Hello! how are you feeling lately? I hope you are safe, well, happy and coping okay with the current situation. Let me start by saying, no and I wish! 😂COVID-19 has brought so many changes to the way we live, one of which being furlough. If you’re lucky enough (or unlucky depending on your views) to still be working, you may not be too familiar with the U.K. government’s job retention scheme known as ‘furlough’.
Furlough is where your employer can claim up to 80% of your wages from the Government for you whilst they put you on temporary leave. It’s a way of allowing companies to save money during the lockdown period when business is slower and still keep their staff employed. The company I work for have chosen a select bunch of people to go on furlough leave, myself included. It was a little bit unexpected so was slightly worrying at first, however, the situation was explained to me and I was reassured that my job would still be there once this is all over. I will be getting 80% of my salary whilst I am furloughed so this does mean a lower income for a while, however, I’ve always been sensible with my finances anyway so I’m sure we’ll be okay and get by as we always do (fingers crossed!) 🤞🏻
For now, I have a minimum of 3 weeks off to enjoy and I plan to use this time to do all the things I can’t usually do when working a full-time job and document it all as I go on my blog and over on my Instagram: @bethroseblog
Here’s a little rundown of what I got up to on my first week of furlough leave…
Monday was a bank holiday, so I technically wouldn’t have worked anyway. We had a pretty chilled day to be honest, being inside has become the new norm as we have been self-isolating for nearly 5 weeks now. A few days prior to furlough, we decided to start watching all the Marvel movies in chronological order, Monday’s movie was Thor: The Dark World. I’m not a huge fan of the Thor movies if I’m honest, I just find them a bit boring! If you’re interested in doing the same, I’ve included the Marvel viewing order below!
- Captain America: The First Avenger
- Captain Marvel
- Iron Man
- Iron Man 2
- The Incredible Hulk
- The Avengers
- Iron Man 3
- Thor: Dark World
- Captain America: Winter Soldier
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
- Avengers: Age of Ultron
- Captain America: Civil War
- Spider-Man: Homecoming
- Doctor Strange
- Black Panther
- Thor: Ragnarok
- Avengers: Infinity War
- Ant-Man and The Wasp
- Avengers: Endgame
- Spider-Man: Far From Home
After watching Thor and having dinner, we decided to go out for a walk. We usually leave it until around 8/9pm to go out for a walk so that there is nobody else around. We went to one of our usual walking spots which is our local seafront. We took a walk along the promenade and found so many love locks attached to the railings which we had never noticed before. It’s funny what you notice when you stop and take in your surroundings instead of living life in the fast pace we’ve all become so used to! In a way, I feel like this lockdown will have some positive effects on us and teach us to appreciate the little things more.
Felt quite productive today, started the morning by cleaning the kitchen, putting the dishes away etc, bit boring but has to be done! I then decided to go through my bookshelves and sort them into colour order, sounds a bit sad I know, but I’ve always had them in alphabetical order thanks to my years of working in a Library and I saw lots of people from a Facebook reading group I’m in sorting theirs by colour and it just looked great! Unfortunately, I have got to the stage where I have far too many books for my bookcases yet again so they don’t all fit without double-stacking! I love sorting things so it was a nice way to pass the time and keep busy!
I also started painting my pinboard just to make it look a bit nicer than the plain old cork.
After a pretty chilled rest of the day, ‘Captain America: Winter Soldier’ was tonight’s Marvel offering. I quite like the Captain America films so enjoyed this one!
Decided to get up ‘early’ and attend one of the Joe Wicks PE sessions on youtube. It didn’t feel too extreme at the time but I usually do my exercise after work (around 6pm) not first thing in the morning and let me tell you, it felt like I had pulled every single muscle in my legs for about 3 days after this exercise, bloody spiderman webs! (if you know, you know) 😂
A little later in the day, I decided to make some cheesecake as the ingredients needed using. They turned out a little different than they usually do and didn’t set properly for some reason, but they were delicious none the less!
Whilst the cheesecakes were chilling in the fridge, I finally finished painting my pin board and I am so happy with the outcome! It may be simple but I love the way it turned out, it looks so much classier now 😊
I then decided to sort through some of the cupboards in our room and set aside things we no longer need to eventually donate to charity.
After sorting I sat down to do a bit of writing and a few hours of coursework for the online Midwifery diploma I am currently studying.
Today felt like a reading day so I decided to change my book today as I couldn’t get on with the last one I was reading (Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon) I’ll definitely try and finish it at a later date but needed something a bit more adventurous for now so I’m picking back up where I left off with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I usually don’t have a lot of time for reading as when I get home from work things such as my blog and courses etc take priority, but I’m glad that I have more time now to get stuck into a book thanks to furlough leave. I will definitely try and make more time for reading once this is all over too.
I ended up alternating between reading and continuing with my online course for the rest of the day and, of course, clapped for the NHS & keyworkers at 8pm.
Tonight’s Marvel film was ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ which was thoroughly enjoyable! We skipped the Guardians of the Galaxy movies as we had seen these recently anyway.
Friday was much of the same, my legs were still aching from the Joe Wicks workout on Wednesday so I decided to take it easy 😂I did a bit more reading and started to look for some audiobooks to listen to as well. A few people recommended ‘Blood Orange’ by Harriet Tyce over on my Instagram so I may have to download that one!
I then fell down a bit of a YouTube rabbit hole (as per) and caught up with all my favourite channels.
I finished the day with a few more modules of my online course and then our next Marvel movie: Captain America: Civil War. Again, we skipped Ant-Man as we had seen this one recently too. Civil War was really good although I got confused in the end as I thought it was an Avengers movie but turns out it was technically a Captain America one 😂
Finally, did my daily skincare routine and went to bed!
First thing I did on Saturday was watch the latest instalment of ‘The Shows Must Go On’ on youtube which was Phantom Of The Opera. Anyone who knows me well knows that Phantom is one of my all-time favourite shows, so I was excited that it had been released to watch. For those of you who aren’t aware, Andrew Lloyd Webber has teamed up to create a YouTube channel where they will release a different full-length theatre performance every Friday at 7pm (BST) to watch for 48 hours. They’ve already released ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’ and now ‘Phantom Of The Opera’. It’s a really great thing to do for people who are missing the theatre at the moment, I just wish they would leave the recordings up to watch whenever you want rather than taking them down after 48 hours.
We spent the rest of Saturday doing much of the same old thing. Lee cracked on with some Radio stuff, I did a bit of reading, finished a few more course modules and then remembered that new original episodes had been released on Disney+ yesterday. I watched the latest High School Musical The Musical: The Series episode and then we both sat down to catch up with ‘The Mandalorian’ I’m loving the Disney+ Originals, they are all so good! The Mandalorian is probably my favourite Star Wars ‘movie’ yet and baby Yoda is just too cute!
Today we decided to make my classic chocolate oreo tart (recipe here) After we had popped it in the fridge to set, we decided to go for a walk to get some fresh air. We headed over to the local Abbey which is a beautiful spot for a walk.
It was really nice to get out during the day for a change, the weather was lovely and there weren’t many other people around which was nice. We did, of course, make sure to keep well over 2 meters away from anyone we did come across though. Again, anyone who knows me well knows that I love history and visiting historic places. The local Abbey is a beautiful building that is over 800 years old. I find old buildings make for the best photography opportunities so I snapped some pics along the way.
After a nice 30 minute walk, we headed home to play Disney Colour Brain! It’s such a fun game and is actually, surprisingly difficult! I ended the day with a ridiculously early bedtime of 6:30pm and just chilled, I was so tired!
So that was my first week of Furlough, and having reached the end of the week, I’m actually quite enjoying it to be honest. I think with everything else going on in the world lately, I was getting a bit down in terms of work. It was beginning to get stressful again so I’m really grateful to have some time away from it all, catch up on basic life admin and have time for myself to just breathe for a while. In a way, furlough has already turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
I want to keep the positivity going throughout these tough times, so at the end of each post I write, I’m going to include 3 things I’m grateful for in the past week or so.
This week, I am grateful for:
- The time I’ve been given through furlough
- Facebook Messenger – we have a family group chat where we check in with each other daily and keep connected via video calls which helps to keep some sense of normality even though we can’t see each other in person.
- My Fiance Lee for helping to ease my anxiety through these strange times. I’m glad we’re lucky enough to be able to isolate together, as I know so many others aren’t able to!
What are you grateful for at the moment? Leave me a comment letting me know 😊