Diary of a Lockdown, day 174: I feel like ‘carping’

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In the nine days since I wrote here about our struggles to get a Covid-test for our symptomatic 15-year-old son, the chaos in the country’s testing system rarely been out of the headlines. After initially denying there were any problems, the government then blamed the public for demanding unnecessary tests; then admitted the backlog in the labs would […]

Diary of a Lockdown, day 165: ‘no test sites found’

Youngest child has a runny nose, headache, sore throat and cough. In normal times I’d tell him to soldier on, but he’s just started back to school and his whole year ‘bubble’ of more than 200 children will be told to stay home if he turns out to have Covid-19, so we’re doing the responsible […]

Diary of a Lockdown, day 160: end-of-summer blues

Morale has been wobbly this last week or so. There are money worries as the reality of having to cancel every yoga retreat planned for this year hits home. Two close friends have been made redundant after decades with their employers. A nephew let go from his job in retail at the start of lockdown […]

Diary of a Lockdown, day 136: back in the swim

Tooting Bec Lido opened today for the much-delayed first swim of the summer. I was one of many who spent Monday hovering on the overwhelmed website trying to book a ticket – and with success. So at 10.55am this morning I rode down on my bike, had my name checked off against a list of […]

Diary of a Lockdown, day 118: seaside and meals out

This weekend is the closest to ‘normal’ we’ve done since the start of Lockdown. On Friday afternoon we went down to Broadstairs, the traffic as congested as any other I can remember on the first weekend of the school summer holidays. We got there about six, just as dog restrictions on Stone Bay beach lifted […]

Diary of a Lockdown, day 114: is it safe to go out?

I’m making face-masks out of old T-shirts. As the government has stopped dithering and made face-masks compulsory in shops as well as on public transport, we are going to need a supply. I don’t want to be adding to the plastic waste in the oceans, so I’m hoping my family can be persuaded to use […]

Diary of a Lockdown, day 96: is it all over?

Clearly we’ve all had enough – of no pubs and clubs, no summer holidays, no birthday parties, no fun. The pressure has been building and now the lid has blown off and we’re streaming to the seaside, to party in the street, to have barbecues with neighbours. You can’t blame us on these long, hot […]

Diary of a Lockdown, day 88: back to flat-sharing days

I thought my days of sharing a home with inconsiderate flat-mates were long gone. But three months out of school and our teenagers are displaying some pretty anti-social tendencies. I’d become fairly used to washing-up piled in the sink and late-night frivolity waking me in the early hours; but now there is a new development […]

Diary of a Lockdown, day 78: reading about race

Is this a tipping point? After all the moments when people said “never again”: like after the 1981 riots, like after Cherry Groce, like after Stephen Lawrence, like after Grenfell… As the list goes on and on you realise that racism doesn’t sink as easily as a statue of a slave-trader under murky waters. I’m […]

Diary of a Lockdown, day 71: time travel

As lockdown rules continue to be eased, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to walk the dog. Now that six people are allowed to meet in the open air and households can mingle, the local parks and commons are crammed with people enjoying each other’s company – and the sunshine. So our Lab-Collie cross Bella had just […]