Lockdown Diary: Cake

My love of cake is well-documented, rivalled only by my daughter’s love of cake. I think I definitely passed on the cake-loving gene, as displayed in this clip from Lily’s 2nd birthday party. It must have been quite a cake to withstand her attempts to grab it!

She was a very cute angel-fairy-cherub then, but she’s even sweeter these days. Tonight on the phone, she said she loved me, and I said ‘If you love me, everything is right with my world’.

She said ‘Well then everything will always be right with your world, ’cause I’ll always love you.’

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: Squeamish

Guys, guys. I thought I was brave enough to do the Thriva test, but no: it turns out I’m a total wuss. I watched their video on taking your own blood, and nearly fainted! You need to give them two tubes of blood. TWO TUBES.

This article from Metro on the process didn’t help either – it says ‘IT HURT… I wasn’t prepared for the amount of sore I was experiencing.’

Bugger that for a game of soldiers! So I’ve requested a refund and had it processed.

I wish I were brave enough to have my health tested, but I’m not. On the plus side, I’m brave enough to stand up in front of thousands of people and tell jokes, so I’ll have to console myself with that.

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: Learning

I spent today learning how to officiate at funerals, taught by two accredited celebrant trainers from Humanists UK. I was really impressed by the quality of the training – it was all perfectly structured and carefully thought through. Everyone on the course was really friendly and personable and I found myself thoroughly enjoying the day. I had thought that learning to take funerals would be sombre, but it wasn’t at all.

This is only stage 1 of the course though — I have to successfully pass all three stages before I get accredited and am able to practise. That will hopefully be in late June. It will be a real honour to help celebrate people’s lives with their loved ones.

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: Training

I start my funeral celebrant training tomorrow with Humanists UK, from 10am to 4pm. I wonder what it’s going to be like? The instructors seem really nice so I have high hopes. I’ve decided to start with funerals instead of weddings, as humanist weddings aren’t yet legal in England, meaning you need to have a civil service as well for your marriage to be official. However, humanist weddings are legal in Scotland and the uptake for them has grown a lot. I’m hoping the same thing will happen in England next year.

Of course, weddings are currently suspended in the whole of the UK. Such crazy times. It seems unthinkable that mass gatherings will ever be held again. This Guardian article says coronavirus distancing may need to continue until 2022! Absolutely surreal.

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: Thriva

The eight-year-old has spent the past day building her first website for kids, Learning to Love Lockdown, and her Uncle Graham has very kindly designed a brilliant logo for it!

LTLL-logo

Hopefully she’ll become a techpreneur and earn a million by the time she’s 18…

In other news, I’ve been thinking about my health. My mum thinks I might be Type 2 diabetic as she’s pre-diabetic. Fortuitously, I got a promo code for a cheap test from a health service that’s been following me around the internet, called Thriva. You send them a fingerprick sample of your blood and they analyse it and let you know how healthy you are (and, in my case, whether I’m diabetic or not).

Three months later, after eating incredibly healthily in my case, you repeat the process (which will cost £79, which is almost as painful as giving the blood sample!) and learn how your markers have changed. Hopefully they’ll have improved – it’ll be fascinating to see.

I should receive the test kit in the post in the next few days, so will blog about it. Watch this space!

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: Teenager

I have given birth to a teenager! I didn’t realise until yesterday, when the eight-year-old asked to try on a black sequinned dress I’d bought for when I’m skinny again. When she put it on, I was shocked to see an 18-year-old staring back at me.

black-dress-2

I half-expected her to say ‘Right Mum, I’m off clubbing – I’ll see you in the morning!’ It kind of shook me up and made me think how fleeting childhood is – in just ten days, she’ll turn nine, and be exactly halfway through her childhood.

black-dress-3

Luckily her size 1 feet are still tiny in my size 6 boots! She was also very taken with my red leopard print boots that I wore on the cover of The Times a few years ago. ‘These aren’t hard to walk in at all!’ she enthused. ‘If my feet were the same size, it would be easy. People always say that walking in high heels is hard, but it’s not.’

leopard-boots

In younger more childlike news, we made ‘corner bookmarks’, using instructions from Lily’s new favourite book, 101 Things for Kids to Do on a Rainy Day.

bookmark-instructions

I made one for her:

mum-corner-bookmark

She made one for me:

lily-bookmark

And she made one for her younger half-sister, whose name also starts with L:

luna-bookmark

She also became engrossed in The Girls’ Book of Secrets, while drinking some very healthy apple juice:

girls-book-secrets

And, in an unusual display of helpfulness, she helped me water the plants.

watering-plant

And we went out and sat in the garden in the sun, marvelling at how blue the sky was.

blue-sky

I think Lily must be part-German, as she loves rocking socks with sandals!

lil-garden

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: Doings

Thank you all very much for your plumbing help. Today I’ve had more plumbing troubles, but now they’re the internal variety, if you catch my drift. Which still necessitates spending time in the bathroom…

I’m still working my way through a To Do list I made on Sunday. I’ve ticked ‘unblock drains’ as I’ve done as much as I can. I’m tempted to buy a ‘drain snake’ (thanks Keith) but given the trouble I had putting the trap back on, I think I’ll just wait for my ex to come down and solve the problem. We have a saying in our house: ‘Leave it to Graham!’

doings

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: Bathtime!

My bath is refusing to drain and is thoroughly disgusting. Since there’s about as much chance of getting a plumber during lockdown as there is of getting the Queen to do backflips in my garden (you’re welcome to Queenie, if you’re reading this), I had to roll up my sleeves and get dirty.

I assumed that there was some kind of blockage that was stopping the bath from draining, so I mopped up all the scummy water in the bathtub and got to work.

Firstly, I took the plunge. No, I didn’t dive into the bath – I used a plunger and squelched it up and down on the plughole. When I filled the bath again, it didn’t drain, so I abandoned the plunging. I also tried to stick some jewellery pliers down the plughole and managed to fish out two big clumps of hair, but the bath still didn’t drain.

plunger

Next, following cleaning guru Mrs. Hinch’s instructions, I poured bicarbonate of soda down the drain, followed three minutes later by distilled vinegar, and ten minutes later by a kettle full of boiling water. The bath quickly filled with water and scum again and smelt like boiling vinegar, which was incredibly foul and made me want to puke! So that was a non-starter.

At this point, I called my ex-husband. He used to be a labourer and has 23 years’ experience in the building trade, so he knows his stuff. With the aid of FaceTime, he talked me through taking the bath panel off and removing the trap from the U-bend. I had to lie down on my side on the floor, unscrew both threaded ends and then stick a broom handle down the pipe to try and dislodge any blockage. A load of silt and stones came out but nothing major. However, I felt like a boss when I managed to get the trap back on successfully and it didn’t leak!

u-bend

After my foray into the U-bend, I hoped that the silt and stones were the blockage. However, then I brushed my teeth in the bathroom sink and the bath filled up with water and scum again, so there’s something deeper going on here, which I’ll ask my ex to investigate after we leave self-isolation. The whole exercise was a bit futile, but it was interesting nonetheless, though I currently have no plans to become a plumber.

I’ve spent most of the day clearing up the mess in my bathroom. But hey, what else is there to do during lockdown?!

bathroom

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: Song

I wrote a list of things I missed yesterday, to be sung to the tune of My Favourite Things:

Things That I Miss

Hand sanitizer and my Nana’s laughter
Not disinfecting my shopping straight after
Swedish massages and romantic bliss
These are a few of the things that I miss

Asking ‘how are you?’ without any subtext
Standing pressed up to the man in the queue next
Coughing in public with nothing amiss
These are a few of the things that I miss

Andrex Quilts loo roll and Tesco fusilli
Baked beans and sardines and a long hard willy
Warm sexy cuddles, a lingering kiss
These are a few of the things that I miss

When I feel hot
When I feel weak
With a suspicious cough
I simply remember the things that I miss
And then I don’t feel pissed off

(I haven’t gotten ill yet, touch wood. Though touching wood is something I miss too!)

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: Motivation

My diet is going brilliantly, thanks to the eight-year-old. She put the following notices on the kitchen snack cupboards full of biscuits:

Motivation 2Motivation 1Motivation 3

I think I’m actually going to succeed at my diet this time!

Lily sequinned top

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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