Historically in Micawber Manor we’ve relished the prospect of a school holiday. In peacetime it would mean a conscious thinning of the adults’ workload, with perhaps even the prospect of stuffing a train ticket into the children’s pockets, followed by a swift phone call to a distant aunt alerting them to the imminent arrival of two miniature psychopaths.
No such luck in 2021. We muddled through our mid-term break without the slightest inclination for revising schoolwork, and avoided any of our children having to visit the local hospital. Much of the time from the moment they officially deserted the pretend classroom was spent resembling the frozen fauna of Narnia, as winter descended on our village.
Great drifts of snow and utterly impassable roads provided moments of great merriment for the idle hillbilly. Lorry drivers who’d forgotten to eat their Yorkie and speeding imbeciles found themselves marooned in the land that time forgot. We and fellow villagers didn’t even flick the curtains. To provide maximum terror several of us just stood in our little plots and stared as they created snow angels with their motors. None ever left their vehicle.
All good things must pass however and the great thaw at the beginning of this week came along at the perfect time – the resumption of home school. Starting as we meant to go on, we clocked in on day one first thing, only returning to actual schoolwork at what should have been bedtime. Cerberus rarely sleeps, preferring to go out and hunt babies at night, so he was duly plonked at the kitchen table with his schoolbooks until he wept for bed.
My logic here was simple. I have to sit up all night working because of lockdown; thus shall ye. He hated it, which mirrors my sentiments.
Often my mind drifts to life when we lived in a civilised country; travelling wherever we wished and working in cities across the UK. I complained at the time, and whilst lockdown has provided ample ‘getting to know you’ time with the chiddlers, I’d really like to get to know more adults whilst supping a pint in a pub after a day pretending we were all important in the office.
Lockdown has been the humbling experience of a lifetime. Some friendships have been discarded and others forged, and the liberties we all expected were ours have been tossed into a skip.
I spend more time now writing actual letters to friends and loved ones. Almost all include a commitment to the biggest drinking session of our lives when we are permitted by the White Witch to end the perma-winter.
Both Cerberus and Medusa are beginning to unravel at this stage. They did last summer too; put simply they were sick of the sight of mum and dad. I don’t blame them. I can’t bear to look at them either.
We may love our nearest and dearest, but absence truly makes the heart grow fonder. Cerberus is positively gagging for his friends; crikey even his teacher. Medusa has been reduced to hysterical fits when her morning bowl of cornflakes doesn’t contain precisely 159 pieces of cereal.
The small things have become the hand grenades of old, and I rather think we’re the worse off for it. If our home is anything to go by, there are four humans living here willing to make a blood sacrifice if someone so much as looks at us the wrong way.
I may need to order a bigger wickerman for our village summer party. Everyone’s invited…