Time in isolation well spent!

Time in isolation well spent!

Susan, one of our Age of Experience members, shares her thoughts about being in lock-down so far. 

I have been keeping busy and a daily routine has evolved which includes working on the house and in the garden. I am in the middle of renovating my house and during this lock-down I have been plastering, tiling floors, repairing skirting boards and painting walls.

When the weather was nice I started to attack five years worth of growth in the jungle that is my garden. I have mended fences, hacked some pathways, started a vegetable patch, planted herbs & shrubs and made a secluded spot where I can sit and enjoy the sunshine. I have included a few photos of some of these projects. I have also resurrected the home gym and have been reading and sketching.

Keeping busy in this way is helping to keep my mind and body active, but it has led to me being a little slower than usual in contacting people.When I do find the time to respond to texts and emails it is often quite late in the evening or I fall asleep before I get found to doing it.

As I am profoundly deaf and communicate by lip reading what I am missing most in the current crisis is good conversation.As more people start to wear masks or face coverings communication is becoming even more difficult for me. For the first time in my life I wish I was fluent in BSL, but saying that, I rarely mix with people who communicate in this way. As I lip read, most of my social circle is made up of people with full hearing.

Many people are communicating with friends by video calls but for me this almost impossible to do. Lip reading is very difficult as I need subtitles to watch videos and often there is a delay or the video freezes. In face-to-face conversations I use a number of other strategies to help me follow what is being said. These include facial expressions, other people's reactions and body language which are lost on a video call.

As I haven't any family, and live in a silent world, I am keeping in touch with friends using texts, WhatsApp, Messenger and Facebook and I really look forward to these communications to break up my day. What has been really good is that a close friend and I text each other at a set time every afternoon. This has been great, we both live alone and it means that we are checking on each other every day to make sure that we are both still ok.

I try and do something different on a Sunday. I start the day by having a soak in the bath and take the clippers to my hair. Well, it keeps it tidy and only I can see the result. The front looks ok, but I have no idea about the back. I wear proper clothes instead of my tatty gardening and decorating gear and potter about in the house and garden. Then I cook something a bit more special than usual. I find that this works well and helps to separate the weeks and breaks up all these endless days. 

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