The Lockdown Blog, Day 4

Monday 16th March


I sit down to breakfast. Paddy (18) already has the books out on the dining table. Liv (15) is his study buddy, and she is nowhere to be seen. I phone up to her bedroom but get nothing more than a grunt. Paddy takes the phone. “It’s ten past nine, you’re late for home-school, what’re ye at?” he says. I am impressed, but it’s not 100% fair because Paddy and I are Early Birds, and are highly awake and chatty in the morning.


I notice that the dock leaves are growing again. In the light of the fact that the toilet paper panic-buyers have spoiled it for everyone else, I would suggest that the dock leaves have shown astonishingly poor timing in their reappearance, and I am inspired to draw a cartoon to reflect this.


Sometimes making dinner gets put back a little because I don’t want to stop working, and today is one of those days. I have been spending too much time procrastinating these days, so when I’m on a roll I prefer to keep going. But it’s getting late, and I reluctantly leave the studio. There’s still a tiny bit of light and I dodge the twigs and branches still strewn on the path after the demolition of the playground on Saturday.

My husband Marcel is washing dishes as I cook chilli, and we start discussing coronavirus news. This inevitably leads to a disagreement over the UK “herd immunity” approach. We both have a science background so we’re not unable to “understand the maths and science” as a person on Twitter put it. Marcel is British, a Londoner, and we don’t see eye-to-eye about the current administration. Things start to escalate. I make a few unfortunate comments and we rapidly reach a crescendo. Honor (20) joins us. She is not put off by a row, and to lighten the mood, asks Marcel who he’d rather take on in a street fight, a Yardie gang or Isis. He says he doesn’t want to play stupid games. She insists, says someone has a gun to his head and he has to answer. I head into the pantry before I explode with laughter. Marcel has had enough and heads back to his office. I see the flour and brown sugar and I decide an apple crumble would put him in a better mood – no one wants their loved ones to be upset – and I ask Liv if she will do it.

“But it’s your “apology apple crumble”,” she says, “how come I have to do it?” I explain that it’s only fair seeing as I’ve been working all day and would like to put my feet up now that I’ve made the dinner. She sees the justice in that, puts on an apron on and gets crumbling. I decide to draw her instead of putting my feet up.

My yellow letters don’t come out very strongly, then I remember I have yellow ink that I can outline them with. The issue is fixed. Liv has been gazing at photos of Japanese gardens with the aim of turning the demolished playground into one. She rakes the surface of the crumble into a nice Japanese pattern.


We sit down to dinner. Everyone is friends again. The chilli is delicious and the apple crumble even better. Paddy is very disappointed that he won’t be indulging in his “St. Patrick’s Day pub crawl”. I am not. He wants to go on a Room Crawl instead. We realise that’s a bit sad and agree to have an Irish coffee for St. Patrick’s Day instead.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


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