u3a - u3a


Wednesday 8th April

I sent for a Chinese Dogwood tree for the garden, and it arrived today. It will be very decorative with variegated leaves and red fruits on it in Autumn. I hope it survives. Many plants in Scotland seem to get smaller and smaller each year, and then sometimes they vanish completely over winter. Finding something hardy enough and yet decorative can be quite a challenge. When the wind dies down a little I will plant it out between the red hazelnut tree and the lacy hydrangea. It is comforting to be out in the fresh air tending the garden.

I did my exercises outside on the decking today with my weights. The Tai Chi exercises seem very good for flexibility, and I do as much as I can remember of my Vitality class regime. I also take part in the Mr Motivator exercise session, but this is very short, and I don’t have any brightly coloured spandex to wear.

I joined the U3A Facebook page. There are many projects suggested that we can be doing while we are in isolation, and then emerge like butterflies with new skills and a sense of achievement. Everybody wants to help, and it is all very positive. People always feel better when they can be of some practical help in a crisis.

I feel that people are now adjusting quite well to the new normal, and it is not helpful to speculate on when this might end.

Polly, Scotland

Wednesday 8th April

Even though I am nearly 66 I can happily say that a Pandemic is new for me, while there have been serious outbreaks in the past and the country has had to adopt minor changes, there has been nothing on this level before.

The underlying issue in most news reports I listen to is that people feel vulnerable and believe that the more knowledge they have about the virus the safer they will be. The simple truth is that if you believe and follow the message of “Stay at Home”, then you don’t need to know if the virus is more prevalent in one blood group or another or how long after you recover you are still infectious. All of these extra pieces of information do is give people false hopes that they for some reason are immune and therefore the government advice is not applicable to them

It will be interesting to look back at these notes at some point in the future and see which changes are still present even when the pandemic has ended. One example of this is the limit on contactless credit cards has been lifted from £30.00 to £45.00 and I don’t see this changing back.

Another one is that supermarket checkouts are being fitted with Perspex screens to protect the person operating the checkout, again this is something that may remain as it costs nothing to leave them in place but there is an expense in removing them.

David, Derby

Thursday 9th April

My husband likes a challenge: he's decided to make some sourdough bread. He’s been feeding the starter since Sunday. It’s bubbling away on a sunny window sill and is moved to the airing cupboard at night. My material arrived yesterday from a local fabric shop that’s had to temporarily close. The owner, Leanne, is doing mail order and delivering parcels locally while keeping physical distance. It would be a shame if this lovely shop had to shut its doors permanently. I’m doing my best to keep it going. My ‘to-make’ pile is becoming rather large. I’ve joined a Facebook page called For The Love of Scrubs. Local sewists are making scrubs, wash bags and other cotton items for the NHS. I’m going to make some tie-back hats. But first I’ve got to wash the material. Making items for myself can wait.

Janet, Lincolnshire

Saturday 11th April

Yesterday was a warm, sunny Good Friday. My son-in-law and one of my granddaughters had to come in from the country to empty my eldest granddaughter's university flat. Since she is now at home on lockdown, it was felt that she should give up her flat as it is really unlikely she will be back at university soon. This would avoid having to pay any more rent. My son- in-law took this opportunity to come past my house to finish setting up Netflix on my television - only have it on my ipad and laptop. I was really grateful as I prefer to watch programmes on the larger screen. He also brought along an Easter Egg. I know I shouldn't encourage him to come in but it was so lovely to have some human contact - we were aware of social distancing ( I heard on Question Time - BBC1 - on Thursday that we should maybe use the term physical distancing as social distancing could impact on mental health).

It was reported that the prime minister was making good progress and had been able to take short walks in hospital. I watched the final episode of Noughts and Crosses, a very interesting series I had recorded on BBC 1. Britain had become a country called Albion, governed by Africans - the British were the minority race - very thought provoking series. Today was a beautiful day - temperature rising to 18 degrees in Aberdeen.

Irene, Scotland

Sunday 12 April

Paper cut-out bunnies and eggs have appeared in people's windows, along with the rainbow pictures for the NHS. I admire the efforts of all the people with small children to keep them occupied and entertained at home.

When I got back to my street I found two neighbours outside talking at a safe distance, so the three of us chatted for a while. I see one of them frequently as his daily run often coincides with my daily walk. And I see and briefly chat to my next-door neighbours, who are keen gardeners, over the garden fence.

I had a celebratory lunch in the garden – smoked salmon and a glass of white wine. I sat in the garden in the sun with 'To the Lighthouse' for most of the afternoon, and had lamb steak and more wine in the evening. I joined another Zoomed chat with people from my social group. I rang my brother. A couple of friends phoned.

I finished the day thankful for the good weather, for my health, friends, food, a roof, green outdoor space, plenty of books, and plenty of on-line resources for entertainment. As imprisonments go, it could be much worse. I remember the countless people who are not so lucky.

Rosemary, Oxfordshire

Week One

23rd - 29th March

Week Two

30th March – 5th April

Week Three

6th – 12th April

Week Four

13th – 19th April

Week Five

20th – 26th April

Week Six

27th April – 3rd May

Week Seven

4th – 10th May

Week Eight

11th - 17th May

Week Nine

18th - 24th May

Week Ten

25th - 31st May

Week Eleven

1st - 7th June

Week Twelve

8th - 14th June

Week Thirteen

15th - 21st June

Week Fourteen

22nd - 28th June

Week Fifteen

29th June - 5th July


Week Sixteen

6th - 12th July

Week Seventeen

13th - 19th July

Week Eighteen

20th - 26th July

Week Nineteen

27th - 31st July