Lockdown With My Family in Southsea: Day 18, Enough Already

Local parent, researcher and writer, Maddie Wallace, continues her daily diary describing the experience first, self-isolating, and now being in lockdown with her children in Southsea. It’s Day 18 and Maddie continues to struggle with an over-sexed kitten and is surprised by shoppers’ behaviour in Fareham.

Oh please help me. That bloody kitten.  

He’s progressed from making out with cuddly toys to using my children’s limbs. I’ve called the vets and asked them to reconsider neutering him, otherwise I run the risk of turning into one of those people on The Tiger King and having to wear a gun around the house in order to protect my kids. Rampant adolescence. Everywhere. The receptionist is going to speak to the practice manager to see if they’re allowed to do the op now that he’s humping children. No one expects lockdown to be easy, but seriously… enough already! 

And also enough already is Fareham.  

I went there yesterday to take some shopping to my 82 year old parents. They would definitely have gone to the shops otherwise, so it had to be done. I thought the stressful part would be leaving my kids in the car together outside the shop, but the worst thing that happened was A taking her clothes off while I was gone and throwing her tights at Z, who had a crisis about his arm being touched by tights that had been near her bum. No, the stressful part was people in Aldi wandering around browsing the aisles as if it’s just another normal shopping trip, most of them making absolutely no effort with social distancing at all.  

I still needed eggs so risked another shop, a local Coop near to my parents’ house. The shop has put the yellow lines on the floor in front of the cash registers to show customers where to stand, but they haven’t bothered to change their display area in front of the tills, so in order to get to a cashier, customers have to walk into the social distance space between you and the till you’re being served at. Inches in front of you. Someone less than 2 feet behind me in the queue was repeatedly coughing.  

I’ve not seen this happening in Southsea. I admit I haven’t been to many shops because I’m trying to avoid them for obvious reasons, but the ones I have been to have really nailed it. The Coop on Highland Road only lets in a certain number of people, has made the aisles one way, and has changed their till display area to ensure customers and staff can maintain social distancing. The complacency in Fareham is astonishing. When Coronavirus: The Movie comes out, the scenes where the virus keeps spreading need to be set there. I should let Tom Hanks know as he’s bound to be in it.  

When I got to my parents’ house they stood on their front grass while I unloaded the shopping, keeping the car containing my children between us a safe social distancing barrier. My mum, bless her, had a bag of cleaning products she’d dug out of one of her many reserve cupboards that she thought I should have as I’d need them more. I tried to have a conversation with them over the roof of the car about how ludicrously dangerous their local shops are, but they’re deaf, I’m deaf, my mum and I didn’t have our hearing aids in, and A was repeatedly screaming at Z for looking at her funny. To be fair to her, he was making a particularly horrible face. But that was the second time in two days that I couldn’t even have a simple conversation with people I really love and really miss because those 3 were playing up. I told them that when I gave up trying to talk to my folks and got back in the car. I asked them to think about how they’d feel if they couldn’t be with me, and the one time they got to see me was cut short by people screaming. We drove home in silence. No one wound anyone up, no one screamed, and no one shouted ‘Muuuuuum! He’s looking at me funny!’  

Something good did happen though. Beryl The Blue arrived to live with us. Beryl is a 1950s style carpet sweeper who’s going to save my back and my sanity while my children are off school and dropping crap all over the floor. S and I were watching Rocket Man on Tuesday evening and Elton John’s mum was using one. It reminded me that I’ve always wanted a carpet sweeper, ever since the mid 1990s when H’s dad bought me an Eddie Izzard stand up video for my birthday. Eddie Izzard does a great impression of a carpet sweeperhud-dud-dudahud-dud-duda, dust I’m going to whisk you! Amazon – damn I hate using them – delivered it in under 48 hours. To my surprise, it actually works too.  

Getting a carpet sweeper has made my day. That’s the stage of isolation I’m at now.  


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Maddie will be sharing her experiences every day on S&C – you can find each day’s diary and all of Maddie’s previous articles for S&C here.

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