Isolation Compensation

I am finding compensations in self isolation

Finishing up old supplies.

I will finally get around to using the food at the back of my freezer and the tins behind the dog treats in the food cupboard.

I am discovering things I’d long forgotten I bought.

Until recently, I was taking an older friend shopping every week. Through her life, she had struggled to bring up children and grandchildren through hard times and was still keen on a bargain. To her regret, she often had to pass them by as her freezer was already full. She was keen though that I didn’t miss them.

While I searched out items on my shopping list, she would call my attention to this week’s BOGOFF or half price roasting joint (for when the children visit) or three-for-the-price-of-two bargain. At that price, you can’t leave it on the shelves, can you?

Sadly, my friend is no longer with us, but she would have hated self-isolation. In her opinion she was isolated enough, even though friends visited her most days.

When it comes to food shopping, I have a touch of siege mentality, developed through the years when I was feeding four teenagers and their friends in school holidays (while I was out of the house, at work). I never knew for sure who would be joining us for Sunday lunch.

I instructed my children, when using the last-but-one tin of beans or container of frozen bolognese, to add the item to the shopping list so that I knew to buy – or cook – more. (This also gave me leeway to discover the shortage for myself when they forgot to let me know.)

I still work on a keep-one-in-hand basis for storable items, so I figured I could afford to wait for the panic buying to calm down before I went shopping. After all, people only have so much space for hoarding. . .

I may have been over-optimistic.

I have a food delivery coming next week (booked last week). It will be interesting to see how much of my order arrives. I am unable to book another for a fortnight hence, as all delivery slots at supermarkets in our area are fully booked for the reservable future (three weeks).

Meanwhile, I’m working my way to the back of the freezer.

Not wearing make-up

I confess, I gave up daily make-up after I retired. I apply a little for events, but lightly; make-up-clogged wrinkles isn’t an attractive look.

I once believed mascara would be the last item of make-up I would abandon. But it feels so good to rub when eyes are tired or itchy without scritching with fingernails between eyelashes or worrying about panda eyes.

(Although we’re now not supposed to touch our faces at all. That’s a new trick this old dog has trouble remembering.)

Mascara is now one of the last items I resort to when socialising.

Not wearing a watch


I also gave up wearing a watch when I retired, except when leaving home (if I remember). Now, with no meetings or appointments to be late for, my watch sits abandoned in my bedroom.

I eat when I’m hungry, not when the clock says it’s mealtime. This isn’t as often as I expected, and I’m losing weight. True, it’s a very slow reduction, but it appears I will have months of self-isolation in which to drop my jeans size. (That is, to get into those pairs pushed to the back of the wardrobe.)

And who knows when another delivery slot will be available to replenish food supplies?

woman in too small trousers

What unexpected outcomes has self-isolation brought you?

15 thoughts on “Isolation Compensation

  1. Many similarities between us Cathy, I did a complete reorganisation of our larder shelves and kitchen cupboards last week. Categorised as dry goods, sauces, canned veg or fish etc etc ….. our daughter always called them our WW3 stocks! Thankfully my wine collection can keep us going across WW4 as well! We have been very lucky with supermarket deliveries because of our long standing system of booking deliveries a month ahead and adding items to our standard list a few days before actual delivery. We have an excellent village butcher too who knows everyone and looks after us. Hope things are going well for you too overall.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have a supermarket delivery coming next week that I booked a couple of weeks ago, but there are no slots now on any supermarket website delivering to me so I shall just have to get out early to queue outside my favoured supermarket until NHS-hour is over at 8pm. Our old dog is on a tablet that has to be taken on an empty stomach an hour before eating, so I normally go back to bed after letting the dogs out early. The reproach in their eyes when I left to go shopping without feeding them was heartbreaking. I got a lot more done that day after I returned home.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You are more isolated under normal circumstances living where you do than most of us. We dodged the panic buying usually having a reasonable stock to see us through for a few days or a bit longer. One of my daughters has underlying health issues which means she is banged up for twelve weeks working from home. I just hope she dodges it all.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve been lucky so far with the shopping I do need, having shopped – as a matter of routine – before the main panic started (although the loo roll shelves were already bare – what is it with that?) I dragged myself out for an early shop this week, but hated having to restrict myself to only one warm fresh-baked spelt loaf where I would usually have bought two (I wanted a sliced loaf as well). Supermarket delivery slots are all filled before I log in in the mornings.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I saw it coming a little way off, and had Michelle buy extra when she went shopping. We are doing fine on food supplies. I thought the initial run would be over by now, but the shelves in Walmart tell a different story. I can’t figure out, if it is still panicked buying, or something amiss in the transportation system of the big food giant. Too many missing canned goods after 2 weeks. Makes me a bit uneasy, and causes the panic buying to continue.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I suppose stocking up so you don’t have to go out too often does make sense. And not everyone lives miles from the nearest (inadequate) shops, as I do, and could (in uninteresting times) feed a small army at the drop of a family invasion. But what is it with the toilet rolls??
      I suspect someone somewhere tweeted early on that stocks would be low because they were made in China and the world went mad!
      I shopped early this week: at opening time. I don’t often get to the shops while the bread is still warm and I was tempted to buy two of those yummy spelt loaves… In normal times I would have, but I wanted more sensible sliced bread too and we’re limited to two loaves per shopper. 😦
      Another factor in my potential weight loss, I suppose.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Social media. Someone in Australia, from what I understand. She meant to buy 48 rolls, but accidentally bought 48 cases. They had a picture of her sitting on them on pallets in her garage. Apparently, that lit the fuse of fear for no paper.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. For home deliveries, it’s a similar situation at my local supermarket. Probably you have to wait at least a week before the delivery can be done.

    I’ve been going to the supermarket, taking various precautions.

    Take care.

    Neil Scheinin

    Liked by 1 person

    1. On all the supermarket websites delivering where I live, there is a three-week window showing, but all slots are booked. I suspect some people are logging in at midnight or some unearthly hour to nab a delivery slot when the next day’s slots are added. I value my sleep too much (and my sanity). I’ll stick with the early opening hours. I confess, there’s a lot more time in the day when I’m up and running earlier. (It’s long since the days I was up at 5.30am to walk the dogs before work.)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I was dismayed to find that my flour supplier is out of flour! I was happy to think I could keep us supplied with my bread, but it doesn’t look likely. I can’t imagine that suddenly everyone is baking, but maybe so.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My neighbour is making his own bread too. I must confess my efforts at bread-baking when the kids were small weren’t my greatest success. I hadn’t noticed the shelves of baking ingredients were empty in the supermarket this week though. It was mostly tinned and frozen goods that were conspicuous by their absence.

      Liked by 1 person

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