So. The prime minister is in intensive care. The queen delivered a televised address to the nation, which she has—incredibly—done only four times in her 68-year reign. Stuff is Serious.
Cycling down the high street is eerie, with so many businesses closed. Very few people are out, many of whom are wearing masks and gloves, and are standing 2 meters apart going down the road in a queue to enter the grocery store or post office or pharmacy. It feels like being in one of those young adult dystopian novels I generally enjoy as escapist reading, only now that’s the opposite of escapist. It’s probably a good time to re-read some Jane Austen.
I asked M to take some pictures on one of his early-morning bike rides this week, to show how deserted central London is (granted, it was pretty early):
I set out to go to the post office five times (two different post offices) and failed, either because they had shortened their hours/changed their opening times, or else there was a ridiculously long and slow-moving queue. When I finally succeeded, on my sixth attempt, I returned home triumphant, only to discover a missed delivery slip from the Royal Mail, which notified me that the parcel had been returned to the post office. AAARGHHH! I would have smacked my hand to my face, but I had to go wash it first.
There are some silver linings to all this, and I’ve been looking for them. I’ve been trying to stay positive on here, aside from my previous blog post, and I will continue to do so. So instead of a list of things I miss being able to do, I’m working on a list of the
Top 10 Things That Are Making Me Happy Right Now:
1. The four-day Easter weekend is starting now! Haha just kidding, EVERY DAY IS THE SAME WHEN YOU CAN’T GO ANYWHERE.
OK, that didn’t get off to a great start, let’s try again.
1. The lovely surprises arriving at my door this week, sent by friends who can’t be there for me in person right now, so they sent flowers and Oreos and wine and cheese instead.
2. The opportunity to be creative with my kids every day. Today we finished our Easter ornaments (because why not?), which we made from scratch with salt dough, baked, painted, glittered, and then hung on sticks we picked up on the common. They are so cheerful, they almost make it worth it having to clean glitter out of every crevice of our home and children.
3. Ridiculous dance fitness classes that make me feel great (except when my husband walks in on me). On top of my Mum Dance class,
I have now discovered the cardio dance classes on the Peloton app. You can get a free trial for 90 days, which is what I did, and please, PLEASE sign up for it just so you can watch this one, it’s the funniest thing I’ve seen in a while.
Flirty gay run; the wig snatch; business woman walking through Times Square pushing peasants out of her way; gay man swatting at bees: These are the dance moves you will learn.
4. My husband riding our Nihola family trike 25km around London this past Sunday to pick up his office chair from Mayfair and bring it home, in the trike. Apparently our kitchen chairs aren’t comfortable to sit in for 9 hours a day, so he claims it was worth it.
5. The weather has been perfect the last few days, it’s staying light later, and we can still go to the common (please please please don’t take that away from us), so we’ve been enjoying some quality family time there after dinner the last couple nights, in that glorious, lingering magic hour light.
6. Everyone clapping for the NHS and other “carers” every Thursday night at 8:00.
7. The National Theatre live-streaming fabulous productions every Thursday night (and then making them available to watch anytime in the next week on YouTube). Our Culture Club can continue in isolation, thank you, Zoom!
8. The neighbours on our block coming out to sing Happy Birthday to the kids who are missing being able to have a party with friends. Today was our third one, and it makes me feel so warm and fuzzy inside every time.
9. My brother. He is alllll the way across an ocean AND a continent in Portland, Oregon, and we are both grieving the loss of our father right now, but somehow he still manages to make me laugh every day. Just in the last couple days, he:
A. Taught my nephews how to fantasy draft
B. Slashed his friend’s tires
10. The Getty Museum Challenge. This is seriously my favorite thing I’ve seen during this lockdown. There’s a creative renaissance coming out of this shitstorm and it’s magnificent. Simple concept: recreate a famous work of art at home, with what you’ve got on hand. The results are brilliant and hilarious, and I’m just loving this. I had to get involved with the kids today. Here are our modern masterpieces:
And my friend Ruth, who is now living in Doha, Qatar (and also in lockdown there), got into it today too:
Next, I suggest we all recreate famous movie scenes. Already started.