Firewalkers – Adrian Tchaikovsky

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You know when you read a book and you’re enthralled with the world building and you don’t quite want it to end? That is exactly how I would describe my relationship with ‘Firewalkers’ by Adrian Tchaikovsky. What’s worse, for me at least, is that this is a ‘novella’ not a long novel so I couldn’t spend as much time in this world as perhaps a normal book.

Synopsis:

Firewalkers are brave. Firewalkers are resourceful. Firewalkers are expendable.

The Earth is burning. Nothing can survive at the Anchor; not without water and power. But the ultra-rich, waiting for their ride off the dying Earth? They can buy water. And as for power?

Well, someone has to repair the solar panels, down in the deserts below.

Kids like Mao, and Lupé, and Hotep; kids with brains and guts but no hope.

We are introduced to the near future of a burning Earth. Climate change has wrecked it’s damage across the world – there are parts of it underwater, and other parts that simply don’t have any water. We meet our main characters in the equatorial zone of the planet, at an anchor point to a spaceship, where the future of humankind will live out their lives ‘continuing’ the species. Those on the ground? Well, they’re screwed. They’re left behind, serving the ships in space until they are no longer needed.

Firewalkers is a term for the kids (no one gets old anymore. They die of diseases like cancer or hard labour first). The kids – mainly in their late teens – go into the arid, dry world and fix whatever it is that needs fixing. Fixing whatever it is that the robots out there cannot fix, because at some point, someone needs to fix the robots.

Solar panels generate the electrical needs for the small towns that may have water. Desalination occurs near the sea water, there is no water table here. There is a hotel in the township our characters are from, and everything this town does is to service that hotel and the rich clients that make the town their last stopping place on Earth before ascending to the spaceship ‘The Grand Celeste’ and to safety. Money buys you everything.

Mao, Lupe and Hotep are sent into the desert to find out why the power is being disrupted to the hotel, and to fix it. That’s what they do – fix the things that the powerful, rich and mighty don’t have to do.

This book was such a ride in it’s some 200 pages. I wish it was longer, or had a sequel planned or something. The main characters were distinct from one another, each with a great backstory and motivation for doing what they did. I don’t want to give anything away from the main plot points, but that ending was also totally unexpected. If anything, it could have done with being fleshed out a little more as I was initially confused as to what was happening, but then again, maybe that was the point?

Ultimately this was a story of what happens when desperation meets resentment, when survival is everything and there is nothing left to lose. Plus a little mystery in the middle of strange houses and solar forests.

Adrian Tchaikovsky has very quickly become one of my favourite authors with his ‘Children of Time’ series, and I am definitely looking to expand my reading of his other works too.

Also, just because I want to add this here – my copy of Firewalkers was a signed edition, and that makes me happy too! 

What are you reading at the moment? My next book will be the new Hunger Games book ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’. I’ve heard good things, and managed to get it half price at Costco the other day!

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So it turns out that I don’t appear to have any fibrefill at home. I was sure I had a small amount – not enough for what I want to be fair, but it would have been something to start stuffing my turtle. I’ve had to resort to ordering online because, naturally, all the craft stores are closed. Usually I would just head to Hobbycraft and pick another bag or two up.

I always forget just how much stuffing the Heidi Bears patterns have as well.

In the meantime, I am stuck trying to decide what to make. Do I really need to make another shawl? What about socks? (I am not in the mood to be making socks). Toys all suffer from the need for toy stuffing, and clothes… my issues with my weight are putting me off making more cardigans that don’t fit quite right. Since about February – so a little before lockdown started in reality – I have managed to gain a stone, putting me at nearly 15 stone. I don’t think I LOOK that much. (My job is pretty physical so have some decent muscle mass going on) but it doesn’t make me feel better about myself. I told myself I was going to eat healthier and do Weight Watchers…. But I’m just not skilled at actually prepping things like breakfast. Plus, I live with a man who couldn’t give a damn either on whether what he eats is healthy or not. Basically, just chicken and chips. Not that I eat that every day it should be said!

Oooo that got a bit ranty didn’t it? Sorry.

Basically, I am at that point where I am actually starting to feel the strain. I’m a key worker so have been going to work every day. The rhythm and routines haven’t changed that much. Except the cap on the freedom to do whatever you want.

We went to a local town centre yesterday.  I mean it was mostly closed, but we still went and had a look around. I would have preferred to have stayed home in all honesty but it’s what Alex needed more than anything. And obviously, nowhere that was open sold fibrefill. We did a get a KFC though, as like I say, Alex loves his chicken and chips and it was his first one since lockdown started. He said he hasn’t missed it but I would suspect otherwise haha.

I still don’t know what to make next. Any suggestions?

A Minor Journey to the Dump

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It’s so strange in this day and age how simple tasks seem hugely significant. Today I took a lot of junk and rubbish to the dump. If I had wanted to do this prior to ‘lockdown’ (I mean, aside from grinding our economy to a complete halt, and then looking like idiots around the Dominic Cummings fiasco) our lockdown wasn’t anything like say, Spain, Germany or South Korea. The reasons we could leave the house/home were there – and to be honest with the work that I do (hey fellow ‘key workers’ that aren’t NHS) I haven’t exactly had much change to my normal routine of things. Being an introvert, especially when I am not working, my routines weren’t all that different to before. Except I now have to PLAN to do things, whereas before I would just have done them – going to the dump being one of them.

Now – I’m using the word ‘dump’ here, but I get that some people may be asking what the heck am I on about? I’m not sure what the general colloquialism is – if there is one – but basically I’m talking about taking my junk to waste management for them to send to landfill.

There are two of these dumps relatively local to me. One is about 5 miles away, the other is about 10. Towards the end of last week the one that was furthest away had a fire. The one that is more local to me is much bigger, and also much busier. I wasn’t even sure that my plans for this week was going to be able to include going to the dump, which basically put a lot of my plans for the week on hold. (Cleaning, sorting, getting rid of stuff, more cleaning etc etc etc). This week I’ve been on Annual Leave – much needed by the way even if I couldn’t go anywhere as such.

On Monday I was looking at timeslots for the local dump. They didn’t have anything for 10 days – by that point I would be back at work and wouldn’t even have been able to guarantee my time slot. It’s not like I could leave work for however long it would take and then go back again – that’s not really how we do things! – so I thought I would try the one that had supposedly caught fire last week. Luckily for me the whole week was clear for spots to be able to attend, so I booked a slot for today (Saturday) as that gave me all week to get my ass in gear and sort things out.

And my oh my, sort things I did. I started with a bookcase, which I needed to empty and clear to get behind. It was grim and nearly made me sick as it was FULL of black mould. YUCK. It’s now clean though, as it the bookcase! I gave pretty much all my horror books to a friend who has recently retired, and some DVD’s and a CD player too. I also cleared and sorted the front garden with the help of my parents – socially distanced, of course.  (It now has woodchip down so will hopefully reduce the weed growth too!).

In light of the disgusting lifeform growing behind the bookcase I also checked behind the other one – which did have some mould but nothing like the first. I have also moved that to allow the flat to ventilate and breath. We are currently having a debate around damp vs ventilation, but I tell you – in my opinion it’s just bad ventilation. When this flat was built (and remember it’s not the biggest) they put 2 vents in. One in the front room, one in the bedroom. The vent in the bathroom we replaced with a much more powerful one, although the moisture still has something like 3m to travel to the nearest exit. When we cook, iron, sometimes even have the heating on, and when we leave the bathroom, steam covers the flat, and it collects on that wall and drops down the back as it has nowhere else to go. And those bookcases have been there for some time – one of them at least 3 years without being moved. This is why I think it’s not a damp problem, but then I am not an expert and of course everyone else wants to ‘know’ more than me. i.e. be right. (I’m getting real fed up with this as well).

Everything has been cleaned, and we even managed to paint the bedroom and get rid of even more junk. In the end I had about 10 or 11 black sacks worth of utter rubbish. We got rid of VHS tapes (actually, Alex put them in my jute shopping bags, and me being me put them outside to take to the tip like that and someone stole the whole lot overnight. I’m really not bothered – it’s like that phrase ‘one person’s trash is another person’s gold’.

That trip to the tip this morning though, that was good. It was orderly. I had to wait to be admitted, made sure I had my registration handy (not that they checked). They did check my registration plate for my car, then proceeded to get it wrong, so I am hoping that the person who did have the registration they kept assigning me managed to get in!).

In a way I preferred doing it this way. Everything was orderly. Everything wasn’t compacted and the space squeezed. Prior to this situation the space at this particular dump was tight, cars reverse parked into the bays that face the unloading areas – now they were parallel. The only thing it does is take away the spontaneity of doing a house clear out like we did. Poor Alex thought he was having a week off work doing sweet FA. That certainly wasn’t the case!

In all though, I have achieved a lot this week. The flat feels like it has more space, it is clean, and the bedroom is fully finished for the first time in 4 years. I need to get things like new curtains, and maybe some furnishings to match the new paint. But it’s done and that certainly makes me happy. The mould growth behind the bookcases has been dealt with (there’s a minor area we need to check and finish behind some DVD’s) but I feel better. I feel cleaner, and I am hoping that I won’t be subject to quite so many headaches and blocked noses! (I looked up potential exposure to black mould and these were some of the symptoms. I have had them for a while!).

My mum got me some moisture crystals so that I can monitor any additional problems and will be able to tell if it is damp vs some mould in the longer term.

I feel cleaner. I feel better, and I definitely feel freer. Also, it has made my realise just how much junk and rubbish we buy and hold onto long term and we really don’t need it full stop! I am hoping that this lockdown will show just how much I don’t need to be spending money on utter rubbish!

Sorry for the essay! It’s been a good week and I’m not having an awful lot of ability to get my words out at home. Just lately Alex… I don’t know. I think he’s a bit jealous of my promotion and the money that I am earning now. (It’s paying off debt! It’s not like I’m flouting it around!!).

Keep safe folks!

Kialtho

A crafty round up

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I started writing a blog about a project I finished last week – one that I have been working on for about a month or so (probably a bit longer if I am honest) but then I got a few lines in and realised that I hadn’t written about my other big project of the year so far – which I don’t exactly have many photos of, and technically it’s not finished either.

I have (mostly) completed a Ginny’s cardigan. It was a good make and didn’t take me as long as I expected considering a lot of other projects listed on Ravelry suggested that it was an uber long make, and that it was going to be really difficult too.

I started on a sleeve as I used this as my gauge swatch. I decided early on to make it a size bigger than I originally planned due to my tension. I also used some Stylecraft Special DK which has sort of become my go to acrylic as it is slightly hardier than my previous go to yarn. I used a stonewash colour – I think it was called waterfall or something similar.

It was a pretty straight forward pattern to follow, and overall, I enjoyed making it. The sleeves are a little on the tight side though, so if I was to make it again, I would probably go up another size for these. I need to find some good buttons and give it a steam before I can get a goof photo of it. For the time being I’ve put in the wardrobe until I can get hold of some decent buttons. I’m not sure what I am looking for in a button, but I know that I don’t have it at home.

The next thing I have made is a Virus Shawl. This has been on my radar for some time, in fact I made one a few years back, but I wasn’t completely satisfied with that one. I had two cakes of gradient yarn (same colourway) in my stash that I thought would be perfect for this. They were both 200g each, so plenty to be working with. What I didn’t really account for is that this was going to go on and on and on and become absolutely massive. In the end I had probably about 50g left across the two cakes. It will certainly keep me nice and toasty warm that’s for sure. It’s big enough to be a blanket nearly. Whilst I was making this, I got my sister making a version for herself, and then mum got in a started making one too – which is pretty cool if you think about it.

I have also spent a small amount of time with my sewing machine and have made a few fabric face masks. There is a lack of elastic at the moment so I had to settle for using ribbons. This was one of the first ones I made. I have made a set for my brothers work, and then also some for some friends and family. Now that I have actually managed to get hold of some elastic though I want to try a different pattern – (one of those with the folds in). I have enough fabric for the time being to keep playing around with this sort of stuff. It has made me realise that I would very much like to try my hand at some proper sewing when I can go and browse the sewing shops and get some fabric without having to rely on online photo’s and descriptions.

So that’s it for now. I’m working on a very small project that is taking forever for me to finish. It really should have been done in one sitting really! And then after that I am not sure what I am going to make.

I made the decision to almost completely clear my Ravelry queue the other day so I am more or less starting from a blank there. (It was one of those ‘clearing the junk’ things that I felt was necessary as I was starting to feel pressured to only ‘shop’ from my queue rather than finding something that I would absolutely enjoy. I think this is one of the reasons my knitting mojo took a dive last year).

That’s all for now folks, keep safe and socially distant!

Kialtho

Nick Spalding – Logging Off

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When I chose this book I wanted a book that was light hearted, not to serious, and something that would make me laugh especially in the current climate that isn’t just gripping the UK, but the whole world. This book certainly delivered on those prerequisites… here’s the synopsis:

Andy Bellows is in a right state. Plagued with insomnia, anxiety and neckache, he’s convinced there’s something seriously wrong with him. And the worst thing is that his doctor agrees. The diagnosis: Andy is in the grip of a self-destructive addiction to technology—he just cannot put that bloody mobile phone down.
Texting, tweeting, gaming and online dating—technology rules Andy’s life. His phone even monitors his bowel movements. So how will he cope when he’s forced to follow doctor’s orders and step away from all of his beloved screens?
When he loses his precious digital window on the world, Andy discovers just how bewildering and scary living an analogue life can be. And when his sixty-day detox hits the headlines—making him a hero to suffering technophiles everywhere—Andy is sorely tempted to pack it all in and escape in the nearest Uber.
Can he get himself out of this mess, and work out how to live a better, technologically balanced life…without consulting Google even once?

What with us being connected pretty much all the time at the moment this book appealed to me on a lot of levels. I have screen times set for Facebook, BBC News and the Apple News app. I spend far too much time scrolling these but ultimately not taking a lot in or just end up looking at the same things again and again. I have recognised my need for less screen time for a long time, which which why these limits exist. Looking at my screen time reports on my iPhone I average about 4 hours per day on it. That’s a lot of time wasted, not really getting anything out of it.
Nick Spalding’s book had me laughing from the work go. Who can’t relate to a main character that constantly looks up information, however irrelevant. We’ve all done the browse the internet to find out what is wrong with us rather than just simply going to the doctors. The internet makes what anxiety we do have a hundred times worse, so I could relate to poor Andy’s problems when he’s trying to give his presentation and it goes a bit shit shaped.
The struggles of Andy’s detox are relatable. How many times do we quickly look something up – a quick check of IMDB for the actor in the film you’re watching but can’t place (this is me nearly every film I watch). I mean, even my knitting is logged, researched, and patterns sourced mainly online. Even as I am typing this I went and looked up some details on a film that my partner is watching.
Could you imagine not using the internet (except for work related purposes, as in Andy’s case)? It’s certainly a hard one! I am not sure if all of the exploits that Andy found himself into were relatable but some of them were – like getting lost on his way to a meeting as he didn’t have a sat nav and read the map wrong.
He did commit the rather rookie error of having his home address listed on his website which led to some questionable encounters from people who also wanted to detox. He did find a love interest from it all though, and I love how organically it developed, and how they both embraced a technologically free life, even if, unsurprisingly the detox didn’t last forever.
Towards the end of the book there’s a situation that calls for Andy to completely break his detox for an emergency. Not a run of the mill need an ambulance emergency, but ‘we’ve lost this item and need help’ type. If I had been in that situation I think I would have done exactly what Andy did – ask the internet for help, but I found hard to relate to was the anger that his detox followers had towards him for doing it. Andy used someone else’s phone in a bind to help find his girlfriends locket, not for a casual browse of Facebook just for the lols. I found that his followers anger wasn’t justifiable in that case so found them to be a little ‘holier than thou’ in that regard.
Overall I really enjoyed reading this one. It was some light escapism considering everything that is going on right now, even if I did somewhat ironically read it on my Kindle, through the Kindle Unlimited program.
Funny thing is, just before I started typing this blog I cancelled that membership. And my MyFitnessPal membership too. I don’t need to be quite so connected to everything, and sometimes it takes reading about someone else’s struggles to relate a little to what you’ve been doing.
What are you reading at the moment? Any good recommendations for me?
Keep safe,
Kialtho

This week I did something I wasn’t sure I would do, and it’s going to sound stupid. I deleted my GoodReads account. I’ve had it for a very long time, but as I have gotten older and discovered new hobbies I have been reading less. This year I thought really seriously about deleting the account. I would spend ages looking at my to be read shelf, comparing it to what was available on Amazon and agonising over what to read, whether the book would be good enough or whatever. I thought enough was enough and took the plunge and pressed delete.

I feel better for it. I can’t say I was spending a huge amount of time on there in the end but I feel like it’s one less thing to spend time wasting.

I’m currently reading a book called ‘Logging Off’ which seems appropriate at the moment, no?

This is going to sound weird but it’s something that I have been thinking about a little more often over the last few weeks. How we are living now, inside this government mandated lockdown is how I have always seen the future to be.

Now, don’t be all ‘Kialtho, that’s just ridiculous how could you even think that. You’ve clearly read too many dystopian novels…’ I will tell you a small sliver of family history.

My dear old Nana, gone now for four years I think, she had 9 children. Of those children most of them were girls. She was the loveliest lady you could ever have had the pleasure of knowing, but somehow she became known as ‘Chief Witch’. You could say that between her, and all her children, they became a coven. It may also have had something to do with her love of cats, I couldn’t really tell you.

However, something that I have always grown up knowing is that I come from a line of witches. Yeah, I know, it sounds ridiculous. I have always treated it with the familial love it deserved but never really thought too much about it – except with a bit of affection for my Nana. Now, they didn’t stand around cauldrons summoning the undead or making potions or whatnot, but it was something that was bought up quite a lot – how Nana was the chief witch and all. I have always been told that I take after my Nana in so many ways it’s unreal.

So whilst I can’t tell you what I believe in the grand scheme of things (does magic exist? Magic is just science we don’t yet understand), I have ALWAYS, and I mean ALWAYS known certain things about the future.

Again, this just sounds ridiculous. Even typing it sounds ridiculous. I have some anecdotal evidence, if you could call it that that kind of backs up what I am saying. Sort of.

When I was in secondary school there is a day that I remember having twice. I clearly remember doing that day, but when I experienced it the second time I had known that it had already happened. I knew the questions in classes, I knew exactly what part of the school I was going to fall over in and scrape my knee, I knew the things that my friends and I were going to talk about. When I spoke to them about it they just brushed it off a deja vu, but it was far more that a the feeling of doing it again – I WAS doing it again. I never really spoke to anyone about it because I knew that they would tell me, like my friends did, that it was just deja vu.

When I got older and took my driving test I did a four week intensive course, and the test was booked for the end of it. From the moment that I sat in the car (it was a blue Mazda 3, if anyone was curious) I knew that this was the car that I was going to pass my test in. But more than that, I knew exactly what was going to come up in my test, and what score that I would get. (I would have to do an emergency stop, and three point turn and would get seven minors – and that is EXACTLY what I got).

When the 2016 Brexit referendum was announced I knew what was coming. I had known from a young age what some portion of the future would look like. I was hopeful that as a Remain supporter that we would win, but I knew in my heart that that wasn’t going to be the case. I knew that if there was another election that we were headed in the first steps of the dystopia that I felt was coming. Lockdown, it would seem, is the manifestation of what I thought was coming. Maybe there aren’t uniformed soldiers patrolling the streets – yet – but I knew that this was coming. Granted, I didn’t know it would be because of a raging virus decimating the world, but I still felt that something was coming. Like Hagrid says in Harry Potter ‘There’s a storm coming.’

The other night I had the most horrendous dream about what was next. I can’t say that is what I feel is coming, and I definitely put it down to anxiety. I spoke to my boss about it when he came to see me at work and he is a bit of a psychological/analyst type and definitely put it down to anxiety. My dream went like this:

I was at home with my partner and cat. It was been a little under a year, we were still in lockdown. My partner and I were still working as we were still considered key workers. Except now we needed special permits to leave the house. One day, a rare day off that we both had off, together, there was a commotion outside. We went out and there was a big military truck. In it were a couple of nurses and they (the military) had begun assembling the people that lived in my road. They were forcing people to take the vaccine. There are a lot of elderly people in my road, and some very colourful personality types too, but on this day everyone kind of just stood in fear. It had been reported that there was not enough equipment to go around, and these nurses who had started vaccinating people were reusing the syringes. When I questioned the nurse who was going to do it to me about what she was reusing this syringe, she gave me a bit of the old stink eye, drew the medicine out of the bottle then when her colleague wasn’t looking drew air into the syringe too. When she injected me – after a struggle – she injected air into my body too. I died in this dream almost instantly, and woke up with the most horrendous headache going.

I know it was a dream. It is clearly borne out of anxiety, and yet… when I went back to sleep – eventually – I dreamt I was in hiding and on the run. (I hardly ever continue a dream, but clearly in this one I did!). It was horrible. But also, until this lockdown is eased can only see things getting worse for all of us.

I am not quite sure where this blog is going, but I certainly know that I knew this lockdown was coming from a much younger age. I mean like pre-university age. I knew that when I was older I would be living ‘grounded’ by the government as they took away liberties and the future. Who knows how long this will really last, my forbearance (if you really want to call it that) doesn’t see an easy way out of this. Maybe the tenseness in my heart, my brain, my body will ease and see and way out of this madness.

Obviously, before anyone questions it – I totally understand why our lockdown is needed, and whilst it has killed the economy and we will be paying for it forever, we need to contain this virus. I’ve always joked about having a zombie survival plan, it has certainly never occurred to me that I would need a plague survival plan.

But for now, Keep Safe. Stay Home. Save the NHS.

And I hope that you guys out there are doing okay.

 

Today I have struggled to control my anxiety. My heart feels like it wants to burst straight through my chest and fly away. My eyes want to cry. My head hurts. My hands have been filled with nervous energy that even knitting cannot calm. My stomach feels weighed down by stones. My breathing has been hard like a monster on my chest.

I get why this is going on. Covid-19 will have a far greater reach on society once the actual flu part is done. I don’t get to sit at home all day doing nothing because I have to work. People like me literally keep the nation moving and fed. I have to look after everyone else. I’m the store manager – I am expected to be happy and competent looking after everyone else. This team I look after; they aren’t my family like the previous team I was part of. They don’t know how to treat me, to run to the deputy who has undermined me so far yet wants “no responsibility for anything”.

But here it is: I’m just finding it hard to be strong for everyone else. To look after everyone else’s well being when no one cares about mine. Because I am the strong one. Always.

“Do the next right thing”.

It’s my first day off today since the lockdown started. I am absolutely more than fine spending my time inside and at home. Usually a typical day off from work would involve me popping to the shop for some lunch stuff – I don’t typically buy a lot of food due to me and my husband working shift work – it will usually just go to waste which I think is criminal. Usually we don’t have the same days off in the week either, except, naturally, day 1 of my lockdown where I don’t have to go to work we’ll be sharing the same day off.

I feel like it’s going to be a stressful one to be honest. Artie woke me up at 6am because I’ve usually been up and out for work at 5am and he just wants me to get up and feed him. His breakfast time is 8am. I’ve stuck to this routine since my brother was living with us last year to give him stability, but seriously, on my days off he doesn’t need to get me up that early! I’ve been up with him since about 7 as his meowing was annoying (I love Artie, but he does have the most irritating meow – it’s so whiny!!)

I said to Alex yesterday about how we couldn’t go out and really do anything, a quick trip to the shops if we needed food for the day, or a 30 minute walk somewhere. He immediately went along the lines of ‘if I want to go for a long walk, I’ll go for a long walk’. That’s not very helpful, not is it understanding of the current situation we are in. He can be very stubborn like that.

To be quite honest with myself I am looking forward to having this lockdown. It will be give me a good opportunity to sort some things out around the flat, but also, if no where is open I can’t spend money that I don’t have. This day off falls the wrong side of payday so definitely wouldn’t have been able to say go to Bluewater and spend money on shit I don’t need.

Second week of being a store manager. Despite everything that is going on, I am not sure I actually feel like one yet. I haven’t actually received any paperwork to confirm it either, which I will have to chase up at some point but it isn’t going to be anyone’s priority at the moment.

Right now I’m feeling very sad. I’m not even sure sad is the right way to describe it to be honest, but we’ll stick with it until something more appropriate comes along.

The country has gone into lockdown this evening. I understand this completely. I work as a store manager in fuel and food retail so there’s very little chance I will have to close. I became a store manager literally 2 weeks ago and already the business is in a different place because of what is going on in the world. Right now I wish I was back with my old team, my old boss and at least have the sense of stability. I’m trying to exhibit the strength and force she does, but these are trying times and I’m with a team that doesn’t know me too well all things considered.

Of the 5 days I worked last week only 3 of them were in my own store. 2 were covering another store suffering from shortages. This week will be much the same, this time I am going to a different store. I was planning on sending my deputy but considering the changes made this evening she’s understandably having anxiety about going. Not that it makes things better for me however. So 10 days across 2 weeks and I’ll only have been in my store 6 days.

My stomach feels twisty and unsettled. That will be the anxiety I’m feeling alongside everything else. But overall I just feel profoundly sad – like I just want to cry but there is no one who can make it better.

I’m trying to not rely on anyone else; or contact the boss too much. I imagine all the other store managers will be pestering him for information, but it’ll be exactly the same information that we all will have received – that’s the thing about being a boss you are expected to know absolutely everything when presented with exactly the same information as everyone else.