Day 4 of being furloughed and not allowed to work for the foreseeable future. Day 10 of our London Lockdown and H has already got Cabin Fever, having had to leave uni abruptly. He keeps asking me when Boris is going to be speaking again – “not sure, he’s still ill with the big C…it might be someone else who speaks at 5pm today”
“No, I mean when is he going to tell us that our three weeks are up and we can go out again?” he qualifies, along with “is it nearly the weekend yet?”….and it takes me right back to long car journeys when the children were young and endlessly asked “are we nearly there yet?”
When is a good time to tell him it’s going to take us another 6 months to get there and he may well not be able to go out for some time?
Step. By. Step. The younger generations are doing a spectacular job of obeying all the necessary rules, they get it, but if it’s not managed well we may end up with a rebellion, which we need to avoid at all costs.
Anyway, life is so dull in our house that I’m putting it into a diary format – easier to convey:-
Sleep fitfully, panicking about the world and all it’s inhabitants. Spain, Italy, 66 doctors, USA, Africa, Indian slums, tests, protective clothing, more sanitiser, no more loo rolls, friends on the frontline, family on the frontline, friend whose mother has died of it, over 500 deaths in the UK today – will that have doubled in a few days?, F*ck, F*ck, try to breathe, you can’t control this. You are where you need to be, with your children. Stay in, wash hands, feed children. Listen to the birds. Sleep.
5.30am: Bloody noisy birds wake me up having unreasonably taken over the calming rhythm of the planes, trains and automobiles that I could previously sleep through. Choose not to turn the radio on for reasons stated above. Instead flick through phone and get the bad news that way, mixed with endlessly funny (and not so funny) videos about being in Lockdown and for some reason quite a lot of willies. Think about listening to classical music as a last resort to take my mind off everything.
8am: Get up, make bed. Not sure why, never made my bed in my life, but I’ve recently read that it’s good for morale. I’m trying to build up my morale to stop my children from getting depressed and worrying too much about the state of the world they are living in. Think about getting dressed, but that’s just a step too far.
8.30am: Think about putting wine in my tea cup but resist. Eat mouldy banana for breakfast as bought too many during stockpiling.
9.00am: Sit at desk and go through emails and then remember that I’m not allowed to reply to any of my work ones or make any calls. Notice that virtually every email ends in “Stay Safe.” Get a call from Hamburg. Have to ignore it.
9.30am: Get dressed. This social distancing is great. Can pick up clothes from the floor and wear them again. Have to use my daily walk quota to walk to Post Office for A who is WFH, but still has time to do some online shopping that needs to be sent back. Post Office unexpectedly closed. Walk miles to next PO and then back via the longest line I’ve seen so far at the local supermarket. Think about joining it as I’m desperate to buy yeast. YEAST!! Who would have thought I would ever be desperate to buy yeast, but decided that making bread might keep H busy for an hour and Jamie Oliver has a very easy version on Instagram. CAN’T BUY YEAST ANYWHERE and Amazon can’t get it to me for TWO MONTHS. FFS. Flatbread just doesn’t somehow have the same appeal.
10.30am: Empty dishwasher and restack. We are now using it every day at least once if not twice. Empty bin. Ditto. Ridiculous. Clean all surfaces. Hoover ineffectively. Notice the underneath of the sofa. Have not looked there for 10 years. It is literally crawling with detritus. Make a note in diary to tackle that next Thursday.
11.30am: Have coffee in manner of someone who deserves a coffee break. Read paper online. Do crossword. Check World O-meter, feel a bit sick.
1pm: Make a sandwich for lunch. Get told off by A because I was meant to eat the old soup I noted that we should eat up yesterday. Sorry, forgot.
2pm: Start clearing up H’s bedroom. With him. He sits on a chair looking at phone and directing proceedings from afar. Yes, no, keep that, throw that. I work around him. He mainly requests that he needs a new cupboard, drawers, trainers, jeans, t-shirts and so on as per usual. No point right now. Then decide to take on his socks which has probably never been done before. OMG. He seems to have half a dozen pairs and over 50 single ones.
4pm: HOORAY for the street WhatsApp group. SOMEONE HAS A SACHET OF YEAST. THANK GOD. H proceeds to cover the kitchen with flour and I have to clean up and sanitise all over again. But for his first loaf of bread it was a huge success and he was pleased. Now need to find more yeast.
5pm: Ready for our daily wartime update from Boris, although it’s not him because he’s got the bloody virus and the stats are increasingly terrifying. Text all my friends and family who are in the frontline and tell them I love them and want to cry. Can’t wait for the NHS Clapping session later. Will also clap for the delivery people, teachers and supermarket workers.
5.30pm: Attempt my first Pilates class with my children. It’s a disaster. They are either in fits of giggles or ignoring me. Implying that I am only adding the sit-ups to show off and that I wouldn’t ordinarily add them into the class. FFS. Any of the standing stretches are a disaster because when H stretches his arms above his head he’s so tall that he touches the ceiling, so he’s cheating throughout all the balancing exercises.
6.30pm: HOORAY. Gin and Tonic time. This, I have read, could actually be quite good for you because allegedly the quinine is intensely disliked by the Coronavirus, so I have 3 whilst cooking supper. Realise, although I have quite a lot of rice and pasta (sorry) I don’t have anything to go with it, so need to get some more fresh produce.
6.45pm: Decide that now is the time to pounce on A as she comes back from her after work walk. Asked her to please help me set up a ZOOM meeting. She rolls her eyes. Pleeeeeeeeease. I have to beg. She has already had to help me delete my House Party App.
7.30pm: Have supper with the kids. This is our 10th night in a row of eating together. We have nothing to say because no one has done anything of note. H asks if it’s the weekend yet and then is horrified to see how early it is and that he has a long drawn out evening ahead of him. I suggest plans for a fun Friday night – games, drinks, maybe even dancing. They roll their eyes. Last Friday when they tried to teach me how to play poker it did not go well (as far as they were concerned). My daughter suggests we do a cocktail challenge – great idea but it means going out to buy non essential items, so I knock that one on the head and get called a fun sponge.
8.00pm: We go outside with pots and pans and clap and whoop our little hearts out. I am so overwhelmed and whilst I always wanted doctors and nurses and frontline staff to be recognised and paid a much better salary, we didn’t want them to have to put their lives on the line like this. Two friends sent photos of themselves in protective gear today so FINGERS CROSSED they finally have the protection they need.
8.05pm: A small car pulls up with a delivery. Daughter thinks it might be drugs. Wishful thinking. It’s a food delivery from my son’s friend. He’s doing an amazing job of delivering food parcels all over London. Homecooked pasta and chocolate cake. @fedbyGeorge – brilliant. H says why would anyone say “WOW, WOW and WOW”…
8.30pm: We are all contemplating going to bed because there is basically nothing else to do. A goes to bed. H goes to watch a film. I don’t – it’s far too early so instead I start on the wine and call friends and family abroad as well as watch more lockdown videos. Think about ordering a thermometer on Amazon, but I will be dead by the time it arrives their deliveries are so delayed, so don’t bother. Check diary entries for tomorrow. Still empty, so I write in “repot Avocado plant” and “go for walk”. Also make a note to try and be more routined throughout the day as haven’t achieved much.
11.30pm: Go to bed and read incredibly complicated book about the KGB and a spy. It’s a bit hard to follow, plan to try again tomorrow. Maybe I should read it during the day as less wine involved, so will have more clarity and nothing else to do, so might be able to concentrate better.