Lockdown Diary Week 2

The quality of my writing is becoming inversely proportional to the duration of social distancing and the lack of fresh food in the house. I am sorry about that.

29/3/2020 Sunday
Enforced 24 hour close proximity to family members is beginning to take its toll.

After yet another episode of incessant chatting by Alexia, her older sister Amelia offered to give her £20 in hard cash if she didn’t talk for a month.
Alexia said she would need to a significantly larger monetary incentive to consider giving up one of her hobbies for a month.
After Alexia’s father promptly offered another £20, Alexia went to her room to learn sign language. She has not been seen for the rest of the day.

30/3/2020 Monday
Have not read or listened to the news since last Friday. Well done me, but it’s early days, as I used to be a total news junkie, and they say it takes three weeks to break a habit.
My finger still hovers over the news icons on my phone several times a day, but I am being strong. A news detox within within a lockdown. Highly recommended. I am not going to pretend that not reading the news has brought me an ultimate nirvana, but I am much less anxious, and free to get on with everything else. Which is not much of course, there is nothing to get on with, but still, the lack of news has been good for my soul.

Watched JoJo Rabbit today. Double whammy.
Firstly, judging by the trailer, and minimal spoilers (a little boy having Hitler as his imaginary friend) and Rebel Wilson’s presence, I expected over the top nonsensical comedy all the way, It wasn’t. It was touching and funny, and tender, and moving, absurd and comic with a big layer of arty.
Secondly, watching it in lockdown London added an uncomfortable new dimension to the experience. Only a short couple of months ago when the film first came out, none of us thought it could possibly become even remotely ‘relatable’ again in our lifetime. Fast forward a few weeks, and ‘What is the first thing you are going to do when you are free?’ is once again the question many of us are quietly fantasising about.

31/3/2020 Tuesday
My husband is a very special person. Truly unique. Instantly likeable, big-hearted, warm and friendly. So far so perfect. However. He is determined to go through life unfussed (his word), and refuses to take anything seriously, with the exception of his morning skincare routine and South African rugby.
Don’t get me wrong, he does his bit for the NHS like the rest of us, washes his hands until they bleed, and has eagerly embraced social distancing long before the government asked the rest of the country to do so.
What he valiantly refuses to do is engage with any aspect of the unfolding worldwide drama. Today, as soon as I woke up, he greeted me with a joyful twinkle in his eye.

– Did you know that termites and ants build their highways next to each other, and they both put guards at the edges, the guards face each other, they don’t fight, they just guard the highways?
– How do you know about this?
– I watched a video about it. Fascinating stuff!
-How do you know it is not fake news?

He is not speaking to me.

1/4/2020 Wednesday
Two weeks ago we cancelled our cleaning lady until further notice. We then spent the next 14 days watching the dust settle slowly all around us. Quite a calming experience, but after I had not stopped sneezing all day yesterday, I could not put it off any longer. Today I set off to clean the house for the first time in more years than I am prepared to admit. Our cleaner managed to do the whole house and the ironing within six hours. After two frustrating hours, I was not even half way through the kitchen, and there is a real possibility the hob might not work again, after I drowned it in some orange gloop. The good news is I can only get better at it.

2/4/2020 Thursday
My hands aged a decade in the last fortnight. In a serious case of over-washing, they are now covered in a multitude of itchy red bumps, and no amount of coconut oil seems to be doing anything for the wrinkles. I feel for Lady Macbeth, I really do.

My son’s room has been designated as a quarantine depot. Everything non-fridge that comes through the front door gets labelled with a safe-to-touch date three days after arrival.
I have become that anal-retentive person I’d always laughed at. I also hope my husband has not ordered any perishables from ‘Viking Office Supplies’.

I must be every inspirational meme maker’s dream. I took up skateboarding today. Took up is probably getting ahead of myself a little bit, but I stood on a skateboard for the first time today, holding on for dear life to my daughter’s jacket’s sleeve.
YouTube channel to follow.

3/4/2020 Friday
Woke up with a short lived surge of excitement, it’s Friday! It did not last. It’s not as if the weekend is going to be any different to the previous ten days or so. Still, old habits die hard.

We continue to introduce our home-grown teenagers to the industry-defining films from the 1980s, paying special attention to classic movie quotes. Yesterday we watched the original Terminator. Half way through he did say ‘I’ll be back’, but it sounded positively lackadaisical to me, or lame to my daughters’ ears, so clearly, it must have only been in the subsequent episodes that the phrase became truly iconic.
Movie trivia level lockdown achieved.

4/4/2020 Saturday
This week has been all about taking one day at a time doing exactly the same as the day before. I have a lie-in each morning, because every day is an unwanted Saturday.
Days are slipping through our rubber-gloved fingers with little to show for them.
The only scraps of routine we hold onto, for now, are our daily walks in the park, 5.30 pm for an hour.

In a cruel twist of fate for all involved, I have been nominated the family food shopper (ffs) for the duration. I am not yet ready to face an hour long queue outside Sainsbury’s keeping 6 ft. gaps, so food is scarce and unexciting.
We have not yet opened any of our impressive collection of tinned Three Beans Salad, but the day is drawing nearer.Cream crackers with mature Cheddar and smoked mussels in sunflower oil have become a perfectly acceptable dinner option.
We had a fruit and veg delivery this week, from Clapham Fresh. Best blueberries I ever had. Otherwise, it’s whatever I can grab at the corner shop and Co-op. Ocado virtual queue is a distant memory.

Work. Still non-existent, bar a few NHS 111 calls a day.

And finally. I learned a new word this week. Furlough. Thought it was something to do with horse-racing. Fortunately, my husband was on hand to mansplain it to me.


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