Archives for category: Lockdown 2020

Today my son and I caught the 6 55am bus into town, walked past his school, had breakfast, walked back to the bus stop, caught a bus and were back home by 10am. Another thing ticked off the list in preparation for going back to school. Shoes have been bought, uniform checked for size, new skirt ordered (hopefully will be in shop when I go to pick it up later), children have been instructed to check they have everything they need for their school bags and to find their PE kits. We are almost ready to go back to school!!!

Town was very quiet, less than a dozen people on the bus in and the bus out – we get good value out of our flat rate bus ticket, getting on and off at first and last stop of the bus route – some people only get to ride a couple of stops. The many stops we travelled meant we have been told at least 20 times by the automated voice at every stop to wear face coverings as it is a legal requirement. We have looked happily at the adverts on the bus televisions telling us to cough and sneeze hygienically (???) into a tissue or your arm (what did people do before?), to sanitise or wash hands more regularly, to keep our face covered. 6 months ago the adverts were for open days at college or to nominate your favourite bus driver. This new normal is a little bit odd.

The quietness of the town surprised me, we had several breakfast bus trips into town last year. The journey in and the walk to school was always quiet, after breakfast we usually walked back about 8 30 (like today) and met swarms of commuters going the other way. We would wait for ages for a safe crossing spot in streams of cars. I was expecting the same today but everywhere was quiet, much less traffic, noticeably less people – many more working at home I suppose- I think I like this- definetely better for travelling to school.

But who knows, something must change next week when the schools open, people will get back into their cars for the school runs and then are child free to go to the office. Maybe this has just been a 6 week rest for the idling engines and time wasting commuting.

This time next week we will be back in school, and will have to be hyper aware again- we have all relaxed so much over the summer holidays. Although as I type I am not sure if that’s true. I think we have got used to this- there were no complaints from my son about wearing his face mask on the bus- three weeks ago when we went into town he refused to go into any shops because he had to wear his mask. Today he even wore it through town as he forgot to take it off. We used all the appropriate hand sanitiser points, even expressing surprise at the lack of it when we exited the shopping centre, we discussed the pros and cons of ‘eat out to help out’ and the point of track and trace, we carefully chose our table to be two metres away from other diners (we might have done this anyway because we are quite anti-social). All these things have now become second nature, I wonder how this will feel going back to a class of 30 students.

The children are both quietly excited about going back to school- of course there are reservations- the travel and early starts for one child, having to be in class with annoying people for the other. I know they have missed school more than they thought possible- although I think the 6 weeks of holiday have helped them forget this. Last term seems like a far away dream (to me at least).  As I am typing this I am listening to the radio- apparently parents are worried about sending their children back to school- the thought never occurred until the news started telling me to think it. These are crazy times when pubs and restaurants  have queues of up to two hours with people desperate to eat out to help out and yet parents are not sure about sending children back into education.

Anyway, off to make more face masks now so that my children don’t pass on infection to the people they are bubbled with- both schools already had plans in place to stop bubble cross contamination. But hey, this is what we have to do.





Funny this, but typical really- weeks and weeks of lovely sun and now after one week of the holidays it is raining. There is still a lot to be thankful for- this is the ‘Would Have Been WINGS week’ when my son and thousands of other Scouts from Berkshire and the rest of the world (mainly Berkshire I think) should have been camping in Windsor Great Park. It would have started on Saturday-  it rained all day Saturday, it rained yesterday afternoon and it is raining today. So 3 wet days out of 7  so far, maybe its not a completely bad thing that it has been postponed until next year.

In my car at the moment is my son’s bike- we had planned to go cycling today at Greenham Common, but the rain has put pay to that, fingers crossed it clears up a bit this afternoon. My daughter is just off to meet her friends, I am not sure how long they will want to sit in the rain in the woods, but that is up to them. Tomorrow we are booked to visit Cliveden- at least it will be quieter in the rain.

Yesterday, however was mainly dry and all of us went for a walk. I had been wanting to see this for ages. This giant fibreglass (?) sculpture is in a corner of field in Checkendon (about 15 minutes drive from us). The are called The Nuba Survival by John Buckley.



We also found a small group of sculptures in a wood by a footpath  at Lovegrove Farm, Checkendon (I say ‘found’ but the internet had already told us they were there).

There were more but I didn’t take any photos. (Thought I had though).


My daughter was genuinely delighted and forgave us the 4 mile walk through muddy woodland when she realised we’d bought her to look at two big skeletons in field with a derelict barn behind them…. another photo for her ‘Great Family Days Out’ album which consists of pictures of dead fish, dead birds and muddy, dirty puddles. Maybe I shouldn’t be too surprised that she has happily just left to sit in wet woods on top of an old pillbox with her friends .

Here’s to sunny days.

We got here! Last week of term. Who knew it was going to be like this. How now do we make the break from homeschool to just home? The first step would be to take the borrowed laptops back to the office, but I think this will cause tears.

Actually  I think stopping school work will be the easy part. The hardest bit will be stopping the hours and hours of screen time they have got used to. Still one day at a time- my son finished school on Friday and spent the weekend on ‘Scout Camp’ – apparently 120 000 Scouts all camped in their gardens, he is now playing Warhammer with a friend. No screentime- except to refer to the rules on the internet. We have all been so dependent on screens. I get back from work, look at my phone, wash my hands, turn on my laptop- just in case I have missed something important in the hours I have been away. I never have done.

A good thing about the way the new normal is shaping up is that it looks like we will have to book to go anywhere- this means no more worrying about if somewhere will be too busy- we just know it won’t be. It means no more getting up at 7 30 to be at the swimming pool at 9, before it gets too busy to swim, which is what we used to do in the holidays. So  that is good, it also means I can negotiate time with my daughter- she has to be with us if we have booked to go somewhere…. lets see how that pans out.

School is fine, there is a sense of sadness seeping through it at the moment as the Y6s are in their last week of term. It has snuck up very quickly, but it is hard to know how much of their sadness is due to leaving us- or how much is due to feeling they have missed out on all the end of term things. I, for one, did not realise how important things like shirt signing is to the children (my two didn’t do it at primary school, my daughter does have a Y8 red badge(Y7/8) shirt hidden in her wardrobe(no idea why she hid it, it was too grey to pass on to her brother anyway)). We had members of staff planning how we could get 42 shirts signed by staff, a bizarre thing to do as it involved plastic bags and plastic gloves for us all to scrawl ‘Good Luck’ in sharpie on 42 shirts. This idea was vetoed by the headteacher- quite sensibly. It seemed ridiculous for us all to share pens and touch shirts just so children can have a teacher signature- the Y6 really want their friends to sign their shirts, not members of staff they can’t really remember.

The new normal can’t work if we are trying to recapture things from the old one-like shirt signing.

Instead the teachers have produced a slideshow of photos and memories and goodbyes from staff. The Y6 leavers assembly- which was mainly an excuse for parents and children to cry (and was pretty tedious anyway) has been replaced with a lovely (probably quite long) video of the children passing a leaver’s hoodie around. The disco will happen when they are at secondary school if and when such things are allowed. If the new normal doesn’t allow for discos it might not be a bad thing.

It is interesting how this virus has stripped back all the things we thought were essential or entitled to and is now slowly beginning to build them back up again. It is not essential to have your shirt signed when you leave school or to have a disco or… it is essential to stay safe. It is essential to know that you will be missed. It has probably been essential for our Y6s to noisily reminisce about their time in school – although most memories are centred around the residential in February- it has been essential for them to run around playing in the woods within their bubbles. I hope they will look back on these and think that this has been better than any disco or leavers shirt.  I suppose the thing that has been taken away is choice- they have no choice, this IS how they will remember their last term at at school.

So what do we need to take from before lockdown into the new normal: hairdressers definetely, meeting family and friends in person -zoom calls just don’t cut it-, belonging to something or somebody or somewhere – Is that it? That and coffee. Oh how I have missed going out to get coffee.

I would also add being busy, or feeling that what you do is valued. Our brains are not meant to sit idle, we are meant to do- maybe that is why the screens are so appealing to my children.

And what can we take from lockdown into the new normal- what have I learnt? I have learnt that somethings are better on screens- online learning for the children and me, keeping in touch, sharing messages. The children from school will now- if they keep the file have a lasting memory of their time at their school with messages from staff and pictures of their friends. It might not have had the memory of the chaos of running around school and getting illegible signatures but hopefully it will have the same effect of making them feel they belong. What else can we take- adaptability, we can cope when the rug is pulled out from under our feet and everything is taken away. These Y6 children have coped, they have adapted and they have flourished. Bunged into 4 bubbles dictated by register order they have made new friends and formed new friendships that months of planning and agonising over groupings would never have predicted.

We will all be ok in this new normal.



More upbeat this week as a couple of you- you know who you are (and thank you for caring) were worried about my doom-laden approach last week. I think I just judged it wrong- maybe not everyone knows the world as we know it is beginning to end… (just joking).

Maybe I just meant to say something new is beginning. At the start of this all, in all the mix of emotions that everyone had, there was a wonderful new positivity. No cars, no planes, everyone appreciating outside, everyone joining together to help out. I thought it was amazing and it helped get me through the first few weeks and beyond the Easter holidays (that and a whole raft of online courses I did for school). It felt like it was a chance for everyone to stop, rethink and then restart just slightly differently.

So has it lasted? How do we know? Sometime early on I started thinking about what I wanted to keep from the strange world we were living in in lockdown. One of them was walking in the woods more- my son and I still do this, another was more online learning. I had always intended to do some, but 1) never knew where to look, 2)couldn’t find the time -the lockdown provided me with the answers to both of them. At the moment I am doing a  free course on basic accounting and bookkeeping to see if it is worth pursuing as a second income (actually its quite dull at the moment). It has been great to learn something new, even if most of it might not be much use in the long run.

Other things have lasted as well, one of them really good. For the past year or so I have periodically mentioned to my constantly tired husband that he should consider working from home regularly. His commute is 90- 120 mins each way, everyday. On the last day of schools being open and before lockdown proper he came home with a huge monitor and successfully worked at home for the 10 weeks of lockdown. And it was fine, we didn’t argue, the children didn’t annoy him too much, he got work done. He is now back in the office two days a week, but still at home 3 days (hopefully this will continue after the children go back). It is a good thing. He is here for tea when the most important conversations of the day happen, he is not tired, he has his weekends free to do other things than just catch up with the jobs he hasn’t done (Lawnmowing, bin emptying) and the children see him as part of their everyday lives- which for a while he wasn’t very much.

For the children I am not sure what they would like to last from this. Maybe my daughter likes being left alone in her room to do work at her own pace. I don’t think my son is enjoying his school’s approach to home learning as much as he was- there are only 2 weeks left for him. His school has already informed parents of possible plans for September, that in the worst case have him only at school every other week, and seem to still have asychnrous asynchrous  independent learning in the afternoon. Maybe this is the way they should go anyway, I think he has benefitted from more free time – and from being home earlier. I think both my children have benefitted from this bizarre term, my daughter has learnt to manage her time and managing her stress levels (mainly by getting work done so she is not worried about it). However, a huge however, it has gone on long enough!!! I can not wait until September and finding out what the next normal is.

Fingers crossed that the new normal is good.





And if this is the end of days and life as we know it is there actually anything we can do about it? I think its probably just a bad week. Obviously it is a bad week, 3 people dead in a random stabbing in Reading. I wonder when I read this back in years to come if I will even remember the circumstances, I hope I do but don’t really know what else to type about it. I don’t think I will feel less safe in Reading when we finally go back into the town, I am not sure we are any less safe in Reading then we were when we went in before. There is a sadness that people can die like that but beyond that we don’t feel the impact unless we knew them.  Hmm, written more than I meant to.

So the end of days is here- isn’t it- aren’t we all aware of this that -this is the beginning of the end of the world. I am not about to go and stand on the street with a sandwich board but surely someone should mention it…. or maybe it’s just me.

To be honest this is probably due to lack of sleep. It was so hot last night; I spent most of it lying awake thinking too much. Mainly thinking about lost time and lost opportunity and how come September I was going to have to get up at 6 am again and go through the first weeks of tears and tiredness with my son as he goes back to school (I hope this will be very much like having a second baby- the first 6 weeks are horrendous but at least you know they will get better). I am feeling a bit down today, not enough sleep and worries left over from last night (mainly about the poor quality learning my children have been doing and if I should be doing more for them- I am not entirely sure what I can do). At the moment my son is on a break, laughing out loud at a youtube video about Minecraft- much more animated then when he’s staring at a screen for lessons. I worry about him being left behind his peers due to my lack of involvement in his lessons and learning, but another part of me thinks this is a valuable way for him to take responsibility for his own learning and help him be built into A Good Man- as that is the Reading Way- lets see if he stops watching his video without me having to remind him. **he didn’t**

My daughter gave a session on resilience to her Brownie Unit yesterday- and is now officially a Peer Educator for Berkshire Guiding- she constantly amazes me as she is braver than I have been.

So if this is the beginning of the end of the world does it really matter? Would I do anything differently, maybe, maybe not. I would like to see the sea before we all die. Can we do anything about it- sadly I think not, not really. Just carry on as before, trying to do the right thing and trying to keep our little corner of Reading safe, healthy and a little bit more eco than it was before.

At least it’s sunny.

I am beginning to appreciate the beauty of the blog, or of keeping a diary. I have just flicked back through previous posts- both published and unpublished and found myself remembering things about lockdown that I had previously forgotten. I think, much like having a new baby, we easily forget the worst bits, the days of worry and stress and sadness. Looking back at some of the entries I haven’t published yet where I was wallowing in fear and sorrow at the shutting of schools, and the days when I felt scared to go out, or guilty for going out. I forgot all that. Sadly I also beginning to forget the sense of community spirit that (briefly) arose, when everyone seemed to want to help, when a huge amount of people signed up to the government volunteer programme- a task that seemed to be superseded by local Facebook groups, the clapping for the NHS, the trying to still celebrate VE day. It seems to be dying already here, but I suppose it is nice to know that there is a community spirit in all of us, waiting to be called upon.

So back to the title, the return to normal. On the face of it I am back to normal, 3 days a week going to my place of work, a primary school. Of those 3 days one of them is spent cleaning- although I am not sure this is the correct word, spraying everything with anti-bac would be a better description- a classroom and toilet. The other two are spent as a teaching assistant to a group of up to 11 Year 6 students. We have done this for one week, it worked well. The children are pleased to be back, and relieved, I think, that actually social distancing isn’t too hard (it’s harder for the teaching staff as we are now limited to only 3 people in the staff room at one time).  The hardest thing at the moment seems to be them remembering not to share things, their plastic trays are filling up with the pens and pencils they have had to borrow from the school supply.

These 11 children, myself and the teacher are now in a bubble. When we are in school they are not allowed to mix with other children. The playground, field and woods have been divided up so that each bubble has its own space, clearly marked out with cones and tape. Friends in different bubbles can sit one metre either side of the boundary  and talk to each other. Each bubble is in for two days, this meant we could split 42 children into 4 groups (2 attend Monday/Tuesday, 2 attend Thursday/Friday). Wednesday is deep cleaning with anti-bac day. Deep cleaning and anti-bac do not go together in my head. Children have to bring in their own pencil case and stay sat in their seats, they wash their hands as often as possible. Books are marked with stuck in post-it notes- apparently virus stays on paper for a long time and unions were worried about teachers picking it up from books. We have provided them with a white board and pen and a plastic drawer to keep it all in. The Year 1s are also back, a few less of them came in than the Year 6s. All our nursery and reception children have been offered two days to come back, as we take children from the term after they are 3 that is quite a lot of children.

It seems fine, I assume iff  the R number drops then some of the bubble rules will change. The Y6s were allowed back in to help them get secondary ready, I suppose this rigid adherence to rules will help them. It is a start to return to normal, so it is good.

My husband has also started the return to normal, he is going to the office twice a week, on the days when I am not at work. This means the other three days he has to deal with the stresses and joys of home-schooling, which actually for my two is fairly straightforward. For my children, normal seems a long way off, they have now established their own routines- the main part of this seems to be calling friends dead on 3.30 when their school day finishes. I am just going to check what the oldest one is doing right now… (she also has a daily routine of a walk after lunch and being in her room at all other possible times). …. and she was planning a session on resilience that wants to deliver via zoom to her Brownie pack. I am very proud of my children 🙂

I have gone into lots of detail in this, because I know, even  if no-one else does, I will read it again and I want to try and catch a bit of how I feel.

The other thing I have to put down about the first week back is how I, as TA, had nothing to do in the classroom. I am usually sat with a small group, very un-social distanced. So I joined in with their work- here is my lock-down emotions poem- another way to remember how we all felt in these strange times.

Lockdown Emotions

Tired is the colour of rain clouds that gather on the edge of a blue -sky day.

It is the sticky feel of uncooked dough, muddled with walking through treacle.

I catch it waiting for me from the edge of unwatched programmes on the TV.

Tired is me thinking this is all too much.


Irritation is itchy, a indigo shiver that runs across my skin.

It is like eating sherbet that fizzes forever, causing tickles on my tongue.

It is dozing on a sunny day as the clouds cover the sun.

Irritation is becoming a house-wife again.


Sorrow is blue, a deep, fathomless blue shot with sparkles of teardrops.

It is the taste of sweets long eaten and never found again, the remembrance of yesterday.

It is the gradual creep of water from a leaky pipe, spreading under everything.

Sorrow is realising the schooling and experiences my children have lost.


Belonging is rainbows taped to windows, it is hopscotches drawn on the street.

It is a warm, vast hug, a soft squishy bubble engulfing me.

It is a litter of sleeping kittens. Individual muddles but an entwined heap of soft.

Belonging is all of us sewing, donating, helping, clapping.


Joy is gold, it is silver, it is bronze.

It is eating sweet nectar after drinking bitter cocoa.

It is sleeping in a sunbeam on a cold winter’s day.

Joy is us, altogether, all safe, all happy.


Hmm well..

Until next time.






As I write this we are on the first day of the second week of Phase 2 of remote learning for both of my children. They attend different secondary schools, and the schools have provided them both with lessons for every subject. The approach has been slightly different, my son has to do 6 lessons of half an hour each and has to be doing that lesson at the time specified. My daughter has been given two weeks work and is choosing how to structure her days (a little worryingly she told us on Friday she only had French left to do). But this is not meant to be a post about the schools.

It is a post about my children, I am not sure if they will ever read this blog, maybe one day out of interest (or boredom) but I hope that if they do they will remember these funny Covid 19 days. I also hope they will remember how amazingly well they coped.  So far they have been logged on an working by 9am each morning. They have stayed at their laptops for the whole morning and often going back after lunch. No complaining. Of course there is daydreaming and of course there have been sneaky game playing or extended breaks but generally they accepted this is it and got on. I know I have it easy, my role as home-educator is to occasionally look at their screens and ask if they are ok. I feel for primary age parents ( although a part of me thinks it would be fun). So as far as school goes and doing what is needed my two seem ok. Time will tell if this passive, staring at screen learning has done them any good.

And that was two weeks ago, I didn’t publish it then because later that afternoon my son was crying on the sofa, sad that it had been such a long time and he was away from his friends- he had also had his lightest school day with double games and tutor time, aswell as taken part in his first virtual school club. I think boredom coupled with loneliness had set in. He did agree to phone his friend that evening, I am not sure they talked but he felt better after. In some ways it is harder for him than for my daughter, her friendships have had a few years to develop, his only a few months. My daughter has seen her friends on her exercise walk- by coincidence, there is not a chance of him bumping into his friends. But that was two weeks ago.

And now the gloss of no school has worn off, school has become the chore again that it was. I wonder if it might have become even worse, they whole of their learning is the 2D of the computer screen. The need for measurable outcomes has squashed any actual physicality. Even PE lessons are optional challenges on youtube to watch, do, film and upload. (Son hasn’t done any yet, we tend to go  out for a walk or he plays swingball during PE). It makes me sad that this is their learning experience, this flat, fake screen staring experience, sat on a poorly designed chair with no engagement. That I think is the worst, the lack of engagement, just tasks that need to be done and no choice how to do them. I appreciate schools are trying their best and they can only use what they already had in place- I do wonder what the long term of this will be.  Whether we will have a generation that refuse to work in an office…

It might just be the way we have set our lives up, and that we could make this a healthier experience for the children- to be honest I didn’t believe it would go on for so long.

That was the other thing I was thinking about, the hope taken away by yesterday’s announcement- most children will be staring at screens and away from friends for the rest of the term. I knew this really, but I had hoped something else will be announced yesterday.

(My son has just sat down with a paint brush and two figures to join in with his virtual Warhammer painting club. Upstairs my daughter is reading a series of books whilst doing school work- this is the second week of the two weeks worth of work.)

One thing I have been thankful for and should type about are the leaders of the Scout and Brownie groups. My daughter is a Young Leader, my son is a Scout. We get a weekly letter full of ideas for Scouts and there is a weekly Brownie zoom call. Something to add structure to the days. That these people want to carry on the contact with the children and that they have provided this structure is wonderful. I want to remember this after this is over.

So until I next feel the need to type. xx



…gone on a two mile walk through the woods, washed up breakfast dishes, finished sorting my tutoring exam questions, looked at a hard maths problem I have  had sitting around, help digitalise some WW1 American death records, looked at wildlife photos to spot some skinks, watched Bargain Hunt, listened to Pop Master, spent an hour and a half needle felting, cooked tea, washed up the dishes, tidied the kitchen…. and a few more things besides. I am quite tired today.

The silly thing is my day would have been fairly similar if we weren’t on lockdown, the walk in the morning may have been different- and would definitely have involved coffee somewhere. I would also have probably not discovered zooniverse if I hadn’t been in lockdown. Zooniverse really appeals to the geeky side of me, it is basically a website where science and research projects ask for the public’s help in typing up all the boring things that a computer can’t accurately read. I love it. My previous job was data entry based-  and I enjoyed it, there is a sense of satisfaction in doing a job well and accurately- even if you have to do the same thing again the next day- it is slightly akin to my love of ironing. It creates a sense of achievement for quite a low amount of brain effort. If any of this sounds appealing I recommend you look at . It is somewhere I would happily lose hours of my life- I have to ration myself otherwise nothing else would get done.

The weather is still lovely here, and most afternoons I am going outside, and (easily) ignoring the inside jobs. Inside jobs always seem to be boring- like sorting out the stuff in my bedroom- the only room untouched by the extension work, and the last room that needs to be purged. There are of course other, and many jobs left over to do inside but at the moment the weather is to good to be doing them.

And so to finish off this slightly dull post about the benefits of data entry as a key to happiness I shall add some pictures from my walk this morning. This beautiful woodland is between the edge of Tilehurst-( which is the western most suburb of Reading), and the M4. Walking through it the sounds of songbirds and woodpeckers mingle with the dull roar of the motorway (still noisy even with less cars). Yesterday two deer ran right across our path. Last week there were no bluebells to be seen. If nothing else this lockdown has given me the time to see this spot change almost daily.


Wow! Week 1 of extreme social distancing finished here in the UK, at least two more to go. I have twisted and turned this blog post over in my head, trying to capture something of the experience for us and what it is teaching us or me about ourselves. A big part of me just wants to forget it all, get through each day until it is over, another part of me is screaming out to analyse it and find a deeper meaning or purpose to it all. For now that part has won.

The first week has been fine, all four of us (and the cats) in the house. Yesterday I left to go shopping, the first time any of us had left our property in 7 days. Property sounds like we have a vast space- it is not, I am tempted to measure it later- good homeschooling activity (or would be if I was homeschooling, but I am not really). It has been quite hard work, not so much in getting on with each other- the children are old enough to realise we need to be nice to get by- but hard in making sure that we are all content and doing what we need to do.

The children had a taste of working from home before I did, the last three days of the last week of normality were spent at home for my son, and the Thursday my daughter was at home as well. We are incredibly fortunate in that husband was able to bring home a laptop and tablet with keyboard from work, coupled with his laptop and my laptop everyone in the family is able to get online and work at the same time. This gives our day a better shape.

And that was where stopped typing a week ago, a week later and things have settled down. The children, and I, are now officially on Easter Holidays. This means the school work that has given shape to our day has stopped and they can amuse themselves. I feel bombarded with ideas for enriching my children’s time, from school, from facebook, from emails and yet I am sort of ignoring most of it. My son had a list ten suggestions from his school, at least 8 of them are things he would do anyway- he has spent today making origami eggs. I’m hoping tomorrow he will teach me macramé. My daughter has spent her time in her room, chatting to friends, watching videos, listening to music and a bit of sewing. They are happy, they go for a daily walk. I do not think I need to entertain them- let them get bored and find something to do.

So this was titled ‘What we need’. I thought a week ago I had an answer, slightly sickly sweet but an answer none the less. My daughter needs to be able to talk to her friends, she needs music and she needs space to be alone- the first two she needs her phone to achieve. My son needs to do things that interest him, he needs to be able to watch cartoons over and over and he needs to be able to choose what he does. He, more than anyone, needs feeding at regular times and to know there will be food he likes. My husband needs space to work and food….. I think he needs to feel useful. I need to know they are here and safe and happy. I have yet to start on the big imaginary ‘When I have time list ‘ as I spend a lot of time just checking everyone is ok. But that is also something I need. I need to know we have meals planned and that we have enough in the house in case something went wrong. I also need time outside to sit and stare and watch the plants grow. And of course, can let this finish without saying it, we all need each other….

This lockdown has slowed down our pace of life, we eat tea together as a family, husband and son play badminton in the garden in the evening.  A dream life- and yet we all spend most of each day waiting for it to pass. A strange, strange existence a kind of stasis I suppose.