It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

We’re a week into self-isolation at home, and with four strong wills pulling in different directions it’s a small miracle no one has been hurt yet. Our house is big enough that under normal circumstances, it’s possible to go into hiding from the rest of the family when the need arises, but these are not normal circumstances.

My private study has been requisitioned by my younger daughter and is now being used as classroom, school library and recreation room. I’ve had to take refuge in the bedroom and on occasion I’ve resorted to drastic measures to find a moment’s peace by feigning constipation and locking myself in the bathroom. Continue reading

Eating Fruit in Precarious Times

It’s breakfast time at home, and I place a bowl of fresh fruit in front of my kids, who are busy tucking into their usual fare of peanut butter and jam toast.

“You need to have at least one fruit each before we leave for school,” I say.

The nine-year-old looks up from her half-eaten slice of bread, fixes her gaze on the fruit bowl and then on me. 

“What, you think eating a piece of fruit is going to stop us from catching the Coronavirus?” The look on her face oozes contempt. 

“Ugh, no,” I say, “but eating fruit is a good thing, no matter what.” 

The teenager appears oblivious to what’s going on, or she is faking obliviousness, aided by a pair of air pods stuck in her ears. I have to wave my hands in front of her face to get her attention.

“Fruit,” I say, pointing at the bowl. “Eat.” Continue reading

Man’s Best Friend?

Dogs are man’s best friend, they say, so can a dog be a middle-aged-mother-on-the-verge-of-a-nervous-breakdown’s best friend too? Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, Narendra Modi, Brexit, Coronavirus, climate change….the way the world is going, my faith in humanity is not what it once was, and though I haven’t yet reached the point where I watch cute puppy videos on YouTube, I do find myself contemplating getting a dog. That is until I am reminded of the inconvenient fact that I am allergic to the damn creatures. Continue reading