Lockdown Diary #9: Spa day

Beauty salons across the nation have closed their doors, but who needs a pricey spa day when you can enjoy one in the comfort of your own home? Held yesterday, ours admittedly did require some child labour, but I’m sure you’ll agree the benefits were worth it.

Behold the eight-year-old in her silk kimono! She managed not to kill any foxes while wearing it too, which was an achievement, though she is strongly pro-Remain.

lil-kimono

Our friend John always sings ‘Lily the Pink’ to her, and later on in the spa day, we realised that her kimono was covered in pink lilies!

lily-on-kimono

To start with, I applied a clay mask to her face. Her skin is perfect so it was completely unnecessary, but it made her happy.

lil-mask-1

Then she relaxed with slices of cucumber over her eyes.

lil-cucumber

It reminded me that when she was little (well, younger – she still is little!) she couldn’t pronounce ‘cucumber’ and used to call it a ‘coombaba’. I thought this was delightful and encouraged her to say it. My mother, on the other hand, told her firmly that it was called a cucumber and made her say ‘cucumber’ until ‘coombaba’ was a thing of the past.

I was very upset, but conceded that it couldn’t last. After all, if at the age of 33 she went to the Ritz, then wailed down the phone at me, ‘I asked for coombaba sandwiches and they laughed at me!’ then I would probably have failed as a mother.

lil-unpainted-toes

Next, she asked me to paint her toenails ‘red and pink and red and pink and red!’ So I obliged, using polishes from a non-toxic set of nail varnishes I got her ages ago.

lil-half-toes

lil-painted-toes

She was so pleased with the effect, she asked me to repeat the process on her fingernails.

lil-fingernails

Next, it was my turn. I really tried to get out of it, but the eight-year-old wanted to pretend to be a beauty therapist! So she daubed clay all over my face. Please excuse my Denis Healey-esque eyebrows, but these are extenuating circumstances.

mum-mask

I have to say, cucumber slices do absolutely nothing for one’s appearance! Though it probably didn’t help that I cut them super-thickly.

mum-cucumber

Then Lily insisted on painting my toenails. Again, please excuse the absolute state of my feet! The look of glee on Lily’s face makes up for the indignity though.

lil-mum-feet

All in all, I think the spa day was a success. Foxes alive, no embarrassing pronunciations, and no one accidentally ate the cucumber. Result!

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Lockdown Diary #8: Jigsaws

My friend John made me laugh. He said ‘Won’t someone think of the burglars? How are they supposed to burgle with everyone staying home all the time?!’ Perhaps they need their own coronavirus stimulus package…

The eight-year-old and I are still enjoying doing arts and crafts. Yesterday I made her a newspaper skirt and a top out of a bin liner, and she looked surprisingly stylish!

newspaper-skirt

Today we tried to make a jigsaw. First we needed a base, so I used the box for Lily’s giant chocolate Easter egg.

egg-box

Then we needed a picture for the jigsaw, so used a pretty flower postcard and stuck two sheets of card on the back.

postcard

Lily cut out the pieces, but found cutting through three sheets of card very difficult.

jigsaw

Then she started trying to do the jigsaw puzzle:

lily-jigsaw

But it was very difficult because the edges weren’t clearly delineated, and this is as far as she got.

jigsaw-pieces

She wasn’t happy!

lily-confused

But the process was fun. This afternoon we’re going to do a ‘spa day’, with face masks and cucumber slices. Pictures to follow!

This post has been made possible by my awesome Patreon supporters Peter Weilgony, Ricky Steer, Charlie Brooker, Mary and Tim Fowler, Steve Richards, Alan Brookland, Mark Ormandy, Oliver Vass, Keith Bell, John Fleming, Mark Bailey, Rebekah Bennetch, Matthew Sylvester, Brian Engler, Jack Scanlan, Dave Nattriss, MusicalComedyGuide.com, Aragorn Strider, Mark White, Lucy Spencer, Shane Jarvis, Emily Hill and Marcus P Knight.

If you enjoyed this blog, please support me on Patreon from just £1 a month and you’ll get to read a lot more of my writing.

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Lockdown Diary #7: Parachutes

What a shocking and worrying turn of events last night. I couldn’t sleep for thinking about Boris Johnson. Politics don’t matter right now – you don’t need to be politically aligned to have empathy for someone who is suffering, especially when any of us could soon be in the same situation. I hope he gets well quickly.

All is busy here. Lily has been enjoying her Galaxy Easter egg and working her way through the projects in her new favourite book, 101 Things for Kids to Do on a Rainy Day by Dawn Isaac.

rainy-day-book

We’re restricted to projects for which we have the materials, so yesterday Lily made pink and red carnations out of tissue paper and pipe cleaners.

carnation

And we were honoured when the author of the book herself tweeted about Lily’s flowers! High praise.

tweet

So this morning we decided to tackle a different project: making a parachute out of a bin liner!

parachute-instructions

We cut out a square from the bin liner, tied string to each corner, and then originally tied the strings to a toy sloth Lily bought me called Lazy Bum.

lazy-bum

Sadly Lazy Bum was very heavy, and didn’t float! So we tried again with a wooden butterfly.

butterfly

This was lighter and so was much more successful. Here’s a video of its flight:


Lily has also been amusing herself by trying on some of my wigs! (I do actually have my own hair, these were just for music videos.)

lily-brown-wig

red-wig

And lastly: I weighed myself and have lost 3.4lbs in the past four days! I know it’s all water and rushes off at first, but I’m feeling good.

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This post has been made possible by my awesome Patreon supporters Peter Weilgony, Ricky Steer, Charlie Brooker, Mary and Tim Fowler, Steve Richards, Alan Brookland, Mark Ormandy, Oliver Vass, Keith Bell, John Fleming, Mark Bailey, Rebekah Bennetch, Matthew Sylvester, Brian Engler, Jack Scanlan, Dave Nattriss, MusicalComedyGuide.com, Aragorn Strider, Mark White, Lucy Spencer, Shane Jarvis, Emily Hill and Marcus P Knight.

If you enjoyed this blog, please support me on Patreon from just £1 a month and you’ll get to read a lot more of my writing.

 

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Lockdown Diary #6: The Do-Over

Last night I had the most incredibly vivid dream. I dreamed that I was 15 again and could do everything right. So I woke up in my parents’ home and revised like mad for my GCSEs instead of winging them, eventually ending up at Cambridge. I hugged my dad a lot more, while I had the chance, knowing that he almost certainly had an undiagnosed personality disorder. I got with my first proper boyfriend, my childhood sweetheart, and was the perfect girlfriend – never unfaithful, no crazy mood swings – meaning we got married and lived happily ever after.

I was the best friend ever to Graham, instead of being loud and annoying, and we started our creative projects early and I became a YouTube star, and I rescued him from the job he never really loved. I didn’t get into television scriptwriting (I never enjoyed it) and focused instead on comedy music videos and writing fiction. I became a huge success, and without ever having to go through experiencing violence during pregnancy or a nervous breakdown.

But, of course, that scenario can never be perfect. There are huge problems. If I woke up in 1995 and knew everything I knew now, I’d know terrible things, like the fact that 9/11 was going to happen. Would I try and stop it? If so, how? If not, would I have blood on my hands? I’d also know about the 2004 tsunami, and countless atrocities. The thought of inadvertently being responsible for stopping horrific things from happening rather spoils my vision of redoing my life. And also, it would be terrifying, getting the chance to do everything right. Having that unnatural, bizarre power and control over your own life.

But the worst thing for me personally would be that Lily would never be born. And as I lay in bed contemplating this scenario, watching her sleep, I thought: no, it’s not worth it. I don’t want to go back (not that I could!). I just want to go forward in the present with my beautiful daughter and see what amazing things she does with her life. Because I can’t imagine ever knowing anyone so bright and funny and kind. I am so incredibly lucky, just as things are.

And it then struck me that, the same way I’d been looking wistfully into the past, wishing I could change things from 25 years ago, was the way that I could, if all else fails, be looking into the past aged 65, wishing I could go back to the age I am now. So that’s the scenario to avert! That’s what I actually have control over. No one ever gets to rewind life, and nor should they, but I’ve learned so much over the past 25 years. I actually like the person I am now, and I love my daughter with all my heart.

There’s no sense in wishing things in the past were different. And if you do wish your life were better, then change things now, in the present. Put things right, while you have the time. That’s all you can do.

This post has been made possible by my awesome Patreon supporters Peter Weilgony, Ricky Steer, Charlie Brooker, Mary and Tim Fowler, Steve Richards, Alan Brookland, Mark Ormandy, Oliver Vass, Keith Bell, John Fleming, Mark Bailey, Rebekah Bennetch, Matthew Sylvester, Brian Engler, Jack Scanlan, Dave Nattriss, MusicalComedyGuide.com, Aragorn Strider, Mark White, Lucy Spencer, Shane Jarvis, Emily Hill and Marcus P Knight.

If you enjoyed this blog, please support me on Patreon from just £1 a month and you’ll get to read a lot more of my writing.

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Lockdown Diary #5: Welcome home!

Hurray! My beautiful baby is home for Easter. Normally we’d travel all over London seeing friends and go to visit my nan in the care home, but of course that isn’t possible right now, so we’re staying indoors and playing Mastermind and backgammon. She’s also addicted to her iPad, so I’m sure I’ll get plenty of free time to blog and write while she’s busy with her apps.

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So today I have to do a massive shop so that she has enough food to eat for the next five days. I don’t want to take her to the supermarket with me as there are too many people. I meant to do the big shop yesterday, but was visually accosted and beguiled by the display of gigantic Easter eggs as I walked into Tesco. I thought ‘I have to get Lily an Easter egg!’ They were £6 each or £8 for two, so I lugged two of them (Galaxy and Maltesers) up to the counter, along with whatever else I could fit in my basket.

 

As I bought two eggs, they should have cost £8 – but they didn’t apply the promotion, so I paid £12 – an extra £4!

Now, ordinarily I’d rush back with the receipt to get this redressed, but when (a) you’re wearing fogged-up goggles and a mask you can barely talk through, (b) the cashier is also wearing a mask, and (c) there’s a massive queue of people who aren’t being very good with the whole ‘social distancing’ thing, it’s an impossibility.

So I wrote off the £4, got home and wrapped the eggs, ready for Lily’s arrival today.

eggs

I wrapped them because (a) they’re more special for her that way, and (b) it’s less likely that I’ll be tempted to eat them myself!

So far, I’m being really good on the diet. I had a sneaky weigh-in today and had lost 3.4lbs in two days. I know it’s probably just water, but it’s encouraging nonetheless.

God, this is such a weird time. I wonder how many times the words ‘weird’, ‘crazy’, ‘strange’ and ‘surreal’ have been used to describe this period? I could probably find out but fear the answer would shock me! Anyhow, I really hope you’re safe and healthy.

Much love,

Ariane xxx

 

This post has been made possible by my awesome Patreon supporters Peter Weilgony, Ricky Steer, Charlie Brooker, Mary and Tim Fowler, Steve Richards, Alan Brookland, Mark Ormandy, Oliver Vass, Keith Bell, John Fleming, Mary Clarke, Mark Bailey, Rebekah Bennetch, Matthew Sylvester, Brian Engler, Jack Scanlan, Dave Nattriss, MusicalComedyGuide.com, Aragorn Strider, Mark White, Lucy Spencer, Shane Jarvis, Emily Hill and Marcus P Knight.

If you enjoyed this blog, please support me on Patreon from just £1 a month and you’ll get to read a lot more of my writing.

 

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Lockdown Diary #4: Green tea and crazy dreams

Hello! Yesterday I kept to my calories. That doesn’t sound like much of an achievement, but trust me, it is. I usually get to about 7pm and go ‘fuck it, I’m going to binge!’ But not yesterday, and hopefully not today either. If I can just focus on one day at a time, I’ll get there eventually.

I have been drinking green tea in an adorable mug that my daughter got me for Mother’s Day in 2018:

lily-mug-1

lily-mug-2

I can’t say I really like green tea. I mean, it’s not horrible, but it’s no black tea with milk and sugar – and it’s no cappuccino with Demerara sprinkled on top. It’s just a bit meh. I drink it for my health, rather than because I like it.

My green tea is from the local Turkish shop and is called Dogadan.

dogadan

I have no idea what Dogadan means in Turkish, but in English it conjures up a picture of a dogger called Dan. This does not make the tea more appealing.

(I suppose that’s one plus of lockdown – no dogging is happening right now!)

In other news, isolation seems to be making my mental health worse – in particular, my OCD (nothing to do with hygiene or perfectionism, just intrusive thoughts). I suppose that’s unsurprising given how anxiety-provoking this whole situation is. It’s just something I have to deal with, I guess. The main thing to remember is that OCD never happens. It’s just fear, not reality.

I’m also having the weirdest, most wistful and vivid dreams about ex-boyfriends! Perhaps that’s because of the loneliness. I had the most amazing, 13-Going-on-30-style dream about going back in time and making everything right with my first proper boyfriend, who I went out with for seven years, from 15 to 22. I wonder if he ever thinks of me.

Better stuff: I’m loving my free Blinkist subscription. One of the main takeaways from a book I read yesterday, Happiness by Design by Paul Dolan, was that you’ll be happier without the distraction of your phone. So I’m going to try to stop playing Scrabble on it so much. I play lots of people but am going to try to stick to making one move a day on each game, first thing in the morning. I’ll get so much else done!

blinkist

I’ve decided to only weigh myself once a week, on a Tuesday – so that’s when I’ll next be updating my weight on here. It makes sense as your weight fluctuates so much, and sometimes I’ll have been dieting hard one day and weigh more the next, which will upset me. Weighing once a week seems more indicative of the actual (hopefully downward) trend.

Lastly, I keep forgetting what day it is. I always send my Patreon emails out on a Friday, but I completely missed yesterday. I’ll be sending them today, so sign up below if you want them!

This post has been made possible by my awesome Patreon supporters Peter Weilgony, Ricky Steer, Charlie Brooker, Mary and Tim Fowler, Steve Richards, Alan Brookland, Mark Ormandy, Oliver Vass, Keith Bell, John Fleming, Mary Clarke, Mark Bailey, Rebekah Bennetch, Matthew Sylvester, Brian Engler, Jack Scanlan, Dave Nattriss, MusicalComedyGuide.com, Aragorn Strider, Mark White, Lucy Spencer, Shane Jarvis, Emily Hill and Marcus P Knight.

If you enjoyed this blog, please support me on Patreon from just £1 a month and you’ll get to read a lot more of my writing.

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Lockdown Diary #3: Stats

Yesterday my legs felt so achy, it was as though a hippo had been bouncing up and down on them. To be honest, I’m not sure I’d call the police even if I woke up and there was a hippo on top of me. They’d turn up, survey the scene and be like ‘Which one’s the hippo?!’

hippo-47726_1280

 

In any case, I think the police are currently preoccupied with people grassing up their neighbours for taking a second daily walk.

Today I realised that I haven’t given you any measurements, so we can’t track how well I’m doing on my quest for an, ahem, ‘banging body’. So here goes:

I weigh… a whopping 12 stone 10.8lbs! Hopefully not for very long though.

IMG_5557

Here are my other measurements:

Waist: 36.5″

Stomach: 41″

Chest: 42.5″

Hips: 41.5″

Bum: 45″

Thigh: 21.5″

And here’s the obligatory ‘before’ photo – with no clothes on!

wildlife-4896742_1920

I’ve decided to go back to Slimming World, as it helps keep me accountable. They’re doing Zoom sessions right now where you get to see what other people’s living rooms look like. I’m ashamed to say I can never be arsed to get out of bed, so they get to see what my headboard looks like instead.

Yesterday I watched the first episode of a new Channel 4 show called Feel Good [stop reading now if you don’t want spoilers!]

feel-good

… a lesbian comedy-drama about a drug addict. It was funny and touching. The very likeable protagonist gets a Narcotics Anonymous sponsor who tells her to keep busy to take her mind off drugs.

This struck me as a very good idea (if possibly over-optimistic) to take my mind off food. I went to an Overeaters Anonymous meeting last year (you never hear about them, but they’re all over the place!) and I’d go back now if we weren’t in lockdown.

So here’s my To Do list for today:

  • contact all my friends to see how they are
  • work out with my mate Davina again
  • tidy the kitchen
  • keep reading Blinkist and make notes
  • go to Tesco to buy veg (so stressful!)
  • vacuum the house
  • call Lily
  • make a giant salad and eat it
  • stop referring to myself as a hippo

 

This post has been made possible by my awesome Patreon supporters Peter Weilgony, Ricky Steer, Charlie Brooker, Mary and Tim Fowler, Steve Richards, Alan Brookland, Mark Ormandy, Oliver Vass, Keith Bell, John Fleming, Mary Clarke, Mark Bailey, Rebekah Bennetch, Matthew Sylvester, Brian Engler, Jack Scanlan, Dave Nattriss, MusicalComedyGuide.com, Aragorn Strider, Mark White, Lucy Spencer, Shane Jarvis, Emily Hill and Marcus P Knight.

If you enjoyed this blog, please support me on Patreon from just £1 a month and you’ll get to read a lot more of my writing.

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