Days

The lockdown has gone on a long time, and is fast becoming ‘normal life’ here. We have at least another two weeks, if not more, and I think that’s a good thing. If not for the economic fallout once we return to the way we lived previously, it might be a good idea to keep this going until at least October, to reduce new infections. That is unlikely to happen, as no industrialised country can tolerate such a loss to production and trade.

On the bright side, I have not received a single unsolicited telesales call since this happened.

Many people have not been in lockdown of course, and their routine has not changed. Medical staff, delivery drivers, shop workers, bus and train drivers, and the behind the scenes people like those who work in sewage and garbage, water plants, and power generation companies.

For all of those, today is another Monday morning.

But for everyone else, it is just a ‘Day’.

A huge number of people are discovering what I found out when I retired in 2012. Days are a construction of working life. I suspect that ancient people thought nothing of days, and didn’t name them until modern civilisations emerged. The only relevance a named day has is to know whether or not you have to go to school, to work, to a hospital appointment, or expect to receive a delivery. Whether a shop is open or closed, or a specific TV programme is being shown.

For my dog Ollie, there is no such thing as a Day. Nor for the animals on the African plains, the birds in the air, or the flies hovering above the river in Beetley.

Days don’t actually exist. They are a human invention.

The same applies to months and years of course. There are only seasons.
A product of nature, not mankind.

And human interference has changed those too.

78 thoughts on “Days

  1. Very good thoughts, Pete! A few days ago, I had also come to mind. That’s why we are now trying to get the students back to school as quickly as possible. Otherwise, they will forget what determines future working life. In Germany, it is increasingly important that students are never allowed to learn completely online. Otherwise everyone later wants to work online or in the office.Perhaps they even want to pursue politics and deny the place to those who are there.;-)

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  2. I still have days, Pete, as I am still working. Yesterday was a public holiday in South Africa and I worked. Glad to still be working, of course, but I do feel a bit as if the whole world is having a holiday that I haven’t been invited too.

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    1. My wife has worked through all of this too, Robbie. Naturally, I was talking generally about life in retirement, and how people laid off work in the lockdown are getting a taste of what that can be like. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have big issues reg time- I don not care what day it is or what time it is. Of course when I work, it is a totally different story. Friday means a lot- and so does three o’clock. I am totally in my element in the summer. When I first here. on the last day of school of that year=we didn’t have a clock in the house for months!! Guess what, we did not forget to eat or sleep! haha!

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    1. With you working as a teacher, I can understand how your life is regulated by time. My working life was rigid in that respect too. Now I have no clock on the wall, and don’t wear a watch. Ollie knows to tell me when it is time to take him out. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.x

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “Days/weeks/months’ – my interpretation honed out over the last 10 years of both working in general life at a job AND freelancing AND keeping a household running AND trying to build out a full place of gardening area – ”

    “It’s this day, I should show up at work on time” – “It’s this day, time to check in with those I sent requests for further info on” – it’s this day, “time to log in, change passwords, make a payment or make sure they didn’t change my ‘do not auto renew’ subscription settings’ –

    “it’s this day – I can sleep in and fix lunch late” –

    “It’s this day – I won’t have to delete a lot of non-useful to me emails” –

    “It’s this day – I will ignore all emails in order to click on them and move them to another day of the week OR I’ll unsubcribe/delete without opening” – (that will fuck with their algorithms, right?)

    “It’s this day – 3 months of unsubscribing with documentation, time to fill out report to Attorney General on this company….”

    “It’s this day – time to plant these seeds or clear this land so I can plant those seeds….”

    “It’s this day – I’m worn out from the crap that someone else decided to ramp up to this day or throw a surprise monkey wrench into the works, with their operations, so yes, today, after dealing 6 hours on BS I thought I would handle easily this a.m. around 6:30 or so – well now? Okay – this day is when I catch up on social media places cuz I’ve got nothing left from this morning/early afternoon ‘not planned for’ exercises –

    Okay – today was ‘it’s this day’ just like every other day of week – for me, for long time and I’m NOT retired – so there ya go – – LOL

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  5. This is so spot on Pete, days are a human invention, employed for our convenience. That is so true and when I consider the implications it expands the space in which I’m now able to live! So much to ponder! C

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  6. Yes Pete, it will be interesting to see if we can maintain enough patience to reduce the risk of a huge flareup by not rushing back out too soon…here in the US many beaches were packed with people…we’ll see what that means in 7-14 days.

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  7. Amen to your last three lines: “There are only seasons.
    A product of nature, not mankind.

    And human interference has changed those too.”
    Strangely, the lockdown may allow some of those seasons to change back, at least temporarily.
    Warmest regards, Theo

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I lost track, but mainly because my extended family lost track. We often were aware of the days because of their schedules, school concerts, recitals, track meets, graduation β€” all which have disappeared.

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  9. I would argue that days and months had much more of a significance in older times; days had a distinct beginning and an end (which is a beautiful thing to witness), months had distinct significance, purpose, and specific type of work associated with it (the months that the herd of caribou is migrating, or when the berries are ripe for example). Many ancient cultures had very specific names based on the activities or phenomenon that took place on those dates. But putting that aside, I get what you are saying! The days for us were more or less meaningless recently. There is also a weird time warp. Monday goes by real slow and then out of the blue it’s Friday. The weekend is is both slow and fast at the same time πŸ™‚

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    1. I saw that more as ‘seasons’, Margie. Caribou season, Bear season, and Salmon season, etc. There were also the times of Harvest and Planting. People knew them from the weather conditions, and didn’t necessarily need calendars. Though even the ancient Egyptians worked out calendars for years in advance, mainly because of the significance to their religion.
      I suppose my main point is that they didn’t work Monday to Friday, then have weekends off. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  10. Your thinking is spot on. Mankind has added and changed things. Nature is the constant. I often say the same thing about children. They haven’t changed at all, the schooling and expectations have. Enjoy the β€˜day’, Pete. πŸ™‚

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  11. As long as we remember Sunday is the evening we put the bins out, I don’t mind being in a muddle about which day it is. I’ve lost Tuesdays now – it was the evening I watched Holby City, the only soap I watch, but they aren’t filming at the moment, so Tuesday no longer has a marker.

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    1. I haven’t see Holby in such a long time, I doubt I would know anyone in it.
      Then again, having worked in the ambulance/hospital environment for so long, I never watch medical-themed programmes if I can help it. Though my wife watches all the ‘real-life’ ones, relentllessly! πŸ™‚
      I see my neighbours over the road put their bins out, so know when to do it.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Days of the week have not really mattered to us for. 11 years. That is when hubby retired due to ill health. But a LONG time prior to the lockdown I had been being a bit of a hermit. Well, health made it that way but it was welcome as I love silence and being intune with nature. Many of my poens come from nature and solitude. Prior to the lockdown I was looking for abhermitage. As we could not manage to move and in any case none were available I was eyeing up bus she,ters etc. and imagining making them into my hermitage. Remote bus shelters I mean. I was also looking for caves to see if I could go live in a cave. I don’t mind the locjdown really, as I am in a wat used to this way of life, but the one thing I hate is that we are in a town, and I am deeplt a country bird. So now that we are no longer allowed to do even the 15 minute drive to the countryside, I am really feeling it. Hoping that the restrictions will ease just a bit soon so that we can take oyr daily ride into the countryside. I dont really care what day of the week it is. I love sunrise and sunset and you cant see either from our house. Though blind, I can still see the sky and sunsets so miss that dreadfully. Xx

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    1. I’m glad to hear that you didn’t become a hermit in a cave, Lorraine, otherwise we wouldn’t know each other. If I were you, I would chance taking that short drive to the countryside. Even if the police stop you, it’s not illegal, and they can only ask you to turn around and go home. If you explain your situation, I would like to think they would be kind, and let you carry on.
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes we have thought of it Pete but our worry is the police forcing us to put the car window down and having to have close contact with someone who may have the virus but be asymptomatic. It scares the shit out of us. But we are, I must admit, considering doing it. We don’t even ever answer the door to anyone but talk through the window if we need to. If hubby were to catch it it would be disastrous as I cannot look after myself and poir Hope would end up without a mummy or daddy lol. We just did not know how to deal with that eventuality. As for being in a cave lol my friend told me about a few that she had thought of going to live in, but she decided to go and be a District Nurse on a tiny island in the Shetlands instead. She travelled round her patients by boat, to the various little islands, and got very seasick lol. Xx

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        1. Take a note to hold up to the window explaining to the police that you will not lower the window. Though I am sure they would observe the social distancing if they stop you, as they also won’t want to catch anything. x

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          1. Lol Pete. We thought of that. Hubby did ring up Humberside police to ask what they would do, and a nice police lady spoke to us and she said she knew what she would do (she was sympathetic) but could not say the β€œlads” would be the same. But we still might try it anyway as we are getting fed up now. So is Hope πŸ˜€. She misses her daily picnic in the car of cheese biscuits.

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  13. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the lockdown. It’s pretty much same impact in Lagos, Nigeria. I haven’t got pets but as far as grateful benefactors of this period go, my baby daughter loves the days with her parents who are always at home tendering to her every need. Fortunately her nanny decided to stay back with us for now until the lockdown is lifted. There are Groundhog moments but we’ve tried to spice things up with new food recipes, new Netflix series, Zoom video conference games, etc. Luckily my company is still paying salaries as most of our work is in digital sales. Praying that the storm clears for all of us sooner than later.

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    1. Thanks for letting us know about the situation in your part of Africa, Jollof. Glad to hear you are still being paid, and enjoying closer family time. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  14. True all the way around, Pete. I was just telling another blogger that I will miss the lack of traffic on the roads, the peace and quiet and no one pushing their grocery cart into my rear-end at the check-out line!! I’ve even seen people being nicer than usual – this quarantine isn’t bothering me AT ALL!!!!!

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    1. Everyone’s circumstances are different of course, Stevie. I lost Β£1500 a month by choosing to live on pensions alone when I retired at 60. But having no rent or mortgage to pay made the difference less worrying. The main problem is being unable to afford to change my car, but I will have to live with that. I have never once missed going into work, and my only regret is that I was unable to retire ten years earlier. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Very true Pete. Days are all the same really once you aren’t working, even bank holidays are meaningless. Sunrise, sunset, seasons, moon cycles take no notice of the name of the day.

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    1. It seems as if everyone else around me has suddenly adopted the lifestyle I have led for the past eight years. Except for Julie of course, as she is still working as normal, three days a week.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. The importance of knowing which particular day of the week it is started to become less important for me in 1983, when I started doing shift work.

    The only reason since then for me to know what day of the week I am inhabiting is to know what’s on TV.

    But I now only watch TV programmes that I’ve recorded, or that I stream, so even that reason has gone. I have no structure at all!

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    1. I enjoy life without structure after 33 years of rigid shift patterns. But I do have another commitment to routine, because I have a dog. Ollie means that I still have to do things at certain times, like it or not. πŸ™‚
      Cheers mate, Pete.

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    1. Dogs pace their days by going outside, eating, and sleeping. Nothing much has changed in the canine world, except they no longer have to hunt for the food that we happily supply for them. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Seems so. Then other tribal civilisations started to name them after Pagan gods.
      It’s all their fault! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
      ‘Where did the names of the days of the week come from? Answer: The Babylonians named the days after the five planetary bodies known to them (Tuesday through Saturday) and after the Sun and Moon (Sunday and Monday). … Tuesday comes from Tiu, or Tiw, the Anglo-Saxon name for Tyr, the Norse god of war.’ (Found online)
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  17. There’s a Philip Larkin poem about that which I really like. But I suspect days did exist for primitive people since they would have been governed by sunrise and sunset – just not days of the week

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    1. Yes, sunrise was important, and a religion for some. I was thinking more about the ‘naming’ of days, and the relevance of a working week and weekends. I doubt the ancients though much about that concept, but it was just something I thought of yesterday, whan a dog-walker told me she had completely forgotten it was Sunday. I told her that didn’t matter anymore, it was just a ‘day’. πŸ™‚
      Thanks Sarada.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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