Routine, what routine?

How is everyone doing? Navigating the times we live in with deft precision or, like me, hopelessly adrift with no routine or sense of order? Honestly I’ve tried, but it doesn’t seem to be working. Things keep cropping up to throw me off my plans. My back was a big contributor to that. It’s much better by the way, but I am still sitting here typing this with a back support on so it’s not totally there yet.

The recovery from my back left me flat on my back in bed, or, on the sofa. So any semblance of structure or routine went out the window. Not really being able to go out either had made it tricky to get a regular routine going with exercise or shopping etc. Honestly, the less I go out the more inclined I am to think I would rather stay at home anyway.

I made a start this week to try and get things back on track. I have gone out for two walks in the last week and did some supermarket shopping too. The walks have been lovely. I discovered a whole area of what I can only describe as countryside, about a 5 – 10 minute walk from my house. I have lived in my current home for about 3.5 years and honestly never knew this area of woods and fields existed!

I had gotten a bit paranoid about going to my local park or walking along the tow path along the river because both of them were always so busy each time I went and people didn’t seem to be observing social distancing so I stopped going. One day on my way to the park, just by chance, I walked down a road I had never walked down, partly out of curiosity and partly because it seemed like such a quiet road and there was this whole beautiful open green space revealed to me. So sometimes it pays to take a different road some days. I’m loving it. There is a bluebell wood and a pasture field with horses in it, as well as a large open field full of wildlife. It is great. When you are walking near the periphery, there are roads running alongside it – we are in London after all – so you can’t quite feel like you’re in the countryside. When you get away from the edges, however, you could imagine you’re in the middle of the countryside. I’m so grateful to have found it. It can still get a little busy at times so I am careful, but I am also incredibly happy to have found it. It only took 3.5 years! I can’t quite believe that! You can see some video footage of the bluebell wood over on my Instagram page @miceal_murphy

The beard of laziness continues to grow, but the more it does, the more I dislike it. The novelty is wearing off. I fear its days are numbered, despite the fact so many of you have said on social media that you like it. Still think I look scruffy with it. I guess if the hairdressers etc were still open and I could get it professionally trimmed and groomed I might feel differently about it. Watch this space.

For those of you interested in men’s grooming, we have some great pieces from some of our biggest brands available online. If someone you know is growing a beard during the lockdown, there is a beard grooming kit available from Debonair online at a clearance price. Or maybe try the Elemis Smooth Result Shave and Beard Oil.

My plan to instill some kind of routine continued at the weekend when I got stuck into getting the balcony under control. It’s been so sadly neglected for the last two years (I’ve had a lot going on!). My plants had died and it was all a really sorry sight. I got rid of the dead plants and cleaned up the containers. To get me started, I got a couple of dozen geraniums from my local supermarket and planted those up.

Now I’m going to be ordering all sorts from QVC and if I’m honest, I’m impatient to get going now that I’ve started. I have to say, spending a couple of hours on the balcony mooching about and listening to the radio whilst I did it was very therapeutic.

Richard Jackson has some gorgeous plants he is bringing to us now on Q, including his Scented Cottage Garden young plants, which includes gorgeous lavender and dianthus. All with gorgeous scent, and you know how much I love fragrance!

I’m tempted by the Plants2Gardens Garden Ready Plants Collection and that’s available in two different colour combination options. I’m thinking I’ll got for the Pink/Purple option.

Geraniums, though, are going to be key for my sun-exposed south facing balcony. Both de Jager and Hayloft Plants have got geraniums available with us right now so don’t miss out. The Hayloft geraniums are the Antiks tall geraniums and will grow really tall and really strong with loads of gorgeous colour and they’re drought tolerant. The de Jager ones are the zonal mixed young plants. So full of colour, compact and low maintenance, they flower and flower all summer long for you.

Do check out our gardening section on our website – there is so much to see there and all delivered direct to your door. I suspect, like myself, many of you will suddenly become gardeners this summer in a way that none of us really have been in the past.

One last thing about lockdown and a lack of routine has been the tendency not to bother dressing smartly or even bothering to dress at all. I’ve mostly been in sports gear or pyjamas if I’m honest, but the other night I decided that enough was enough and got myself into a shirt and tie for one of the Zoom/HouseParty catch-ups I was having with friends. It made such a difference.

I even put fragrance on and remembered how much I had missed it. The smell of the fragrance was like greeting an old friend after a long time. It was immediately heartwarming and comforting. So if you are at home and feeling a little low, the lack of routine may be a big contributor, so even starting by dressing smartly or even applying some nice fragrance is a great place to start to lift your mood.

That’s it for now. I’ll be starting back with my fitness on Instagram this week, so check that out too.

Until next time.

Miceal Xx

11 Responses

  1. Hi Miceal loved your blog I am the same as you the longer I stay in the more I don’t want to go out I take my little dog out Bella everyday she is good company (Bichon Frisé) I have not been to the shops since 16th March.
    But every week I get dressed up do my hair and put my makeup on as though I am going somewhere nice it picks me up. I like the beard but I much prefer you with out it please shave it off please it will make you feel much better.
    Things will get better and we have to think that I only watch the news once a day the thing is if I watch QVC I spend money.
    Take care love Mavis

  2. Hi Miceal, really enjoyed reading your blog ! I too am suffering with lack of routine since the lock down. Nice to know we are not alone ! Always enjoy your shows on QVC, you are so knowledgeable especially with the fragrance and yankee candle shows. You have always been one of my favourite presenters ! Hope your bad back is better soon ! Take care Miceal , lots of healing hugs winging their way to you !

  3. Hi Miceal, so glad your back is improving and you’re feeling better. I have also discovered lovely walks near me that I didn’t know existed … and I’ve lived here more than 10 years. We’re all just so busy in ‘normal’ times. And you’re right about the geraniums; I’ve had 10 years experience of a sunny, south facing balcony and they’re definitely the best. In fact, they’re the only things that survive in the summer if you should go away for a week or two. I’m just waiting for my QVC delivery of the mixed pack, hopefully next week. Take care and stay safe x

  4. Oh Miceal, this isn’t you. You are always so upbeat, especially presenting fashion – I love your knowledge and enthusiasm when presenting such shows, a real delight. So come on, these dreadful times are boring but please pick yourself up. What about doing some kind of fashion-related blog, maybe related to the bye-gone era, or better still, the fashion styles of Hollywood beauties including your beloved Sofia Loren? Maybe with a link to QVC fashion. Just a thought.

  5. Hello, love the new look it really suits you. Like yourself my routine has gone out the window….however its amazing how you can adapt to changes if you really have to. So I am hoping your back gets better soon, take care, keep safe and wekk,

  6. Hi Miceal, thank you so much for sharing your lovely blog. I am so happy that you are feeling much better. By the way the balcony looks lovely. I have done lots of shopping. Just waiting for my deliveries to arrive. My routine has gone out of the window. Stay safe and well. Antoinette.

  7. Hi Miceal, you do look very distinguished with your beard, last blog hated it now lovrl.

    Michael have you considered EFT for your back, it does work I have been in house for nearly a year unable t o walk without holding onto something, would you believe it, just as I was able to walk again confidently going out, everyone in house, stay cheerful and look up Brad Yates or Nick Ortner on Utube.

  8. Love reading your blog. SO sorry you have been suffering so badly. Being in constant pain is just awful, it really drags you down. Lockdown I fear, will NOT be helping. Please take it slowly, don’t push yourself too much, take it easy and be kind to yourself. Don’t feel guilty if you aren’t your usual lovely, lively wee self, you’re allowed to be a bit “off”. Pain does that to you, it changes your personality, whether you realise it or not. Don’t rush to “pick yourself up”, you have had a really awful couple of years and I for one, don’t know how you are coping so well actually.
    Your balcony is going to be a lovely space for you to sit and relax and just “be”. Take your favourite tea or coffee, a great book, get your favourite music playing and one of your lovely Yankee candles flickering away, sit there and enjoy every second of it. I swear, it will help get you back to being you, it doesn’t matter how long it takes, just take it at your own pace, so you can get back to us when all this madness is over.
    My friend and I are actually on a virtual holiday!! She suffers from anxiety and depression, and I was thinking about things I could do to help her through this. I’ve spent ages trawling through travel groups and finding places for us to “visit”. We’ve been scooting round the Greek islands, in various boats we have picked up along the way. We’re totally making it up as we go along. What a hoot. We’ve actually laughed till we cried, we might not come back to reality!!! We’re currently having breakfast on a beautiful beach. Absolutely no clue where it is, but the photo is beautiful lol. You do what you have to do to get through this. It’s helping her no end, and I’m having a lovely time too.
    Take care and stay safe. Much love. Una x

  9. Hi Micheal, love reading your blog & do miss you not being on QVC , one of the best Presenters. Sorry I don’t like the beard I agree with you that it makes you look scruffy & I think they are quickly going out of fashion now. You look much more handsome when clean shaven !!! Sorry your back has been so bad hope it soon improves. You have made a lovely job of your balcony & it will probably be even better with some of QVC flowers. This “Lock Down” is a pain but when we go back to normal I’m sure we will appreciate our lives more. Hope you stay safe & well, looking forward to seeing you back on QVC.
    Cheers June.

  10. Hi Miceal, just keep on and bringing living plants into your life Pelargonium are the way to go you will have so much joy when all the Beautiful flowers start to bloom and keeping the wet off the flower petals stops the bloom rotting from the centre then they will be flowering for ages. Green space you have found is wonderful bonus good to keep mind,what a feast for your eyes a Bluebell Woods !! ENJOY XX

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