Hi all…..I sincerely hope I find you all well.
I’ve decided that I’m going to try and document the in’s and outs of what is happening right now for future reference. Already I’m struggling to remember the way I felt last week so I’m going to do a diary of sorts. I’m not expecting you to feel at all interested so please feel free to unfollow my blog if you want to.
I sat down with my son yesterday morning to try and recall any key points so far and here it is:
Saturday February 15th
We went to London on the train. The four of us. My family. Nine cases had been reported in the UK as of the 13th February. We avoided China Town!!! We went to the theatre to see The Magic That Goes Wrong then queued to get into Pizza Express. There we learnt that Caroline Flack had tragically committed suicide. #Bekind trended on Twitter in her memory to encourage us to love one another. Sat in the Microsoft shop on Oxford Street whilst the family played on Xbox’s on a rainy day and cried as I listened to Laura Whitmore’s tribute on Radio 5.
Sunday 8th March
Having been involved in the organisation of the Scout Jumble Sale scheduled for next week we took all our jumble down early on Sunday.
Monday 9th March
Jumble sale cancelled. Fetched all the jumble back including a 4ft high giraffe.
Friday 13th March
Quiz and Chips fundraiser cancelled at school. Four families congregated and did our own quiz and chips. The quiz masters were a Vet and a University lecturer. It was a hard quiz!!! Nowhere near enough celebrity trivia.
Saturday 14th March
An emotional speech from the run director at what would become the last Park Run at Markeaton Park. Did my best time in a while owing to my dry lent and not running with a slight hangover which is generally the norm.
Sunday 15th March
My daughter’s dance competition cancelled in Tamworth. Slight relief as we were going to have to be there for 6 hours and do two 3 minute routines. Now cannot wait to have that opportunity again!!
Monday 16th March
Spent a very happy morning putting an IKEA sofa together. Went out for supplies. First time in a Boots and was shocked to see so many empty shelves. Tried to buy Calpol for a friends daughter suffering with a sore throat. No chance.
Tuesday 17th March
Demand increasing for schools to be closed. My son is asked to take off his uniform and put on his tennis gear outside his friends house to avoid any contamination entering his home. My daughter elects not to go to her gymnastics class.
Wednesday 18th March
Another sobering visit to the shops to buy supplies for parents. Empty shelves and queues at tills. Visited my mum and dad but stood outside and didn’t hug. Went for a dog walk with my mum keeping our distance. Boris announces schools are to close on Friday afternoon. And so the random shopping began. Jigsaws for my dad and for us. A laptop so my daughter could keep up with school work. Two pieces of board to make a makeshift table tennis table. Dropped in on the elderly brother and sister who live on a farm near us to give them my number incase they needed anything. Charlie had lost his oldest cow that day at 23yrs old. He said he would miss her.
Thursday 19th March
…the random purchases continued. A guitar!!! I’ve always wanted to learn so have decided now is my chance. Ink for the printer to make sure we can print out school work. Bought six cushions for a sofa that I’d been meaning to replace for some time. Corona is making me very decisive on soft furnishings. Then the sales assistant pointed out that I was perhaps stock piling cushions which made me feel very bad. My daughter came home in tears at the thought of schools closing. Park Runs officially cancelled.
Friday 20th March
My daughters last day in year 6 (more than likely). She’s utterly devastated at having to miss out on doing SATS (I know!) and their end of year play. I have no idea what to say to her. She think’s it’s unfair and ‘WHY THIS YEAR?’. I got way too deep into a parents debate over Whatsapp about whether we should be allowing them to do the traditional end of year activities such as signing shirts and clapping out. No-one knows what is the right thing to do. In the end the headteacher sent a letter saying school was not over – it had been interrupted – and we would not sign shirts or clap out as we had nothing to celebrate. I helped deliver leaflets to houses in our village alerting those self isolating that they could ring a number if they needed shopping. Passed a couple having a massive row on the street but who shut up when they realised I was doing ‘community work’. Our eleven year old daughter went to sleep in our bed – too upset to sleep on her own.
Saturday 21st March
I ran 6.45km in lieu of park run. Met a year 6 mum on route and burst into tears. Got home and cried in the shower. Hard to know when to let the emotion out as so busy trying to hold it together in front of the kids. Cried in front of my thirteen year old son who hugged me and told me not to worry. Todays most random purchase was a 2 tables to build a lego city on! Spoke to our friends in Cardiff over Skype. They are a blended family and our friend finds himself suddenly homeschooling four children as his partner works for the NHS. Caved and had a couple of glasses of wine. We have been on dry lent for the third year running but I’m having real problems switching off so decide to give myself a break. Best nights sleep in a week.
Sunday 22nd March
Mother’s Day! Had to remind my family. Had cards without envelopes, chocs and flowers. Most importantly of all I had my family around me, so the perfect day. Me and my son discussed the events of the last week and he came up with a great analogy. It’s like packing to go on holiday but you’ve no idea where you are going so you don’t know what you are going to need and so will probably end up not using half of it. I cleaned in the afternoon. Wanted to have the house ready for the working week. My husband went to see his Auntie in Leicester to sort out her Wifi and get her on Skype. I went for a long walk with the kids and the dog which was lovely and the sun shone – can’t beat that. My husband managed to link his mum down the road, his sister in New Zealand and his Auntie in Leicester over Skype. Thank goodness for technology!
Monday 23rd March
Day One of everyone working from home. We have a broad timetable. 9-12 work, 12-1 lunch, 1-2 walk, 2-4 free time, 4-5.30 some kind of fun activity. See how that goes. It’s nerve wracking as you feel very responsible for your children’s total well being and the opportunity to screw it up feels massive. I keep trying to tell myself to take my time, let it evolve, you can always adapt and be mindful that what suits your children might not suit others (ie: don’t worry about everyone else doing it better than you!!) Both are having work sent from school which is so helpful and so grateful to the teachers for organising this so quickly. I tried to work but ended up doing admin. I need to start writing a book but I’m finding it hard to decide what people will want to read in our new future. We also got hugely excited about taking part in the Taskmaster challenge via Twitter. Today they set the challenge of throwing a piece of paper into a bin in the most spectacular way. Somehow time ran away with us and we ended up cobbling something together in fifteen minutes. My nieces and nephews however did a spectacular job and we wait with baited breath to see if their videos make it into a montage tomorrow. My husband ran his first online scout meeting which seemed to go really well and involved kids ransacking their houses on a scavenger hunt. I just hope they all cleared up afterwards! Boris announced pretty much total lockdown. Only allowed out for essential food, one piece of excercise a day, all non essential shops to close and weddings and baptisms cancelled.
Tuesday 24th March
First day on lockdown. A walk at 6.45am with my dog. What a beautiful day.
Wednesday 25th March
Woken up ironically to another beautiful day. Spring has always been my favourite month. So today I went and did food shopping for my parents and my in-laws. Arrived at Morrisons expecting it to be very quiet but had to queue for 20 minutes in an orderly fashion, 2m apart around the outside of the building so they could limit the amount of people inside. Plenty of fresh food available, packaged food still running low particularly tomato soup. Toilet rolls on the shelves – hurrah. Always good news when you see toilet rolls freely available. Some items limited to so many per shopper such as milk, cereal and fizzy drinks. Had a tricky moment when had to choose between my husbands fizzy drink of choice and my kids. The kids won!! We walked as a family at 5.30pm then came home and spent around an hour filming our next Taskmaster challenge which was to turn your bathroom into the sort of venue you might visit for a great night out. We went for a celebrity party. My daughter spent the afternoon making a limousine out of cardboard, my husband was the bouncer and a cardboard cut-out of George Clooney was the VIP guest. Went to bed exhausted!