• Try Something New - Week 13


    A new fish and chip shop - Wolfies of Hove - tried via Dinner2Go. Interestingly enough ordering fish and chips for home delivery felt wrong. Apparently, for me, fish and chips is a takeaway offering, not a delivery option. Regardless of that, it was a good and tasty Sunday night treat, and worth repeating.


    A new “end of the working day” ritual. As I mentioned last week, I needed to think of something that would help me leave my working day behind. The first partial week wasn’t so bad as we were still able to have a post-work dog walk. But then lockdown happened, and we could only take her out once a day. On Monday I tried something new. I listened to Brené Brown’s podcast the other day, and she mentioned a few strategies that her family use when energy levels aren’t balanced. The second item on her list was exercise. And it was there because, as she said, the body holds on to stress and anxiety. So my end of day routine is now:

    • close the spare room door leaving my desk out of sight
    • go into the garden space and spend 5 or more minutes climbing up and down the steps
    • follow this ten-minute transition Qi Gong routine


    This week’s midweek delivery option was Island takeaway via Dinner2go. I enjoy Caribbean food, but this was the first time I’ve ordered a vegetarian (and saltfish) version. The menu was a bit vague - named items but no descriptions or pictures - so it was a bit of a lucky dip. All of it was super tasty and, as we’d over-ordered, there were leftovers for lunch on Thursday as well.


    Action for Happiness have made their April calendar all about Active Coping. I’ve followed their calendars a couple of times before. This month seems like a perfect time to get involved again. I’m classing it as something new because it’s a new theme and will have prompts that are new to me. Some of which may make it into my own set of coping strategies.


    I made some antibacterial hand spray, and went, virtually, to visit a few rooms of the Courtauld Institute of Art. An interesting approach. And good to be able to see the art, and learn from the labels, but found it hard to focus and not get distracted by other temptations easily accessible via my iPad.


    A friend messaged me to tell me that Edinburgh Zoo were doing some live webcams of various of their animals. Including penguins. In the background of most things I did on Saturday were penguins. I think I’ll head to Drusillas once this is all over to see some real-life penguins.

    For more Try Something New posts, and the explanation of this project/intention, visit this page.

  • Making antibacterial hand spray

    A couple of weeks ago I was concerned about how much anti-bacterial hand gel we had left. We hadn’t bought any new bottles specifically for coronavirus, but had some alcohol-based ones around which are mainly used when we’re out with the dog. I looked online and couldn’t find many options left, and those that I could find I wasn’t sure how effective they would be. While researching I came across this article on Wired. Not only does it list the ingredients needed for a gel, it also lists those for a spray. A spray which is based on a WHO hand rub guide. I’m not afraid to make lotions and potions, and so I bought the raw ingredients and some 100ml glass spray bottles. They arrived during the week. Today Richard and I double checked my calculations (I’d adjusted them to be amounts I could accurately measure based on 1, 1/2 or 1/4 teaspoon measures). Having reassured ourselves that the final solution came in at over 75% alcohol, we got to work.

    Our ingredients were:

    • 180ml of Isopropyl alcohol 99.8%
    • 10ml of Hydrogen peroxide 3%
    • 3.75ml of Glycerol 98%
    • 44ml of cold boiled water (distilled water would also work)
    • A few drops of essential oil (to try and reduce the pure alcohol smell). We chose Frankincense.

    This has been decanted into two 100ml spray bottles. And the extra has gone into a small jar which I guess we’ll use for cleaning down surfaces.

  • Active Coping April

    Action for Happiness emailed me their monthly calendar yesterday. The theme this month is Active Coping for April. What a great theme for this time we find ourselves living through.

    I realised last week that the closest approximation to how I’ve been feeling is how I feel through February. (February hosts the deathiversaries of both of my parents.) In February I cut myself a lot of slack, and prioritise self and rest time. I’ve therefore declared this time to be ‘a bit like February’ and am applying those coping strategies every day.

    Shortly after working that out for myself, I listened to this episode of Brené Brown’s Unlocking us podcast. I found that she covered much of what I’d discovered for myself.

    The idea of Active Coping is one that I can completely buy into. So thank you Action for Happiness for giving me 30 activities to try.

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