Three months later, and I am still (mostly) isolating at my cottage in the country, thanks to the COVID19 pandemic and the social distancing and self-isolation rules. But I have the privilege of space and a good income and my years of experience with isolation means that I am coping well.

However, I have found myself getting a bit bored lately and have had a few little stumbles where I have felt frustrated and (kind of, but not really) hopeless about the entire situation. These feelings were heightened after it was announced that it will be at least three more months before I can go to my new office to meet my colleagues “in real life”, and more likely it will be six months – as in, 2021.

Thankfully, some of the lockdown and social distancing guidelines in Scotland have changed which means I was able to meet with a real-life friend and his dog in real life last week. (Yay!!!) Whilst our meeting was a bit premature for people who are shielding, as I am, I felt that it was a low-risk decision for me. And we shielders will be given the green light for socially distanced exercise and outdoor meetups soon. (Although I’ve been going outside to exercise all along.)

As the weather has warmed up, I have been getting outside more and more – and running more and more. Indeed, I am even on track to have my best mileage month since breaking my ankle (nearly four years ago!). This extra fresh air and exercise have certainly helped me to feel better in general, despite still feeling bored.

The boredom, I think, is because I am seeing the same scenery over and over and over again and I am seeing it almost always on my own. (My housemate joins me for an occasional walk around the estate, but he works nights so is generally sleeping when I am awake.) I am trying to think of new ways to experience my surroundings though, including the potential of a sunrise (or at least very early) climb in the Pentland Hills, when I can feel safe knowing that there won’t be crowds of people around.

So, there you have it. Three months of (near) isolation and a bit of boredom and frustration is setting in. But, as anyone who regularly visits Just Frances will know, I do like to think positively… so here’s hoping that I’ll use that positivity so that when I share a four-month review I am doing so with a lot of great, positive energy.

Stay safe, everyone!