The lovely Bill over at A Silly Place invited me, amongst others, to write about what that first weekend after the end of quarantine or lockdown will be like for us. You can find his post on the subject here.
The thing is that himself and I were discussing UK plans to lighten the lockdown and we feel that they’re making changes prematurely. So we’ve decided that we’ll do “lockdown plus two”. The numbers aren’t low enough yet, letting people socialise more and visit more businesses will result in an increase in numbers in a few weeks. The powers that be know that. They’re expecting another spike and more deaths, they’re planning for many more people to die and taking action that they know will lead to that result. What sort of society do we live in that is managing death rates, deliberately allowing them to increase, instead of trying to minimise them altogether?
Just like when the autumn budget didn’t increase taxes on higher earners, we decided to spend at least £5 a week on donations to our local food bank, we’re overriding the government’s stupid, selfish, harmful decisions. We’ll be staying home for two extra weeks after lockdown is lifted because we believe that infection rates will increase and the danger to the vulnerable isn’t worth our small pleasures. If we’re proved wrong and two weeks after lockdown is lifted, there is no evidence that more people are becoming infected and dying they we’ll have been over cautious. We won’t be ashamed of that.
So, back to the purpose of this post, enough ranting.
The first weekend after lockdown, for us, will be just like all the weekends before. We’ll be home. Three weekends after that though, if all is well, then we’ll be out and about.
Three weeks after lockdown ends
We had SO many plans this year, for holidays and visiting friends and family, having them visit us. But that first weekend that we allow ourselves some freedom? Well himself’s family is kind of far to go for the weekend (8 hours each way in the car) so maybe we’d go to my parents? Or else visit himself’s sister and hope his parents can come down. Maybe we’d have all the parents visit us in one go – though that seems a bit risky, bringing two sets of over 60s together from different ends of the country.
I don’t really think my head’s in the game here. I’m so embedded in considering safety that, even post-lockdown, I can’t think about doing anything without worrying about the potential impact if lockdown is lifted too early. I think maybe I’ll imagine the perfect trip after the virus is well and truly trounced, when we don’t need to even think about it anymore.
After its really all over
Friday afternoon, I pack the truck up ready for a two week road trip. I load up the boys’ bikes, scooters, extra pillows, and plenty of clothes. Himself comes home from work at lunchtime and works from home before we pick the boys up directly from the end of school and we get on the road. We drive up to Glasgow to stay 2 nights with himself’s sister, eating dinner at a Burger King on the road and arriving before 9pm. We settle the kids in bed and have a catch up with himself’s sister and her husband until late at night.
The next day we visit a country park with four kids and their bikes, or a wildlife park, or a science museum. We just have some lovely family time, walk along the canal near by, maybe enjoy a pub dinner. In the evening the adults enjoy some beers and prosecco.
On Sunday we have a lazy brunch and then we’re back on the road, driving all the way North to himself’s parents’ house. Arriving late afternoon, there’s time for a run around the garden and dinner before bathing the boys and putting them to bed. After a quiet evening in front of TV, we get an early night followed by a long lie in as my mother in law gets up with the kids.
We spend a week visiting local places, the stony beach at a near by town, the motor museum a bit further away, the amusement arcade at the sea front, maybe a trip to the cinema, some walks and bike rides by the river or in the castles not far away. Lots of cafe lunches and garden centre coffee breaks. In between, we play board games, the boys get out the Lego and micro machines and transformers from himself’s youth. The boys stay up late but get up at the same time as usual, they get tireder and tireder and grumpier. At last they have a long lie in and normality is resumed.
Eventually its time for the next stage. We pack up again and say a tearful goodbye early in the morning and set off on the 8-10 hour trip to my mum and dad’s. The beautiful mountain views accompany the first few hours, giving way to rolling English countryside and then the flat fenlands. We arrive not long before bedtime and we’re greeted with bear hugs and maybe some tears – I’m welling up just thinking about hugs from my parents. We put the boys to bed, one in each spare room then move small boy when its time for us to turn in. Mum and Dad provide wine and cheese and biscuits, we chat until we’re too tired after the long drive.
The week’s stay brings marshland walks, long flat runs (maybe even some PBs!), visits to the aircraft museum and the bowling alley, bike rides in the woods and a visit to my gran. We eat Mum’s home made bread and devour their marvellous cheese selection – large boy loves interesting cheeses. The boys eat raspberries straight from the bushes in Dad’s veg patch and help pick peas for tea.
When the week comes to an end, we leave with more tears; in time to visit my grandma for lunch on our way home. She’s a joy as usual, sharing art and history nuggets with the boys and feeding them cakes.
We get home towards the end of the afternoon, unpack and put washing on. After two special weeks with family, its still nice to come home to our own beds. Our home has been a sanctuary for months and it’s security is comforting.
Now that I’ve answered Bill’s challenge, well sort of, I get to do one of my own. Here are the people I’m challenging to share what their first post-lockdown weekend or trip would look like.