Life here has changed here in the past few years. Amana and I have been joined by the delightful little wild man Dylan.
Wild man very much enjoys washing machines, noisy toys, and anything he can flick or flap.
Our lives are now lived with a backdrop of Peppa Pig or Charlie and Lola. No level surface is safe from being crawled on or cleared. Eggs belong on the floor, in pieces, not in the 'fridge. Cat food is the most delicious substance on the planet. No door can be locked against him, no night can be slept without him, and life is immensely richer, busier, smellier, and just generally wildly different than it has ever been before. Walking and running is fun!
So, current update. One amazingly awesome teen, who has gathered numerous extra health complications in the past few years, but prefers to maintain her privacy online - all posts will be approved by her before posting. One very active, currently undiagnosed "but there's definitely something" three year old, who needs many hours running around outside in all weathers and unfettered access to the park and preschool in order to keep all of us sane. And one of me. A bit older than before, a bit more tired, but still essentially me.
Enter Coronavirus. You knew it would take something dramatic to get me back here, right? Not don't worry, we don't have it. But as of today, we find ourselves out of step with the rest of the UK, having withdrawn both children from school in order to mostly stay home and avoid other people. Social distancing, here we come.
For any of my non-Brit friends, current situation here is that the general population is advised to work from home if possible, avoid cinemas, theatres, pubs and large gatherings. The Church of England has said that churches should remain open, but not hold public services. All clubs, societies, activities have been paused. Universities have sent students home and many are switching to online lectures for the summer team. Schools, bizarrely, remain open. But students with underlying health conditions can stay home. Strange times.
So - day one of social distancing. We are supposed to stay 2metres away from anyone else. Outdoor exercise is encouraged. Shopping is not. This morning, I attempted to book an online delivery slot. All delivery and click and collect options for all our local supermarkets are fully booked for the next three weeks. It's a good job we've got a large freezer. Crucially though, we only have 1/3 of a tub of Pringles, Wild Man's only acceptable substitute for cat food. Grolly will not be impressed if the Pringles run out.
So we take a midday health walk. Picturing blue skies and birdsong? Think again. The boy likes traffic. The girl likes Scania Lorries. We walk around the ring road. It works - many lorries, few people. Every one we meet slithers away so we maintain our 2m distance. Are they ill and attempting to keep us safe? Or do they think we will be the ones to spread the plague?
A has decided to follow her school timetable at home. More or less. I'm not sure where eating the donut with yellow sprinkles comes into the curriculum - perhaps I'll get her to estimate the number of bites beforehand next time. A bit of maths. A bit of English. A lot of colouring.
Decisions everywhere. Some being made for us - it's easy to decide not to go to church when church won't be happening anyway. We rather enjoyed the church's first livestream on Sunday; I hope something like this can continue for us all as we stay home. Do we continue to welcome our carers, who will be moving from vulnerable child to vulnerable child, whilst also having their own non-vulnerable children in schools? Can we manage without them if we don't? Visiting therapists? Hospital appointments? Yesterday we cancelled our Easter holiday plans. It'll be the first time in many years we haven't been to Tenby; it'll also be the first time in many years we've spent so long not seeing the friends we were planning to go with.
Our verse for today: Matthew 28:20b And I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Song for the season:
20 seconds to the chorus. The perfect hand washing anthem for our times.
So that's us. Day one nearly done. The homeschooling I said I'd never do being partially maintained. The smallest one very unimpressed at the lack of social activities. But so far, all dressed, all fed, all reasonably clean. See you tomorrow maybe.