Lockdown Diary #39: Girls

I’m glad I had a girl rather than a boy, as I think I’m better at parenting a girl. Don’t get me wrong, I know I’d love a son just as much, and boys are great – a lot of my friends are boys, possibly because of my very juvenile sense of humour – but I’m not really that interested in dinosaurs or cars or building model train sets (shout-out to regular commenter Guillaume here – hi Guillaume!).

And I’m pretty sure Guillaume wouldn’t be that interested in hair accessories and jewellery and makeup (correct me if I’m wrong), whereas the nine-year-old and I are always painting each other’s nails and plaiting each other’s hair.

Talking about this kind of thing is an absolute minefield as people say ‘That’s gender stereotyping! Girls can like trucks and boys can like dresses!’ And of course that’s absolutely true – and if I had a boy who liked dresses I’d be happy for him to wear them, and the same is true of Lily if she liked trucks.

But thankfully for me, she doesn’t, as I couldn’t be less interested in them – and I think it’s fair to say that’s the same of most girls I know. Updos and hair accessories, on the other hand, make for a fun girly afternoon in our house.

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.

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Lockdown Diary #38: Set

The nine-year-old is back with me today, and as well as spending the weekend playing Rummy, we’ll also be playing a card game called Set.

It’s a fascinating game all about visual perception. You have to spot sets of cards with the same characteristics – shape, colour, number and shading – or a set of cards with completely different characteristics to one another! The person with the most sets at the end wins.

Being a visual game, it’s very hard to explain, but you quickly get the hang of it and then it’s addictive. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes card games.

Don’t play the nine-year-old, though. She’s the undisputed reigning champion and will definitely beat you!

lily-set

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.

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Lockdown Diary #37: 99p

Just a tiny blog post to say: my funny and entertaining book TALK YOURSELF BETTER (which is all about therapy and medication) is only 99p right now on Kindle. And who better to tell you all about it than, er, me?!

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.

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Lockdown Diary #36: Model house

I’m so impressed with the nine-year-old. She’s made a 3D model house out of cardboard and paper! It only has two rooms so far but it’s a great start. This is the other room:

model-house-lily-2

‘Work hard and be nice to people’, indeed. I’m proud of her for doing both.

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.

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Lockdown Diary #35: Letting go

I looked at myself in the mirror, obese and dishevelled with white roots showing in my hair, and thought: ‘I’ve let myself go.’

Then it struck me that, in other areas of one’s life, ‘letting go’ is a positive thing, associated with freedom and closure.

And there is a certain amount of freedom in not caring what you look like. You’re free of the constraints of having to dye your hair every three weeks, and get a weekly blow dry, and have your eyebrows shaped, and remove all your unwanted body hair, and put on makeup each day.

These things take time, effort and money. But you can only be free of them if you’re prepared to accept and not care about society’s judgement of you – otherwise, the burden of that judgement is the price you pay for your freedom, and means you’re not really free at all.

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.

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Lockdown Diary #34: Rummy

I just taught the nine-year-old the card game Rummy. One of my happiest childhood memories (thankfully there are a few) was staying with my loving grandparents in Leicester, where my wonderful Nan would play Rummy with me. I remember her bangles clicking and her long hot pink-painted fingernails clacking as she rearranged her cards.

She usually won, and it turns out that the nine-year-old has inherited her talent. We played a ‘best-of-three’ set yesterday, and she beat me by winning two games in a row, meaning we didn’t even play all three!

Maybe Rummy will become one of her happiest childhood memories too. I hope there will be thousands of sweet memories for her to choose from.

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.

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Lockdown Diary #33: Unicorn

The nine-year-old has been amusing herself by doing more arts and crafts. Above is a toilet roll unicorn she made. John joked, ‘That’s a very expensive unicorn!’

She’s also been writing a diary. Apparently people can die from boring homeschooling! Who knew?

Diary

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.

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Lockdown Diary #32: Mansion

For years, I’ve dreamt about living in a stunning house like the one above in Regent’s Park. They’re located in two little roads called Park Village East and Park Village West, and I’d buy one if I won the EuroMillions (difficult, as I don’t do the EuroMillions!). They’re worth £8m each and are so, so beautiful, like fairy tale houses.

However, I am wondering whether the owners – and owners of other mansions – are cleaning them themselves right now? Because they probably can’t get their cleaners to come round! So they might have to actually do some manual labour for the first time ever, or in a very long time, or have a filthy house.

For once, I’m glad that my house is comparatively very tiny!

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.

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Lockdown Diary #31: Balloons again

Lily’s very cute three-year-old half-sister came round earlier. She was very excited as the whole house is still decked out in confetti and balloons from last weekend’s party. I said she could have some balloons to take home, but Lily was a bit sad to lose her balloons, so I’ve now rashly promised to keep buying and blowing up balloons so that the whole house is always festooned with them! I buy them cheaply in big packs so they’ll cost me less than £40 a year.

Pretty sure this is bonkers but it does make the house look very bright and happy, so why not?!

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.

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Lockdown Diary #30: Wrong

Today everything kept going wrong! First I went out to buy sweet potatoes for a vegan chilli and ended up buying white potatoes by mistake (what can I say? They were red and looked like sweet potatoes. I should have looked more closely, but was wearing goggles and trying to get in and out of the supermarket quickly, as you can imagine).

I decided to make the vegan chilli anyway, and then my induction hob decided to break in the middle of cooking, after I’d chopped all the veg. It’s been faulty for ages – years, in fact – and when it was in warranty, Miele sent blokes round FOUR TIMES to try and fix it, but they were unable to. A new one will cost me £759, and I can’t get one installed right now anyway, so I’m hobless (or should that be ‘hobbled’?!)

Thankfully I have a microwave and oven, so I improvised and put the pan in the latter. It was oven-safe but I forgot that it would be hot when I took it out, as it doesn’t heat up much on the induction hob. So now I have a lovely big blister on my hand! Marvellous.

Today would have been my third wedding anniversary, but I’m not superstitious so that has no significance whatsoever. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

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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