Tag Archives: coronavirus

These Four Walls

On Friday, we were all so excited. My two teenagers were going on a weekend venturer scout camp. My four youngest were staying with my parents at the beach. And me and my husband? Why, we were going to have a romantic anniversary weekend away at the beach (but not the same beach as my parents, because running into your kids at the local shops can really kill the mood,) I was going to lie on the sand and read any number of books and not have to supervise ANYONE.

The only thing left for us to do was to take our RATs. 

And one of us is positive.

Bleurgh. It would have been better if ALL of us had the spicy cough at the SAME TIME. Now we don’t know how long we will be in isolation. What if someone tests positive on Day 6? What if someone else tests positive on the FOLLOWING Day 6? There are a lot of us – what if this goes on forever?

The kids are great. After a few hours of loud raging in bitter disappointment, they’ve decided to Make The Best Of It. I really think this generation is better trained in dealing with disappointment. We’ve dusted off the Jar of Lockdown Fun and have been playing lots of board games and baking and eating way too much sugar and watching way too much Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir.

As for me, I walked three laps around the outside of the house this morning. There was a man in a big truck across the road, outside our renovating neighbour’s house. He was looking at his phone, but I’m sure he was secretly concerned at the woman who kept walking purposefully into the front yard of the house, stepping along the perimeter of the fence line and disappearing behind the house again.

Then I made a coffee and got inside my car with my phone and keyboard. And that’s where I am now. Nobody is awake yet. I might make this a regular thing. Except tomorrow, I will open the second garage door so I can watch the sunrise.

I had exciting things planned for next weekend. I’m guessing I won’t get to do them, but I don’t know FOR SURE. That is, by far, the worst part. I’d rather just know.

There are always joys, if you look for them. My sister sent us fancy donuts almost immediately after she heard the news. My son has started painting again. The Coles Online man called out “Get well soon!” as he stepped back into his delivery truck (I don’t know why I loved this so much, but I REALLY DID).

I can hear some waking up noises from inside the house. I’m not sure how much longer I can get away with this. This was going to be a socials update, but I think it needs to be a blog post. Think of me, on my special staycation!

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Locky D Lucky D

So we’re in deep dark lockdown here in Melbourne again. We’re not allowed to leave the house, except for five reasons, we have a curfew at night, and the playgrounds are shut. This is our sixth lockdown. It’s hard.

Do you remember how I sometimes go into manic Pollyanna mode when stressed? That’s what happened this time when they tightened the restrictions and I realised things were going to get really miserable. Up until then, I’d kind of been mooching through lockdown, every day looking like the one before. But last week, it was time for me to get off the couch and put my big girl pants on. It was time to Mum Up.

Here’s what I did:

I brainstormed a bunch of fun activities that we could still do, even in the strictest of Locky Ds. Every morning, we draw one out of the jar and do it.

It sounds simple, I know, but I can’t tell you how much sunshine this jar has brought into our life. In the past, we’ve brainstormed on butcher’s paper, but I’m telling you: the jar makes all the difference. Here’s why:

  1. You only have to do ONE fun thing a day.
  2. You don’t have to make a DECISION ever.
  3. The kids look forward to the lucky dip event even more than the actual activity.
  4. As a bonus, the kids don’t drag their feet about getting ready in the morning. We don’t do the lucky dip until everyone is dressed and fed.
  5. We no longer have to deal with a long stretch of days that all look the same.

I shared (rather smugly) this idea with some friends from parkrun. One of the women lives alone and has made herself a jar full of grown-up activities which she draws out once a week. Last week, she bought herself fresh flowers. I can’t wait to find out what she does next.

Here are some of the activities we have in the jar:

  • Pancakes and french toast
  • Decorate a birthday cake for no good reason
  • Fake-away night (make take-away style food)
  • Painting day
  • Board game night
  • Free day off school (primary school only!)
  • Slide night
  • Zoom kahoot quiz with friends
  • Movie night
  • Video game tournament
  • Videocall hide-and-seek
  • Everyone gets to choose a treat for themself in the online grocery shop
  • Make caramel popcorn
  • Walk in the park to collect things for a flower mandala

I’m trying to remember to take photos. When we made the caramel popcorn, we put some in a bag to deliver to the family who lives behind us. BUT I FORGOT TO TAKE ANY PHOTOS. What is the the point of doing something impossibly wholesome if you don’t document it?

Pippi, my youngest, is now worried that lockdown will be over before we get to do all the fun things. I don’t think she needs to worry too much. This is Melbourne, after all. We’ll always have another lockdown to look forward to.

Pod Person

 

Meme: "You should put that in a podcast/so I can unsubscribe"

 

I’m on a podcast!


The Majellan is one of the magazines I write for. I can’t share the articles here because it’s only print and app-based (but do feel free to subscribe and tell them I sent you!)

I wonder if you can hear the gentle struggle as I try unsuccessfully to steer the conversation towards “Kate Moriarty: Serious Writer” when it instead barrels along the path of “Kate Moriarty: Professional Mother”.

I shouldn’t nitpick. We did spend an entire half-hour on the glorious topic of ME, after all!

You may notice, I’ve updated the aliases I’ve given my kids (is this even allowed?) I never really liked “Daisy and Poppy”. Now that I know my twins better, I call my little girl who loves Batman and has her hair cut with a fringe “Penny” (after Penny Pollard) and my girl who is full of energy and a miniature megalomaniac “Pippi” (after Pippi Longstocking). I sputter this out in a garbled mess at the beginning. I was a little nervous.

Have a listen:

https://majellan.media/figuring-out-families/

Love in the Time of Corona

 

A poster of fun things to do at home, entitled "LOCKDOWN FUN!". Coloured textas on butcher's paper. Includes "Baking", "Treasure hunts", and "Pillow blanket forts"

So tomorrow’s our first day of full-Corona-Lockdown. Matilda and Christopher will be on break from high school, Harry and Annie will be home as usual, but unlikely to want to do any lessons when their siblings are on holidays, and there’ll be no kinder for Daisy and Poppy.

Somehow, this whole Corona crisis has thrown me into a sort of adrenaline-fuelled Pollyanna persona. Why, this is a blessing in disguise! Clear schedules! Family togetherness! Let’s go make some wonderful memories!

It’s weird, really. I should be suffering more. My extrovert heart should be crushed from social deprivation. My Catholic soul should ache with hunger for the Eucharist. My writer’s mind should itch for a chance to work on my novel (note to all you Facebook writers who are raving about how many words you’re going to get down while you’re under house arrest. I’m happy for you. Really I am. Meanwhile, I do all my writing in cafes and libraries, so…)

But I’m not suffering. Pollyanna mode won’t let me feel these things. At least, not yet. Did you know we have two birthdays at home this week? Tomorrow, Annie turns eight (!), then on Thursday it’s my husband’s birthday. I was talking to my sister Jan about this today, going on about cake decorating and presents and bonfires and glow sticks and s’mores and party games. She got a hefty dose of my Pollyanna spirit.

”You’re right,” she said, “It’s important to keep your spirits up. Did you know there are some people who don’t call it ‘self isolation’, they call it ‘self retreat’?”

”Oh yeah?” I said, “Perhaps they should try sharing a house with two relentlessly hyperactive four-year-olds. Happy fucking retreat, guys!”

With many apologies:

https://laptopontheironingboard.wordpress.com/2020/03/23/love-in-the-time-of-corona/

OK, so it was a brief lapse, but it wasn’t long before Pollyanna was back in full force. I sat down with my kids and a packet of textas and we wrote down as many fun things as we could think of that we could still do while in lockdown.

A second poster of fun things to do at home, entitled "LOCKDOWN FUN!". Coloured textas on butcher's paper. Includes "Make bath bombs", "Kids cook dinner", "record audiobook", "stop motion lego" and "Make crabapple jelly"

 

I’m trying really hard to ignore the fact that most of these things are not so much fun for ME.

 

Here’s what MY fun list would look like

1. Endless Jane Austen screen adaptations featuring dishy men with smouldering scowls.

2. A quiet room with NOBODY TOUCHING ME.

3. Gin. 

 

I’ll keep you all updated. Please let me apologise for swearing. I haven’t used bad language on the blog before and I don’t plan to do it again, but I think we can all agree, we are living in strange and unusual times which warrant an errant f-bomb.

Jan says “I love pandemic Kate!”