bathroom ceiling with flakey paint removed
Children, Family, Fitness, Reading, Work

Staying home, staying safe – week 16

This is a little diary of our sixteenth week in social isolation (well, ish by this point), encumbered by home learning, working from home, and himself in work from time to time. It seems a very long time since this all started now. Here are the highlights and lowlights.

See what happened in week 15.

What will week 17 bring?

Stay safe everyone, I hope you’re doing ok. How was your week? xxx


My work wife is back and oh it’s so lovely. She’s threatening to retire again, but it’s so nice to have her back. You really notice when your one work buddy isn’t there. This week will be better than last. Add to that large boy getting stuck in with a year 4 maths workbook when he finished his lesson and small boy reading almost 100 words and you’ve got a good day.

Shhh I don’t want to say it out loud or really even write it down. The work arsehole wasn’t such an arsehole on Tuesday. He did a sensible thing and was nice and said thank you. I think he’s been possessed, or else he’s learned some lessons of appreciation in lockdown.

On Wednesday I was reading War Horse to large boy, since we finished The Secret Garden. He remarked on the parallels between Albert’s dad remorse for selling Joey and Colin’s change of character between the horrible spoilt brat he started as and that happy child at the end. It was a really considered observation, he’s absorbing what we’re reading together and really understanding the characters.

Finally the news we’ve been waiting for came on Thursday, Scotland are letting your stay overnight in someone else’s home. This means our post-lockdown road trip might become a reality. We’re all so excited to be able to see himself’s parents in a few weeks and then mine too.

We went to the library. Wait. Hang on. I’m going to say that again.

We went to the library.

On Friday the boys and I left the house, popped into school to fetch work for the final time (forgot to pick up small boy’s end of reception learning journey book), and went to the library. We all put on masks and returned the 20 books that have been sitting in a pile for two months. Then, even better, we went to the kids section and picked put 25 new books to bring home. It was amazing, the boys were so sensible with masks and it felt oh so close to normal shushing them and telling small boy to stop running in the library.

Large boy and I went for a little run on Saturday morning, only a little further than last week but a good bit quicker. Himself made gougères for lunch, a much loved fave if a bit of a faff. In the afternoon we took their stomp rocket to the park, always a recipe for lots of fun. In the evening I treated myself to a new cocktail.

A Rose Fume - my new cocktail

Sunday was one of those bitty days. Large boy returned to rugby in the morning and all the kids, aged 6-8, were so sensible and listened so well to the coaches instructions. I wasn’t sure what to expect but small groups of 5 children to a coach, plenty of hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray for the balls, and designated areas, it was a nice taste of normality for large boy. Then more bathroom ceiling maintenance, lunch, buzz haircuts for the boys, more painting and a trip to a different park (new to us and we wont be going back, broken bottles, lots of rubbish and some rather unsanitary discarded items, smokers and generally scummy).


You know when you have way too much to do and you don’t know where to start so you decide to do something admin or just a pet project for half an hour while you let your brain absorb things? Only that was at 7am and its suddenly 5pm and you still haven’t started any of the real work and the deadline is in 10 days and there’s a mountain to climb? That was Monday. Throw in a VM insisting it’s in France not the UK and therefore refusing to let me access Twinkl and, well, I was shouting at inanimate virtual objects 160 miles away.

My very oldest friend in the whole wide world, we’ve known each other since we were 2, messaged me on Tuesday to organise a meet up. She’s holidaying up the road from us this summer, the very week we’re hoping to be at my mum’s 10 miles from her house. Total disaster!

We had literacy tantrums from small boy on Wednesday. “O L D” is pronounced “alll-d” apparently, attempting to remind him its “old” resulted in tears and sobs and uncontrollable breathing. No idea what happened there.

On Thursday I realised that Friday would be our last trip to school and I hadn’t done anything about end of year gifts for the boys’ teachers. I hastily dug out some gift bags and the long-since prepared jars of homemade jam and chutney and some generic occasion cards to write in the morning. Rushed but heartfelt nonetheless – the teachers deserve just as much appreciation after the last 4 months.

Friday morning was an utter shit show. We got woken up an hour early by a random thumping noise, after breakfast we couldn’t find large boy’s maths book anywhere, we turned the house upside down and disturbed himself trying to work and eventually found it in with the colouring books, I tried to go to B&M and Tesco but got to the car park and realised my purse was on the side at home after I’d got stamps out. So back home and back to the shops again. FFS.

We finally decided to deal with the bubbled paint in our bathroom ceiling on Saturday. What an dreadful idea. We don’t do DIY, we get a man in. But lockdown needs must and all that. I picked off the loose paint with my fingernails (which I keep quite long) and thought that would be enough. Sanding and starting to paint over the exposed plaster revealed my foolishness – the paint around the naked plaster edges immediately bubbled back up. Dr Google and YouTube to the rescue and himself went to buy primer while I spend another hour hacking at the loose paint with a palette knife. After a total of 3 and a half hours bending over backwards to reach the ceiling we finally had flake free old paint with a coat of primer in the holes  around where the bubbles had been. The aches set in by 4pm and I was dreading Sunday and at least two coats of paint for the whole ceiling. Paint dust from sanding does an excellent job of hiding grey hair though.

Rugby training started again on Sunday morning. Large boy felt a bit anxious but did great once they got started. Wow though I have not missed the gossipy mums. They all seem to know each other well and talk to each other excluding me, I never feel heard or listened to. One of them is a school mum and she talks over me, knows best and has the worst problems of everyone. I mean her situation isn’t easy but I haven’t missed her regaling us all with her stories of injustice and her kids hardship or resilience in overcoming it, completely self absorbed and oblivious to anyone around her. I really ought to know better, I should stand somewhere else and not join in.

Oh bollocks! The bathroom ceiling has had its final coat of paint and there’s another bloody bubble appeared!

Things I wrote

Review: Delamere Forest

The home stretch? or maybe not…

Updated: Cocktails

19 thoughts on “Staying home, staying safe – week 16”

  1. Glad you got your work wife back! I hope she doesn’t retire too soon on you. I’m going to have to try one of your drink concoctions one of these days.

    Liked by 1 person

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