Staying Home, Saving Lives - A Covid19 Diary, Week Four

Yesterday the lockdown in the UK was extended for at least another three weeks. I'm not surprised, I may hide my head in the sand when it comes to statistics and news reports but I know that outside of my home there are people dying everyday.

At the same time, you get idiots who are refusing to adhere to common sense social distancing. Throwing parties, or getting together to 'clap for the NHS' in Central London when it is perfectly fine to do it from your own front door.

As much as it chafes being home all the time, unable to live life 'normally', I really believe that a stricter, more enforced lockdown is the way forward to stop the spread of the disease from overwhelming our public health services.

Inside my bubble, things are getting trickier each week, harder to shrug off anxieties and keep a positive outlook.


Home learning in the morning has become the cornerstone of our day. We haven't taken a break for Easter holidays because having it there brings structure and routine, a reason to get up and get the chores done before we do a little bit of work. Having said that, enthusiasm for the task is better some days than others!

Our 'Fantasy Story' topic is drawing to a natural close. Lily is busy writing a chapter or two every couple of days, snippets of story that I prompt with a few questions about the setting and characters. I'm finding that her own ideas are nearly always better than my own! I'll ask her to describe something, like an attic, with a simple adjective and instead she comes up with 'it's dark, dusty and the floorboards are creaky'. I'm loving seeing where her imagination takes her.

We've found the Story Jumper site where you can make, illustrate and even narrate your own story, with ability to order a printed copy when it is finished. Both Lily and Ollie are having fun designing their books and typing it up, uploading pictures and saving the work adds an element of ICT into the topic.

In addition to The Maths Factor, which is the maths lesson each day, I have printed a number of worksheets from Mathletics and Twinkl which the children can complete and take into school 'when this is over'.

Our next Topic is continuing the one Lily had at school, we're looking at Animals, Habitats and Lifecycles. I'm planning it at the moment, have ordered some caterpillars from Insect Lore and am putting together some resources for researching different animals and their habitats. I'm hoping that it'll keep us going for another few weeks before we either go back to school or we see what work is set by the teacher. Just in case the children really don't return to school before July, I have also lined up a couple of other topics to keep us going - I'm planning for a worse case scenario here.


Cooking lessons continue most days, even if it is sometimes pouring sauce out of a jar and serving with some pasta. I want the kids to feel like they can easily throw together a meal when they're older, and we're discussing about healthy eating and snacks regularly too. Sure, it'd be nice to turn my children into future chefs but I'm realistic, they need to know how to chuck fishcakes and chips into the oven just as much as they need to prepare some of our more ambitious meals!

With the weather being so wonderful, it has been lovely to get out in the garden. However, Matt decided that this week would be the perfect time to treat the lawn. Honestly? I could have hit him with a spade. It has meant that the kids haven't been able to play on the grass for a few days.

This weekend I'm thinking of digging out the white paint and giving the downstairs of our home a fresh coat of paint. It's something I've been meaning to do for a while but have kept putting off. I guess now seems like a good time, we'll see how it goes!


If I'm honest, I was expecting our screen time to increase as the weeks go on, but if anything it does seem to be trailing off as the children would rather play. When we do sit down to watch something I find we're still relying heavily on Disney+ or the usual suspects on Netflix and iPlayer.

I'm reading at any opportunity. Which, let's face it, isn't anything new! I think I'll always love sitting in a quiet place with a book and glass of wine. Having finished the Oremere Chronicles by Helen Scheuerer (which I loved) I have now moved on to City of Brass by S.A Chakraborty. It's a vivid setting, so rich with colour and character - perfect for escaping from the endlessly repetitive days.

Once the kids have gone to bed, I've succumbed once again to the Chicago Fire/PD series. It's a guilty pleasure! We're going to need some more binge-worthy television soon, so hit me up with your recommendations.


I had another stressful visit to the supermarket this week. Despite the queue to enter the store being much shorter than my last visit, I found the experience to be a nightmare. There are still lots of empty shelves, flour seems to have over taken toilet rolls as the hoarders product of choice and the remaining options are limited and more expensive.

At the same time, I found that so many people this time round weren't adhering to the social distancing measures put in place by the store. I realised last time that I hadn't adhered to the arrow guides on the floor and so had been going the wrong way. I decided to make up for it this time by following the assigned route throughout the store. Only for a couple to loudly refer to me as 'f***ing stupid' for apparently coming too close to them - but they were the ones going the 'wrong way'. It put me on edge the whole way round and I couldn't wait to get out of the shop.

An easier way to shop for the basics like bread, milk and eggs has been our lovely local Hills Cafe. They've mobilised their resources and suppliers and are providing services to the community. I ordered some basics and a couple of extras (like pastries and brownies) and it was delivered to my front door the next day by someone who stood back and still asked if I was doing OK.


My week has been brightened by the odd little conversations and encounters with my friends. A FaceTime call, Jesse Spencer gifs and some great memes have made me smile in the hardest moments.

On Thursday we discovered that if I call the kids in the garden then a friend who is walking in the woods behind my house can hear me well enough for a brief exchange of 'I miss you!' and today Lily and I both ended up in tears after another chance doorstep encounter, making us realise just how much we're missing the people we're used to seeing everyday.

Stress Levels

I don't think anyone is finding this easy. I'm trying to maintain a positive attitude for the children but this week I've also sat down with both of them to explain that it's OK to sometimes feel sad about it all.

With so many lessons to learn from this time, I'd like to think that as a family we can demonstrate to the kids how to look after your mental health as well as your physical. It's just that I feel as woefully inept in this area as I do in most other areas of parenting!

So as always, despite my best efforts at planning, organising and thinking, I'm still winging it and hoping for the best. I take whatever hope I can from the 'little things' like the excitement on the kid's faces when I tell them we can play 'Mummy's special Lord of the Rings Monopoly'. I just hope there are enough of these little things to get us all through this.

How has your week been? Leave a note in the comments!

Find out how things went last week here.

The summary for weeks five and six can be found here.
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