If all goes according to the government’s “Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business” announced on Friday 1st May then Phase 1 is due to start on Monday 18th May which is exactly one week today. In a nutshell I could be back at work in 7 days!
I’ve pretty much been in lockdown for 8 weeks today as I was self-isolating for 2 weeks after returning from Switzerland on March 15th and this ran into the official lockdown. Lots of good stuff has been done during lockdown but I’ve definitely slipped into the habit of going to bed late and getting up late. That needs to stop or a 6:50am alarm could come as a nasty shock on Monday morning!
Starting this morning the alarm was set for 7:50am and I was out of bed by 8:05. The plan is to dial this back by 5min each morning and go to bed a little earlier each night until I’m close to being back in the old routine. I hope it is as easy as it sounds!
We’re on the one road Sharing the one load We’re on the road to God knows where We’re on the one road It may be the wrong road But we’re together now who cares North men, South men, comrades all Dublin, Belfast, Cork and Donegal We’re on the one road swinging along Singing a soldier’s song
On Friday evening the Taoiseach made another rare/now regular statement to the country live on TV. This statement was expected as the current lockdown restrictions are due to expire tomorrow Monday 4th of May and we’ve been promised both an update regarding restrictions and a roadmap for lifting them. We got both.
Following this statement we have also been provided with the detailed government document outlining the full “Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business“. It’s a fairly hefty document that can be downloaded and read in full here (pdf). Thankfully RTE News have provided a decent summary.
Essentially lockdown will continue for approximately 2 more weeks before Phase 1 of the roadmap begins on Monday May 18th.
As people have been getting restless with the restrictions of lockdown we’ve been given two small relaxations as a combined reward and motivation to keep going. These start on Tuesday 5th of May.
Over 70s and those particularly vulnerable to Covid19 who have been cocooning are now permitted to leave their house for brief exercise so long as they don’t come in contact with others.
Instead of being limited to exercising within 2km of our home we are now permitted to go to 5km.
It’s the second point that will have the most effect on me. It doesn’t seem like a big distance but as with the original 2km limit it covers a surprisingly large area. It allows me to take in both sides of the River Finn and takes me over the border into Northern Ireland. Technically this gives me unlimited mileage as there are no distance restrictions in Northern Ireland, as they are operating under UK restrictions, but I don’t think I’ll be going too far from home. Castlederg is a possibility but no further as I’m wary of getting into difficulties and taking up important medical/emergency resources that are needed elsewhere.
The other major impact on our household is my potential return to work. The televised statement suggested this would be Phase 2 (8th June) as the Taoiseach announced outdoor retail and activities only for Phase 1 (18th May). However, the detailed document and summary state the following:
My work would fall under the category of “homeware” but another section of the document outlines the return to work strategy as follows:
While the lockdown has been creating a financial strain and has been difficult to live with, returning to work on the 18th of May feels very quick. I’m concerned that an awful lot of retail businesses will be reopening for what is supposed to be Phase 1 of recovery. This will result in a lot of people back on the move for work and bringing shoppers back out. I’d expect this to be quite a rush as people are given their first taste of freedom. It makes me uncomfortable and despite the positives of a return to work I’m hoping it gets delayed until Phase 2.
So far I’ve heard nothing from work so I’d say they may be unsure also. In addition two weeks is a long time in the current climate and lots could change if the medical improvements slow down or take a turn for the worse. In the meantime I need to stop prevaricating with the remaining DIY jobs I’ve agreed to do, I no longer have unlimited time to complete them!
Today was my first day in my new job (yesterday was a Bank Holiday and we were closed). I am now the Sales Manager for Hegarty’s Home Interiors in Buncrana.
After 6.5 years in one job it was a bit of a culture shock going from being the guy that knows the business inside out and that others call when they need help to being the guy that knows basically f**k all and tortures everyone with questions!
However, they are a very friendly team, expectations are reasonable for retraining and I made two very good sales today ending as one of the top sales people.
The store was really busy today. According to the guys it was busier than normal (probably because we were closed yesterday) but this busyness is a really nice change from Dreams where the hardest thing was filling the quiet times.
I have a feeling I’m going to be very happy in my new job.
Today was my last day working in Dreams after 6.5 years and almost 6 years to the day* as Branch Manager in Omagh. While I’ve been thinking of this move for approximately 1 year and actively seeking another job since January it was still bittersweet leaving today.
Robin and Damien surprised me yesterday evening**. Robin disappeared just before we closed up and reappeared with Damien and 3 beers from the bar across the street. We enjoyed a pint in the store to mark my leaving and it was a cracker leaving present.
To top it all off we had one of the best sales week and weekend for a number of months smashing me through my monthly targets and ensuring a good final pay cheque next month.
We’re heading away for a few days this week and as I don’t start my new job until next week it means I’m officially “between jobs”.
*31st July 2013 was my first day in Omagh
**I have a feeling they thought I wouldn’t come in today! 😆
My last week in Dreams before I head for pastures new on the 5th of August and it’s getting more and more difficult to stay motivated and focused. Whoever decided it was a good idea for me to work my full notice was way off the mark!
With the nonsense that British politics has degenerated too and the “Hard Brexit” rhetoric of the incoming Boris as PM it’s looking more and more sensible for me to be working back in the Republic again. The battering that sterling has taken this last fortnight and what will come over the next few months isn’t worth the stress and worry.
Second day of the week for me. Tomorrow, off Friday and then just Saturday and Sunday to get through.
Australian Traveller that loves to "Roam" our globe, creator of ENDLESSROAMING.COM sharing the experience through word and photography. Currently residing in my home of Newtown Sydney but hope to be back on the road late 2020. Feedback / questions are more than welcome, happy travels