My Quarantine Routine: Vicky, who has been at home for a month after a knee op

We’re two weeks into coronavirus lockdown and getting into a day-to-day routine.

My Quarantine Routine is our mini-series, which highlights how people are spending their days at home.

Today, we’re with Vicky Paul, a 46-year-old Scottish artist and writer living in London.

A month before lockdown began, Vicky had a knee operation which means she spent the weeks before we were all ordered to stay at home, on the sofa, recovering from the operation.

Now, her knee is getting better every day but like everyone else, she is facing more time staying at home.

This is how she spent Friday 27 March.

7.45 am

Wake up. I’m having a lie-in as I had an anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction – knee op – four weeks ago and I’m allowing myself to wake up naturally.

I’m an early riser, a hangover from years as a breakfast radio presenter, and also self-employed so feel guilty if I don’t get up and get on with the day.

I make a coffee – this is my sacred time, and the only routine I have to stick to – check emails, the news, social media and post an image of one of my paintings on Instagram. I am spending a lot more time connecting on my social media these days!

9 am

Head for a shower, get dressed and pop my makeup on. I have worked from home for 13 years and if I am being honest, don’t do this every day, but I’ve been doing Facebook Live painting videos so I’m making an effort.

I don’t tend to eat first thing in the morning. I need an hour or two for my body to wake up, so I let the dog (a cocker spaniel called Lucy) out for a pee and write my to-do list for the day.

It feels weird that it’s nearly 10 am. I usually have all this done by 8 am, however, I’m learning to go with the new flow.

10 am

Working from my laptop on the sofa with a bag of peas on my knee. I’ve been living on the sofa for the last four weeks and IT IS HARD. I’m usually very active; long dog walk every day, gym four times a week and I cycle everywhere.

After replying to emails, I film a quick live then set up for a Facebook Live painting videos. They have helped to keep me focussed since most of my projects have been cancelled, and I like having the structure of something to work towards.

11 am

Film my Facebook Live painting video, then work on the painting adding a few extra layers before the next video. I then answer any questions that came up during the Live and share the video in different groups.

As an artist I painting intuitively which is like ‘meditating’ or ‘letting go’ whilst applying paint to a canvas so it’s great for our mental and emotional well-being. P

It’s perfect for helping us through these challenging times.

12 pm

Catch up online with the designer who is creating the cover of my new book How To Be SuccesSoul. I have to sign off the cover artwork and copy and catch up online with my publisher.

He wants to discuss pushing back the book release date. I’ve been working towards a May release, but due to Covid-19 we need to reschedule. I feel a little deflated but I was expecting this news given everything that’s going on.

I have brunch – a bowl of wheat free cereal with fruit and lactose free yoghurt then pop some vitamins.

1 pm

I run a free abstract art giveaway every Friday so I reply to everyone that entered and jump in Insta Live to announce the winner. Back to the sofa for more work.

Prior to focussing on my art and writing, I was a publicist so still have a couple of clients that I’ve worked with for years and we’ve been trying to deal with the fallout from Covid-19.

They’ve had to cancel concerts so we discuss different ways to collaborate and share what they’re doing online.

I always clean my house on Friday – a good clean breaks up the day and is great for the soul – so we give the place a quick once over! My hubby is currently on days off so it’s great to have the company.

2.15 pm

Pop out for my daily walk with Lucy, I’m in need of fresh air and a change of scenery. It’s fairly short due to my knee but Lucy is loving the lock down as we’ve been throwing the tennis ball down the street (it’s a dead end) in an attempt to tire her out.

Back to my laptop and my hubby pops on Star Wars Phantom Menace for a distraction whilst I proof read the typesetting document for my book.

3 pm

Have a wander round the house to stretch my legs, grab a double decaf espresso and some dark chocolate for energy, all this ‘lazing about’ is tiring.

An old client has asked me to help him spread the word about some YouTube videos he’s doing (he’s also had all his gigs cancelled), so I email a few journalists and try to decide whether 4pm is too early for a G&T.

4 pm

No G&T. I get back to proof reading my book.

5.15 pm

Stop proofreading to watch the Covid-19 Daily Briefing.

5.30 pm

Change into my comfy gear and do physio exercises for my knee whilst listening to the news on TV.

Can’t quite believe we are where we are, with large venues across the UK being turned in to makeshift hospitals and mortuaries. I feel worried for my family and friends – we have some vulnerable family members with diabetes and other health issues.

6 pm

Hubby and I do our daily ‘Covid Calls’. We’ve been FaceTiming our parents and family to check in and say hi. Everyone is in good spirits despite being low on milk, loo roll and bread. I have a glass of wine and some crisps and dip while we’re chatting on FaceTime.

8 pm

I’ve never been on FaceTime as much as I have over the last couple of weeks. We have pizza for dinner, feels kinda unhealthy given the crisps and dip but hey ho it’s Friday.

We watch a couple of episodes of Breeders (it’s hilarious) and I check my Facebook and reply to comments on Insta.

Decided not to check the news, I’m limiting it to once in the morning and the daily briefing in the afternoon. Loving all the memes and videos doing the rounds – this virus has highlighted so many talented people.

10 pm

A friend asks me to send her photos of my paintings – she is going to launch a virtual art gallery and host an online opening with some of our friends who are also artists and photographers.

I usually work on my own, unless I have a project that needs additional support, and I am loving the sense of community and fresh ideas that have developed as a result of Covid-19. I feel less isolated despite being isolated. The Universe loves a contradiction! Our internet is as slow as a week in jail so sending the pics takes an age.

11.30 pm

Head to bed after letting Lucy out and spend half an hour faffing about before lights out.

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