ACH Blog

Going back into Work and School

Isobel Cosgrove - Friday, September 25, 2020

So has it really only been 6 months since Lockdown? Some days it feels like 6 years. Did I really write 10 blogs, and here I am writing another! Yet another transition, and so much change for us all to negotiate. How are the young children managing being back at school? Those who are shy have had some wobbles. And those of us who are older have had wobbles too, finding ourselves with others we have not seen for a while. It is tricky managing face to face contact, after so much self isolation for those who are more vulnerable. 

four children standing on dirt during daytime

And recently it has been Autumn Equinox, although that is hard to believe, as I have lunch at Cricks Corner, my local neighbourhood cafe. This has been a lifeline for me since it reopened at the end of May. I have sat in the sun, on the benches outside, surrounded by plants or young trees, for the whole summer (at a social distance). Tom, Hunter, Elena, Henry and Lauren have made my cortados, sold me eggs, fruit and flowers, and made me laugh (and sometimes cry) through the long, warm days. Thank you to you all. It has made all the difference to the time without friends, colleagues and family who live out of London. 


So at this turning point in the year, as the sun moves into the Southern Hemisphere, and the days shorten, how will we continue to nourish ourselves? Making new connections at school, college, and work will definitely help, if we get the support there that we need. That depends upon teachers, lecturers, tutors and managers all understanding that going back to study and work is a challenge. It brings big gifts, and it also asks us to manage yet another big change in a relatively short period of time. 

I was working with colleagues this morning, and we all agreed that during a time of change, writing a personal, reflective journal will help us to have more contact with ourselves. And when we have that, there is a better chance that we will have more nourishing contact with others around us. We were all managing relative degrees of isolation, and time away from work and family. So sitting for half an hour a day with a journal helped us collect our thoughts, feelings and experiences. We could then face going back to the clinic, or to a meeting, or to meet a friend, with more inside of us. We could take that self knowledge and understanding into the next event, and this gave us a feeling of being a little more substantial, steady and centred. 

people sitting on chair in front of table while holding pens during daytime

Moving from inside to outside is often a big ask. Let's all get the support we need to make the move manageable and enjoyable. Then going back to school, college and work can be much more of a pleasure. 

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Transition Into Autumn

Isobel Cosgrove - Tuesday, September 01, 2020

As I look out of one window in the sitting room, I can see Late Summer in the trees. All is green and full, with seeds forming. Out of the next window I can see early Autumn. The tree colours range from yellow to pale red to reddish brown, and leaves are beginning to fall.

worm's eye view photography of trees

When I first started writing Blogs, during Lockdown, it was Spring. And since then, every season has been earlier than usual this year. As I look back I can see the impact of the Covid crisis, and also how life has changed throughout Spring, Summer, and late Summer. Now we are approaching Autumnal days, what changes will we be facing in September?

All of the news this week has been about how we are going to manage children going back to school. They have been at home for 5 months since mid March, and going back in September will be a really big transition. They will be pleased to spend more time with their friends. And getting used to working from 9am to 3pm in class will be a big ask. Especially for young children. So not only will they make a transition from Summer to Autumn. They will also make the transition from home study, to long days with a school timetable.

flat lay photography of blue backpack beside book and silver MacBook

 All transitions are a challenge, and it takes time for us to get used to the change they bring.

I feel sure that teachers will be mindful of the demands of this transition, and that parents will give more downtime to young ones who are tired at the end of the school days.

As days shorten, and temperatures drop, at the beginning of Autumn, we all need extra down time, and warmer and more nourishing food. In the animal world they prepare in Autumn for dealing with cold and dark days at the end of the year. And so in the world we live in we need to adjust our food, our rest time at nights, and our daily routines to accommodate these Autumn changes.’

In my first Riverford Boxes in September I have yellow squash, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, onions, which I can use to make some warming stews. I have rhubarb for crumble. And I have been out picking blackberries with my grandsons. We have mixed the berries with apples from the garden and made pies and some jam. The late French and runner beans are still being picked, as are tomatoes and corn. This is the harvest season.

variety of vegetables

There is a sense of the fullness of the year in August and September, following the period of strong growth in Spring, and the flowering in Summer. We have fruit in the hedgerows, on the trees, and vegetables on allotments and in gardens. Let's make the most of this moment, before the early frosts, and the windy days at the Autumn Equinox.

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