Monday 18 May 2020

Monday 18th May - Searching for news

Last week was almost like the week before 'lockdown' began in many ways - those days in which I dithered about whether I should just stop going into all the schools, and whether that was being over-cautious and making a fuss (heavend forfend that anyone should make a fuss!).

In the end I did stop, a week later than I would have liked, and only a few days before the magnitude of the effect of Covid19 began to dawn on people.

Now we are in the reverse scenario - should people be going back to work and should schools be re-opening? Again, I'm in the over-cautious camp - it is clear from the briefings that the 'politicians-in-charge' have absolutely no idea of what a modern infant class looks like - the days when 5-year-olds each sat at their own desk (like I did) and copied stuff off the blackboard (like I did) and sat on benches in the dining hall in rows, supervised by the staff, eating their school dinner off proper plates with a knife and fork (like I did) are long gone. Like many of the People-in-Power, I went to an old-fashioned prep school where the children were mostly constrained by middle class backgrounds and expectations of behaviour. The roughest rough-ness I ever experienced was maybe a bit of a shove at play time, or someone borrowing a pencil and 'breaking the nib'.

Time will tell - we will watch the statistics. My main aim at the moment is not to be on the wrong side of the statistics. There's nothing heroic about dying of stupidity.

So, what of my news?

In the immortal words of my daughter in reply to 'what have you been doing?' - it's 'same old same old' most of the time.

Are you interested to hear about the zoom piano lesson disruption for this week? Not the cat and rat scenario of last week - this time it was a Large Spider. The student requested permission to get a tissue (she's Very polite), disappeared out of view, reappeared as a blur as she ran towards the door and disappeared again. I could hear several loud 'bang crash blam' noises, then the toilet flushing. I'm hoping that neither spider nor tissue will have blocked their loo.

It reminded me of the time when Oti, our maid when we lived in Indonesia when I was much younger, was asked to get rid of some humungous cockroaches in the bathroom. She entered, armed with a broom, and then re-enacted one of the many chase scenes from the 'Tom and Jerry' cartoons, shrieks, bangs, shouts, until she ermerged five minutes later looking triumphant.

We've finally sorted out zoom for my father - the solution was to just buy another chrome book, same as the one he bought last year, but this time with camera and microphone. He has a significant  problem with the quality of his internet connection. Normally we would go round, and Himself would deal with BT and the various boxes and wires with dogged determination until it was all resolved. I'm still reeling in amazement that my father has managed to firstly install a new BT hub, get it working enough to discover that he could no longer get to the internet, and the next day re-instate the old equipment and get back online again. The thought of him being without internet drove me to prayer, all day and all night until it was working. (Well, lots of times during the day and the night). The problem is still there, but at least he can get online. 

I've 'zoomed' 23 times since the last blog post. Mostly teaching. Looking back, that does explain why I've tended to spend Saturday morning having a lie-in! Actually I have a bit of a lie-in every day; a Husband who brings breakfast in bed every day is a treasure beyond price.

Deliveries tend to be our main source of excitement, we had a real treat over the weekend. Himself managed to book a delivery with Tescos on Friday night; our first, and after weeks of failed attempts. You should have seen us, poring over the pictures on the screen. We get vegetables, fruit, milk, eggs, meat and cat food delivered and then ask friends and neighbours to buy other stuff like breakfast cereal, tea, etc. I don't like asking them to go searching for specific brands of pickled gherkins, cold meats, cheese etc so this was our chance to restock with life's little luxuries. Although we forgot garlic and croissants. Another time.

Oh well - that's my 'same old, same old' for this week in respect to news. I'm about to post on books next...


  1. So many churches were using Zoom yesterday morning in the UK that it crashed! We do our service on YouTube so all was OK. But we do have afterchurchzoomcoffee and that was utterly chaotic. I'm trying to organise a better backdrop for my screen view after someone said "Is that your junk room?" I'm torn between now BBC Playschool windows or IKEA lounge (both free to download) I have no idea how you get 5yr olds to socially distance...

  2. I love your ZOom stories!
    Yes, I am not sure what to do in terms of school. I just find it bizarre that the reasoning has not been given for going back and in our school, we have a LOT of SEND children in Year 1 and Reception (who need individual adults) - some classes have to have 3 extra adults at a time and some of these children have no idea of how to distance, they bite, scratch, run off, attack other children- our school is SUPER cramped and we have 3 classes in each year group- so if they all came back (also my school seems to be expecting back Nursery children)we will have 270 children (without Nursery) and 300 with Nursery and our playground is TINY. With all of them back, we'd have 630 children in the playground at lunchtime (did I say it is tiny?)