Last month I wrote a post about what I got up to during April in Quarantine in Dublin ( which was more than I thought I did). I found it a good way to reflect and document what I actually did during this strange time. Days seem to blur into one another at the moment as time drifts on by. So I thought it would be good to keep the momentum up and write another monthly report to share with others and to keep myself somewhat accountable.
Overall this month was ok. I am finding I am now getting a bit antsy and have itchy feet. However, overall things are fine. Having the restrictions eased also helped a bit to be able to explore more things. More businesses have opened and there is more life in the city. Which is great to see. Although, I could do without the traffic!
We have decided to move from our apartment and move somewhere more spacious, close to nature and has decent public transport and doesn’t cost a complete fortune. I am looking at places like Oranmore in Galway which ticks a lot of boxes except the price! The logistics of putting a place in the market in quarantine is bit mad so we’ll see how we go, step-by-step.
So what did I get up to this month?
Although, I didn’t actually travel. We did explore quite a bit this month as the weather has been incredibly good ( for Ireland). The restrictions changed from 2km radius to 5km radius from home which meant I was able to go on mini-adventures around my home town.
I also resubscribed to the Dublin bikes scheme and I am trying to gradually overcome my fear of cycling, with Alex’s help 🙂
Our first outing after the lockdown was increased to 5km was to see the sea again and we cycled all the way to the coast. The tide was way out so we had lots of space to social distance on the beach. It was so refreshing to smell the salt air and feel the sea breeze on my skin again. Especially as it was sunny!
Normally I would NEVER cycle to Phoenix park as the traffic along the Quays by the River Liffey is crazy and the double-decker buses also use the cycle lanes which is just terrifying. However, at the moment due to the Covid restrictions, there is much less traffic making it doable for me to cycle without completely freaking out. As the park is the biggest urban park in Europe it has lots of big green open fields to enjoy. The slow incline from the main gates, however, is NOT fun and had me panting and puffing within seconds. It was also quite busy around this area so we took a quick break to catch my breath and cycled on further plonking ourselves down on a grassy patch and watched the clouds and birds float past.
Friends & Family
It was so good and a bit strange to be able to meet up with people in person once again! We were able to meet up with a Polish friend who will soon be relocating back to Poland to be closer to his family while in Phoenix park. It’s so weird not to be able to hug people.
I also met with my grand aunt who had her 97th birthday. Celebrating with a garden tea party with pear tart. Yum!!
I also met with an ex-colleague of mine and her baby for a stroll around town. Stopping for a takeaway sandwich and coffee for lunch outside. Unfortunately, the weather was not kind to us that day and we had all the 4 seasons in an afternoon. Wet one minute and sunny the next.
We have also went to a BBQ with friends in Rathmines. The weather was spectacular and sitting outside having a drink on the balcony felt like I could have been somewhere in the Mediterranean, not Dublin.
I have also been catching up with regular weekly Zoom calls and whatsapp’ing with various family & friends. Although the Zoom frequency has reduced somewhat this month.
Art & Creativity
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As usual, I have been doing some sketching with the Dublin Sketchers group. The themes included for this month’s Sunday sketching was of Howth, public art in Dublin, Front line workers, Bridges & flowers. I wasn’t able to do them all but really did enjoy the ones I did. Just having a dedicated time for your art makes such a difference.
I also experimented a bit more with digital work by scanning my watercolour and ink drawings and messing around with them in photoshop. I really liked the effect and the freedom it gives you with blending and layering work. I definitely want to do more of this.
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My resin jewelry kit finally arrived! So I collected wildflowers from Phoenix park and also cut up a watercolour painting (that’s the green one) and dried & pressed the flowers in the microwave. I need to practice more as there were a lot of bubbles with these pieces but not bad for the first attempt!
I also finally got my Etsy shop up & running -> etsy.com/ie/shop/ArtbyVourneen and made 8 sales!! I admit this was mostly to friends and family but I sold some to strangers also. I learned a lot from setting this up. From logistics, customer service, supplier management, etsy SEO etc. It’s really rewarding and I am so grateful to those who bought from me so far. I am hoping to expand my product range soon !!
Learning, reading & watching
I havn’t really done much online learning courses this month. Just a few Youtube tutorials here & there about Etsy.
What I’ve been reading
I finally finished Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland
Anyone who has an interest in Ireland and wants to know more about the troubles in Northern Ireland and the context of the conflict should read this book.
Next up: Borderlines: A Journey In Thailand And Burma
I also finished some audible books
- Around the world in 60 seconds: The Nas Daily Journey – I enjoyed his observations but the over-excitable narration was a little much for me.
- Currently listening to : Rediscovering Travel by Seth Kugel – He has enjoyable anecdotes and I like his exploratory spontaneous travel style. Some of the tips are just tiring rather than entertaining or useful. I wanted to enjoy this New York Times budget travel writers book more than I am.
What I’ve been watching
I watched some of the Irish series that everyone was going on about ‘Normal People’ which just didn’t really grab me.
On Netflix, I watched a few episodes of ‘The Eddy’ which I really enjoyed. It’s based around a Jazz club in Paris, the acting, plot, and cinematography are great.
I’ve been relatively busy with client work the last few weeks. Again this month a surprising amount of prospective project requests came in which is reassuring. I feel the recession hasn’t hit yet and because of all the change going on with Covid people just need extra support right now. Many of my clients are also looking to hire full-time staff members. I think the tech/ software industry is still in a bubble and so far it’s yet to burst thank goodness.
This month was another bumper month of eating yummy food despite not being able to eat in a restaurant. Not shown below was a sumptuously spicy Malabar chicken curry from Konkan
and also Chicken Fillet Kebab meal from Café Oasis – don’t knock it until you try this sublime dish!
I really, really have to just stop eating my way through this quarantine. I managed to work my way through most of Yoga with Adrienne’s – yoga for weight loss playlist. It did help with strengthening and if I hadn’t eaten the amount I did this month I probably would have lost some weight. However, I am afraid to go near my scales so I have no idea. I also did quite a bit of cycling again this month, to Sandymount, Kimmage and to Phoenix Park. We also did a lot of walks around town and a longer walk to Rathmines. In total, it added up to 67k steps which is definitely an increase from the 19k I did in April! Also walking more was one of my goals for this month so I’m glad I was able to tick this one off the list. Lastly, I completed a 5 day Qi Gong challenge with Lee Holden and felt it did me the world of good.
Goals & Plans for June
A review of goals I set for May
✔️Meet up in person with friends
✔️Make resin jewelry
✔️Finish Etsy & Shopify store ( decided to focus on Etsy first but did get the store up)
✔️Keep up with yoga
✔️Finish Say Nothing Book
Goals for June:
⭐ Daily yoga/ Qi Gong /Cycling
⭐ Get up & go to bed earlier and at a regular time even at weekends!
⭐ Finish Borderlines book
⭐ Sign up for 30×30 direct watercolor challenge and see how far I get with painting daily
⭐ Get photos & 3d tour of apartment done for estate agent
⭐ Get the plumber booked in
⭐ Start painting the apartment
⭐ Meet up with more people in-person
⭐ Plan a trip for July/ August – Galway? Amsterdam?