One thing that has become apparent in lockdown, especially now that the Twins are doing their schoolwork at home, is that everyone needs a computer nowadays. It’s surprising how much I use mine when I think I’m actually doing something else, like cooking, or gardening, or even just reading; I need to look things up, or write things down, constantly, obviously. After forcing our children to basically live the life of Luddites (no phones until you’re 12 years old, no electronic games until you buy them yourselves, very little TV, and definitely no computers when you don’t need them for school, which up until now they didn’t), we are now seeing the following: Continue reading
I recently learned that the Beaford Archive, in North Devon, is asking for help to document the day-to-day life of people’s experiences during the pandemic. They are looking for photographs which answer the question: “What are you experiencing right now?”
Everyone’s setting will be different. You may be at home with children, or with your parents, or caring for someone. You may be a key worker, or helping the neighbourhood, or working the land. All our lives are changing in ways great and small, and whatever you’re experiencing is worth saving and sharing with future generations.
I’m so pleased that they are doing this. The quotidian life is the one that we rarely see in history, but to me it is what makes history come alive. How people manage their day-to-day existence can be fascinating when you realise just how different it can be from town to town, country to country, century to century. Or in this case, month to month.
In our little corner of South Devon, we are more or less into our fourth week of lockdown (the kids, The Author, and I all started on different days), and we have been able to stay isolated and safe very easily. We are very lucky to be living in this beautiful, rural area, but the enforced seclusion has taken its toll on all of us in various ways. Noteworthy events from last week include:
January is the no-man’s-land of the year. It has nothing to recommend it, being – at least here in the northern hemisphere – drab, cold and devoid of holidays. It takes forever to
get to February, when we can start to complain about and/or look forward to Valentine’s Day.
The first of January, on the other hand, comes around way too fast, especially if Continue reading
The other morning the Oldest and the Son were having breakfast and the subject of cereal came up. Or perhaps I should tell it like it is. They were arguing over who owns the cereal. Continue reading
When I was little, I loved the nights when my mom would go out and my sister and I would be allowed our choice of a frozen TV dinner. Sometimes we would even be allowed to eat it in front of the TV, but mostly we had to sit at the kitchen table, napkins in our laps, milk at the top edge of the placemat, and eat it as we would a homemade meal. (In other words, even though the dessert was included in the foil tray, we had to save that for last.) Continue reading
Today has been one of those brilliant days when the sky is azure, the sun is shining, and high tide is at 3:00, perfect for our favourite beach. I know this because, while I was at work, The Author took the three kids and visiting cousins there. They spent the day picnicking, frolicking, swimming, and collecting pebbles and driftwood.
I spent the day cooking.
This evening, I arrived home first, and then the beach-goers arrived. They all piled out of the car, sticky with ice cream and smelling intoxicatingly of Continue reading
Let me say a few words about The Son, who is 10 years old. He has always surprised us with his wide-ranging, quirky and sophisticated tastes. He is funny and smart, and he looks the part in his lab coat which he asked for when he was six and which he continues to wear to all sorts of places, including the moor for a 4-mile walk.
He can be loving and generous, and he is the one child we can count on to give us pieces of his candy when he has some.
He can read a 300-page book in a day, and he would probably like nothing better than to do that, although he has started to take an interest in improving his physique (push-ups on the patio at 8:30 a.m. is a new development). Continue reading
One of the things I love best about where we live is the abundance of great local food, and nothing is more local than moorland bacon from our neighbour Sean and organic free-range eggs from our friends 1/4 mile down the lane.
But my kids are weird about eggs. They’ll eat them in omelettes, but hate them in quiche. They’ll eat them in Salade Niçoise, but detest them in egg salad. Poached eggs are deemed “disgusting”, but I suppose it goes without saying that the kids don’t mind eggs in custard, or in cakes and in cookies. Continue reading