Dawn walks and daytime TV: two perspectives on working from home

We asked Library staff to write about their experiences of working from home during lockdown. Maria Menezes and Tim Haillay share their thoughts.

I’m in Week 10 of lockdown!!!!

By Maria Menezes

When lockdown came into place I hated my first week at home because I missed seeing people – I’m a people person.  As the weeks went on I found it easier to cope with my new working environment and amazingly learn new technology on my own – I’m now a Zoom whiz.

However in Week 6 I was not in the right frame of mind but zooming and talking to friends and family helped me through this rather dark period – it’s difficult not having anyone directly to talk to at home living by myself.  I have now accepted that this situation will continue – but hopefully not for much longer.

I need structure and though I have tried to set myself a “rota” being the Rota Queen (hee hee) it doesn’t always work.  I can’t wait to get back to work – daytime telly is awful.

Up with the larks

By Tim Haillay

The idea of working from home when we were still working on campus was not an attractive one to me, mainly as the physical journey to work was part of the discipline and by losing that, part of the holistic work experience would be missing too. My coping strategy therefore has been largely based on keeping things as normal as possible.

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Listen, Learn and Connect: Mental Health Awareness Week May 2020

By Gemma Price, Lynn Perez and Lucy Oakley

In the wellbeing group for staff, we have been looking at how we can best support and inform colleagues, particularly at this time. We know how difficult the current situation continues to be for all of us, adjusting to unprecedented changes in our work and home lives.

For Mental Health Awareness Week, from the 18th to the 24th of May, we wanted to focus on resources and activities that would help support wellbeing and calmness, and also provide some positive information and ways to connect with ourselves and our surroundings. We sent out an email each day of that week, our aim for each email was for them to be accessible and helpful, no matter what everyone’s individual situation may be.

The week started off with our Music Monday email. We had such a positive response to our previous lunchtime music session that we thought it would be good to share the playlists and engage with people further. We listed several playlists created by staff, highlighting music that made them happy.

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Weetabix Trifle and beyond…

By Rose Lock

Women’s magazines. Trivial, eh? Just a collection of inconsequential articles on how to keep your man happy, patterns for knitted shorts, vile make-do-type recipes, and adverts for lipsticks and washing powder.

Well, yes, all of these things can be found in the copies of Woman’s Own, Woman’s Friend, Woman’s Realm (do you see a pattern emerging?) and Woman that we hold as part of the archives at The Keep, but to dismiss them as trivial really does this amazing slice of history a disservice. The idea of the feminine being somehow less important (as I am sorry to say has been the tendency for more time than I care to think about) gifts us archival time travellers with a view into the past that is wonderfully unguarded and true to the moment. Adverts, advice columns, recipes, short stories; none of these exists in a vacuum, they all come from the worlds women lived in, aspired to, and wished to escape from.

We can use these snippets to see through the wormhole and into the past, and catch a glimpse of the sort of woman who might make Carnival Queen…or, as I have always thought of it, Weetabix Trifle.

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