My Corona virus event blog April – June

1 April 2020 Sadly it’s all no joke. Interestingly no one considered creating any online April 1st jokes either. Esquire.com prints an article 3 days ago. horrifying but I can see it all happening. The moment the British high street dies etc.. Who knows but it is all sobering.

Sounds like China have been underreporting their figures. Like they need to add another 0 on. Yikes . A 13 yo dies of it. UK daily reported death rate is 2300. We start a weekly menu for home. You buy a lot of food when you are home for 3 meals a day. But that’s the only thing you buy. Literally THE only thing you spend money on. The super healthy eating has started. My dream.

Zoom is the latest thing. Houseparty falls before it really starts people sitting at home. Waiting for the next thing. We start a family one. Online quizzes suddenly go mental.

2 April 2020 Still trying to create a way to Diverse Jens’ company, with all the fridge vans, kitchens etc. They get in touch with Deliverloo. They bite their hand off for more range of take away food. Just more food. No one can eat out. It’s all take away. Jens proposes a lovely Indian menu for the rest of the team to discuss. Sadly it goes nowhere. Everyone is stuck in a weird hope that it will magically all come back. NOT EVENTS and our businesses. We’re a bit more realistic on how long this is going to last. If you have a food delivery service you are winning in these circumstances. But there’s interesting issues arising. Restaurant suppliers have food but don’t have the bottom of the chain customers to sell it too. I read an article on how things might not get back to normal for 10 years. It’s a shock but last year was a bumper year and yes to get to that level again maybe. So many new procedures are getting set in place. EVENTS are just not mentioned. September doesn’t seem likely for any sort of event now. So if we don’t get events in then. That means it is a tight window for the Autumn run so if that slides and we miss September & October. That’s probably the Christmas stint gone as well. So if we can go out again and have events in January will people do that just because they haven’t. Or will the quietness run until March. Yes that’s my prediction. One whole year of no events!!

We start videoing things we are cooking as an online demo for instagrammers. As there is no other event catering content. He accidentally fires the pepper mill across the room and his days as a TV chef seem thwarted on the day they started.

4 April We cycle to Streatham common to continue our Joe wicks exercise. We’ve hardly left the house. Staying in for 8 days at a time is starting to get it’s feet in. Police riot van drive around. If you are not exercising you get shimmied off. People are starting to be a bit divided on going out and flouting the rules.

6 April 2020 Weather is amazing. We make cocktails stay in obviously and generally having a nice time together.

7 April Another big thing. Hair clippers arrive. The lockdown cuts. Jens had left it a week too late for a cut so is already a week overgrown. They are getting expensive on Ebay and running out. There will be a national shortage. We discover though that, we can save £20 a month now on a haircut now we have clippers. Jens has a grade 5 and growing a beard as he is not in the kitchen. I like the look. We are also both loosing weight. Yoga is still happening every morning at 8am. I love getting up early with him. 28 Veg boxes come to our house. Meeting more people. Loving it. Takes your mind off work and real stuff.

8 April 2020 Jens & team bubble think up another initiative . They start meals for food banks. Finally they all agree on a plan for the kitchen to be used. 200 per day and people donate on a go fund me page. Huge stunning full moon. Weather is still amazing. I think there must be a link between the fact that there are no flights no cars no pollution and suddenly we have endless flawless blue skies.

9 April 2020 We do another clap for carers. Nights are getting lighter. WOW You notice so much more when all your senses are not assaulted. But when will this end. I’m starting to think September will even be quiet for events now.

10 April have a hilarious whatsapp call with 3 friends. The first call I can say was honestly like a real night out. Can things really continue like this though? I’m getting more agoraphobic. I only go out for a shop once every 8 days now. We cook Mackerel on the BBQ. Loving the little bubble we are in. News shows continued increase in Corona virus deaths every day. If my mom gets it my brother and I know she will not come out of it alive. Been drumming into my mom. She’s been too ill and she received one of 1.3 million letter from the government to shield from the world as she is high risk. It’s really tough that I can’t go to be with her. She is on her own and can’t even drive as she had the shoulder replacement in Feb (last blog post!)

11 April & 12 April Quiz nights both nights. They are fun kind of but getting a bit fatigued from them now.

16 April mom is really stressed anxious. Not sure she will pull through this with either mental health issues or such high bloody pressure (200) a stroke. She’s repeating herself, bursting into tears and generally all over the place. 

17 April Moms birthday . I suggested to the family we try and have a socially distance birthday meal but all buying the same meal. Another idea Jens was working on for their company moving forward. (Never got off the ground either sadly.) So we cycled to cook and picked up the same meal as I got delivered to mom in Devon. That worked. And my brother in Brussels also locked down cooked the same for himself . Then had a WhatsApp birthday quiz that I hosted. She was still stressed and not really coping at all with this. We have been discussing the fact we may loose her to this.. Not necessarily the illness by the effects it has on people.  What are those figures like! We don’t know. Will we ever know that.

18 April 

 Cycled to Clapham to buy paint for the front door. Got it home and it’s too bubblegum pink. Queuing out the door and one in one out. Such weird times. Everyone is doing home improvements.

19 April 

Discovered putting paint on eBay is amazing it goes in no time . Put yesterday’s new paint on and it’s sold in record time . Put some more on and some more on and made £80 tester pots the lot!! With the like of Homebase’s and hardware shops not open people are desperate to do some easy DIY home improvements. Amazing. Cleared out the cupboard.

22 April Events aren’t coming back I start an online course in REFLEXOLOGY a new beginning for me. Who knows where this will take me.

Thursday 30 April Loving the reflexology. No more TV. Social media break and get stuck in. Amazing double rainbow almost a triple about 3 hours before the NHS clap . The brightest I’ve ever seen and could see all of it. My photo made it on the school newsletter same night! 

Saturday 2 May Cycled to some friends. Sat in their garden but felt naughty. 

Sunday 3 May Hannah’s quiz . A good one but they are defo drying up now.

Wednesday 7 May amazing moon. The sky is really amazing.  People were saying at the beginning how much less polluted everything feels but I haven’t gotten it until now. Noticed the trees in front of our house flowering for the first time. (In 4 years!) they look incredible. How can we capture some of this and take it forward into a new world. 

Thursday 7 May Jens went to work for his third week in the kitchen getting food bank meals prepared. I had a good day learning. Received a round robin about lockdown easing restrictions. Lots of dates time frames . Turns out it was for Ireland. Annoying as it felt like something to work towards. Events seems like a thing of the past.

Friday 8 May Friday bank holiday as if the days couldn’t get any more confusing. Red arrows flew over London could tell it was current as the streets looked empty and they can socially distance. Put the TV on for the 11am silence. Decided that TV is a bg negative and not been putting it on for weeks. Straight after the silence they start talking on the news about the virus. Felt a bit crass like we have become so self obsessed that we can’t even let the war hero’s have their day without turning it back to our day. Quiz with Jens school friends. Latest we’ve stayed up in 6 weeks 10:30! Also finally painted the front door . Been waiting for farrow and ball to send paint for about 3 weeks. 

Saturday 9 May Went for a bike ride to Wimbledon . Bumped into a chef friend. Cycled up a steep hill and had a really weird reaction. Real respiratory problems a little while after couldn’t catch my breath. Coughing and choking. Embarrassed to cough and typically at that point there were people around. Both discussed after could it be I’m asymptomatic but it only showed it’s head in that strenuous situation. Eventually got back on the bike after an orange to coat the lungs and a bottle of water and a couple were sat in their car waiting for me, to check I was ok! People are being nice. Must have thought I had corona. VERY strange reaction. It is a bit of a mystery that but I will never find out. Probably just unfit.

Sunday 10 May Discussing what could potentially happen next  year with working from home and how that could pan out. If offices do start to now make people work from home to save huge rent especially now they have poured money into this – investing in peoples home equipment. Does this mean out of city commuters are never going to be coming back into the city but instead going out in their home towns for their socialising, shopping and just about everything. Places like Kent and satellite towns will become the place they go out. There seems to be a huge shift happening from the virus, a big shift in every way. Everything is becoming small communities like the old days. Everyone talks about their industry as the forgotten industry. But what about EVENTS & HOSPITALITY. Ours really is.  

18 May our local pub the Wheatsheaf turns into an old fashioned grocery store. We really are going back in time. We also start a grocery store from our front window. Again reverting back to times of old. And where the name corner shop came about apparently people turning their front windows into the convenience store. We make sausage rolls & brownies and sell cheese & restaurant quality deli produce from Jens suppliers from our window. We have a queue. It’s hilarious. And I get to do some food stying. Haha it’s very low rent.

19 May It happens, mom ends up in hospital. We had to call her an ambulance from miles away as she stops answering the phone after continually being sick. The last place she should be. And that’s what the first ambulance crew said and why they left her at home ( to get worse) for another 24 hours.. A blocked bowel that needed a MAJOR operation. Things get really tough. She says in for a whole month it’s a terrifying time…

Corona virus events blog Jan- March

My memories of the weirdest times of our lives.

25 Jan 2020

I felt like I was one of the last to find out about the virus. I’d had 3 weeks chilling out in Sri Lanka with my better half and he’d gone home a week before me. So when it broke out in China I was having a zen time tucked away in a yoga retreat. When I came to leave, my lovely host from our last accommodation came and picked me up from my retreat & told me there was a virus and 2 Chinese people staying in the Marriot Hotel had it (not sure that that was fake news!) But it all sounded serious. My flight was empty – but had to be too soon to be connected. A few people at heathrow. A couple standing just beyond passport control wearing masks, one asian.  My passport officer said to her senior. “Shouldn’t we be wearing masks?  The conversation went on to him saying “stay away from them”. I realised then, things were changing.

Covid events blog

I spent the next week glued to BBC as the cases in China rose and some weird footage of people being manhandled came to light but every medic was in full space type suits. Death rate at only 2%. Less than flu… SO why the hysteria. Something wasn’t adding up.

11 Feb 2020

I had to take my mom into hospital for a shoulder operation. On the drive down to Devon I listen to an interview of people who have been put in quarantine from a cruise liner. Each family separated off and doing their thing until they can be released in 14 days. Cruise liners seem to be a breeding ground. At hospital the receptionist taking mom & I up in the lift says: ‘Have either of you come back from Asia in the last two weeks’.. We froze -all eyes fell on me and my Asian suntan. I quickly worked it out. A few days clear, phew. And then we figured Sri Lankan wasn’t in the list of 10 places that they had on their print out anyway. Complications with the op. I wasn’t expecting it -being all Zen- so stayed with mom for a couple weeks recovery. This disease sounded big but they kept saying it only affects those with underling health issues. Still not adding up.

19 feb 2020

My husband’s work have first event for 300 cancel.. Oh shit: here we go. Then one of the production companies tell us 7 event have cancelled for them. I’m normally quite quiet at this time of year so so far not a huge amount different from my end. Except willing it to go away after reeling from the back end of Brexit!

24 Feb 2020

I’m back in London. Back to watching the news a lot. Somewhere along the line Corona gets a more official name COVID-19.

1 March 2020

Jens goes skiing for couple days.  I have coffee with friends and we discuss nothing else. Things are still going mad in China.  It’s filtering into other countries and London. News is getting bad. We keep saying it will hit us very soon. We decide between us two weeks until the peak!! It definitely feels imminent. No one knows what to expect. We try to carry on.

3 March 2020

A man named Chris Whitty comes onto the podium and speaks with such knowledge I message Jens and suggest he watch if if he can. Such a refreshing change to Boris.

4 March 2020

Biggest  jump of cases  in UK. The news actually mention events industry. They cancel London Book fair at Olympia. But keep on Crufts… Hurrah. & I go to the Global Awards. Hammersmith Apollo full of people. Gives me hope (false hope it would turn out) I keep thinking let us carry booking events, don’t do a lock down in the UK. Lets push it as far as we can.

6 March 2020

I go to a meeting for a party in September. We assume everything will be back to normal by then. I go on the tube: doesn’t look much different but the paper seems to make it look worse ( of course they do) by cutting and pasting every person they can find wearing a mask and overlapping the images so it looks like a Zombie film. It’s actually not that bad out there. Although People have started panic buying toilet roll, hand sanitiser etc. Not really sure what’s going on and this is just confusing.

7 March 2020

Italy gets hit real bad now and put -a new word- social distancing in place. And EVERY event slides from catering company diaries. Saturday. We have a dinner party at home for our friends birthday. We talk about lockdown’s without really know what’s going on.

Tuesday 10 March 2020

Italy went into a lockdown yesterday. I work on a tasting. Client turns up in gloves and mask. We talk the whole time about corona of course. They think their kids’ school will close end of this week. But all quite determined the party will go ahead in September. Except if their families can’t fly in from the States. I know this is the last bit of work I will do for a while . And that event in September may be the next one I do. Surely that will go ahead?

Wednesday 11 march 2020

One of the catering companies goes under. This is tragic for the events world. The news gets worse. Will we do a lock down too? This week everything is evolving so fast.  The independent writes an article. Coronavirus will bankrupt more people than it kills. Sums up my thoughts of the last week exactly. Let us carry on..

FRIDAY 13 MARCH (Can’t go unnoticed)

Jens company decide to do 4 day week & 10% pay cut. Some companies making staff re apply for fewer jobs. Some are shutting doors completely. Some are doing 3 days for 20% pay cut. But in the afternoon 3 big events cancelled for them and it already felt like discussions were out dated. Things are moving so fast. Government say pubs, bars restaurants should close. Our industry is going to be affected for the longest by the sounds of all this. How can anyone have a large event..Maybe until September. This last week really was the week that was.

17 March 2020

Government start social distancing. Another new word that quickly becomes commonplace. Whole households should quarantine if one person shows symptoms or been near anyone who has it. Over 70’s to stay home. My family have first WhatsApp family chat.  Boris said he will not ban mass gatherings. But we know we are not going to be able to have them so what’s the difference.

18 March 2020

I go to supermarket to see what people are fussing over for the last week – Yep the shelves are empty and I’ve well and truly missed the boat for toilet roll. The most desperate I’ve let us get for it.  Salons, bars and restaurants sense they need to close even though our government are not demanding it. But establishments feel it’s now their duty. People start circulating that the army are on their way in and the gossip goes that its to help with locking us down. Jens phones me with same news have you done a shop?? Yes but for how long.. Maybe 2 weeks. Nooo.

19 March

Another new word..Furlough announced. It feels like it’s time to give in to events not happening now. It’s all caving in. The economy will suffer enormously here. Where does the balance lie.

Friday 20 March 2020

Jens is working from home. But we expect he may not be going back into work next week. Fully expecting a lockdown for a couple of weeks. Like China and Italy & Spain. They mention social distancing could last up to a year. Can’t comprehend what this means for the events industry. The phrase “long year this weeks been” summed up the last week. Well could be said for two weeks actually. Start group facetiming with friends. AND I start an organic veg box delivery hub with my neighbours. Supplies are getting really short and so businesses are evolving if you have any kind of food outlet you need to get it out to domestic homes. Bloody hope people don’t buy food and then throw it away. Jens is working on plans for a home delivery service. They have supplies, kitchens and chefs all phoning him desperate to work.Everyone is desperate.

21 March 2020

Gym memberships get frozen! Which is great as we have started yoga every morning at home. And we have our first saturday night birthday party Zoom call. Another new word that will become commonplace.

22 March 2020 Over 70’s need to stay at home. Worried about my mom and her mental health. Now I’m making our own almond milk we’re baking bread. It’s turning into the good life but I rather like that anyway.

23 March 2020 Boris announces lockdown during the new 5pm briefing. We’re going to get used to these briefings with their cast of scientists and politicians.

24 March 2020

My first veg box delivery comes to my house. The neighbours love it. 25 boxes. At least this make me feel happy. I’m getting to know my neighbours. Really hope that this sort of thing continues when we return to normal. I suppose I’m expecting the boxes to continue for a month or so. A few people are self isolating so I’m running a few boxes to houses, knocking and leaving it there. One family were on a flight with someone who has since tested positive so they are all isolating. If I can help in some way like this I will. I took some milk to an elderly neighbour last week. Would love to help the elderly more. Shame the charity I work with on Sunday isn’t doing more. I don’t really know how to find the elderly.

25 March 2020

We venture out into Tooting. It feels wrong. We are technically allowed to go shopping. Tooting is quite. Very quiet I never thought it would or could actually happen. Like China ect. I felt very emotional. WhatsApp is so busy with jokes flying around the country. everyone is sitting ducks at the moment.

Thursday 26 March 2020

We do day two of Joe Wicks 7 days of lean except we cycle to Garratt park and complete it there. There’s a few people out all keeping their distance. Streets are empty of cars. Yoga in the morning and a Joe wicks in the afternoon. This needs to be a routine. NHS clap 8pm. I said last week when my brother was doing this every night in Brussels: we could never do it here. But we did and it actually worked. We even had a drive by with blues & twos from an ambulance. It was literally the most exciting thing that has happened in two weeks. The pace has reset and the terrible things we have been doing to our world seem to be lessening. It’s a chance to start again, slow down be with our loved ones more. I work from home a lot but having Jens as home is perfect.

Saturday 28 March 2020

We discover house party – and so does the world. This should help. The most used phrase is “It’s all so weird and “Such crazy times”.