The road to nowhere…

Well I am slowly starting to feel better again, and I’ve had a few much-needed calls with good friends which has certainly helped with my crappy mood.

The last few days I’ve just felt tired, knackered, exhausted, and had near-constant headaches. The trouble is I can’t tell how much of it is a Covid-relapse, and how much is just tiredness from being stuck at home alone with a 3-year old with no break, rest, or respite while trying to recuperate, and how much is due to having a low mood and feeling really miserable and down in general.

On Friday, I realised that I need to keep my poor car Polly running long enough for us to be able to collect the new car, and the battery keeps dying due to total lack of use. It is a struggle to start these days at all, and so we decided to take a drive.

Now technically we’re isolating and can’t go anywhere or come into contact with any people, even though it’s clearly a false positive test at this point, so you know what we did?

We drove around the ring road. We aimlessly circled Oxford. That’s how rock and roll my life is now.

We couldn’t use the Sat Nav, as it’s software designed to take you to your destination via the shortest/fastest route possible, so it’s very hard to make it take you in an aimless circle with no purpose only to bring you back home where you started.

Turns out the ring road is harder to navigate than I anticipated, so we managed to get lost twice, which feels like a new low.

We drove for 24 miles, and with the wrong turns drove for almost 50mins, which I hope is enough to keep the car battery going a bit longer. The kid had a mini nap in the car, so it was surprisingly peaceful just driving in a big circle around and around. It’s really sad but it felt like an outing, and it’s the furthest we’ve physically been from the house in about 5-6 weeks. If you’d told me a year ago that I would consider driving aimlessly around the city with no purpose or reason an exciting trip out I’d have thought you were insane.

Now, of course when you’re isolating you’re supposed to stay at home, but frankly after 16 days straight in serious hardcore didn’t-leave-the-house isolation as a single mum alone with a toddler, and then going into another 10 days, I feel that our sad, aimless drive around the ring road was ok and was still within the spirit of the law – we stayed in the car the whole time, didn’t stop anywhere and didn’t go near anyone else – which is more than Dominic Cummings can claim…

Was our journey essential?

For Polly, yes, she barely started and needs to limp along a bit more until we can go get our new car.

For the sake of my mental health – also yes, but I don’t know how essential my personal mental health is to the people who make the rules.

On Sunday I had another bad day – shocking headache all day and super tired. I had to give in and take a nap at 3pm as I physically couldn’t stay awake any longer so the kid watched cartoons while I dozed on the sofa, then got an early night. I’m chomping through paracetamol and drinking tons of water but it doesn’t seem to help at all with the headaches, feels like my brain is being squeezed in a vice. My temperature is still going up and down and is higher than it should be. I am still getting little mini-flushes of fever now and again, and in general my resting body temp is definitely higher than it normally is though I haven’t had a proper fever again since Tuesday.

Hoping it starts to get better soon, it’s all very very boring now, I’m tired and fed up and cross with it all, and just so over it. Something is just not right with my body at all, and I’m really bored of waiting to see what it will do next.

Only 5 more days in isolation to go….

Isolation Blues…

So, after my 2 weeks of Covid awfulness, and 16 days in isolation with a toddler, I finally really truly did start to feel better.

My symptoms properly went away and I went back to work and the kid went back to nursery. We both had a good week, she loved being back at the nursery and I had a busy week catching up on what I had missed at work and launching a new online/remote training course I had developed. Continue reading

Bit more plague…

So my optimism about feeling better last weekend was short-lived.

Sunday I felt mostly ok, though my fever came back in the evening, which was weird and annoying.

Monday I woke up feeling MILES better and had some actual energy for the first time in ages. I actually logged on and did some work for a couple of hours while the kid watched tv, and while I told my boss I’m not back yet properly I was cocky and confident that I was truly getting better.

In the afternoon I slumped a bit but figured it was just from being so refreshed and energised in the morning. My fever came back again in the evening and I sloped off to bed for another early night.

Then came Tuesday….. Continue reading

Plague House

So, on the 3rd January, I wrote to the kid’s nursery and asked if they were planning to reinstate the bubble system they had before. When nurseries first reopened back in June after our first lockdown, they had to split the children into 2 bubbles, with separate areas for them to play in and separate entrances for the parents to reduce contact. This at the time was Government-mandated, though the Gov lifted this guidance in July, and our nursery kept it in place until the holidays in August, but when they went back in September they had gotten rid of it so all the kids could play together again.

I asked the nursery if we shouldn’t consider putting this precaution back into place even though the Government hasn’t required it this time around, as a voluntary measure we could take to reduce the risk to everyone. They decided not to do that, unless the Gov changes the guidance. Continue reading

2020: What a year it has been…

Looking back on this year, I don’t think I made many resolutions last January.

I lowered my expectations on my book reading challenge from 40 books in the year to 25, and I’ve managed to read about 20, which isn’t too bad.

I aimed to get fitter and healthier, as I do every new year, and instead I’ve sadly put on weight again, which is annoying, and getting fitter and healthier just hasn’t panned out once again. I keep trying to make time for more exercise, but I get tired, or injure myself, or get too busy at work and make other excuses for not doing it. I am still as much an emotional eater as I ever was, and while I go through bursts of healthy eating and portion control, the fact is when I feel down, or bored, or tired, or lonely, or overwhelmed, I eat sweets and chocolate and cheese, and drink wine, and I haven’t yet figured out a way to just turn off my emotional eating tendencies.

Mind you, 2020 has been an exceptionally difficult year for everyone, and I think as a working single mum coping with lockdowns and not seeing friends, family and my support system, it’s ok to give myself a bit of a break too. Continue reading

When one of your worst fears comes true…

Well we have certainly had an eventful time of it lately!

I was of course jinxing myself in my earlier post when I said we had cracked the sleeping thing. It always gets me – we’ll have 2 weeks of sleeping through and I think we’ve done it, then suddenly night after night she’s creeping up into my bed at 1am, 4am, 5am etc.

I’ve discovered that the only way to handle it is to be consistent. Even if it’s 5.30am and only an hour or so to go before we get up, SHE doesn’t know that, she can’t tell time, and therefore she needs to learn the principle of staying in her bed until the sun on her alarm clock comes up no matter what. It’s hard to be consistent as some nights I’m so deeply asleep I barely register her getting into bed with me!

However on Sunday morning, when she crept in a 4.30am I got up to take her back downstairs to her bed. We had the usual “NO I DON’T WANT TO SLEEP IN MY BED I WANT TO SLEEP IN MAMA’S BED” mini-scream, so I picked her up in one arm, held on to the bannister with the other hand and headed downstairs.

Until about 2/3 of the way down the stairs when I slipped and fell down the stairs, with my daughter in my arms. Continue reading

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…

Ever noticed how white our Christmases are? No I don’t mean the weather.
2020 has been quite a year – Covid aside, it has also been a year where a lot of us have woken up to the inequality and racism embedded in our societies. The Black Lives Matter movement has grown and gained momentum, and reflecting back I have personally been on a journey this year to try and understand more about systemic racism, structural racism and white privilege, and how it all fits together.
Reading books like Invisible Women, Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race, Girl, Woman, Other, Parenting in Transracial Adoption, and a number of other books, I’ve been slowly starting to  understand more about what White Privilege is and why most of us aren’t all that aware of it.
It embarrasses me that only this year, at 39, have I looked around at Christmas and wondered why Santa is white, why all the angels are white, why there appears to be no diversity at all at Christmas time in the images depicted.

Continue reading

Mama Bears & Bin Drinks

It’s been a while hasn’t it?

Let’s see, what have we been up to? Frankly not a lot, what with winter and lockdown and so on. 

I have FINALLY cracked the sleep thing and she’s got the hang of sleeping in her own bed all night, and staying there until the sun clock comes up (I really shouldn’t say such things out loud, it always jinxes it…). And I’ve installed some amazing toddler toilet seats and got some steps so I no longer have to deal with the potty most of the time, which is nice, having slightly less of someone else’s shit to dispose of…

Our mornings are in a pretty good routine now, and are punctuated by the calm, repetitive nature of CBeebies… Continue reading