That whole pandemic thing

Oof, been a while again hasn’t it…

2020 me: “Wow, now the world has basically shut down I have so much extra time! I can update my website, write some blogs, do all those online courses I signed up to and forgot about, get some good practice in with Spanish and guitar, workout, start that podcast about procrastination that I keep procrastinating on… etc etc”

2021 me: “Welp.”

It’s been a hard time for us all, it’s okay. Getting through it was the priority, any productivity was always going to be a bonus! To be fair though, I have been able to keep working through almost all of it, I did get back into working out to some extent (doing physical work keeps me reasonably fit anyway) and I also completed the CELTA training which was something I had been wanting to do for ages. So if you or anyone you know would like some online English tuition (as in learning the language, not analysing Shakespeare and such), hit me up 🙂

So what the flip have you been doing all this time? You don’t write, you don’t call…

Since my last blog post? Er sorry no idea, that was too long ago… probably more of the same sort of thing I was waffling on about then! But since last spring when the world went a bit sideways I’ve been taking on a lot more gardening work – teaching at the drama school or working on video shoots has been a no go for me since Covid broke out, so having plenty of outdoor, socially distanced work has been great. As a lot more people have been stuck at home, having a pleasant garden to enjoy has evidently become a higher priority for some. I told last year’s clients I’d be starting back in March so I would be calling to arrange visits then – but many of them could not wait for the end of Feb before they were calling me. It’s nice to be wanted!

I did the CELTA in the autumn/winter of 2020 – due to the pandemic, some providers began temporarily offering a fully online version of the course so, given that I had more free time than usual and I had been thinking about doing it for a while, I figured there was never going to be a better time to go for it. For those who don’t know (and didn’t click the link above), CELTA is an internationally recognised qualification for those seeking to teach English as a second/foreign language. I did my training with Stafford House, a great bunch of folks – although the course is intense (even the part-time version!) I felt very supported and met some lovely teachers and students along the way. If anyone is considering doing the CELTA, I highly recommend them as a training provider.

Another development during the quarantimes was that I updated this site to reflect the different types of work I was doing, so there are now dedicated pages for my various professional hats. I had considered making different sites for the gardening, ESL teaching etc but then I thought ‘why on earth would I make all that extra work for myself when ultimately it’s still all me’. Maybe it’s not what the clever marketing bods would suggest, but I feel like this site does what I need it to; provides contact details and the necessary info for each service I offer, and reflects me accurately as a person who doesn’t just do one type of work – however, all and any feedback on this site is welcome so long as it’s constructive!

What’s on the menu?

Things are looking more positive on the plague front but as we aren’t out of the woods yet, here is the work I’m currently doing until I level up to fully vaccinated status:

  • Gardening work; I will not need to enter customer’s houses and payments can be made by bank transfer, so visits can be totally no-contact if required (we can chat on the phone when I’m there or we can talk through a window, I’m totally happy to look like a crazy person yelling through glass)
  • Video production; shoots if they’re outdoors and socially distanced, editing or conversion work if I can access and work on the files from home
  • Teaching work; online only, ESL or media-related tuition – we’re all pros at using Zoom and Skype now!

On a parting note, I hope everyone reading this has got through the last year and a bit okay, or at least as well as can be expected – don’t be too hard on yourself if like me, you had grand plans to finally do all the tasks you had ever put off during 2020 but ended up just being a bit of a potato for a lot of it. As someone or other once said, “time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time” (and for me, a good chunk of that time was spent playing Animal Crossing – they really couldn’t have found a better time to release it!). Be safe out there, kids.

Decisions | /r/BikiniBottomTwitter | SpongeBob SquarePants | Know Your Meme
Actual footage of me in 2020

About Emma Puente

A believer in having many strings to one’s bow, I am a freelance video producer, ESL tutor, and gardener based in the West Midlands and I am always looking for new projects and opportunities. I’ve yet to find one that combines all three of these things, so if you have something like that for me you might just make my day. ^_^ Contact: mail (at) emmapuente (dot) com
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