Interpreter Lockdown Story #3

My Journal …


Tuesday 10th March 2020

The news on Channel 4 about the Virus COVID 19 has both shocked and shaken me. Italy has been completely closed down. Spain isn’t far behind. The virus is killing swathes of people, spreading like a wildfire, killing mostly the elderly, or so it seemed.


Sunday 15th March 2020

The news is only getting worse. We have decided to go buy some provisions in case we are locked down too.

When we got to the shops, the shelves were laid bare, no eggs, no pasta, bread was hard to come by. No fresh fruit and veg. We bought some frozen and even that was low on supplies. Toilet rolls were the first stock to be bulk purchased apparently. Who knows why?. We stocked up on dog food, both wet and dried. We can eat anything but the dogs can’t.


Saturday 21st March 2020

Another drawdown from the British Gov’t. All pubs, clubs, theatres, restaurants, leisure centres to close from last night… It’s still all just sinking in for me really…

My partner has managed to get away for work. It had looked increasingly unlikely she would be able to go, but she made it. I was on dog-walking duty for the 5 days while she was gone. The situation in the UK was getting worse. 90% of the workforce is now working from home, including me!


Monday 21st March 2020

My partner came home this evening, thank goodness.  We sat together in front of the TV, preparing from the 8pm announcement from the Prime Minister. Shock is all I can describe his  announcement as he declared a nationwide Lockdown from that very evening.  I feel strangely elated. Apart from the terrible seriousness of the whole situation, it feels as if I have been given an extended holiday. Or like I am on early retirement. Everything in my diary is cancelled, but the money from the previous months work is still coming in and so everything still seems pretty okay in this abnormal crisis and situation.

The Government has said they will give the self employed 80% of their income.  Thursday 9th April 2020. Still in Lockdown…Still it is rare you’ll see an interpreter on the TV. You have to skip channels to a Digital station to find one, and even then when big graphics are put up of statistics, the interpreter disappears.


Thursday 30th April

Still in Lockdown. It’s been 6 weeks now and we are no closer to being allowed to lift it. The UK death toll is now over 26,700 and climbing.

Every day is like a holiday to me. Still seems surreal, writing all this down. Italy and Spain have been worse hit.  I have taught my partner to play chess, and she loves it! I reckon she’ll get better at it than me one day, so limited are my skills at playing.

I have managed to get hold of a mask with a clear panel at the mouth, so Deaf people can understand by a little bit of mouth patterns. It’s so awful, not even an interpreter on the tv news announcements.


Sunday 17th May 2020

The Lockdown has been eased, if you can go to work because you cannot work from home, then go to work. Trains were packed in London. Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland are all still in Lockdown. They are suffering horribly. Money is getting down to the wire, then phew, the Gov’t money came in. Not sure how long it will keep us going. Lockdown still feels like a gift to me. I have worked all my adult life and at last, I am in what feels like retirement.


Monday 18th May 2020

Still no work. Any work emails that come in are snapped up.

I have been attending webinars on how to work remotely on-line. Have to completely refurbish my office here. But it is doable, and I will practice with some friends on how to do the co-working.


Thursday 11th June 2020

Sat at home and still no work.


Monday 6th July 2020

Work is still scant. I have decided I must do something, and so I am to retrain. I am sat at home waiting for man called David to ring me, see if he will accept me on a training course to become Funeral/Wedding Civil Celebrant. All my previous experiences of working as a Bereavement Officer in the NHS, then my interpreter training with Signs Of God to work with funerals and weddings. My Police Officer experience. Hoping all of this and my general life experiences, growing up in the shadow of my brother’s death should be enough to get me onto the course.


Monday 20th July 2020

I start my on-line training to learn to become a Funeral Celebrant today.  The Fellowship of Civil Celebrants. An accredited body with Level 3 National Open College Network qualification at the end, then further opportunities to study for the diploma, which I will elect to do. In the meantime, 3 days starts from today, from 9am-6pm with homework to do!


Sunday …in August!

Dull, rainy, cool morning. Such a relief! We’ve had a week long heatwave of 30-34c temperatures. Quite glorious but a break in the weather is welcome.

Well, its been quite an adventure. I have a lot of studying to do to pass all the course work, but I have been assessed and I am qualified to start working as a Funeral Celebrant. I have a mentor too. I’ve been out visiting loads of Funeral Directors to sell myself to them. The two firms who have come back to me are these who know me. I have worked for them as an interpreter for funerals in the past.

I have 2 funerals coming this week and another at the start of September. I’ve spent 2 hours with each family, visiting them in their homes and asking questions about their loved ones who have died. Making a service for them exactly as they want it.

Deeply sad for the grieving families and a bit scary for me as it is my first time in this role, but I have taken to it like a duck to water, as I felt I would.


Saturday 20th August

We are still in the grips of the Pandemic. Schools are due back soon. So much doubt and worry and concern about the Corona Virus, but the children desperately need to get back into the  classroom. 2 meters distance must be observed if you are near people.

Saturday 6th September. The funerals I have been taking have been so incredibly sad.  People who have been ill throughout Lockdown but can’t get a GP appointment. Dying of cancer. Tragic. But the feedback I am getting from the Funeral Directors has been positive as well as from the families. At least I can give them something good, as a funeral service, with empathy and  professionalism. It provides closure for the families.  It’s extremely hard work and not well paid, but at least it’s something coming in now.


Sunday 6th September

Building a website: See where this new life continues to takes me…