Today is all about…March 2020

If anyone is thinking of entering the next series of The Circle, then March would definitely be good training ground for being locked up and mainly communicating via social media.

Thought of the month: Coronavirus

I think it is fair to say that Coronavirus has been on everyone’s mind recently. Actually, we have had no choice. We’ve been eating, sleeping and breathing about it all for months!

It’s a subject that I have so much to talk on, that I have had to split it up into a series of blogs on the subject…that I am still writing!

March’s Playlist

While in Cardiff at the beginning of March, some of my work colleagues found out how big of a Neighbours geek I was. I have watched the show since I the beginning, and I’ve even written about the show a ‘few’ years ago.

To celebrate the shows 35th anniversary, I’ve put together a playlist of some of the actors (past and present), who have released music over the years.

It was quite a nice nostalgia trip, but it’s fair to say that some of the songs haven’t aged well. And I’m gutted that Stefan Dennis’ “Don’t you make me feel good” wasn’t on Spotify.

So enjoy March’s playlist:

March Activities

Tattoo

March saw me get another tattoo just before the lockdown was announced.

My friend Gaz, who did my previous tattoo, quit his job and went full-time as a tattooist. And I was his first client in his new studio.

Before I even contemplate putting ink-to-skin, I have the design on my phone for a while. I had this design for over a year, and it has quickly become one of my favourite pieces.

The unicorn is Scotland’s national animal, and I like them. So it fitted perfectly into my sleeve concept…when it is finished that is.

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Thanks @gazunio_ink for doing this. Apologies for laughing a lot. So why this tattoo? True(ish) story: Three Scots sat in the pub Scot 1: We’ve bin told tae come up wi’ Scotland’s national beastie. Scot 2: Whit aboot the Highland coo? Scot 3: Nah, tay hairy. I’d say th’ red deer. horny an’ ready tae battle, like us Scots! Scot 1: Nah, disnae feel reet. We shood use this tae change th’ way fowk see Scotland!!! *After several bottles of whiskey* Scot 2: I fecking got it! Whit aboot a unicorn? *They all look at each other, take a sip of their drinks* Scot 3: Aye, that’s ‘at sorted. noo whit aboot th’ national flower? And here lies the story on how the unicorn became Scotland’s national animal. So the tattoo, represents my home country. And nothing to do with me being a gay or liking unicorns. Honest! 😏

A post shared by Mike DH (@ascottishmanc) on

Not long after my tattoo, we went into lockdown, and as Gaz just left his previous job to go self employed, he is not earning nothing.

So if you’re thinking of getting a tattoo, once all this malarkey is over; and live in the North West, then give Gaz a bell so he can fill his appointment book up. But leave a place for me, so I can book in for my ninth one!

Working from Home

As Covid-19 spread across the world, it was clear that it wouldn’t be long before the UK would end up in quarantine. Or as us Brits like to call it, because it sounds less scary…lockdown!

Mid March, work decided to get prepared for the situation and test out their crisis procedure for a day, to check they have everything can continue as normal. Luckily, it did because lockdown was announced that day, and I haven’t been to the office since!

I want to start by saying that I am lucky that I’ve still got a job, and that I have the ability to work from home. I know many people have been redundant or furloughed.

And while working from home has created some challenging adjustments that I am still trying to get used to, it has also been a lifesaver for my mental health. Working has kept my mind busy for the majority of the day, which is always good.

I’ve also got to applaud the way that work have handled the whole situation.

They are shit hot on mental wellness, and have always supported me through my issues. However, they’ve stepped up and put things on to minimise loneliness and to support employees through this period…including:

  • You should your camera on while in meetings, so you can see and chat with your colleagues face-to-face. Although, because my broadband is so crap, I look like a ‘potato’ during these calls!
  • Amending the core hours to support parents and their families.
  • Setting up non-work related chat groups, to talk non-work and do small quizzes.
  • Check up you regularly to make sure everything is okay and you’re coping or need anything

While some of my colleagues have struggled to readjust, I’ve not so much. Maybe because everyone that I have been working closely with recently are all based in Cardiff. So, all my communication has been long distance, so it is something that I am used.

On a personal level, working from home has actually been really good for me. The introvert side of me has been in his element.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve missed seeing friends and family. Even some of my work colleagues. And I’d really like a good night out. But I’ve been able to cope up to now, which I am thankful for.

Virtual ChippyTuesday™

With lockdown in effect, we had to cancel all out pre-scheduled ChippyTuesday™ nights. Cancelling all March (and onwards) plans sucked, but these were the hardest.

Although we used this opportunity to bring it to the masses, and decided to hold a Virtual ChippyTuesday™. Just a nice way to catch up with friends and see how they are all coping.

As the weeks went on, a quiz element was introduced and more people are coming along for the shits and giggles, and I hope that people are having a great evening from it all.

To be honest, it’s actually been great fun for me. Not just the evening themselves, but spending time creating the quizzes themselves.

At least it keeps me entertained for a few evenings a week!

March’s ‘Today is all about’ photos:

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