When once we would be waking with the dawn; Stuart off to make scones before the light was up, myself cramming in accounts before yoga and then to work, now we are more measured. The light rises and we observe it; reach for the lightswitch and a book, wordlessly negotiate who gets up to turn on the kettle, feed the cats. The cats are quieter too, luxuriating in the presence of food, laps and play at all hours. Mornings are still and peaceful, inside and out; no cars rushing past, only ghost buses.
Lists are made and pored over, the only structure that we can work to now; lists of shopping for the week (no impulse purchases or popping over the road for one item) lists of chores (not yet resorted to moving out the furniture and cleaning the skirting but it's in the pipeline). Lists of potential income sources where once there was simply the daybook and the rising and falling of the bank account.
Luckily we have plenty to amuse us; cycling around the empty city, avoiding the temptation of the Pentlands due to the danger of accident and the proximity to others bikes and walkers. We have ducked our heads into Bon P's premises to check things, clean things and collect things, pausing to breathe the silence and wonder at how different an empty workplace feels.
I predict a flurry of selfies for this year's Scottish Portrait Awards;)
Afternoon tea has made a comeback in the household, at the expense of actual lunch. An apple, and maybe some crisps suffices at midday, while the ritual of the homemade shortbread - sometimes warm - cut in wedges - in the garden - mug of tea - conversation revolving around the bird feeders and garlic shoots in the herb box - is sacred.
It goes without saying that our thoughts wander often to our dimly remembered previous life as small business owners, and to our customers (Actual humans! Speaking to us!), many of whom have sent messages via the various online communication portals to wish us well and hope to see us soon.
So to all of you - many thanks as ever for your support and thoughts in the strange netherworld of 2020. We are weirdly aware that we are counting down all the time to our departure from Howe Street next spring and already we have waved goodbye to a month of it, with another one at least to follow in seclusion. It looks hopeful that the business will make it through, although I imagine that we may well not return to our full operations for a while yet.
When we do, you lovely people will be the first to know.
Wishing everyone well and safe.