One thing or a mother: Thank goodness for schools – the saviours of sanity

So, how is everyone coping this time around?

I don’t think Lockdown 2 necessarily came as a massive surprise to any of us, but there is still something quite unsettling about the thought of life going back to how it was eight months ago.

The mere mention of home schooling sends a shiver down my spine...

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“Write neatly. Noooooooooo, not like that. That’s not how you spell it. Why are you doing this? Pay attention. Sit in the chair properly. Are you listening to me? Come on, just do it. You know this!”

Katherine's children playing at the beach in West Worthing SUS-201118-155831001

Sound familiar? Even the flashback is making me sweat a bit. So for now, I’m in a state of perpetual gratitude that schools and nurseries remain open as normal to everyone.

Otherwise, from my family’s point of view, it probably isn’t as scary as that very weird first day in March when we were told to stay indoors pretty much the whole time.

Don’t get me wrong, the deep-seated fears about the wider implications of all this on the mental health of my family and friends remain, but on a day-to-day basis, the less-restrictive restrictions provide a bit of welcome breathing space.

Last weekend (before the weather got all end-of-the-worldy again), I decided to enjoy the exercise freedom we’re allowed by cycling to Bramber.

Sometimes I put on make-up in lockdown.

I headed along the seafront to Shoreham, then took the Downs Link pathway northwards. It was great, I felt like a real part of the cycling community, saying hi to other riders as I passed them.

I got to Bramber Castle, and had a little break there while I had a snack, and took in some facts about the de Braose family, who used to live there – #everydayisaschoolday.

And then, feeling suitably smug at the success of my lockdown jaunt, I headed home. Five minutes into the journey, I heard the ominous sound of air hissing from my front tyre. Oh dear.

Suddenly, I was accutely aware I was completely unprepared for any such cycling disaster (turns out a backpack full of Cadbury’s brunch bars won’t save you if you have a puncture), so I had to drag my bike, saggy tyre between my legs, back to the road where I was rescued by my husband.

Not quite a part of the cycling elite just yet, then.(On getting home, my son decided to step in some fox poo in our garden and traipsed it all through our hallway before I realised. There are not enough puking-face emojis in the world to describe how gross and smelly this was. It was at this point I started to think maybe the government should have locked us in our house and thrown away the key this time – going outside is clearly fraught with danger.)

Undeterred, however, the next day we went for a walk along the seafront at West Worthing.

Sure, it was busy, but there was actually something really uplifting about seeing so many people outside, getting fresh air and enjoying the views.

It’s a hard balance to strike – we know we need to stay away from each other but equally people need to get outside for their own sanity.

Despite the number of people down there, we found it pretty easy to stay the required two metres away from people.

And as my husband and I sat on the beach, watching our two children happily playing on the rocks, I couldn’t help but feel lucky.

If nothing else, lockdown definitely makes you appreciate the small things.

Whatever your situation, I hope you’re all getting through this very weird time as best you can.

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