Its life Jilly, but not as we know it.

We are living in unprecedented times, the Coronavirus has changed humanity beyond measure, it has brought out the best in us but for a minority of arseholes, the worst. This blog post is not to trivialise what is happening in the UK and the rest of the world, as a key

worker myself I know all too well of the pressures that we are facing and I am without question doing my tiny bit as we all are by following the advice. But I think that it is time for some light relief, that’s my disclaimer, so if some keyboard warrior in Plymouth decides to give me grief then don’t bother pet, this was your chance to stop reading. The new normal I follow the news daily and I had braced myself for what was to come in the UK based on the trajectory of China, USA and Italy, I expected many things, face masks, gloves, anti-bacterial gel but then an email arrived and I knew that shit just got real, Selfridges had closed its stores. I took small comfort in the fact that I could still get my hair done, pop for a cocktail or go to Fenwick for a browse, then that was swiftly shot to shit as well. The only place to shop now was for food, DIY stuff, medicines or fuel, this was not working well with the Jilly a life in style agenda. My only retail highlight was going to be a trip to Marks and Spencers to get essentials; prosecco, cheesy puffs and nochella olives, at this point of course I didn’t realise that a trip to the shops would make me feel like a leper. I understand the concept of social distancing but for some, it’s a way to be as passive-aggressive as possible, I have been screamed at for putting my basket on the little rest thing at the end of the conveyor belt rather than on the floor, I tried to walk into a supermarket and was almost lynched as it was one in one out… signs, I am not a mind reader, everywhere has its way of doing these new social norms and there are a lot of people in high-vis jackets shouting a lot. Just relax, we are all trying to learn how everything works differently now and we all want to do the right thing. Also, this might just be me but every time I am out in public I feel like I am going to cough, I don’t have a cough, there is nothing that is making me cough, I just fear that I will get a random cough and someone from securitas will shoot me in the face.

Passing the time I am not at work every day so I have had to do a few days in isolation. I am normally really busy working long hours, looking after two big dogs, blogging, going to events, meeting friends, so the thought of being housebound has stressed me out. So far I have watched Tiger King on Netflix (mental but you have to watch it), going to start Ozark, finish Bloodline and I’m fully caught up on every Real Housewives franchise that exists. After not seeing my mum on Mothers Day and I’d bought her a Clarins facial, which realistically she probably won’t use until 2025 now I thought that now I would have a little more time I would do something thoughtful, I would make her something to keep. Now, this couldn’t be tat, Carol’s home makes Barker and Stonehouse look like B&M home furnishings aisle so I had a thought of what would be impressive enough so that she wouldn’t just get out for me coming over, which is exactly what I would do with homemade stuff I didn't like. I thought a cross-stitch would be good and now I have no nails, achievable, I sent her a selection and she picked this one….. I shit you not, 14 different shades of brown and the hare is life-size (slight exaggeration), she’s more likely to go for her facial first than have this on her wall, I will update you this week on my Instagram stories, and probably every week until I am in my 70’s.

Beauty hell Just when I thought that times could not become bleaker, my hairdressers closed. Now, this is going to be a revelation to those of you that don’t know me but a family trait is premature greying, when I say premature, I got my first few greys at 19, by the time I was 30 I had no colour at all in my natural hair. Weirdly though I have never needed to dye my eyebrows, I couldn’t tell you about anything from my eyebrows down, I have been like a hairless cat since I was 18. And, remember, I am still having to go into the public domain to go to work, I cannot reveal my inner Pepe le Pew and can’t pass it off as a birthmark either like a cool streak unless my entire skull was a birthmark, sorry to swear but basically, I’m fucked. So, I did my research online, contacted my hairdresser pals and read the advice, basically never colour your hair if you are used to having a salon colourist. I have about 17 colours in my hair all blended beautifully by Lauren, she isn’t just a colourist, she’s a miracle worker, the number of people that think that I have brown hair with highlights and lowlights suggests she has masked my inner witch hair for the last 10 years. In this time of abandonment, however, I have no choice, I am going it alone. My salon kindly told me on the day of closing what colours to buy and the brand that they use and I have two colours mixed (course I do) so I bought those and the developer from Sally’s which thankfully, up until the point of publishing are still fulfilling online orders. I ordered a bowl and a brush and already have kitchen scales…. What could possibly go wrong? Measuring out the colour 1:1 was easy enough and considering I go to the hairdressers every three weeks I knew (or thought I knew) the technique, I did not. Trying to part each section, not get it on the existing colour, not slopping it anywhere and realising I am not an octopus with eyes in the back of my head resulted in ALOT of expletives. I was worried I wasn’t working fast enough and would be in a position where it had been on too long on one side. Washing it off was super stressful and then for the big reveal, I felt I was blow-drying like my life depended on it. It turned out surprisingly okay, but Jesus Christ it was stressful, there was no magazine browsing or chat, no head massage and no gossip. I could never stick to this long term even though it would save me a fortune. I am on the precipice of writing to Boris to ask if hairdressers can have key worker status as this will only last me a few weeks, he possibly has bigger fish to fry at the moment, I’ll give him a week or so to let things settle then drop him a line.

Diet and exercise If you have been following my blog for a while you will all know a little bit about my relationship with food (Blogpost: Does my diet have more issues than Vogue?) and in terms of exercise, we broke up a long time ago and occasionally hook up in the summer when the bikini is coming out, the rest of the year, however, shopping is my cardio. I used to be a machine when it came to fitness, training 5-6 hours a day before and after work when I was boxing, yes I used to box, not eggs, like hitting people and stuff, I loved it, and I can still skip like Rocky. However, this wasn’t a sensible approach, I wrecked my body, my periods stopped, my nails and teeth were ruined and I lost 60% of my hair, basically my body couldn’t maintain the amount of exercise with the nutrition and I also looked like a tank, I had beautiful hair though. So I have always been a bit wobbly that if I start exercising all the time again I will become mega obsessed. I know that I need to be more toned and try and stay around the same weight, therefore I am going to do one small run a day and pilates online. So far I am only on my third day of this and this morning I could get out of bed like a normal person not like someone that had been kneecapped through the night. I haven’t had a runner ‘upside down nod yet’ clearly I am still at imposter level to all of the local runners in their trendy running gear and teeny tiny running gloves. Whatever, as soon as this ends I will be doing ten laps around Fenwick and fitter than a fell runner. The future I have absolutely no clue, no idea what the new normal will look like, when we can see our nearest and dearest, I could list here all of the people that I miss the most but there is no point I will miss someone out and piss someone off, facetime just isn’t the same as human touch and interaction. I suppose though above everyone I miss it is the clothes that I am thinking about the most. Thinking of them alone in the dark in big empty stores, untouched, not tried on, not getting taken to their new homes to meet their new clothes pals in their new wardrobes, my heart goes out to them. We will get through this for their sake.

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