Friday, 27 March 2020

ticking along

How are you all? I am shattered. Who would have thought that staying at home was so tiring? Come 9 pm I can barely keep my eyes open and I sleep like a log. We are coping well with being at home as a family but it has only been five days and the mood may change. I hope you are also well.

Michal Klajban / CC BY-SA (, on Wikimedia Commons

Do you enjoy your daily exercise allowance? I sure do. Yesterday Alistair and I went for a dog walk, equipped with binoculars for a bit of birdwatching. He produced the tiniest ever notebook (5 x 5 cm) to take notes on magpies and robins. It was very sweet. I pointed out a female Goosander with her brown backwards mohawk but he told me he was not into ducks at the moment. That's me told then. I think it is a beautiful duck.

James and Alistair are reluctantly engaging with their school work, supervised by Annie. I am not entirely sure what they are doing and each time I approach the learning hub (aka kitchen table), I am greeted with a sigh, or eye-rolling. Interest is interpreted as interference. Home economics is part of the school day. On Thursday I got a text saying that lunch was ready, which was really good news because gave me the excuse to bring a long virtual meeting to a close. So many virtual meetings... Annie is good with the boys and I am glad she does the school routine, it keeps her busy and gives her purpose.

When the boys are not studying, they spend an awful lot of time watching Minecraft YouTube videos. They sometimes also play real life Minecraft. This involves creating the essential Minecraft tools and weapons using Knex and then use these to exterminate one another.

Meanwhile, Richard and I are working normal hours. I am used to working at home but usually, the garden birds are my only distraction. Did I tell you that my next course is on integrated infectious disease control? It is a weird coincidence. From a scientific point of view, this pandemic is really interesting.

Our standards are slipping. Please tell me it is not just us. I have been wearing the same t-shirt for three days, the boys have baked bean stains on their hoodies and the sofa cushions haven't been plumped up since last weekend. Come to think of it, maybe it is just my standards. Richard is still clean shaven and Annie is always immaculate. James and Alistair don't care one way or the other.

Did you notice the yummy mummy brigade is out in full force, telling us how to keep the children intellectually stimulated and busy, so so busy? There are also the usual well-meaning social media busybodies. How about helping each other out as much as we can without telling all and sundry on Facebook? In less charitable moments I imagine that the very same people take stock of their private loo roll supplies while the rest of us is contemplating cutting up precious children's drawings to wipe our bottoms.

Ouch, grumpy. I am not actually in a bad mood, just desperately craving a Cadbury cream egg.

I just watched a house sparrow having a little bath in the rain gutter below our bedroom window. How cute is that? There should be no water in the gutter of course, I wonder where it is blocked...

Sam is visiting for a while. I missed him and I am glad he is here. He lost his job. Dishwashers are not in big demand with restaurants closed. I hope one of his many job applications is successful because he has rent to pay (he has not moved back here, he is just staying for the time being).

In other news, I finally took photos of a simple top I made a month ago. I will show you it soon, it is very pretty. I have started stitching little hearts to squares of fabric. It is most enjoyable and it makes me happy. I can probably stitch one for every day that we are stuck at home. While keeping my fingers busy, I am also listening to (mostly old) podcasts from before the pandemic because I want to escape for a bit. I can highly recommend Sean Carroll's Mindscape podcast, episode 89, in which he discusses with Lera Boroditsky (a neuroscientist) how language shapes the way we think. Fascinating. I am also listening to a new book - The other half of Augusta Hope by Joanna Glen.

My big thanks go out to everyone keeping the world ticking. The Hermes driver who delivered a parcel to us yesterday, the pharmacist who fills my prescription and the tireless workers keeping the food chain going and of course teachers, social workers and healthcare workers and everyone else who is out there, helping to keep us safe.

Today I hope for another nice walk and if I remember I'll take my camera so I can show you what nature is up to here in Glasgow. Until then, thank you for visiting. Take care xx


  1. It's good to know you are all muddling through OK and have found a routine to your days.
    My standards are never terribly high at the best of times, clean yes, but I may have gone a day (or two) without putting a brush through my hair :)

  2. I'm noticing how much more YouTube watching of games rather than the actual playing of games there has been in our house lately. I have also noticed that I can't be bothered with half the stuff the yummy mummy brigade tell us is good to do so I'm ignoring it completely. We're all happy and plodding along pretty well right now although the best part of my day seems to be when the dog and I can sneak outside of an evening so I can partake of an illicit wine and he just lies about, huffs, puffs and farts to his own content because he's not being harassed by constantly 'at home' children. We are all working it out as we go along and you are so right, the ones who are keeping our lives ticking are incredible. xx Susan

  3. Glad to hear you are doing well. I have been reading your blog for some time and thought I should actually say hello, at this strange time. Best wishes Rebecca from Australia

  4. The Goosander looks a little like the female Hooded Merganser that appears (small and a bit fuzzy) on my today post.

    I don't think our shirts get too stinky when we are just sitting around the house, but three days might be the limit. :)

  5. Love reading these updates. I know what you mean about standards being lowered. My pyjamas are getting one helluva hammering at the mo. Hope you're adding creme eggs to the shopping list. It's a case of whatever it takes.

  6. My clothes are mostly clean and they are definitely the comfortable ones. When we take our walks I try to wear a jacket large enough to hide the oddness of my attire. We are a quiet bunch so staying home hasn’t disrupted our lives too much. I miss going out to a store and not having to worry. We try to do our quick trips to the grocery store during the early mornings, hopefully less people during this time. Next time we go I’m going to look for a Cadbury Creme Egg 😁. I hope you find one too. Lisa

  7. We're also ready for bed much earlier than usual - I'm not sure if it's the stress of it all or whether we're actually doing far more with our days and have worn ourselves out. We're also doing our best to resist spending the day in pyjamas, but it's not always easy! xx

  8. You have made me smile throughout this post starting with ‘I’m not into ducks at the moment’ . It’s not only you... i’ve Had the same clothes on (not underwear I hasten to add) for at least three days, possibly more! No make up (never wore much anyway) or hair products... it’s so liberating! Despite the very long days though I seem to be going to bed later but still getting up at the same time... crazy!

  9. So refreshing to read that we are not alone in wearing what we term "comfy" clothes- flannel pants and sweatshirts and slippers while at home. We do however put on our jeans and shoes on our outdoor walks or grocery store adventures. Self-isolation is not a far stretch from what we're used to when not away on a trip, etc. as being retired with no children or pets we have a certain day-to-day pattern. We're not going to bed earlier, sometimes sleeping later but then as mentioned, no children or pets means we can wake up anytime, but its usually early and not that we actually get out of bed, just wake up. Good that you are also able to get out and walk as we did today in a local park and it was pretty much the same lots of others were doing.

  10. I'm glad you are all ok, I bet it's tricky trying to work with all the children home. My oldest is working from home and my husband so they are pretty quiet during the day, younger son stays in his room most of the time anyway so no real change there! Thank you for the podcast recommendation, speech and language is my thing at school so it will be useful. Take care. x

  11. Pleased to hear you are coping ok with lockdown., Christina. I always enjoy catching up here. Thinking of restarting blogging now I have time on my hands. Our school officially on Easter hols now so no more online teaching for a while.

  12. I don't know if I have commented before,but always read your blog. It was really normal and amusing and cheered me up,whilst isolating with a husband with dementia,thank you.

    1. Lovely to meet you. I hope I can give you a slice of normal ever now and then. I imagine it must be difficult to care for someone with dementia on own. Thinking of you, take care.

  13. I know a lot of people are struggling and not having the best of times right now but for me, this situation is pretty good! I'm loving the extra time at home! I have noticed the social media mummy brigade and am already a bit fed up of seeing those kinds of posts, but luckily it's pretty easy to ignore! My standards have actually improved as I'm happier at home and can keep on top of all the little things that usually mount up during working days and then depress me by the weekend. Living in pyjamas (clean ones!) is an added bonus of my current situation. I'm not sure I'm all that keen on getting back to normal, I feel that we all need this time to reassess life and realise that 'normal' was in fact broken! I'm very much hoping bigger changes will come from this in the long term.

    What a coincidence regarding your next course... sounds like it's going to be an interesting one!

  14. Enjoyed reading your blog Christina, take care x


Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx