Wow, I've just seen that the last blog I posted was shockingly long ago - more than a year! There are reasons for this. My father sadly passed away and last year (i.e. 2019) felt like my annus horribilis. Not only did I lose my dad (and my mum died ten years ago so now I am really 'alone') but I also had to clear out his house which was our childhood home. The emotional exhaustion of sifting and sorting through those memories was really hard. As well selling what had been such a happy house and moving on to the next chapter of our lives. I kept writing off 2019 and saying "next year will be better". If only I'd had a crystal ball!!
It started well enough. I took my kids on an amazing adventure to Chile in December. At the time I'd justified the expensive air tickets, thinking my twins (age 17) were getting older and might not come away with me for much longer and that we should make the most of it. Thank goodness I did that. Because now we can't go anywhere because of the lockdown and it's unlikely we'll be able to do much adventurous travel this summer...though I can still live in hope!
So, how are you all dealing with lockdown?
We're now entering our 6th week here in the UK and at first it wasn't too bad. We're some of the lucky ones with a garden and because we had amazing weather we were at least able to be outside enjoying the sunshine, which really helped. Plus in the UK (unlike in Italy or Spain) we're allowed to go out once a day for exercise, as long as we keep a 2 meter distance from people. So I've gone on great 1.5 hour walks which have been a godsend in terms of not feeling too cooped up.
Because this is such a once-in-a-generation contagion (well, at least I hope it is) that we're dealing with, I thought I'd try to diarise it in video form and I made a few 'lockdown' films for my YouTube channel which show how we're dealing with being cooped up and how the kids are faring with online education and not being able to see their friends or go out and socialise.
They weren't meant to be spoofs, but my family is so crazy that each mini film is pretty funny and feels like a spoof. Take a look:
LOCKDOWN WEEK ONE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rLnS5JqQrM&t=10s
LOCKDOWN WEEK TWO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdSCcnuNJts
LOCKDOWN WEEK THREE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YqCSPvRo7o&t=2s
After this we spent a week doing our own family Come Dine with Me special (that film is also on my YouTube channel) where we all took turns cooking the family meal one night of the week and we voted for the winner. It was hotly contested and some delicious food was eaten that week and my kids proved very creative - preparing Mexican taco feasts, homemade brioches and homemade pasta even! I promise not to do any spoiler alerts here. You'll have to watch the film to decide who is the winner: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WB_X7TXs-Tc
Alas, the weather has now taken a turn for the worse and it's becoming tougher for us all. The kids aren't coping that well with an online education (some are faring better than others) and I'm not enjoying being their educator. I'm trying to fill in the gaps where I can, especially with languages, because it's hard teaching languages online.
Also, I'm used to traveling the whole time for work and now that I'm not going anywhere - and have no idea when that might change - I'm starting to suffer a bit from cabin fever. In those moments I remind myself how lucky we are. We have a garden, we have each other, we have food to put on the table and we have so far managed to stay healthy. And I keep trying to remind myself of that whenever I get in a minor funk...
Funny things still to happen: when we struggled to buy toilet paper/pasta and eggs at the beginning of the pandemic (when everyone was stockpiling and going crazy) my husband had the idea to build a chicken coop at the back of the garden so that we could provide our own eggs. The coop is built, as is the hen house - all that we're now waiting for are the chickens to arrive. I promise to keep you posted.
For the record: I DO NOT WANT TO HAVE CHICKENS AT THE BACK OF MY LONDON GARDEN!!!
Anyway, do let me know how you are coping with any restrictions you're experiencing wherever you are in the world? And whether you're scared of catching Covid19, or whether you've already had it or know someone who has?
And in the meantime, stay safe and be well and I promise to update you all sooner rather than later.
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