Day one in the Big Mother House.
UK Lockdown commences with my daughter and son.
Day one of at least twenty one days, although realistically, I think we all know that we are in this for the long haul.
Times are not normal. The clocks go forward this weekend – I wish we could wind the clocks forward three months at least. One hour simply won’t be enough.
If the Coronavirus wasn’t so serious a threat, it might be quite an interesting social experiment to shove us all under one roof and not let us out much. Amongst my friends we’ve all got children behaving very differently. Some furiously cleaning every surface with anti-bacterial spray every half an hour and trying to keep their social distance, some choosing to self-isolate in their rooms, whilst others are still not thinking about it all too seriously and would be drinking milk directly from the container in the fridge if there weren’t people screaming at them to stop.
This is all rather terrifying and that’s on top of the usual sort of low grade terror we experience as parents – our fear that they might have an accident or get food poisoning has moved up a scale as we worry about them falling ill. I have taken to simply shouting; “BE CAREFUL, DON’T HAVE AN ACCIDENT OR GET FOOD POISONING…THIS IS NOT A GOOD TIME TO HAVE TO GO TO HOSPITAL” It’s not at all reassuring that I’ve got them “safely” under my wing and under one roof, because with this silent killer on the loose, we could be locking ourselves in with it, rather than locking it out.
I can understand why we’ve had to take further measures though, our local park was packed on Sunday – a glorious Mother’s Day whereby because all the restaurants and pubs were closed, we had to be outside. I know we were all a bit of a disappointment to our Governments – we were trying to socially distance ourselves and I’m quite sure none of us meant to be selfish, but in London there are just quite a lot of us around. So measures have been stepped up and the state has had to step in and introduce a degree of social control not seen since the second world war.
The big state is back.
My kids and I came back here for lunch in the garden, our last gathering for who knows how long. Unfortunately, whilst carving the beef, I inadvertently coughed and the children refused to eat the meat until I’d put it back in the oven and practically burnt it to a frazzle. Despite the awful circumstances I had a lovely Mother’s Day and I’m both relieved and pained to have my little chicks back in the coop (well two out of three anyway and the big one lives nearby so joined us for a walk). It is heartbreaking that so many families are divided around the world, or indeed in different parts of the country and unable to see each other. Many of us can’t see our parents, or our partners, or friends, or children….
So I’m adding this photo to remind me of the last day we could all be together (but apart) in the park for some time:-
Suitably named champagne:-
It’s glorious outside today and I feel for everyone who now can’t get out at all. The streets are empty, the motorways too. Central London is like a ghost town apart from the key workers, like most other cities around the world. This is going to be incredibly challenging for all of us, but as the enormity of the crisis unfolds in front of our very eyes, we collectively understand that we have no choice and have a significant part to play in stopping this little F*cker of a virus dead in it’s tracks so that it doesn’t extract a heavy toll.
We can do this.
We have to stay at home.
Many of us will be trying to work out how to manage our “Quaranteen’s” – those teenagers of ours who are used to having so much freedom now they’re almost adults. Now they’re back from university super early or have found themselves with no school, it’s going to be a nightmare to stop them from secretly catching up with friends and flouting the rules. More than 100 countries around the world have had to shut their schools, with governments having to make stark choices between two bad options.
My son has just been informed today that his first year exams at university have been cancelled. Such a shame for so many young things to have had their lives curtailed, but so be it. The exams would have given him something to do and now he, like many others, are keen to volunteer or get a job, but I just don’t think there will be any work for him to do right now, apart from maybe helping the elderly maybe. Even the supermarkets will be inundated with people who have lost their jobs because they’re self-employed.
STILL. On the updside, we have enough wine for now and can at least get out to the supermarkets when stocks get low. My children are also going to teach me how to play poker. I am going to turn into Kenny Rogers (RIP…he was one of our family favourites and will be missed).