Furlough #2

So I spoke to my manager this morning and he revealed that three of my colleagues will be furloughed. One graphics designer, one sales support and one technical support. No developers are being furloughed (at this stage). I am currently very busy, whereas I suspect the three colleagues have been twiddling their thumbs quite a bit lately.

It’s a shame, especially for the sales support lady who started here about a year and a half ago after being made redundant from her previous job of twelve years (which sounded a bit traumatic to me). I feel a bit sorry for her.

But I feel happier now I feel like I know what’s going on.

In other news, I have a blister on my foot. I’m going to ignore it and hope it takes the hint 🤔


I haven’t been furloughed, but I had an email today from the managing director saying that the company will be applying for the government furlough scheme and some of my colleagues will be furloughed, though my role is deemed to be safe.

When I spoke to my manager this morning he seemed quite grumpy at the start of the call, which is unusual, and I guess that’s why. I don’t know who is getting furloughed yet, but I could take a few guesses…

I’m a bit upset though. It’s worrying. I don’t know why though. The practical reality if I was furloughed is that I’d probably enjoy relaxing. The reduction of income would be mildly annoying but would have no material effect on my life. So it shouldn’t worry me really. But it does.


Today would have been the Stratford Half Marathon, if it wasn’t for the fact that nothing is happening at the moment. I decided to run the distance this morning anyway, just because.

It was absolutely dreadful and I have no idea what I was thinking. Obviously it’s not comparable to an actual race because you’re not doing it on closed roads, and, more importantly, there’s no excitement and adrenaline from running with people and having spectators cheering you on. But it was both my slowest half marathon and one of the hardest runs I’ve ever done. The weather when I left was supposedly a cool 7 degrees, but it was a clear sky and bright sunlight so it was really a lot hotter.

The first 10k were fine and I was sticking to a 5 minute per kilometre pace pretty evenly, but by about 15k I’d had enough and I slowed down. I didn’t have a route planned, so I ended up going onto the nearby cycle track and doing kilometres 19 and 20 running around in circles. It seemed like the kilometres were getting longer and longer and I was slightly worried the GPS on my watch was under-measuring the distance in a circle, but it also said I was getting faster so it was probably just my perception of time. There were a few people around on the cycle track, which was energising and I was able to pick up the pace a bit.

In the end, I averaged 5:12 per km and finished in just under 1 hour 50 minutes. This is approximately 18 minutes slower than I was in October (almost 1 minute per kilometre!), which is OK because I certainly wasn’t aiming to beat that, but it wasn’t OK because I felt fine at the end of it in October, whereas today I lied on my living room floor in a sweaty mess and had to stuff two bananas, two croissants and two cups of tea into my mouth and have and a cold shower before I started feeling normal again. Only a week earlier I’d done 17k at only a slightly slower pace and barely felt like I’d broken a sweat, but it was cold and wet that day. The weather makes a big difference. I wish I’d weighed myself before and after to see just how much sweat I lost.

Overall it was great, 10/10, would do again. But maybe not for a while. I think tomorrow will be a rest day.

More dreams

The other night I woke up at the dreaded four o clock after having a dream about work. Except, it wasn’t my work. I’ve been watching Star Trek Picard, and the blonde robotics doctor Agnes Jurati was my coworker. But she didn’t like me much and was quite mean to me so one day I walked out. I woke up really stressed about a job I don’t even have.

Later, I went back to sleep and I was on the bus going home from work (I don’t even travel by bus). Part way home I decided I should go back to work, so I got off the bus and walked back to work with a man who for some reason I met along the way. When I got back to work, they’d decided to close the office early, which also meant I couldn’t work my hours. One of my co-workers (real co-worker, blonde, coincidence?)) was there and she was looking at my timesheet (we don’t even record timesheets) saying things like “well, it’s whether you think you can explain to your manager why your hours aren’t complete…”, which stressed me when I woke up.

I have more stress in my life from imagined jobs than I do from my real job. 🤨

Pain is in the mind

And also in the shin, apparently. My shins have been very sore this afternoon but I iced them this evening and now they feel a lot better. Perhaps I won’t need to take one of those dreaded rest days tomorrow after all. Fingers crossed!

I realised that I forgot to take my tablet (anti depressant) yesterday morning. Oh well, it happens. I find one day doesn’t really make a difference. But when I came to open the packet this morning, I realised that I probably forgot to take it the previous day too. I’m not 100% sure, but I’d only taken one tablet from the tray, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t open it on Friday… There is something to be said for the packaging that has the days of the week marked on each tablet.

So I think I went 48 hours without it, which is a first, and might explain why I’ve felt a bit angsty and nauseous today. Or maybe I’m just tired from running too much and frustrated with my shin. I don’t know…

This is actually a lockdown problem. I never forget to take it when I’m at work, because it’s just part of my getting-ready-for-work routine and I have an alarm on my watch set to go off a couple of minutes before I leave, just in case I’ve forgotten (which has never happened). I need to get more on top of this…

Lockdown life

The lockdown has been pretty great for me if I’m honest because it finally gave me the time to sort out my plants. I am actually getting towards the end of my plant todo list, which is amazing, really. Were it not for the lockdown, I’d be spending my weekend afternoons wandering around parks and sitting in coffee shops and not doing anything at home. It’s been a nice change of pace.

I haven’t sacrificed my running at all though. When I was in good shape last year, I’d do Parkrun on a Saturday and intervals on a Wednesday. I’d be running every other day too, but those two days would be speed work. Without having done any speed work for months and months, I’ve been feeling slow lately. So last week I started back with interval Wednesdays. Intervals are a fun way to experience the joy of starting running all over again, in as much as by the end of the 5th interval you just try to avoid collapsing on the ground while thinking “oh my god, why am I doing this to myself?” as psople walk past you with a mild expression of concern on their face. No it’s alright, I’m doing this on purpose, you see. It’s hard to pace intervals.

This week I also added some 1km intervals onto the end of my Saturday long run. When Parkrun starts up again I want to be in PB shape. We’ll see. I have some pretty sensitive shin splints this evening though but they usually settle down as quickly as they appear, so hopefully they will do that again this time.

I was supposed to be doing a half marathon next Sunday, which obviously isn’t happening now, but I’m planning to run the distance just because. I won’t do it fast because for me the recovery from a race pace half is significant (unlike a 10k), but I just want to say I did it.

I’ve also been trying to get back into some strength work for running which at the moment just involves a few sets of squats. I think squats are an efficient way to hit your legs and hips and abs at once and hopefully even out any imbalances. Last week I fit them in before starting work (thanks to working from home and not having to commute). That’s another way the lockdown is a positive thing for me.

Actually I’m finding the lockdown quite relaxing. I see a lot of attention now in the media towards paying attention to one’s mental health in these stressful times, but for me at least, it’s been quite nice.

Plants 🌱

Good Friday is a holiday here in the UK and the weather has been uncharacteristically lovely, so I spent some time with the plants and setting them up a home for the summer.


I kept waking up last night with strange dreams, which is probably a mixture of it being unusually warm and the fact that my anti-depressants seem to make me dream more. This morning I wrote down a quick description of each one so I could write about them later (now)…

Dream 1: I was being mugged by a bunch of teenagers. I decided to run away instead of giving up whatever they were trying to steal, but they had obviously done a lot of PE at school and kept up with me. I made to a very suburban bungalow housing estate, which seems suspiciously similar to my grandparents’ neighbourhood, and somehow ended up inside an older man’s house, who was happy to let me hide there for a little while, because he then tried to mug me too and I had to run away again. He was bald. I didn’t like him.

Dream 2: Boris Johnson is still in intensive care but the Conservative party decided to elect a new prime minister just because. They chose a bald man I hadn’t heard of. I’d tell you who it was, but I can’t remember his name and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t exist.

Dream 3: When I came to write this, I found my succinct description of this dream was “Half a burger” and it didn’t ring any bells at all. However, it has just come back to me! I was in a fast food restaurant and was on my own but I was sharing a table with a bunch of girls and another party. I ordered a burger but when it came it was only half a burger. When the waitress came back to deliver some food to the girls I was sitting next to I tried to explain I had ordered a whole burger, but she just ignored me. I went up to the counter and complained about it. My parents were also in the restaurant and they agreed that it wasn’t very good that I didn’t get a full burger.

Dream 4: Pokémon Go added catapults. The Pokemon use the catapults to launch things at you while you try to catch them. I don’t know, it made sense in the dream.

Day ????

I stopped counting the days because I’ve been feeling a lot better…

So anyway, yesterday was the first time since I got sick almost 3 weeks ago that I woke up and my throat did not hurt. It’s one of those things where instead of being grateful that a minor but incredibly annoying inconvenience has been lifted, you just think “cool” and go about your life and forget it was ever an issue.

Today I woke up with a sore throat. In fact, it’s been worse today than it has all week. It got quite painful later on in the day. I regret wasting my day yesterday. I had a whole day without a sore throat. I should have spent all day thinking about how amazing it is not to have a sore throat. I should have spent every waking minute feeling grateful. I should have swallowed extra frequently just to appreciate the ability to do so comfortably. But no. I wasted it.

Strange times

I heard from a friend from my previous job today. Apparently they’ve lost a lot of work and they’re struggling to keep the business afloat. I can’t say I’m surprised by that. I wonder how I would feel if the company went under. Sad for some of my ex colleagues but definitely not sad for my ex boss. Hmm. We’ll see.

Life is really bizarre at the moment. Working from home has all the days running into one. On Wednesday I thought it was Tuesday. I’ve kept my hours strictly the same and I’ve also kept my lunch time runs as a constant. The running has been a bit difficult to get back into since I was ill. I spent a couple of days with quite painful shin splints, which magically resolved as quickly as they appeared, but now my hamstring is feeling very tight. I think that’s the effect of lying in bed for a week and then a few days later trying to do long runs again. I’m not doing any walking either, which probably doesn’t help. I’ve started doing weights at home (squats) too, to try to even my muscles out a bit. Maybe I will start sneaking out for a walk as well as my run…

It’s lovely and quiet outside though. It’s lovely to get to the main road and just go straight across it without having to wait for a gap in the traffic. I ran over the motorway bridge on Sunday and the motorway was pretty much empty.

Overall though I seem to be handling the sudden change in lifestyle just fine. I feel content working from home and the lack of going into the office every day hasn’t really affected my mental health, even though I thought it might.