Hope this will make you smile and perhaps resonate with you.
It’s been a while since my small family has all been together for so much time. We do love each other, honestly! Let me introduce ourselves. My hubby who normally works away during the week, my daughter, the final year university student and me, who has ants in her pants and is rarely home for more than four nights during any week. It was going to be an interesting few days…
The first thing that happened was staking one’s claim. Like all communities of days gone by, we all wanted our territories and the benefits that they offered. The hubby took the study; serious and no disturbances,please. The daughter wants the dining table as “I can spread out and there’s lots of natural light”. Or maybe it’s because it’s near the food? And I get the lovely lounge, comfortable with the tv for company in downtime. We’ve fallen into a routine that allows for minimal contact during the day and we congregate in the evening. The adults up at normal time and “keeping calm and carrying on”. The student living under student rules where lunchtime becomes breakfast and bedtime moves to… ?
I have a regular date with hubby at lunchtime now – short and sweet. Updating each other with our morning stories. I may also see him arriving with a cuppa in the afternoon. Yes, those who know me, he is allowed to make my tea!
I’ve used Skype, Facebook Portal, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Whatsapp group video call, Houseparty and, not forgetting, the good old telephone. We have mobiles, iPad and laptops on the go. Jeez, who knew there were so many ways to get connected; my phone may need to be surgically removed from my palm after all this. And saying “get off your phone” seems rather pointless now and our WiFi is the new Queen!
So who’s been on their meetings and ensured hair & makeup is done? Not me! Well, I gave into some makeup. Not that it makes any difference when you are one of 12 squares on a screen. Zoom and Teams etiquette being learnt quickly. Three hour normal meetings suddenly reduced to 1 hour. Ensuring that no secrets of your home are given away easily. Work lives may never be the same again. And all those disparaging, often said in jest, remarks about working from home I’ve heard for the last 22 years may need to be re-calibrated. There’s an art to working from home, and when you embrace it, the results are awesome. But in the end, we all crave human contact and let’s not forget that.
Now let’s move onto food, my favourite subject. Three proper meals every day now. Dear God, another increase in dress size! So much home cooked food. I can’t seem to stop. We seem to be sharing the rota, however the student needs to increase her participation – although she’s great for ideas!! My Indian house is never short of rice, flour, potatoes, onions , lentils and spices 😂 But can I find flour for baking – hell no! I want cake. Now we are all baking and cooking again instead of just watching others do it on glossy tv shows. And sharing our ideas on groups and FB – or is that just me ? We are lucky, I know, to be able to indulge in our food choices. All this may in the long term help the Housewares Industry; I truly pray for that. We all need more gadgets and pans and bakeware and storage in our lives (did I cover everyone? 🧐).
My dining room, kitchen cupboards and shoe cupboard have all been attacked. Need to spread the “to do” list. Can you imagine if you ran out of jobs by week four and had to revert to just work, eating and tv?! The back garden has been made spring ready by the hubby. He’s thinking of getting a new tool box! God help us. The student, well, she’s spreading her work and is currently working on a virtual pub quiz.
Then there is the new industry of making the indoors more fun and active. The two that have stood out so far for me are Joe Wickes and Oti Mabusi – although am not partaking because of one dodgy ankle. Good time to rest, I do get some things right! Think both Joe and Oti have captured the imagination of both the kids and adults. There are numerous virtual opportunities to get involved – you may not have enough time! Don’t forget the online quizzes, book club meetings and just chats. Having taken so many social events out of my diary, I am now scheduling zoom calls with different groups. Is it a girl thing?
Who would have thought that I would choose to be up 5.30am to join in with yoga on FB live? And then on alternate days at 7pm. No more trash tv for me 😂 Only box sets and the BBC news measure up these days, oh and some Miranda and Montalbano and, not to forget, Radio 4 Extra.
Luckily I don’t have to home school any children – hats off to all those parents who are doing this whilst worrying about meals/work/staying safe and managing their Houseparty schedules. So much wine to be drunk.
On a serious note we are doing our best.
Lucky to be part of a community that is supporting those who need help.
What defines you in the end is how you deal with what is served up. Grateful to those key workers who are keeping the country on its feet while we deal with basic shit.
Seema (the ex control freak but now a budding wannabe cook)