This is what I have learnt in Lockdown

Missing the seaside

That I miss:

  1. My Friends.  I miss their hugs, falling about laughing at the stupidest things.  I miss being able to whinge with them about our families without fear of the families hearing, while knowing they know that we all know we love our families; we just needed a whinge.
  2. Being On My Own.  I know, I know!  There are so many people who are desperate for company and fed up living alone but I am craving 3 or 5 hours of just me in the house.
  3. Mouths. I miss seeing people’s faces when I am out and about, I never realised how much I use mouths to recognise people, always thought I was an eye person.
  4. Being Part of aTeam.  Every summer I am involved with a project over 6 weekends or so where there is a large group of sixth former students and adults who work together.  I also miss the parents and the younger students that we deal with.  There is so much humour amongst the team, watching the sixth formers come into their own with responsibility, laughing (loudly) at the odd sixth former who partied too hard the night before and seeing them struggle with the 8am briefing!  The parent that makes us do stretches before we start, the parent who pulls silly faces at me through the window when I am trying to be Miss Strick n’ Sensible. 
  5. Sneaky Fridays. My occasional Friday late afternoon sneaky down to Shinner and Sudstone for a bottle of wine with a friend before we trot back home to cook dinner.  Great way to finish a challenging week.
  6. Family. Seeing my parents and sisters, nephews and nieces in person.  It seems an age ago when we were celebrating my father’s birthday, early March last year and I was saying about how we should avoid hugging and we were all complaining that the loo door at the restaurant swung the wrong way after you have washed your hands.  Laughing as we wore our silly party hat cones on our mouths as a way of mask.  That was our last get together, a wave at the door is the best we have managed since.
  7. Seaside. Escaping to the seaside for the weekend, drifting off to sleep with the sound of the wave, drinking coffee on the beach wall and being able to breath deep.

What I have discovered:

  1. My Neighbours!  We live on a busy road, so we knew the neighbours near us and we have been regularly rescued by next door and next door-but-one know we can be called upon if they need a cat fed or a child watched but the rest of the road less so.  One of our neighbours had the bright idea of dropping a note through everyone’s letterbox inviting them to join the WhatsApp chat group.  It started as a introduce yourself and offer a helping hand.  Now it’s a series of jokes, memes, request for jam jars, offer of furniture, books and puzzles.  Who knew my neighbours were so funny.  It’s a double win as one of the neighbours leaves me yummy jars of homemade pickles.
  2. Reading.  HeWhoBuysGrapefruitKnives does not read, he is a television watcher.  I am now getting the chance to read books as there is only so many series and films that both of us want to watch. 
  3. Banana Bread.  Leaving that one there.
  4. Scrabble. That my sons are surprisingly good at Scrabble.
  5. Home Grown Herbs. That HeWhoBuysGrapefruitKnives is rather good at growing herbs.  He doesn’t do gardening; he doesn’t cook but he decided last year to create a herb garden which has been brilliant for me as I do all the cooking.  I am now hoping that he will learn to build walls so we can fix the ones falling down in our garden!
  6. Sticky Back Plastic.  My kitchen was very yellow/beige with a big hole in the ceiling and as it will be a while before we are able to afford a new kitchen, we decided to do a mini renovation, repairing the hole, removing the floor to ceiling tiles, new work surfaces and covering the early 80’s cupboards with sticky back plastic.  It no longer feels like we are walking into a pile of vomit when go in to the kitchen. 
  7. I Don’t Have to Iron Everything.  Pre COVID I would iron all clothing except for underwear.  As soon as lockdown occurred, I figured why bother, no-one is going to see our clothes are creased so my ironing board has become an extra work surface in the utility.  Bliss!

Please note that these are not in any particular order.  Honest.  Not having to iron is really a big thing with a family of 6!