#atinylife good day

The sun came out and

we were allowed to have people over in the garden and

they could be from another local authority area and

I made gluten free vegan brownies and

the kids played with nerf guns and

I hate toy guns and

I didn’t care and

I made tea and

Mr HB made coffee and

we bitched about stuff and

we did the crossword together and

we laughed and

we looked at the tadpoles and

the tadpoles are getting bigger and

they are moving around more too and

kids all played really well together and

later on we went down to the river and

it is really beautiful here and

today it is cloudy again and

I feel tired but it’s the good sort of tired and

I am so lucky to have had such a lovely day.

#atinylife muddle-through

Until then, we’ll have to muddle through somehow…

My sister Becky quoted this line (on Zoom, of course. Where else do we talk these days?) as ‘very Christmas 2020.’

Some of us muddled-through before this year: I myself started muddling-through around 2004.

The festive season can become rigid: we always go to this house, we always eat this meal with these people, we watch this film, listen to this music. I’m so sorry if your set pieces are not possible this year.

Maybe we can use this time to think about our Christmas days. Perhaps we’ll go back to our set pieces next year, joyfully. Perhaps we’ll make new traditions that serve us better.

Meanwhile, as an official muddle-representative, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all new muddlers, est. 2020.

tinylife will be back on 17 January.

#atinylife CovidCarols

Happy Covid Christmas Carols

In the bleak mid-winter, I just want to moan –

Tomorrow shall be my dancing day: when this is all over I’m out every night

O little town of tie-e-e-er 4: who knows when shops will open?

While shepherds watched their flocks by night, all stood two metres apart

I saw three ships come sailing in, with PPE, with PPE

O Come all ye faithful, recorded services on-ly, (no-o-o-o-o-o-o singing allowed).

Good King Wenceslas looked out, he was quarantine-ed.

See amid the winter’s snow, facemask dropped in gutter low

Ding dong merrily on high, I got Tesco deliv’ry!

Away in a manger, already dressed for bed

Deck the halls with ‘I’m not listening’ lalalalalalalalala

Silent night, no one is out, pubs are shut, this is … really very annoying…

Hark the herald angels sing, glory to the three-family-bubble!

#atinylife WhatIamkeeping

Back to normal.

Back to normal by the Spring, they’re saying.

And most of me is delighted,

don’t get me wrong,

I’m in no rush to succumb to a deadly virus,

or bury a loved one,

and I miss the few friends I have left,

and I want to eat cake at Naked Bakery

and wander around Edinburgh again

and visit my sisters

(so I can argue with them face to face instead of online)

and talk to poets

and listen to their poems.

But I’m also thinking

‘what do I want to keep

of this not-normal?’

This slowing-down, even further,

staying in touch only with those that matter,

making things accessible to those who are always home,

no fundraisers

no duty events

sloughing off those expectations

it’s time we visited, we haven’t been for ages –

being home, Saturday, Sunday.

#atinylife countdown

The date sits at the end of a finite line

visible now, one turn of the calendar,

three more changes of plan, at least,

eight thousand emails between

me and a solicitor who works from home.

 

I get a new jar of Marmite

huge, the usual one but ballooned.

And I think ‘I’ll still have this when we move,

I’ll be eating this Marmite at this table

in our new kitchen,’

with the trees outside

and the rotavated soil of the garden ploughed up like

a life packed into boxes

a glut of lists.

countdown

 

I don’t know how many more

early risings.

Fuel is adrenaline sourced:

instead of sleep, I spread out maps

containing our new house

on the table at 3am,

tracing burns and reservoirs,

forests,

roads with

living beginnings,

and dead ends.

tinylife will be back in September.

#atinylife Karenisnotaslur

KarenI mean, of course Karen is not a slur. I was interested, however to find this definition of ‘a Karen,’ that 100% is me (apart from the blonde hair part).

But the value of being these things: entitled, obnoxious, middle-aged and white has not been lost on me.

Ever since I started having to tell the world that no, my child wasn’t a girl or a boy, and no, they couldn’t choose between Miss or Master, and no, they weren’t happy when staff at school used the term ‘girls and boys’ (it’s hurtful because it doesn’t apply to them).

And yes, there would need to be a change or an adaption to the system to make sure they fit. And yes, they (and I!) would require support from many different agencies.

And yes, they were entitled to all of these things.

#atinylife iso pods

If you are a keyworker – well, thank you, for a start. Also, this blog might grate a little. Feel free to scroll by!

I have loved and listened to podcasts for many years now, but I thought given that some folk might be at a loose end at the moment, I would write with some recommendations.

First up: Caught. This is a mini series about juvenile delinquency and privilege. It was made in the USA but the take-homes are universal.

Podcasts

A bit less heavy is: So I got to thinking. Juno Dawson (swoon) and Dylan B Jones are going through every Sex and the City episode in order and answering Carrie’s question.

 

Dead pan comedy: Heavyweight  features Jonathan Goldstein mostly being funny but also acting as an ‘interlocutor’ for people with communication issues.

If you listen/enjoy, please let me know!

#atinylife iso obs

Isolation Observations

Whenever you use the phrase ‘Day 1 (or 2, or 17)’ you say the whole sentence in a North East accent like the Big Brother voiceover guy.

If anyone uses the word ‘unprecedented,’ you get a point.

Isolation Bar Graph

Remembering to remind children to wash hands is the world’s hardest thing to memorise. Even if, like me, you know whole musicals/films/poems off by heart.

There are MANY temptations to become a competitive parent (again). RESIST! We’re all doing our best. And my best bears an uncanny resemblance to your worst, in case you needed to hear that today.

You lose all fear of becoming tech savvy. Yes, Mum, I’m looking at you! And I can, because you have finally sorted out Skype.

There is a mental list of ‘folk you must remember to check in on.’ This list changes every day.

 

 

 

#atinylife one of five

You’re one of five girls!

 

That must have been quite the queue for the bathroom,

do you all get on,

who is the funny one?

one of five

A lot of bitching, I bet,

stealing make up, swapping clothes:

how did your dad cope?

 

Who has the most money,

are you jealous of the one who is the most successful, professionally

who is the favourite?

 

 

Not all girls spend hours in the bathroom.

Not all girls hate each other.

Not all girls are funny (but yes, we all claim to be the funny one).

 

Not all girls bitch about each other.

Not all girls steal make up and clothes.

Not all dads need a son to complete themselves.

 

Not all girls equate money with success.

Not all girls fail to be proud of their siblings’ achievements –

and we all agree on the favourite.

 

 

#atinylife yeah whatevs

My oldest drew me this picture and challenged me to write a blog to go with it. Here goes!

When I think about becoming what society calls beautiful, I think: yeah, whatevs.

When I think about becoming what society calls financially successful, I think: yeah, whatevs.

When I think about not ever buying anything that is remotely close to the latest fashion, I think: yeah, whatevs.

When I think about having a fancy holiday in the sun every summeryeah whatevs, I think: yeah, whatevs.

When I think about other people’s religion, ritual or practices, I think: yeah, whatevs.

When I think about how other people choose to parent, I think: yeah, whatevs.

When I think about other people’s taste in music, I think: yeah, whatevs.

When I think about what pre-teens say about almost everything, I think: it’s usually ‘yeah, whatevs.’