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Home isolation - week eight

What on earth happened to the last seven weeks?

Well, your guess is as good as mine. Yes, lazy blogger alert. Huge apologies for the lack of communication. I've had to prise myself from my deckchair to write this.

For the benefit of our International readers, we're enjoying a bizarre, British, April/May heatwave - hence the deckchair. Anyway, I've moved into the dining room to report to you this evening - only after a trip down to Aldi for some 'essential gin' and mini-popadoms. We're only allowed to nip out for essentials now, by the way.

Daddy and Lyall on an hour's walk

I've been volunteered (by Tom and the boys) to become the family's 'nominated shopper'. To be honest, it's quite a lucrative position to obtain - I'm now able to pop on some half-presentable clothes a few times a week, including a hoodie, skinny jeans and trainers and make an exciting pilgrimage to Aldi down the road. I basically feel like I'm dressing for a 90s themed party in a community centre. But, it's ok - I'm the best dressed person there. And most importantly, I'm getting out, on my own. It's a real privilege.

Taking the car out feels strange, like I'm embarking on a mission into a post-apocalyptic new world. But, unlike Zombieland, where I'd probably be armed with an assault rifle and pepper spray on my passenger seat, instead I'm armed with some (very elusive) alcohol gel and two 'bags for life' from our last holiday in Spain. Arriving at Aldi, I queue up for 25 minutes; two metres between two tracksuit-wearing mums with masks on and I eventually enter quite an ordinary looking supermarket.

I feel obliged to follow a shopping list now, although it's superficial really; at least if I'm stopped by a police officer who assumes (quite reasonably) I'm here on non-official-Hogwarts business I have something to show. But, really I'm just here for some cereal bars and a bottle of gin. Don't judge - this is my eighth week stuck indoors with two squabbly kids and a highly-strung fiance. I will obviously buy some cherry tomatoes, a £3 pair of slippers, some garden lights and a tin of marrow-fat peas in a bid to make my empty shopping basket look a little less non-essential. Tonic water's out of the question, by the way - it went the way of the toilet rolls. Somewhere in deepest Leicester there's a family with 300 litres of own-brand slimline tonic - I expect they're selling it to their neighbours. I'll buy a bottle of 'cloudy lemonade' instead. The kids love that.

Daddy on his lockdown deckchair

As mentioned before on the blog, our boys are creatures of routine. But, over the last eight weeks we've stretched, rolled and re-stretched our little family routine like an old piece of blue-tack. The kids' school work is a real god-send, mind you. Every morning at 9am sharp, they each receive at least two or three hours' work from their teachers who sit patiently at the other end of the online app, ready to provide supportive voice-messages and written feedback. It's been wonderful; allowing Tom and I to conduct our ordinary business downstairs. But, after 11am, we're presented with two bored, hopeful looking boys who want food, activities and cuddles. Which is lovely, to a point.

Tom's job as a director of a tech firm is all-consuming, and of course my work as a pro-blogger and (more recently) Instagrammer, podcast guest, journalist, admin and finance manager is quite demanding. We didn't used to appreciate the six hours of quiet and freedom the boys' school provides, and it's hard to concentrate. Impossible actually. But, we manage and we are enjoying this extra time with the kids - even if we are a little disgruntled.

Hopefully, when this lockdown is finally over, neither too soon nor too far away, we'll look back at this bonkers time of life and think, at worst, "what on earth did we do without tonic water?".

I must dedicate this blog post to the boys' wonderful teachers; well done to you - absolute superstars x

Lyall and Rich on a walk through lockdown Leicester


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