How well-known Northern Ireland faces are staying healthy and (mostly) happy while in lockdown

For some, the pandemic restrictions are making it tougher to remain match, whereas others are throwing themselves into a brand new regime. Linda Stewart asks a few of Northern Eire’s best-known faces in regards to the affect lockdown is having on their very own well being.

Zoe Salmon: ‘Getting by way of an extended to-do listing helps me mentally’

The 40-year-old, is locked down “alone-ish” in Co Down as husband Will Corrie is a key employee. She has been participating within the advertisements from the Northern Eire Government urging individuals to hitch the #StayAtHomeHeroes effort. She says:

“Earlier than this heartbreaking pandemic, I would have finished 5 intense train periods per week, primarily weights-based however with HIIT too. The pandemic has taught me to present my physique a relaxation and so I’m having fun with the calm earlier than returning to my exercising storm.

Our well being is our wealth and for me nothing is extra vital. My meals way of life has remained the identical. I sit up for a takeaway night time and, like many, I’ve a candy tooth so I nonetheless get pleasure from Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream on the couch at weekends with a snack bowl of my favorite sweets and sweets.


Serving to others: Zoe Salmon with husband Will

I drop meals off on my dad’s doorstep and I’m able to see him from a distance as I stand within the entrance backyard. Apart from that I don’t go away the home, so I solely see my dad (75) and my husband. I make money working from home and am lucky to have meals provides from my husband’s enterprise. Corries Residence Supply service has been busy giving freely meals parcels to these in want in our neighborhood and I am extraordinarily happy with Will and his workforce. All of us want to have the ability to look again on this time and be happy with what we did to assist others. I get up every single day grateful and humbled by the work of our key employees, our heroes. Mentally, the one occasions I’ve struggled is when individuals have flouted the foundations. It breaks my coronary heart and brings me to tears to see that not everyone seems to be on this collectively however but we have to have unity for lives to be saved.

I additionally am having fun with lastly getting by way of an extended and different to-do listing. It actually helps me mentally to tick packing containers and get issues finished so I’m relieved and blissful about little issues like that. Between the listing, and serving to with a quantity or campaigns regionally and nationally, and staying linked remotely with family and friends, I’m proud to be following the Authorities guidelines and am extraordinarily grateful to our key employees – thanks! Sending optimistic needs to everybody to remain protected and wholesome. Let’s all get by way of this collectively.”

Corries Farm Butchers has been delivering free meat packages to native heroes and susceptible individuals nominated by individuals of their neighborhood. Additionally it is providing a supply service, primarily for these in susceptible teams, self-isolating or key employees who cannot get to the store throughout opening hours and has launched kids’s information bulletins on its Fb web page on Suggestions Fridays

Brian Houston: ‘I wasn’t positive if this was critical, then my buddy died of it’


Troublesome time: Brian Houston

The 46-year-old-singer-songwriter and dad-of-two is in lockdown in Belfast along with his spouse Pauline and son Danny. He says:

“I struggled at first to get my head round all of it – I wasn’t actually positive if it was as critical because it was being made out to be. Everybody gave the impression to be freaking out unnecessarily. Then my buddy died of it. I used to be so shocked. His identify was Landon Spradlin (66), a guitar participant from Danville, Virginia. He messaged me about getting collectively on March 12 and was useless by the 24th.

To deal with the loss I acquired busy. I introduced dwelling my mics from my studio and began busking on Fb utilizing a PayPal me hyperlink to lift funds. It was tough emotionally, looking for causes to activate the digital camera and carry out. Every day was a problem to persuade myself people would possibly need to drop what they have been doing and hear.

But immediately I used to be busier than ever – I used to be making an attempt to jot down and report all day, then logging on and busking for an hour within the night. I used to be knackered.

As a household we determined to remain match and began strolling 5 miles collectively about six days per week.

We additionally teamed up and launched my spouse’s enterprise Bristle and Fowl. She sources and hand makes aromatherapy-based pores and skin merchandise with all pure elements. It was wonderful to get up and operating and begin taking orders.

Lockdown has welded us collectively as a household, compelled me to beat my insecurities, launched a model new enterprise concept and given my spouse, my son and me high quality time strolling collectively.

At first it regarded like a darkish tunnel however it turned out to be a start canal.”

Pastor Landon Spradlin died in early April after travelling from Virginia to Louisiana to evangelise at Mardi Gras at the beginning of March. He examined optimistic for coronavirus and died after creating pneumonia in each lungs

Mark Pollock: ‘Once I went blind I went by way of a interval of isolation’


Retaining match: Mark Pollock

The 44-year-old blind and paralysed polar explorer and motivational speaker, initially from Holywood, is in lockdown along with his fiancee Simone in Dublin: He says:

“I acquired my handbike out of the health club about two hours earlier than they shut, however I did not actually consider it was going to be shut that lengthy – I do not know why I did it. However the hand bike is on the turbo coach in my lounge, then I’ve my dumbbells and train bands which I had in the home anyway.

I might usually be away two or 3 times a month in Europe, America or the Center East delivering talks at stay conferences. However all my occasions have been cancelled world wide. My whole revenue acquired worn out in a couple of week.

I have been coaching exhausting, however I am spending most of my time creating on-line merchandise we have been creating as a method previous to this taking place. I have been creating 4 webinars and I am promoting and delivering them.

I used to be everywhere in the caramel eggs and Cadbury Creme Eggs at the start of this. Due to lockdown, I’ve acquired care assistants who come out and in and I used to be asking them to purchase caramel eggs in larger packing containers, in order that I did not need to go to the outlets – however then I used to be consuming all of them! However now I’ve reduce that out and gone on a Keto eating regimen with intermittent fasting, so I am lighter now than after I began this entire factor.

Once I went blind in 1998, I went by way of a interval of isolation, albeit surrounded by my household – I could not go anyplace or do something – and after I was paralysed I used to be in hospital for 18 months.

In a approach, that is what I discuss, that is what I research, that is what I assist others to cope with, to be resilient, to adapt and collaborate with others in these occasions of disaster. I am making an attempt to do this myself now.

I’ve a coach who I’ve at all times used remotely. All the information from the bike – coronary heart fee, RPMs and so – goes into the cloud, together with sleep restoration knowledge and meals knowledge. The coach appears at all the pieces occurring and plugs it right into a coaching programme for the week. I am making nice progress with my programme in lockdown – I am not distracted by having to journey on a regular basis.”

To study extra about Mark’s on-line webinars, go to

Gordon Burns: ‘My leg muscle mass at the moment are agency and my arm muscle mass bulging’


Cleansing up: Gordon’s new patio

The 77-year-old Belfast-born broadcaster is in lockdown with spouse Sheelagh at their dwelling in Manchester. He has two kids, Tris and Anna, and 4 grandchildren. He says:

“Typically talking, life in lockdown is boring, monotonous, repetitive and seemingly countless. Then again let us take a look at the positives.

I’ve cracked the seemingly unimaginable activity of touchdown a Sainsbury’s supply slot. A neighborhood contemporary vegetable firm delivers a variety of contemporary veg with the added thriller of solely receiving what they select to offer. So now this Ulsterman introduced up on conventional fayre is consuming beforehand shunned gadgets like celeriac. My dad shall be spinning in his grave. And candy potato as a substitute of the nice outdated regular spud. Even squash! I’ve amazed myself.

Unbelievably, I’ve turn out to be one thing of a gardener. My neighbour lent me his energy washer and I now proudly boast the world’s cleanest, shiniest driveways and patios. The rockery and flowerbeds are neat sufficient to enter the most effective backyard competitions with what has felt like tonnes of bark chippings being expertly unfold. I’ve by no means walked a lot or to this point each day. My leg muscle mass at the moment are agency and enlarged and my arm muscle mass (from gardening) positively bulging. I’ve turn out to be a positive specimen of a youthful wanting man, regardless of my 77 years.

On the detrimental aspect I desperately miss not having the ability to fly to Philadelphia to see my daughter and two grandchildren, who’re seven and 4, however through FaceTime they take me as much as the fort they’ve constructed from blankets of their bed room and we have an hour of journey, enjoyable and laughter.

I additionally miss going to assist Man Utd and heading to the pubs and eating places. However I am nonetheless alive, wholesome, match, muscle rippling, solar bronzed, celeriac-filled and, importantly, perpetually optimistic.”

Charlie Lawson: ‘I now stroll 5 or 6 miles a day… mad cyclists are a pet hate’


Charlie Lawson and associate Debbie Stanley on the Belfast Continental Christmas market

The 60-year-old actor is in lockdown with associate Debbie at their dwelling in Prestbury, Cheshire. He says:

“It is all proper for us – we stay in a really small village two minutes away from nowhere. The issue is my trade has been fully and completely decimated and won’t get better for a very long time. It is misplaced billions – dozens and dozens of corporations have gone to the wall, TV corporations, movie corporations, West Finish theatres have closed and our trade will come firmly on the backside of the listing to reopen.

In the meanwhile I’ve quite a lot of interviews occurring, some paid, and I am additionally writing my autobiography – I’ve finished 110,000 phrases. It is exhausting work however it’s one thing to do.

Debbie is out operating – she’s doing Sofa to 5K every single day and I’ve finished all of the backyard. We now have two canines that want exercised so we’re outdoors lots and I am placing on check match particular replays on 5 Stay Further and chilling out. We’re fortunate, however there shall be individuals again dwelling who will not be as lucky.

I have been listening to about suicide charges being up in north Belfast and so forth and I ship my finest needs to those that are discovering issues exhausting.

I am not doing a lot on social media. It is all very effectively singing Think about out of your bloody flat in Hollywood however it does not actually reduce the mustard with anyone who’s caught in a council property on the town.

I stroll 5 or 6 miles a day. I can not be arsed doing all this operating and I hate biking. I stay in a village that’s fully and completely dominated by mad cyclists – it is considered one of my pet hates.

Final night time we had venison that we shot about two and a half miles away with spinach and rocket salad from the backyard. We now have finished a lot now within the again courtyard that I can not bodily do the rest – it is bloody rammed.


Out of doors life: actor Charlie Lawson with canines Rex and Butch

We stay two doorways down from the pub and I do miss the social gatherings, however it’ll be a very long time earlier than the pubs are again to what they was once. However not having the ability to go and socialise is a small value to pay.

When Flybe went, I had 12 journeys to Belfast booked – we might have been over a few times a month and I miss that lots. I have never been over since February and I’m having withdrawal signs from not having the ability to get to Belfast.”

Gemma Garrett: ‘I at all times attempt to begin my days with a gratitude train’


Gemma Garrett along with her canine Stella

The 38-year-old businesswoman and former Miss Nice Britain is in lockdown in Belfast along with her canine Stella. She says:

“I’ve tried my finest to maintain to as regular a routine as attainable all through lockdown. I’ve arrange a health club in my backyard and attempt to work out a couple of occasions per week. I additionally do some exercises with my coach, Ian Younger, through video name.

The primary downside is the cooking, as I am not the most effective cook dinner on the planet. I’ve realised simply how a lot I eat out. I’ve tried a couple of pasta recipes however it’s simply not one thing I get pleasure from. I’ve taken benefit of the few eating places which have opened for takeaway like Deanes and Slim’s Wholesome Kitchen.

I do miss my buddies although and I have been utilizing FaceTime lots. I FaceTime Paddy McGurgan most days whereas I am strolling my canine Stella. I stay alone so if it wasn’t for Stella I do not assume I might be coping fairly as effectively. She retains me sane. She does not realise that it is a pandemic so she nonetheless wants her walks and that retains me in a routine.

I am additionally working from dwelling on my enterprise Buella. So I’ve to ship out orders and so on and Stella retains me in an important routine as a result of I am up at 6.30am every single day, it doesn’t matter what. My household lives shut so I can name and discuss to them, retaining a protected distance. I merely wouldn’t be capable to cope with out seeing my household.

I’ve downloaded a Spanish talking app and I’ve ordered a couple of books additionally. I’ve had up and down days, I feel like most individuals, however I at all times attempt to begin my days with a gratitude train the place I merely listing 10 issues I am grateful for and it instantly modifications your temper.

My mum and sister are nice at stitching and are making scrubs however I wasn’t blessed with that reward so I have been making an attempt to brighten up individuals’s day (largely NHS and frontline employees) with a shock reward from Buella.”

Carlo Gebler: ‘My days observe an unvarying sample, seven days per week’

The 65-year-old author and father-of-five is in lockdown in Enniskillen with spouse Tyga and son Euan. He says:

“I’m a college instructor. Beginning after St Patrick’s week, I did 4 weeks of digital educating – finagling, time-consuming work. As soon as the time period completed, I would over 200,000 phrases of marking. Usually I would mark paper scripts however this yr I obtained the scripts through the web. You may’t mark on the display, or a minimum of I can not, so I needed to print all of them out.

Apart from my tutorial duties I’ve additionally been doing my very own work. Self-isolation has allowed me to jot down and rewrite with out interruptions. For the reason that lockdown began I’ve completed a ‘bizarre’ story for Blackstaff, corrected a novel, The Late King of Thebes, the story of Oedipus as written by his daughter, Antigone (the novel shall be completed fairly quickly, possibly subsequent week, even), finished some preparatory work on an anthology of Italian literature (simply studying), and written one or two items of occasional journalism (like this).

I stay in Fermanagh within the nation – a very good place to self-isolate and my days observe an unvarying sample, seven days per week. On daily basis I rise about 6.30am, empty the ashes, tramp the lanes listening to one thing I’ve downloaded (to this point I’ve finished Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment and a very good chunk of Gertrude Stein’s The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (left); then I work on the desk all day, sometimes breaking to do some gardening, and within the night I watch a movie: final night time’s fare was the Harold Pinter scripted Accident. I’m, I have to say, fairly blissful.”

Belfast Telegraph

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