Is it a pyjama day today? It’s a decision to be made in every household under lockdown. Do you get up and roar into your usual going to work routine? Do you rush into the shower, carefully dry and straighten your hair (or brush it) and then put on your smartly pressed work clothes? Or do you, knowing you have half an hour longer because there is no commute, go slowly downstairs in your comfy pyjamas, enjoy a long cup of coffee and decide not to get dressed at all?
In my house, for the first few weeks there were lots of pyjamas and lots of procrastination. Breakfast was long and in stages and everyone was keen on a second cup of coffee. Loungewear was definitely the order of the day and all of us, except my very self-disciplined husband (who works from home all the time), and the baby, who is always dressed for work (see pictures), was very pro the pyjama-day.
As time has gone on, though, things have changed. We have galvanised ourselves into action. We’ve got people in the yard doing early morning training, others offering to do the early morning dog walk and I have been getting up at exactly the usual work time, following the usual morning routine and putting on comfortable but workaday clothes. Somehow,even though I am staying at home, the routine and the work clothes seem to help me to leave the domestic sphere and enter the professional sphere; switching my mind away from the question of why my grandson has got blueberry porridge on his head, to why that person in my Y10 Google Meet keeps turning her camera off!
Thinking about pyjama days (or not) has made me think about uniforms and the significant clothes we wear for work or school. Students always say they hate their uniforms; skirts are too long (“roll that skirt down”), or too pleated, or too blue and the boys’ shirts seem to be programmed to slip out (“tuck that shirt in!”) at the back. I don’t suppose they are missing their uniforms now, but I hope students are finding ways of being ready for work and creating that scholarly state of mind. It’s essential that we keep getting up, getting out of pyjamas, and getting on with life.
On Friday we will be proud of wearing our uniforms (as a twist on the normal charity non-uniform day) to raise money for the NHS. The initiative is called uniforms for uniforms and it is one I think we are all keen to support. I hope that as well as raising money for a good cause, donning our uniforms this week will remind us of everything we hope to achieve and the motivation that pyjamas can sometimes make us forget.
Clayesmore staff Gen Hakimzadeh (in blue) and Jan Morris have returned to the NHS during the Covid 19 outbreak to give their expertise and support.