The Upside Down

I ventured out today to go to the boys’ school and pick up their books for the coming lock-down. It was nice to see the teachers and wish them well. They smiled and were positive, while acknowledging the new weirdness. Its like the world has become the town of Hawkins and we all now know The Upside Down exists, that the monsters are real, but we still aren’t really quite sure what to do about it. In contrast to the teachers the people I saw in the supermarket looked pretty grim, not much eye contact or smiling going on. A few people seemed like they were trying to go incognito – hoodies up, or sunglasses and hat on, shifty eyed expressions. I admit it felt really wrong going out after having been home all last week. Most people were good at keeping their distance, but there were still some who need to check in with a tape measure.

In other strangeness, after three, nearly four years of living here I’m starting to meet more of the neighbours beyond the two closest households. We discovered a parcel of lego, toys, magazines by our letterbox this morning, and Maia and I went for a walk along the road to talk to the sheep and ponies, and along the way met two other sets of neighbours, had a lovely chat with both groups – from a distance – and acquired a box of duplo and a half a dozen fresh eggs. We are really blessed to live here in the country thats for sure.

It’s crazy how the mundane continues in a time of crisis. We continue to get joy from life’s tiny details. Like when we discovered an old inflatable globe under the old pool deck. Que lots of jokes about discovering the world.

Luka is pleased to discover planets are at bargain basement prices these days, and that he gets to fulfill his dream of holding the whole world in his hands.

And our cat Dawn continues to be fat, despite diet restrictions.

Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.

Although I’m obviously concerned for her welfare, I LOVE her fluffy fat tummy. She does have an eating disorder though. She goes into ‘feed-me-now’ meow mode roughly infinity times more often than her sister Willow.

I am finding some things difficult about our new circumstances, like explaining to Maia about germs without freaking her out. She cried and cried the other day when she wanted to go to the pool. Wore her togs all day around the house. Luka has taken the opportunity to start some intense ‘learn your numbers’ sessions with her though, which is adorable. Luka: “Mum, listen to this, I’ve taught Maia the numbers 1 to 7! Maia, count to 7 for Mum?”. Maia: “1, 2, 3, 7!”. Maia grins in triumph, while Luka smacks his hand to his head and starts from the top.

I think the kids are weathering the situation well so far though. Their biggest stress at the moment is probably feeling guilty that they are happy they don’t have to go to school/daycare. They are all handling it differently. Luka swings a lot, Niko climbs trees, Maia spends a long time talking to her duplo.

Meanwhile I am keeping a weather eye on the biscuit supply (gotta make sure the gingernuts last, they are my preferred tea-dunker). We have no flour and are uncertain of whether when if ever we will get any. Which is sad, because I was hoping to bake through the crisis. I’m also clinging to a regular karate practice to keep me well. It is harder to keep the fears at 4am at bay the deeper we get into the gloom. But so far so good. Therapy writing is also helpful (enjoy!).

Niko up a tree, sloth-mode.

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