I was debating whether to write this or not. I’m not actually sure how many of you read this blog part of my website…and when I decided not many, it’s more for me to put my thoughts down on how I’m feeling, I decided to go with it.
It’s a strange feeling. I’ve never felt like this before. I don’t think any of us have. It feels like the Covid_19 pandemic is following us everywhere. For me, it resonates more. I have been following it since it started. I have a good friend and TM-client who moved from the Isle of Dogs with her family a few years ago to Wuhan; the place where it all started. I have been following her and her husband’s social media posts on how they were and what the situation was like from the start of the lockdown in China, first hand. I watched Sky News as Flora walked off the first plane that evacuated British Citizens and taken to Arrow Park Hospital. The hospital where I grew up when I first moved to the UK as my parents were both doctors. We lived in hospital accommodation for the first few years until we moved to a house nearby. This wasn’t just a virus that was happening to someone else, it was happening to people I know and in places, I had visited, lived.
The UK was still oblivious to it all and so was I. We went on our usual half-term ski holiday with the kids. To Italy. It was only a couple of days after we came back that the outbreak in Italy was announced. The news talking about yellow, orange and red zones. Thankfully, we were in Sauze D’Oulx, outside the areas of concern at the time. The kids were already in school for two days, I had been back at work for just one. I was asked to stay at home until they worked out we had been in the safe zone. We carried on as normal.
The end of February came and went, March started. It’s was World Book Day and my husband’s birthday. We celebrated with restraint. It wasn’t a big birthday but equally, one shouldn’t have a celebration and not mark it. We both sat and had a drink contemplating how life was going to be different, very different in the next few months.
All too soon, it was. We started hearing the words social distancing and self-isolation, neither of which you can truly do if you have to jump on the tube to go to a central London day job. In my part-time, FE lecturing job, by mid-month, we moved to face-to-face lessons and adapting to remote teaching. Mircosoft Teams, a new challenge. Everyone around us started panic buying. There was a shortage of toilet rolls. And rice. Flour. Pasta. Tinned tomatoes. Schools closed. Restaurants closed. All non-essential shops closed. The number of cases in London was about the third of the entire country. We had to lock down, shut down.
And it started to hit home. By Year 6 daughter, came home from her last day of school last Friday. We don’t know if this is goodbye to the school that has been the only one she’s known for the last 8-years. To her, the cancellation of school is not a holiday. She has missed her school ski-trip which was supposed to depart tomorrow. A trip that her brother was due to go on for the first time. It was their only opportunity to do it together. It’s a time she doesn’t get to spend with their friends in the last few months before they finish school. She’s anxious, realising they may never be able to walk the halls for the last time or attend their leaving parties. She’s sad that the sports seasons, events and concerts that her & her cohort have practiced and prepared for, and looked forward to for so many years, may have come to an end before they’ve had the chance to take the field, court, or stage one last time. They don’t know if they will have their Outward Bound Adventure. Whilst for Yasmin and her friends hope this isn’t the end, there have been tears knowing that nothing feels right or the same anymore. And then homeschooling started. Work from home while homeschooling. That’s a whole other blog post.
Thermomix-wise they have allowed us to do virtual demonstrations since the second week of March. They quickly introduced this as more and more customers were cautious, understandably, of having Advisors come into their homes. With a large workforce, all self-employed, it has been unclear what the roles and responsibility Vorwerk UK have to their sales team. After all, we are not employed, we are self-employed Independent Advisors. They couldn’t tell us to do anything but only guide us and tell us to keep to government protocols. Advisors who were continuing to go out and offer Cooking Experiences were to follow WHO guidelines which include washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces with a disinfectant and asking any hosts to cancel or guests if they were sick to stay at home, if they were sick.
They introduced Virtual Cooking Experiences for those who would still love to see a Thermomix in action but prefer to do it online. Some Advisors out there are comfortable with this, some aren’t. I’m lucky that I’ve been in the business for over 10 years so one, know the demonstration, and any iteration of it, like the back of my hand. Having to present in my non-Thermomix life every day is easy for me. BUT doing it online is a new challenge; one that we have had to adapt to. So watch out on my socials both Facebook and Instagram for the odd video – maybe in front of the camera, but mostly photos turned into videos.
Whilst, I am still passionate that Thermomix can help us eat well and healthy during these days, I am conscious of not using this pandemic purely for personal gain. I don’t want to push my product or services onto others when I know that there are people getting sick, people are dying, there are food shortages because of those panic buyers. Restaurants and cafes closing down, businesses having to close and people have real financial woes. Those who are self-employed or business owners have little or no income coming in. Those employed, don’t know if their employers have the income to pay them long-term. When there are key workers and NHS frontline staff going out every day putting themselves in harm’s way, without the proper personal protective equipment.
What I will promise though is to stay open and stay active. Honest and transparent as always. Give engaging content as often as I can (remember I am still remote working and homeschooling).
For my entire readership, I will be sharing useful information. Where I am sourcing my staples such as milk, eggs, fruit, and vegetables from and what substitutions I will use when I can’t source ingredients. If my research can help you, then my job is done.
For those who have Thermomix, please stay in touch. I have a well-stocked household (after all I am a foodie, first and foremost) so I will be sharing what we as a family are cooking and eating while in lockdown. I hope some of the things that are are able to make will inspire you to make them too. Tomorrow, we plan to make play dough; something we haven’t done in years but given that we’re home, it’s the perfect opportunity to make it again. Customers have been sending me recipes for liquid hand soap and antiseptic hand sanitizers. I’m not sure how scientifically accurate they are yet, but I’m willing to give it a go. I have plenty of food and non-food recipes, to keep us occupied during this time.
For those who don’t have a Thermomix, but would like to consider buying one, then please stay in touch. Hopefully, the same photos and videos will show you what can be done in a Thermomix and during this time, give you the time to fully utilize it. I had one lady call me just last week, saying that, “If we’re going into lockdown, now is the time to have a toy”. She had been contemplating purchasing a Thermomix since 2017. I managed to complete her order and conduct in-person welcome visits before the school closed and we as a family went into lockdown. I’m glad I did; they were a super nice family with teenage kids and I’m sure will enjoy their purchase. I bet they are already wishing they would have had one sooner. Most of my clients say that. I am still happy to do virtual demonstrations and welcome visits, but during this time I might not be advertising or promoting Thermomix as much as I usually do. But I am here so please feel free to contact me.
I’m going to use the time to hug and kiss my kids a little bit more, snuggle up, play with them, talk to them, read together, cook together. Kiss them a little more. They are not babies anymore but I finally understand now when my Dad looks at me and sees a 6-year old with pigtails, even though I’m fortysomething now, I see my kids as babies. Babies who are helpless and need me to be their carer and provider. Hopefully, in reality, we not kill each (we are all living in a confined space for an indefinite amount of time) but appreciate each other a little more.
So, whether anyone really reads this blog or not, all I wanted to say to you all, is to stay home, stay safe and stay healthy.
From my family to yours, with lots and lots of love.
Keep cooking up a storm, Ankita