Emma couldn’t think of anything other than finding somewhere to get into that sea). We found a small rocky beach at the end of a crumbling single-track road.

I woke up early and lay in bed for a while knowing Emma wanted a big lie in to catch up on sleep from a bad week. Eventually I got up and booked a slot at the gym and cycled there. I’ve been running less and going to the gym more, is that a more vain balance of exercise? Jay Rayner was back at the gym, and this time James Nesbitt was there too.

I might be getting back to work in the office soon. I always used to value the physical and mental separation of work and life. I think I still do and I’m looking forward to having it back for two days a week, which is the plan at first. A lot has changed since I left the office, though. I am much more invested in my home. For one, it’s gotten much bigger and can therefore accommodate work mode more easily.

Some days are good for nothing. It’s Friday and I’ve left work early but I haven’t been able to concentrate all day anyway. I feel unhappy and all I can think is I should go to the gym or play the piano or practice my Spanish or draw something or… Instead I’m going to flit between things, getting agitated at nothing.

It’s been a good week. We came back from Scotland and spent a week relaxing at home around my birthday. Then Tom arrived in Heathrow having run the gauntlet of the travel restrictions imposed by the Indian government, UK government, and the various airlines. He’s been decompressing here for a week or so, and making us incredible amounts of food and drink in the meantime. It’s good to have your habits disrupted.

Yesterday I watched a whole season of Kingdom on Netflix. It’s a big budget zombie show set in 16th century Korea. It being a Korean language show, there are English subtitles. However the subtitles not only translate dialogue but describe other sounds. Here is a non-exhaustive list of those subtitles. Indistinct shouting Munching Screaming Indistinct chatter Sword rasping Distant snarling Men whimpering Chain clanks Snarling Screaming continues Screaming intensifies Sucks teeth Amused gasp Horse neighs Thudding continues Men gasp Rumbling