Lock Down Hell continued

More lock down mutterings and ramblings. Day 5-10

Thursday 19 March 2020 – Day 5

Another day in hell. Anyone else having strange dreams? Isolation does curious things to the mind. We’ll all be requiring therapy after this. Son announced this morning he had a dream about going to school. And it was a happy dream! I’ll remind him of that in May.

Both of them have admitted they miss school. Day in day out without their friends, socialising, learning from qualified teachers, discipline, routine – it is all so vitally important. Saying that at least the toilets have loo roll and soap at home 
Yes there are changes required in the education system today but that’s a another story and yes they have good and bad teachers. But that in itself is a learning curve. I distinctly remember my favourite English teacher Mr Burke and his influence on me in direct contrast to the evil nut job teacher who threw a board rubber at me for giggling, mentioning no names Mr Maddocks. This is what makes kids develop into well rounded human beings. I have the bruise to prove it.

Never imagined myself doing this, but encouraged son yesterday afternoon to go on the PlayStation for a few hours so he can engage and interact with some of his friends. God, how some house rules just spin on their axis and come back to bite you. Meanwhile asked (sorry I’ll amend that), paid, daughter to clean my car to keep her purposefully occupied and also contain her teen harrumpfing out in the drive way where bad hormonal moods belong. It’s like a giant version of the naughty step.
Told her when this is over I’m going to run up the hill opposite ‘Julie Andrews Sound of Music’ style. I got a withering look. She’s knows it’s unlikely. The hill opposite is like bloody Everest. I’d never make it. My lungs would protest and the goats would attack.

So it now seems as if we’ll be in lock down until mid April to get this thing under control. Which figures. Plus easter holidays are April 6-10th so why send the kids back for a week then back off for a week? Yay. That’s going to be fun. Not.

The rules here are strict:
1. One person only permitted out in the car and only for supplies/emergencies.
2. Don’t go out unless for above. So no walking, jogging, cycling, wandering around etc.
3. Dogs can be walked but within 50m of your house.
4. Everything is shut bar food shops, petrol stations, essential services.
5. Beaches are shut, parks shut – ie: see number 2.
6. Wear gloves provided at supermarket and keep distance from others.

One lovely aspect is at 8pm each evening the communities all go out onto their terraces or balconies and flash a light and clap and cheer to support the vital services that are still working. Pointless doing it here as I am too rural and would look like I’m sending an SOS alert. But it’s a nice idea. Community spirit and all that.

Anyway here’s is my schedule for today. Much the same as yesterdays. And tomorrows….

Friday 20 March 2020 – Day 6

Bit of a different today as I donned a bra (and clothes obviously) and headed out first thing to the supermarket to stock up. So strange driving past people wearing masks. In the car? Is that necessary? It was like going out on a Sunday with all the shops shut but there’s virtually no one out walking. With Spain’s outdoor culture it’s so unnerving not to see people in the street.

A leisurely shop around a serene Mercadona among masked shoppers who aren’t really making eye contact and seemed subdued and solemn. No gaggle of Marias chatting as they usually do at the fresh fish counter. I suppressed the urge to nod at people and whisper “Blessed be the Fruit” or “Under his Eye”. But as majority are Spanish folk felt this would just be lost in translation.
Mercadona has moved all the stock around so that made it a bit more interesting – trying to locate certain items whilst keeping some distance from other shoppers – like some mad game show ‘The Anneka Rice Coronavirus Supermarket Challenge’. Had a bit of a drama at check out as managed to get my rubber glove stuck in the zipper of my purse. Cashier lady just watched in mild bemusement as I tried to figure out how to disengage my snared finger without removing my other glove. Had visions if I did this, alarms would go off and I’d be wrestled to the floor by security guards and dunked into a tank of sheep dip. It was all very traumatic and I left the shop eventually a bit flustered, having ripped a hole in my glove to boot.

Onto the fruteria for fresh veg and then two delivery stops on the way home to drop food parcels. Felt like a Red Cross volunteer. I admit I did sneak a quick cuppa and a rapid chat with friend, but felt like a naughty school girl in doing so.

Came home to find the kids are a bit excitable today. Why? Because it’s Friday. Not sure what they are expecting to happen over the weekend. But I’ll burst that bubble later and introduce them to the concept of – anti-climax.

Yesterday they disappeared down the end of the garden for an hour or so. Oddly close confinement has encouraged them somehow to get on better. I thought daughter would have killedson by now (I’ve come close) so it’s actually very refreshing to see them doing things together. Clearly it’s because they have to, rather than want to. But heyho one is thankful for small mercies in such trying times. They returned to entertain me with a song. Which I’ll share. It comes with a warning – the Osmonds they are not.

Saturday 21 March 2020 – Day 7

After a wild night last night (weather wise that is), we woke up after heavy rains and winds to a mixed bag today. Unsettled weather suits my mood at the moment and at least my bedding plants are getting watered and still alive.  

I thought as we are on a weekend with nothing in the diary we should all do a fitness video a friend had recommended. The 7 day Sweat Challenge. Or something like that. Logistics meant we had to gather up on the roof terrace so we had space outside and also inside if required for floor exercises. This did however mean that at least three of our neighbours would be privy to witnessing the four English idiots doing star jumps at 10 o’clock this morning. If they were lucky enough not to see the shambolic effort, they were probably alerted to the debacle by the arguing and shouting.

I was far too blinded by sweat in my eyes to be bothered, but half way through, the mortified and self-conscious teen squealed and hit the deck and refused to come up when she spotted one neighbor out in his garden looking over quizzically. I say quizzically. I reckon he was calling to his wife surreptitiously, telling her to stop washing the doorstep for the 10th time and come outside and see what the mad foreigners were doing today. We might have to move once this is all over.

With that completed son returned to his default position on the sofa whilst hubby went to tidy up his ‘stage’ for the Rock the Lock Down online festival which starts this afternoon.  As I understand it there’ll be live music over two days from artists all over Spain (possibly further afield) doing a 10 to 15 minute stint each. It’ll be beamed out live via the facebook link – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1066664150378119/

So if you’ve no plans to go out (boom boom) then log in. Hubby’s Swing slot (no Marvis from Marbella, I said Swing, not Swingers) is 5.30pm tomorrow, Sunday.

Meanwhile I’ve started to read this book. Felt this might make me appreciate what I have rather than don’t have in the current circumstances. Certain situations make you realise how things can change from one day to the next.

And how some people have that inner strength and tenacity to not only survive, but handle their experiences with decorum and decency. What an inspirational guy.

It’s not situations that change people’s character. But it can highlight or expose their true colours – whether it’s their pastel benevolent side or their grey tone ungracious side.

Sunday 22 March 2020 – Day 8

Today’s photo is one I posted to my mum for Mother’s Day. It was taken by our lovely friend Saskia who needed an image for her photography course and ended up shooting daughter, in my wedding dress, on her aunt and uncle’s horse. As a comparison I’ve added one of my mum and I taken when we were on holiday in Tunisia in the mid 80s looking not so elegant 😊. The riding genes I think belong to the Brown side of the family. We Southalls are best on terra firma.

Meanwhile son asked me today how his name was chosen which leads me onto the family tale of how my name was chosen. So my mum had to have a cesarean birth with both myself and my sister. Apparently all along they believed I would be a boy and my name was chosen early on. Ian. They said they liked names which couldn’t be shortened. My sister’s name? Jacqueline.

Oddly there was never a Plan B in place and when I emerged shattering their hopes and illusions of being the next Everton goal keeper I was nameless. By the time by sister was born 21 months later they seemed to have figured out that there’s a 50-50 chance with these things.

Anyway as my mum was recovering half sedated and groggy, the nurse pestered my dad for a name for baby Southall and so he picked the first names that came to mind – those of two ex-girlfriends – Karen and Jeanette. A lovely surprise for my mum when she finally came round.

Talking of lead balloons. A funny day today. Woke up determined to do some jobs around the house and garden so all hands on deck. The rest of my inmates were none too impressed but as it’s Mothers Day I felt I could pull rank. A blocked kitchen sink meant a slight diversion to the initial plan which was about as welcome as meeting someone with a dry cough in the supermarket aisle. We have a saying in our house “Shit Job Sunday” and this was today’s.

All in all there’s been a fair amount of stropping, sulking and squabbling going on today. On the other hand the kids have been fine.

Monday 23 March 2020 – Day 9

Spain coronavirus cases: 33,089 Deaths: 2,182 Recovered 3,355

…..and big breath this morning to herald the start of another week. Mentally this is managing to sap most of my enthusiasm. It’s like someone is having a massive party, and I’ve not been invited. It’s deflating and depressing and makes you want to dive into a tub of Haagen Daz only to find you ate it all last Tuesday.

So this morning was about trying to find the motivation to start the day and get the kids in the right frame of mind for yet another stint confined to barracks. The sense of isolation and hopelessness is overbearing, even though I see myself as one of the luckier ones with outdoor space and family around me, even if they can test my patience some days. As son does. Daily. Especially when he rumbles past my office patio window on his hover board so many times I want to hit him with a cricket bat.

I can only compare this to my 10 day stint in hospital almost two years ago when daughter had her burst appendicitis drama. Anyway I, or should I say we, (although at least she had the added advantage of a direct line in of morphine) couldn’t leave the ward, I slept in a chair by her bed, was subjected to hospital food, had zero fresh air and went slowly mad.

I realised then, as I remind myself now, at times like this, there is quite simply nothing any of us can do to change the situation. It’s about acceptance and learning not to let your frustration, anger and anxieties take over. Which is incredibly difficult but an absolute must if only to maintain your sanity. This will end. Normal service will be resumed at some point and we can all skip hand in hand to the pub and laugh about it (rocking hysterically with dribble on our chins).

Yesterday was hubby’s slot on the Rock the Lock Down online concert streamed live on facebook. Our internet was a bit up and down so the quality is a bit pants but if you missed it and are soooo bored you’d like to see it here’s the link. Guest appearance by daughter (and you might spot me third song in) 🙂

Tuesday 24 March 2020 – Day 10

Welcome to The Lock Down Club UK folks!

Come on in. Wipe your feet; wash your goddamn hands Michael; take off your jackets; pull up a chair, a metre apart from the next person if you will please Sharon, social distancing dear. Social distancing. Settle in and make yourselves comfortable. Tea and biscuits on the sideboard and there might be cake if Sandra’s fathomed out the oven. This gets about as interesting as the Queen’s speech on repeat, but all new members welcome and the rules are simple. Don’t go out.

Today started here with a meltdown from Sol with a 9am biology exam. He gets flustered and panics if he doesn’t know quite what to do or how to do something and with a time limit in place, this was about as pleasurable as a Sunday morning stroll with the Road Runner.

If I don’t develop tourettes after all this, it’ll be a… BLOODY WHOOP GRRRRRR FUCK IT ….miracle.

With kids finally settled down to their daily work load I transferred my tics and outbursts to my office.
Carter and I tossed a coin yesterday and whoever won would take the rubbish down to the bins. So he strutted off. Gloating. He took a photograph of a guy stood waiting outside Aldi for 20 minutes before the doors opened. He thought that was weird. This coming from the man sat in the car for 20 minutes taking the photograph. I’m seriously worried about our sanity.

He did however get to the Post Office. My parents were due to come over mid March but this was obviously cancelled when the Coronvirus lock down seemed imminent, so instead they posted some gifts they were due to bring over. Perfect timing. Thank you parents. You have redeemed yourselves for the naming faux pas.

Yesterday afternoon was about living room lock down as the rain kicked in. Today could be much the same.
Meanwhile don’t forget the clocks spring forward this weekend. Losing an hour has never been more welcome.

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