This is as unexciting as it gets, but I like to keep a record.
If you are looking for something inspirational, please keep looking.
Friday the 20th of March 2020. School’s out. Until further notice. I stare blankly into months of having two uprooted teenagers in the house. They don’t don’t yet realise how hard they are going to be hit by this, but I do. They don’t yet feel they have been robbed, but I do and I feel sorry and anxious for them. They are bursting with life and raring to go, they are not meant to sit at home at Google classroom they are supposed to live each day to the brim, and I am raging against all of it on their behalf.
Enough of that. Serious and sombre is not going to work for me. Never have.
Would the real corona-stricken spirit of Britain please stand up?
Whilst selfish stock-piling is an undeniable fact, our whole street has been on a mission to get a few oranges for Judy from number 47 (not her real number) who is on 12-week self-isolation due to age, strictly imposed by her daughter. By midday Judy has had enough oranges to start her own range of Norwood Marmalade.
As we are all at home all the time with precious little to do, Charlie our hedgehog, has been getting more attention than ever. He is hating every minute of it.
Mother’s Day today. A walk at Selsdon Park Nature Reserve. Chinese and Indian takeaway. Knives Out on TV. Well, not really on TV, as it was still showing at cinemas until they closed, but I’ve learnt not to ask unnecessary questions. Altogether a lovely day. Not ‘in the circumstances’, not ‘all things considered’, just a really good day.
8.40 am. School online registration time. Younger daughter fully dressed, post-breakfast, bed made to perfection. Older daughter invisible from under her duvet.
The younger one explains cheerily that she needs the routine to protect her sanity. The older one growls from her room, ‘You can only protect something you actually possess’. She turns over.
The headteacher offers us a quote from Lenin in her daily lockdown update email. “There are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks where decades happen.” A headteacher of a Catholic school quoting a Marxist leader. The world might truly never be the same again.
Still Day 5, later in the evening. We are treated to a spontaneous kazoo concert on the landing.
Day 5 still. Is 8.52 too early to go to bed? Days have never felt that long. I have time for everything and nothing to do.
Provisions are running low. We cannot put off going to the shops any longer. I am wearing an impromptu face mask made out of Henry hoover bag, fastened with two safety pins and hooked up over my ears with a couple of matching loom bands. Remember loom bands? Not throwing them away all these years ago is paying off.
Watching Dirty Dancing with the family.
Alexia,14, hears ‘Nobody puts Baby in the corner’ for the very first time. Young people today learn everything so much earlier. I had to wait until I was 21 to watch it. That’s when the movie came out.
On the subject of watching. This week I watched all of Series 6 of Silent Witness, am now on Series 7, first broadcast in 2003, the year I got married. Amanda Burton in the lead role. London in the early noughties. Pure unadulterated escapism available on iPlayer.
Neighbourhood Whatsapp group is on a mission to buy eggs for Judy so she can comfort bake in her isolation. Neighbour after neighbour has reported failure to locate eggs within three miles radius.
On an off chance, out of curiosity really, I go out to our corner shop. They have everything! Eggs, toilet paper, milk, bread, and, wait for it, a hand cleaner! I buy the lot.
Today I might have discovered the best way there is to cope with what is happening. It is not easy and it takes effort, but it works wonders, so I am determined to stick with it. Today I did not read a single news headline, and limited social media to sloth lovers Facebook group, and I feel the best I felt for weeks. I used to add a mix of Daily Mail, The Guardian and BBC News to my morning coffee, and then checked the headlines in regular intervals throughout the day.
From now on I am going to make not reading the news my new daily goal. I don’t usually bother with daily goals mind you, but everybody’s talking about doing something useful with all that quarantine time, so I am going to have a go at Not Following The News.
Saturday. Highlights of the week. Very few. For the first three days of the past week I amused myself by logging in to Ocado website, only to be put in virtual queue for two hours, whilst I could watch the little green lorry moving slowly forward, and the counter telling me I was now 230642 customer in the queue. Finally my turn came to book delivery, only to be told that there were no delivery slots available, and I was thrown back to the end of the virtual queue. That game lost its appeal after a while, so I stopped playing it. I popped in today, but the game has changed again, and the queue has been paused altogether.
Work. Yeah, about that. There is none.
What else. I’ve been going for my daily constitutional at the Crystal Palace Park most afternoons. Walking on the grass to keep my distance. It’s a big park but I am beginning to recognise every blade of grass there. I wish I could add something exciting about these walks but I cannot.