I hope you are all keeping safe and well?
I have been trying to keep to a schedule to motivate me especially as this lockdown extends into another 3 weeks (and likely to be beyond that too). A routine is important if you have no work to keep you busy and are on your own.
The recruitment agents I had been working with to find a new job have now been furloughed – which gives you an idea of the job market at the moment!
So in the meantime, I have tried to get a job shelf stacking at the local supermarkets but there is nothing going – they are fully staffed.
I have registered for farm work, it will probably be a physical shock to the system as I haven’t done seasonal farm work for over 20 years!! I used to fruit pick and sort and pack potatoes in summer term breaks ( In my student days). I think most are expecting you to live on-site so that is why its not too practical for UK workers who want to go home at the end of the day. The season hasn’t started yet for fruit picking so not sure if this will pan out but it is worth a shot.
So I am a volunteer sewing scrubs for the local NHS. There is a huge group on Facebook and I have joined them and have already sewn some sets of scrubs which will go to the local large hospital. I am no ‘super sewing bee’ ( lol…like the pun… in fact the BBC have their new series starting tonight ) but I have a sewing machine and the group supply me with materials and I sew them up, drop off and repeat. I have just completed 2 sets and now waiting for drop off and collection of the next set of materials.
I can do one set of scrubs a day but given the slowness in getting materials, I am now waiting to be resupplied as we are working on donations. I use to work for a retailer who stocked haberdashery so trying to find someone in their head office who may agree to donate and help keep us going, not surprisingly UK haberdashery suppliers are struggling to keep up with the demand and are running out of stock as NHS scrubs have a specific fabric specification requirement.
This activity gives me a sense of purpose and helping to contribute to the NHS during this crisis is a positive feeling. It’s great to see the pictures posted on FB of the staff with their scrubs, they are so pleased to receive them, it’s great feedback. The people contacting us to order are saying how they are trying to get scrubs and their official order lines are either cancelling or giving long lead times (in months) and they need them NOW….
I have also noticed how the supply and demand aspects are affecting the food chain too. Although my local supermarkets are starting to recover and shelves are beginning to be filled, some items are gold-dust to buy. One is bread flour – I was making my own bread before the lockdown, which was very therapeutic and also cheaper. I am trying to be frugal given I am living off savings/emergency fund. The bread flour problem started at least a month before the lockdown as I was struggling to find supplies in Jan and Feb. Now, all types of flour has become impossible to find in supermarkets. I have looked online but direct suppliers have closed their online shops.
I have also noticed that food prices are up too, sometimes this is because the shops are only stocking the more expensive brands, a lot of the value ranges seem to have disappeared off the shelves. I have spent about 25% more in the last month on food that I normally do.
Keep safe and let’s get through this so we can get out of the lockdown.