University of Oxford
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31881: Social hibernating and WFH

online resource
posted on 2023-12-08, 15:21 authored by Lockdown2020 and Beyond Project

I live in a small one bedroom flat with my husband, we don't have a garden but are lucky enough to live near to one of Reading's larger parks. My husband and I maintain a divide during the day, he makes use of his favourite spot on the kitchen counter, an archaeologist by trade, he purchased a large piece of lino so he can lay out grubby roman nails which were delivered a day into his WFH. He was furloughed a few weeks back and is spending his 'leisure time' writing up postdoctoral applications now.

My haunt is my desktop in the living room, where I try to concentrate on my days work (usually some form of data entry). Our online teams coffee brake sessions once a week are a welcome time to interact with colleagues I now haven't seen in person for over a month. Being library staff has meant a lot of my work has been put on pause. I can't access things for binding, I can't shelf check and my duties helping readers at the desk have been (obviously) curtailed. I got to assist a researcher who was publishing COVID-19 research last week, which was gratifying.

I've learnt a new appreciation for our local park, discovering hidden walkways under the trees and tracking the progress of the spring flowers. I go out for an walk come rain or shine, making good use of the wellies I bought during a flood-time a few years back. I've also finally decided to buy a fold-up pedal machine to help with my legs (I have bad knees). I might even come out of lock-down fitter than I went in!

I'm not really struggling for things to do in my leisure time like others seem to be. Nor do I feel I've adjusted my time much. My hobbies have always been internet or literary based. I meet friends online each week for RPGs as always. We've also organised a massive Discord server to replicate our in-person meetups and organise online board-games. One of our friends has created a face-to-face chat room which we go to every Saturday at 11:30 to see how people are.

If it weren't for the fact that we have to shop alone at Tesco it wouldn't feel all that different from my usual weekends. Though now all my conversations are ended with the words 'stay safe' and the facetious command 'and wash your hands!'


About the picture(s)

Photos of the park bluebells and the encroaching thunderstorm during one of my wetter walks. Also my fold-able exercise pedals.




Reading, UK

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