Today is day 44 of isolation with my family. Piggy is now in charge and family meetings are called daily by someone blowing into a conch. What the hell even is a conch? Just the word makes me angry – it’s so up itself and pretentious… ooh, look at me, I’m a conch! You’re not, you’re a jumped up shell mate, now f@ off.
I am angry. Everything is making me angry. We have been in here now for 58 days and still there is no return of live sport, actual schoolteachers or any sign of conversation with an actual adult other than my wife. Don’t get me wrong, I like talking to my wife but I-spy is becoming a little bit tedious now...
Wife: ‘I-spy, with my little eye, something beginning with H.’
Me: ‘It’s house again, isn’t it…’
School’s out. The last update was just before that. You didn’t miss much and can rest assured that the last days of lessons were a mismatch of terrible maths, worse drawings, me wondering if English is actually my first language and some practical lessons (the six year old is now incredible with throwing knives – there’s real talent there). I have no idea what day this is but some b@stard had a pop, they got in touch on FB and said I’d missed a day or two of my ‘journal’. One – this is not a journal, this is a rant at best, a cry for help more like. And Two - ‘missed a day or two!?’ What does that even mean anymore? And how long does it have to be before I’ve not missed days, more a period. As in, a period of my life. I was in my prime when this started! Tall, slim, sexy… Look at me now… Short, broken, so full of Pizza Hut stuffed crust that I reckon if you pulled my arm off it would have that delicious stringy cheese stretched out between it – and just slightly alcoholic. I mean, not so I depend on it. I just really need it. Or I get the shakes.
They took the recycling away last Thursday. I was terrified of being judged… the sheer volume of wine and beer bottles in my recycling… we cleared up less after my wedding reception… So when they came Thursday morning I stayed in bed waiting for it and it turns out I needn’t have worried – I am not the only one! Every bin as they came up the road was tipped up to make a sound like someone had ram-raided an off-licence! It was beautiful.
The kids are now officially on Easter Holiday. This means there is no home-schooling as part of surviving the day, so now - and for the next two weeks – it is literally just surviving the day. Yesterday afternoon we watched Frozen II as a family. They have both seen it twice before and I have not seen it at all. They can also work Alexa to play the soundtrack just about every waking hour. This means that they are on hand to not only tell me what is about to happen throughout the film but also to sing along like a couple of alley-cats trying to ward off would-be attackers at every one of the bastard songs. They sing like sirens. Not the sort that are part of mythology, who sit out on rocks and lead sailors to their doom with their beautiful, alluring voices, but the sort that sit on top of a police car and slice the air up into a raucous cacophony of NEEEEEEEEENAAAAAAAAA’S…..
This could have been a wonderful family moment despite everything but instead it was the point where I realised that, right now, I would rather sit and watch a film with an open wound than these two poorly brought up, feral little shites. They ate all my popcorn. I try not to be bitter about it. And just to rub salt into the (open) wound, they then sang with their mouths full.
Fortunately, as the children have become more and more unbearable, our springer spaniel has also upped his game. Not one to be left out, he has decided to encroach on the one thing that my wife finds more affective than anything else for a bit of escapism - she loves spending a little time lost doing a jigsaw puzzle. So the spaniel has recognised this and eaten 25 puzzle pieces of her one ‘under construction’. We only know this because he spat a piece out yesterday, a moment before he swooped to steal a BBQ burger in the garden. Then the wife ‘finished’ said puzzle later in the evening. Except for the 25 gaps, laid out to mock me in turn. He’s always my dog when he’s badly behaved. With my wife raging at me like it was my fault I come back quickly with the suggestion that, thinking about it, I’ve bagged up his garden poos and they are still in the dustbin if she wants the challenge of seeing if they fit together? This does nothing to appease her. Two puzzles for the price of one! I try, along with a little shuffle and that expression that says come on! Every cloud! If anything she’s angrier. I’ll never understand women.
I also took the plunge and shaved my head. I said it was coming. The prompt was a picture on a newsfeed that showed David Beckham has now shaved his head. David Beckham is much like the afore-mentioned Brad Pitt – it suits him, any hair suits him, he is an attractive man and remains so – even with a one-all-over. I thought that somehow, this time, I would be the same. I am not. David and Brad remain sex symbols, I look like the prognosis is not good and I am having one last trip to Disney.
Fortunately there is light at the end of the miserable tunnel. Wednesday evening I get to put the bins out again, which involves a walk up to the end of the drive and back. And Friday I have a new book out. It is no less sweary than the above and, much like living in a world where the children are at home all the time and there is no getting away from them, there is no promise of a happy ending… But you can pre-order it here:
Stay safe. Stay home. Don't worry about your recycling.