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I can't remember when I started working from home - the date is not ingrained in memory.  I think this is as a result of a few things. 

I had started a new job as Senior Libraries Development Advisor in Welsh Government in January 2020 and the first 3 months were very much a whirlwind of activity.  Starting a new job is exciting, but there is so much to learn!  I had just started to get into a routine and become more familiar with colleagues and Covid 19 arrived and plans disappeared. 

Also, at home, my son had his tonsils out on 28th February and as a result, I was working from home on and off whilst he was recovering. As a result,  I don't have a date when I started working from home on a permanent basis.   It's all a blur. In fact, my son had only just returned to School a couple of weeks before Schools closed.

I like working from home, but due to back problems, my initial focus was buying a standing desk, which made life a lot easier.  I still don't have the ideal set up at home.  

However, trying to work full time and encourage my son, who is a teenager to undertake any School work was very difficult.  It became a battle and I gave up!  On the plus side, Maths tuition and piano lessons continued for him via Skype and piano is now face to face again.

Initially I was grateful to be working from home.  I didn't miss the commute.  I was grateful for more time with my family.  I enjoyed saving money on petrol.

However, over time, I didn't like the feeling of being in work sun up to sun down.  It became more difficult to distinguish between home and work.  I missed and still miss face to face interaction with work colleagues. 

As a result, I put together a routine.  I started to work from 9-5 with a 30 minute lunch break and kept to this routine quite strictly.  A colleague in work established a 40 minute HIIT class via Skype every Tuesday and Thursday at 12pm.  This became part of my routine and still is.  This has really helped my physical and mental health. 

We lost my mother-in-law in July (unrelated to Covid, but affected by Covid) and this was difficult as the majority of the family were unable to visit her in those final weeks.  The number of people at the funeral were restricted to 20 and we were all socially distanced.  We were able to have a 'wake', but this was outdoors.  We were unable to serve ourselves and had to wait to be served. Luckily the weather was ok.  It was very different to the funerals I had attended previously.

Life goes on and we started to get out and about more often as lock down eased, which was a relief.  A trip to Ogmore was an enjoyable event and the photo is reflective of that.  We have managed to continue to laugh through the sadness and recently went out for our first meal in a restaurant in over 5 months.  It was very enjoyable.  It took a little while to get used to the new rules - one way system, different entrance/exit etc, but we were grateful to the staff for being friendly and helpful and explaining everything clearly.

The next challenges will be a couple of UK holidays planned in August, as rules in England and Wales are different and the return to School in a colleague once said to me 'per ardua ad astra'.

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