A Long Week

Well, what a week that’s been, and there’s still more to go. We’ve had libraries reopening, the wait for an MRI still ongoing for Lady M, aches and pains, and life going on.

I can tell the Lady M is starting to feel a little more comfortable as she’s making noises about logging in to work again. I still see her getting very drained very quickly so we’ll see what her management say about some limited hours. Hopefully it will stop her brain exploding a while.

The library reopening has so far gone smoothly enough, with the public largely pleased to see us, even with the limited service available. It’s all new, and a bit odd, but its working. I’m back in on Friday and I know the time will just fly by.

And myr s has an amazing new haircut, having had their first experience of a barber’s shop. They also got a new job confirmed today that I think they’ll really enjoy, so a great day all round on their front.

I’ve even heard from the Charleesi, who is decidedly not resting on her laurels but is trying some freelance writing while the job hunt continues. She’s a grafter with a lot of talent and determination so there’s little doubt there’s success to follow.

And me? I’m exhausted, but there’s nothing new there. I’m worried for Lady M, and missing myr s something fierce, but we’ll get there in the end.

In Another World

There is an alternate timeline out there somewhere that isn’t being ravaged by, among other things, Covid-19 and the perennially venal politicians mismanaged the while thing in their rush to sell off the family silver.

In that sunny other universe, I would be in Oxford today, celebrating my daughter’s graduation alongside the ex-Lady M, with Lady M and the Charleesi’s uncle and aunt watching across a remote link from a nearby tent.

However, we won’t know the actual result until the end of next week – and there’s still no firm date for when a rescheduled event may take place next year so for now all we can do is keep our fingers crossed and prepare for a lot of excited yelling next week.

The Charleesi is projected to achieve a first, and is currently job hunting.

Happy Birthday Charleesi

Its my daughter’s 21st birthday – well that happened quickly! Still seems like moments ago that I was ringing family, having stepped briefly out of the operating theatre to find that a thunder and lightning storm had started at the moment of her birth.

Totally not an omen.

Today we have reasonably clear skies, and gentle birdsong, a marked improvement for a special day. We’re still waiting on the final result for her degree but we don’t need that confirmation to know how amazing she is.

So happy birthday Charleesi, can’t wait to see what you do next.

Mission Accomplished

Despite the tiny size of the available car, I was able to retrieve the Charleesi from university yesterday. Even better, I was able to do so in one round trip. We’re still not entirely sure how we did that – there is a suspicion that the Fiat500 is actually a Tardis.

Fortunately, while playing Tetris with bags, books, and assorted household goods we had sunshine and a gentle breeze. Even the Charleesi’s traditional moment of locking herself out of her own flat was taken in good humour by the concierge who ambled over to let her back in to empty the recycling bin.

And so there it is – the end of one chapter, and the beginning of another for the Charleesi. I still can’t believe we fit all that in such a small car…

Rescue Plans

Its that time of year when we remember that the Charleesi is still stuck at university and that we really should look at how to bring her home safely.

So Sunday has been set as our target, and we shall retrieve her and her worldly possessions. Somehow. I say this because our car is in for repairs and we have a tiny Fiat500 as a courtesy vehicle in the meantime.

This, as they say, will be interesting. We might get our car back before the weekend but I’m not counting on it. I shall instead be seeing if we can arrange a series of journeys over the next few days.

What’s the worst that could happen?

Proud Blog-Father

My daughter has been in lockdown in Oxford Brookes University since everything kicked off, and like so many of us has been trying new things out on the cooking front.

Today I had a quick note and link to an article she just had published on the Oxford Brookes Student Union website about her “student-approved” baking recipes.

Being a proud father to a fellow writer, I of course have to share this with you all. Go have a look at https://www.brookesunion.org.uk/articles/student-approved-quarantine-baking-student-blog and enjoy both the quality of writing and the baked goods.

Retail Support Therapy

We’ve all been looking in the DDC for ways to brighten each other up during the lockdown. I mean, we’ve been looking at ways of making life easier as much as possible for as many people as possible too, but in particular we’ve been rallying round to help each other. I think it was brewing anyway, but as Lady B had her birthday recently it prompted a move to send presents that has since expanded across the whole group.

For the most part its sporadic – little things like postcards or small gifts made on a whimsy – but it is a wonderful little spike of pleasure when there’s something unexpected in the mailbox. While this is a thing that could happen at any time, I think the enforced isolation has made the effort more appreciated and more meaningful for both sender and receiver. If so, then I take it as an example of people rising to support each other in adversity – through a series of acts that you could be forgiven for thinking had been a thing long in the past. Now all our various communications channels are sprinkled with little remarks like “Oh I showed x what I’ve made for you”, or “Oh, reminds me I must get to the post office” – and each time I get a little glow in my chest that is almost certainly not heartburn.

It doesn’t make us any better or worse than anyone else just because we’re choosing to reach out to support our friends and partners at this time rather than engaging in some grand gesture to help the world at large. Instead, I hope that it is a trend of rediscovering contact that has been denatured by the immediacy of social media. There is no immediate gratification of a notification on a phone or laptop – its merely something that appears at some point in the letterbox, and is all the more precious for it. I hope its something that catches on among friend and family circles as a rediscovery of a slower way of showing you care. Its less ephemeral that social media, and goes alongside the other ways of showing we care that we already use on a daily basis. I feel incredibly lucky.

Silver linings and all that

Lazy Sunday

We’re having a quiet day chez myr s. The dogs are in close attendance as a Sunday roast is prepared; and the cats have retreated under the sofas to pursue their private vendettas out of our sight.

The tegu has appeared briefly to sniff the air and gone back to sleep. The tortoise has paused in his efforts to headbut his enclosure down. The cub is… Well he’s engrossed in YouTube videos that mostly seem to be full of people overreacting with screams at the camera.

So that’s the extent of our excitement today, with music contesting with a sport channel for providing background noise. We had a late night fuelled by YouTube so our body clocks are urging a slow day ahead of the couple of hour’ work that myr s is scheduled for later.

I plan to finish and post a short fiction piece later while they work: I’m determined to keep fighting to get back to writing regularly.

Stop Breaking Her!

I’ve been asked to stop breaking Lady M. The comment came from our metamour, the inimitable Lady J, in response to pictures and video I posted earlier this evening of Lady M after we watched the finale of The Good Place.

Side note: If you haven’t watched The Good Place, I highly recommend it to you as an intelligent and witty story that hides behind a facade of goofiness.

There were tears, and blocked nostrils from a light cold, and snot, and laughter in frustration, and giggles from teasing. All at once. Which of course I had to share with lady s, and then with permission on social media – and now here, because I think you’ll all join me in laughing with her, and commiserating if you’ve seen it too.

Just… How..?

Darts Night

The cub has recently discovered a new activity that has gripped his attention – playing darts. He’s now old enough to be trusted with proper sharp darts rather than the magnetic set that has adorned the door next to his desk, so lady s has registered him with the local darts academy.

His grandfather is of course extremely pleased, and has invested in a high end board and a selection of flights and components so that everyone in the house can have their customised setups to suit their play style. The cub has a practice routine to do every day and so it was that we ended up in a mixed doubles series of darts matches last night. I was in a team with lady s, and the cub was in a team with his grandad.

It was just a lovely quiet family moment of playing together with quiet banter, promises of being dumped if it ended up needing a double one to win, and hardly anyone being hit by rebounding projectiles. I suspect there may be more this afternoon while lady s is at work.

Oh, we played best of three, and we won 😉