~ The Isolation Diaries ~
One Week In Quarantine

Kate Winney Self Isolation Diaries

The Carrie Moment

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Poetically speaking, I should have started this series on day one but to be honest, self isolation isn’t something I’ve taken to easily. I’ve found it really hard and totally unmotivating! However a spark of creativity finally hit me last night as I looked out of the window in our living room. A large bay window looking down onto our beautiful North London avenue, lined with edwardian townhouses and blossom trees just starting to bloom. It was my real-life Carrie moment. Something I’d wanted for such a long time yet hadn’t realised it was already happening. Let me explain, I remember the first time I watched Sex and the City, I was 14 and had heard the older girls at school talk about it in the dining hall. I remember rushing home and catching the episode where Carrie makes her choice between Big and Alexander Petrovsky in Paris. It was at that moment I fell in love with Carrie, with New York and with her entire world. I longed to be sat in that apartment, by the window, typing those infamous words into a laptop – believe it or not it was this very fantasy that led me to create this blog. My own little corner of the internet and five years later – stuck here in self isolation, I finally feel like my very own version (and East Finchleys answer to) Carrie Bradshaw! It took being stuck inside to realise it but from now on I’ll be writing daily entries on the blog, whilst sat by my window and living my full SJP fantasy. Welcome to the isolation diaries!

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Day 12

As I mentioned above, being on lock-down has been tough. I love being around people and having places to go so having that all stripped back has been a lot to deal with. As much as I like my own company I’m finding it hard to keep my mind active. That along with the sense of impending doom, especially were finances are concerned is weighing heavily on my mind. The one positive is that we’re all in the same position, with be it so uncertain nobody really knows whats going to happen next.

Although it would be easy to be solely negative about this experience and trust me – last week this post would’ve been all doom and gloom but my spirits are somewhat higher today and so I’m finally able to put a positive spin on things. One thing I’m enjoying is finding pleasure from the smallest of things. Lloyd (my partner) bought me a colouring book and crayons a few days ago and I can honestly say – this has been a game changer! Not looking at a screen and simply colouring in beautiful drawings of wildlife and nature, it’s been thrilling! That alongside the privilege of being so connected. I’m playing quizzes, singing karaoke and having multiple cocktail parties with my friends and family via video calls every night. I guess staying in (even though mandatory) really is the new going out. Last night I even painted my nails and put on a red lip for the occasion… It was wild!

Even though I’d much rather be out there brunching with my friends and going to meetings for work, I do think these times will be interesting. To see how we as a species change and alter our lifestyles. Will we remain the same or will this experience change us forever? Only time will tell. With that said, I think that’s enough of my rambling today but keep checking in, I’ll be posting daily whilst the current guidelines are in place. I’d love to chat so feel free to leave a comment telling me how you’re dealing with it all either on here or over on my Instagram.

To finish this first entry and in honour of Ms Bradshaw herself, it only seems appropriate to end with this –

Seeing the earth slowly recover whilst we stay inside, I couldn’t help but wonder…
Are we the virus and Corona the earths vaccine?

K x

Kate Winney Self Isolation Diaries

A Dictator of Taste

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Question, how many times is too many times to re-watch a series? I ask because with an abundance of spare time on my hands, I took the plunge and started watching Gossip Girl (again) from the begining for the… 8th maybe 9th time. Intense right?! But I love it, likewise with my sentiments about Sex and the City in yesterdays post, Gossip Girl was one of those defining programmes in my life. The fashion, the city and once again – a series all about a blog, coincindence… I think not. It’s easy for me to watch and to play in the background, already knowing every storyline and plot twist. I of course am a Blair, perhaps not due to the scheming but instead because I too was an early adopter of the headband. Blair is referenced to as a ‘Dictator of Taste’ and although looking at me now (sat in loungewear, slippers and a facemask) you might not see it, I’d like to think that my taste level is ever growing and improving! Anyway, with that little non-sensical monologue over lets get stuck into todays daily blog…

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Day 13

Today I slept until 11.30am, apparently it’s Monday but to be honest currently it feels like that weird period over christmas were you have no clue what day it is, you just drink and eat and wait for the clock to chime midnight on new years before slowly getting back to normality. All that sounds great but obviously having no friends and family around, it’s a stark contrast to the festive period. I woke up, drank coffee and then treated myself to a bubble bath because well I have the time and who doesn’t love bubbles? This week (in comparison to week one of isolation) I’m less anxious. I’ve taken the pressure off and just allowed myself to move freely throughout the day. I think when this first started I would watch everyone on Instagram and social media ‘seize the day’ – and I was sat there eating my fifth bowl of cereal. That feeling of failure due to comparison was over-bearing and completely counter-productive. So I’ve taken the pressure off. I mean, well done to those who are getting dressed and doing their hair and makeup everyday – that’s amazing, cool! Me however? I’m good in my joggers and a tee with spot cream smudged over my chin. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s ok to not be ok and to not be ‘nailing it.’ It’s fine, take it at your own pace. As much as I hate saying these new coined (Coronavirus) phrases… we are living in unprecedented times! You don’t have to adapt straight away and you don’t always have to do or achieve stuff. You don’t have to spend your time wisely and productively and you don’t have to be doing yoga in your living room or baking banna bread in the kitchen. Sometimes you can just be and feel things and get through and survive. Sometimes that’s hard enough. It’s ok if you’re not creating right now and it’s ok if you’re frozen/anxious/lost. I’ve had a lot of DM’s on Instagram asking how to stay creative and to be completely honest with you – I’m not. I’m reading the news, eating mini cheddars and watching box sets. It’s ok to just survive for a bit. With that said, by giving myself permission to take my time and take the pressure off, I’ve finally started to feel like myself again and that’s how this little series came about. I needed distance from creating to miss it and want it back again… distance makes the heart grow fonder right?

 

So, my question is to you guys – how are you dealing with self-isolation? Are you loving it or are you struggling? I’ve heard so many conflicting opinions (which is great) some people are really loving getting the chance to distance themselves and work on some internal issues and others (like me) are screaming for help! I joke, I’m really not finding it that hard, today anyway. I feel like it’s all changed for me over the past couple of days and I’m finally hitting my self-isolation stride. I am however nearing the end of week two so if you’re earlier on in the process, just know that it gets better! I know a lot of people are missing friends, family and partners. I’m lucky that I’m cooped up with Lloyd but I’d give anything to hug my mum right now and be sipping on cocktails at Freedom with my best friends. We’ll get there though, we all just need to buckle up and ride this crazy wave. Imagine that first meeting back and appreciate how lucky we all are that we have people who we can’t wait to be reunited with. For anyone feeling lonely or quite literally isolated whilst in self-isolation please don’t hesitate to message! Either comment on here or DM me over on in Instagram. I’d be happy to chat and play games (I’ve become an expert at pictionary on House Party!)

Guys, it’s been a pleasure. After just two installments, I can already tell that this series is going to be my lifeline. It’s already given me some much needed structure. I hope you’re enjoying them, they’re eractic and a bit all over the place but they’re 100% me – with no filter. I hope to see you back again tomorrow, happy Monday guys!

K x

Kate Winney Self Isolation Diaries

Houseparty Hack

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Divoid of any gossip/drama, the internet has turned on one of its own – the conference call app ‘Houseparty.’ I’m sure most of you have heard of it, if not already downloaded it and have been video calling your loved ones whilst entering pictionary battles and trivia quizzes galore! It was one of the most downloaded apps (along with zoom) during the preliminary week of isolation. Then – out of nowhere a few tweets regarding the app hacking into Spotify and Paypal accounts went viral and BOOM – Houseparty is cancelled! I deleted the app, as did my friends however I do find it somewhat interesting as not only has Houseparty denied any hacking attempts but there’s also been no hard evidence to prove it. Is this yet another case of ‘fake news’ or is it something more intentionally targeted? Houseparty released a statement on their Twitter offering a ‘Bounty of $1,000,000 to the first individual to provide proof of a paid commercial smear campaign to harm Houseparty.’ Guy’s – I am SO here for all the drama!! Early reports point the finger at head to head competitor – Zoom… but perhaps it’s a solo agent with one big vendetta? Whatever the outcome, it’s given the internet something to talk about and has turned thousands of people into budding FBI/MI5 agents. Who knows what the truth may be but stay vigilent all! Now onto todays diary…

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Day 14

It may have taken me until 2pm but I finally got up from the sofa and got dressed. Not only that but I washed my hair and did a full skin-care routine. Who is she?! A new woman, or simply someone desperate to fill the time? Either way, I feel so much better for it. Although I’m far from doing a full face of makeup and styling my hair each day, it’s a start. I also made a healthy smoothie today so you know, I feel like a health guru – bring on the at home yoga! Gossip Girl is still running on a continuous loop (obviously) and I have a game of chess set up and waiting for when Lloyd returns from the shops.

I feel like I’m finally getting into the swing of things, two weeks in and I know how to divide my time better. Of course these daily blogs have been a huge help and fill at least two hours of my time per day. I usually follow this with a bit of screen free time and create another fabulous design in my colouring book. In general, I’m finding my days easier to navigate and my emotions slightly more steady. Which is a stark contrast to week one of self-isolation because wow! I was a complete nut-case. Crying uncontrollably and then laughing hysterically within seconds…it was a true test.

One thing I am noticing whilst in this period of Isolation  however, is how truly amazing the human spirit is and that even though we may not be able to physically see or touch eachother, the sense of community is so strong and unwavering. Smiling at previously unknown neighbours from windows and thanking the shop check-out workers for turning up. I think it’s proven to many that the key-workers and the people that truly keep this world running aren’t the city bankers or politicians – they’re the bin collectors and the factory workers (along with our incredile NHS staff of course) that are the true heros. I urge you all to give a little word of thanks on your travels to the shops or if you manage to catch the post man/women delivering letters. They are still going so that we can continue living somewhat normal lives. A thank you costs nothing but means a lot. So Thank you – to every individual that continues to work. We see you, we support you.

K x

Kate Winney Self Isolation Diaries

The Sims Addiction

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Well well well, would you look at us. Who would’ve guessed at the start of the year that 2020 would turn into this? A part of me still thinks it’s all one big joke because It’s just such a surreal situation!  I’m struggling to get my head around it but for now at least, this is our new normal – weird huh?! I feel like I’m reverting back to my teenage self. Yesterday I played The Sims for the first time in over a decade and now – well we had a three hour non-stop session this morning… I regret nothing. I’ve been building my dream mansions (exposed brick and open plan lay-outs) and by using the cheats, I obviously make all of my Sims millionaires, I’m living the dream guys! I’m hoping after this phase of isolation, my fitness streak hits back as I’m in dire need of a sweaty workout! For now though, I’m enjoying alllowing myself to just chill. This situation is hard enough without me being hard on myself so – I’ll navigate my way through it calmly and with zero pressure!

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Day 15

So today started off with me recieving some lovely treats from Dolly Sticks a box full of cute little cake pops delivered straight to my door. They’re actually the cake pops I had for my 30th birthday, such a lovely suprise that put me in a great mood this morning! After a coffee and a bit of day-time television it was back to the class room. I’ve recently enrolled into a number of onlice masterclasses via Mastercard, thanks to my bestie Lee for hooking me up! I’ve been learning about interior design this afternoon and have already signed up to classes with Anna Wintour and RuPaul Charles! With so much time on our hands it seems foolish not to at least learn something whilst stuck inside. So in between my Sims sessions and Gossip Girl episodes – it’s back to school for me!

I’ve also been loving Instagram stories and sharing daily chats and updates with my community of there. Although my actual Instagram needs some love, my stories are constant and I’m loving all the engagement I’m getting! So many of you are chatting with me in the DM’s and it’s such a great morale boost! Other than that, I look forward to my video chats with my mum – she’s back at home in Grimsby and is slowly redecorationg and cleaning every inch of the house and garden to keep her sane. It’s fascinating hearing what everyone is up to. Gaming, writing, baking – so many activities to keep us occupied! I’d love to know what you’ve all turned to to keep your mind ticking. I also know that a lot of people are still working from home, however for those of us that have lost our jobs – tell me what you’re up to. I’d love to steal some ideas for myself. For now however, it’s time for a bubble bath. A little bit of luxury goes a long way and as I’m not wearing makeup or doing my hair at the moment, a bubble bath is as glam as it’s going to get. Keep going everyone, we’ll beat this nasty virus and come out stronger than ever!

K x

Kate Winney Self Isolation Diaries

What Day Is It?

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This morning I asked Lloyd what day it was, convinced it was Tuesday you can imagine my surprise when he said ‘Thursday’ – I’d like to say this is because time is flying by but we all know that’s not the case. Days are just slipping into eachother and with no outside influence, I find myself in my own little bubble where days don’t exist – just time, and lots of it! My sleeping pattern has altered, I’m getting the same eight hours as usual however they’ve shifted to 2am – 10am. I’m not mad at it, I’m actually sleeping pretty soundly and not finding myself napping mid-afternoon which I’ve always been guilty of. Having none of societies ‘norms’ or expectations forced upon me (at least time wise) has enabled me to find my bodies natural flow. I know that I’m not a morning person but now I also know that my creative flare strikes in the late afternoon and that I’m most productive in the evening. It’s been fun trying to track it all and something I’m going to continue to work on so that when this is over (Isolation) I’ll be able to pin-point certain times in the day to put aside for certain tasks. Why don’t you give it a go, you never know what you might discover!

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Day 16

Just over two weeks in Isolation here in my lovely North London Home. I’ve noticed a huge shift in my mood these last couple of days. Both Lloyd and I have found our own routines so not to drive eachother crazy, reuniting for meals, chats and games of chess along the way before sitting down to binge a new series or watch a film in the evening. I think today is the first day that I’m confidently able to say – I feel good! Of course there’s always room for improvement but learning how to spend my time somewhat usefully has been a huge help. My aim for next week is to really up my physical activity! Home workouts need to start happening more often. I always feel so much better afterwards, it’s just getting up starting one that’s the task. Luckily there’s an abundance of online classes available. I might even set out a timetable of sorts to see if that will work? Entertainment wise – Gossip Girl has come to an end (sob) … is it too soon to re-start it from the beginning? Or perhaps I’ll switch to Friends instead. We’ve been watching the new Tiger King Documentary on Netflix and wow, what a crazy ride that is! Between that and Sims 4 – yes I’m still addicted, I’m making sure to have screen-free time each day too. Going for daily walks and colouring in my colouring book which does wonders for when I’m feeling a bit anxious.

I won’t lie, I found todays post difficult to write as I feel I really don’t have a lot to say but here I am regardless. I realise these aren’t my most sophisticated posts – far from it but it’s an insight into my every day life, no frills. So I hope you’re enjoying them regardless. I also hope you’re all hanging in there! To offer a bit of light relief I’m putting quizzes and chatty videos up on my Instagram if you want to play along. Big love to you all.

K x

STAY SAFE. STAY HOME.

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