‘It was the best of times; it was the worst of times....’ Dickens declared.How true his words seem! As we enter a third week of working from home (WFH), we’re all reflecting on our past life and the new one emerging. I can honestly say that loading the washing machine brings me a certain amount of joy these days.

I’ve ordered 3 pairs of shoes in a week. Small pleasures. No! HUGE pleasures. And I can send them back as they won’t have been outside. Clever, isn’t it?

I had a new toy delivered yesterday (keep it clean, people); a lawn mower, which I self-assembled. Then I drove it round my garden. Fun times here.

I spent 2 hours at the supermarket and that was just in the queue. I had to have a lie-down when I got home.

Feels like week 33 of the lockdown, but I’m pretty sure we’re not even week 33 of 2020. Clocks went forward though, so that’s alright.

My wine stash seems to be disappearing rapidly. I think my teenagers must be secret alcoholics, because it isn’t me – I’m self-medicating and have a very genuine need.

So… what insightful stuff can I impart this week apart from the joys of domestic bliss?

The best of times

Social Media
The memes, the video sharing and the reactions of the public are nothing short of genius. If there’s one key takeaway from this virus, it’s that SOCIETY and COMMUNITY are BACK!

I have not laughed so much as I have during the last few days. Some things have left me hysterical. Maybe that’s not the clips at all but rather my state of mind. (Note to self: Get a grip woman – you’re laughing hysterically at your phone, with your headphones on and in your own company… What do you look like?).

Community Spirit
I am genuinely touched and impressed by the incredible support people are showing one another – WhatsApp street groups, Home-School WA groups (I’ll get on to that later), support your local shops and businesses groups, volunteering groups, all wanting to help the vulnerable and the needy. WOW! Big respect, Brits!

We are a nation that keeps calm. That bloke with the finger told us to in the war, remember? Am I mixing up my posters and maybe even my wars? Brits coming together at lightning speed – the NHS volunteers sign-up exceeded 750,000 (the target was 250,000). Mercedes Formula 1 joining forces with the NHS – UCL engineers and UCLH medical staff – to develop Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices to aid breathing. The VentilatorChallengeUK consortium, including Airbus, BAE Systems, Ford, Rolls-Royce and Siemens, working together to produce medical ventilators; all adding their efforts to get equipment on the production line and uber fast. We’re a nation building on a crisis. It’s incredible.

The worst of times

OH.MY.GOD. In case you need clarity here, this definitely falls into the ‘worst of times’ category.

Teachers country-wide are having a well-deserved belly-laugh. The tiger-mums and helicopter parents are loving it as they take back control of their children’s learning. Then there’s the curling parents – where parents smooth the path for their kids so they don’t have to worry about the pits and falls in life.

For the record… I’m NOT loving home-schooling. I’m delighted to say that I am none of the above either. It’s all about building resilience. Leave them to it! If they don’t do it and fail, well it’s on them. Better to find out about failure at this young age.

I’m going to make the call to social services now. It’ll save you the effort of doing it.

One last thing. If you’re not a parent, apologies for the rant.

If you are a parent, stick the fire alarm on for a couple of hours and pop the kids on the doorstep while you ‘investigate’. Remember it’s just for a term. Teachers do this all year with 30 kids each day. BIG RESPECT.

Hard Times are here, for sure. But we’ll get through it.

Good people of Britain; let’s manage our Great Expectations with flexibility, stoicism and an olive n twist too (sorry, couldn’t resist – after all, I am self-medicating).