I hate jigsaw puzzles – precious hours of one’s limited time on earth spent pointlessly assembling a revolting picture you could have seen just by looking at the box. Well- I’ve done 9 since the lockdown started and I’m now contemplating buying a trestle table and having a crack at a 3000 piecer in the attic.  

I’m Steve - one of the Trustees of Sheffield Mind. I’ve been on the Board for 13 years, and, as a social worker, was actively engaged with Sheffield Mind as long ago as 1979 (crikey – where did those 41 years go). My lockdown is a lucky one - I’ve got company, a garden, decent health and a reliable income, so there is a sort of moral duty not to grumble about being bored or not seeing my friends, when others have been having such a truly terrible time.  So I have predictably failed and done a fair bit of grumbling about being bored and not seeing my friends.

Sheffield Mind Board meetings have continued on Zoom and are surprisingly effective, as we have become more skilful and relaxed at interacting with the 14 other disembodied faces sitting in their little boxes dotted around a screen.  

At the weekly meeting of my ukulele group (‘the lamppost leaners’), the time lag on Zoom means that each ukelele is occupying a different place in the space-time continuum and the resulting sound is dreadful, but its still a high spot of the week.         

On the subject of zoom – a thumbs down for those who do it on hand-held mobile phones, so their heads bounce around all over the place and make you feel sick, and half the time you’re looking at their ceiling.Virtual communication is excellent and frustrating at the same time.   I desperately look forward to zoom meetings with my children and grandchildren, but its not the same as being there, and sometimes can reinforce rather than mitigate the loss of not being able to see them.

I have a daily long walk, which is great when the weather is nice. I’ve cleaned the windows for the first time in years and done plenty of piano practice.  A big find of the lockdown has been the wonderful museum websites – I’m rationing myself to one per week.  But I’ve still not got round to that bread baking plan and probably never will.

Best wishes to all those whose lockdown has been and is far more difficult than mine.