Woman with short grey hair painting quinces at a kitchen table Part of our ongoing series on how Selwyn residents are handling self-isolation and spending their days. We hope it will inspire you with some ideas.

For Greendale resident Julie Baker, a timetable and some creativity are helping her keep busy in lockdown. A part-time teacher, Julie found in the absence of teaching she needed something to maintain structure in her life. “I just thought the only way to cope is to have a timetable, because otherwise it would be like my day off work and I would just sit on the computer until midday in my pyjamas and that’s not going to work every day.”

Julie’s timetable is split into sections; breakfast, animal welfare, fruit break and admin, housekeeping, lunch, well-being, fitness, afternoon tea, garden, home maintenance and dinner. “I’ve put in everything I have to do in the day, and then usually by the afternoon I’m doing what I want to do, which is weeding. I’m loving getting out there and weeding especially because the sun is out.”

Julie also enjoys the well-being part of her routine at 1.30pm and 7pm, which involves watching television, painting and doing a jigsaw. “That’s the best bit of the day, when I can do something for myself and I’m allowed to. Having time put aside to yourself is a really good idea and it makes you feel better.” Julie’s daughter in England has also taken up this well-being idea, inspired by a video chat with her mum.

During housekeeping, Julie uses anything she can find in the garden and pantry to try new recipes saving trips to the supermarket. She has tried her hand at making wine from blackberries, pesto from nettles, bread in a slow cooker and soup from taewa (Māori potatoes). Soup is one of the easiest things to make from home, mixing vegetables with stock herbs and something to thicken it like potato. Julie says the only thing that would stop her home grown recipes is zombies. “My main worry is that we don’t get any zombies, I don’t want any zombies to come pinch all my vegetables!” she laughs.