I’ve always been obsessed with dystopian futures and post-apocalyptic wastelands.
Gimme a movie in which half-starved survivors outrun swarms of hollow-eyed “infected” through empty cities or feature Arnold Schwarzenegger in a yellow catsuit duelling with chainsaws against a behemoth biker, and I’m in hog heaven!
Hand me Matheson’s “I am legend”, King’s “The Stand” or Cronin’s “The Passage” and I’ll grin like an idiot.
Show me a website to browse otherworldly images from a deserted Pryp’yat or secret photo essays of Pyongyang, and I’ll be lost for hours.
I thought I’d love the apocalypse. Turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
To give you the lowdown on my lockdown, I’m married to a nurse covering the jobs of four colleagues reassigned to COVID wards and a father of four aged 13, 11, 10 and five – all “reluctant home learners”. Thankfully, they’re all back at school (for how long? who knows…).
We’ve all had it tough. Bless anyone who has been ill or had to endure the agony of losing a loved one – my deepest sympathy and sincere condolences. And to everyone who has watched six months of their life pass by from the window of their home – I feel your pain.
This blog, which nobody is really gonna read anyway, is my vent into the void about my own experience. So please, allow me to walk you through my own “lockdown lowlights”…
Maths – relearning what I never learned in the first place, to then shout at my kids when they can’t understand the question, but can understand I don’t understand. Understand?
“PE with Joe” – an amazing effort by your man Wicks… it hurts me to say this, but after two weeks of his handsome face, chiselled physique and cockney patter, I put my fist through the telly.
“The Vampire” – the cruel nickname my five-year-old gave the relentlessly upbeat online teacher (with prominent canine teeth – kids are cruel). My youngest wasn’t a fan – I once heard him almost growl under his breath “don’t talk at me, random girl!”
Shopping – how much have I spent on food!? “I’ve saved a fortune in lockdown” said colleagues…I’m broke! Three meals a day, plus snacks, plus all the essential alcohol I needed!
Breakfast-dinner-tea-repeat: I swear, by the time I finish loading the breakfast bowls into the dishwasher, it’s time to make lunch and when those dishes are cleared, it’s tea-time! “Not beans again!?” – “QUIET!!”
Snacks: good for keeping kids quiet/bad for a 40-something glutton working from the kitchen table… now a full stone heavier coming out of lockdown.
PS4: “Dad, can I get some V-bucks for a new skin?” “WHAT?” “Dad, can I download this game for over-18s?” “Yes…don’t tell your mam!” “Dad, can I play non-stop for five hours straight if I stay out of your way while you help Woody with his art project?” “Yes please!”
Wired – Our house is like PC World. Every laptop utilised for homeschooling, every tablet playing videos, every TV showing a PE lesson.
Ear buds – where do they go? Why are they so elusive? How do they get so ****ing tangled!?
The daily grind:
The truth: well, it’s fair to say productivity took a bit of a dive!
A Quiet Place – kitchen bench, dining table, bed, staircase, toilet…I’m a Ninja at finding a quiet space and make the most of it until the pack tracks me down.
Zoom me a Teams Facetime – not a fan, but thank God for technology. As a team and for meetings with clients and partners, these platforms have been vital…just don’t try and use them while the kids yank bandwidth between Netflix, Call of Duty, YouTube and Fortnite!
…Also, respect to my better half, who, after 12hrs masked up in a hospital (often arriving home in tears during peak pandemic), had to endure nightly tirades about how “they teach maths differently these days”, and “how the hell am I supposed to find pipe cleaners in lockdown”.