So today, Thursday, is my first day of lockdown. Boris Johnson placed the UK on a police enforced lockdown with new measures in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak on Monday evening. He ordered people only to leave their homes under a list of "very limited purposes", and all non-essential shops to close. And there we have it, 'non-essential shops'.
My shop is in the group considered 'essential' and previous to the Prime Minister's announcement I had every intention of staying open and offering a delivery service. But after a lot of thought and some badgering from my daughter, along with the fact that ingredients were becoming scarce to make the foods I sell, I decided the risk wasn't worth it. So I made the decision to close. I slept well that night, it felt like the right thing to do and the anxiety I'd felt, subsided.
Tuesday began early morning as usual, the air was fresh, the sky blue and cloudless and it promised to be a beautiful spring day. Oh to go out and spend the day walking, to enjoy the new season after the wet and miserable winter we've all endured, but, like everyone else my freedom has been curbed and there was a massive task to do – clearing the fridges and shelves of the shop and a top to bottom big clean.With announcements made on social media, people came in to the shop, safely, one at a time, to stock up with chutneys, pickles, vegan chease, quiche, pasties, jams and anything else that they deemed essential or a pleasure. It was wonderful to have a quick chat, to wish people well and 'see them on the other side'.
Closure took two days, the cleaning was thorough obviously, and the stock had to be either sold or redistributed. Whatever fresh food was left I gave to people to distribute amongst others who needed it. My home and catering kitchen fridges and freezers are full; after all I need to eat over the coming weeks and like a lot of others, I won't have any income.
So there we have it, the temporary closure of my business. It is slightly sad but more so, I see it as an opportunity to catch up with rest, chores at home and future projects for the coming months ahead when we can all enjoy freedom and life once more, but with a new perspective I hope.