Saturday 28th March, 2020

A later wake up today, 7:30 before I was properly conscious. Tea in bed listening to the the Front Row podcasts for the week then up to make breakfast – hashbrowns, bacon brummie cakes, sausage and scrambled egg today then off to Tesco for the shopping.

Bigger queue today than on Tuesday but still very orderly and Tesco are doing a great job of organising everyone. They had toilet rolls in again today so I was able to buy a pack of 9 which will see us through another couple of weeks I think. No contact lens solution though which is a worry. I drove today as I needed to get drinks which will make it too heavy to carry in the backpack. Roads were really quiet. Filled up with diesel too – Tesco is pay-at-pump only at the moment so I needed to help the man in front of me who didn’t know how to work the pumps.

Garden visitor today.

While I was shopping “S” found this little fellow in the garden. We’re going to try and get it into a tupper and take it down to the river when we take “C” for a walk in a few minutes. Can’t let “C” into the garden while it’s there as I think she’ll ‘worry’ it.

The walk was quite cold today – the wind was icy and cut through my fleece. We managed to let the toad go safely and finished the walk with no incident. There were several other people out so “C” was on her lead the whole way round. The sun kept breaking through the clouds and at one point the Wallace Monument looked amazing. The photo really doesn’t do it justice.

We checked on the frogspawn. There is still plenty of water in the wheelruts and it looks like some of them are close to hatching out to tadpoles.

Lunch was straight after we got back, I bought a nice tiger bread baguette which we had with cheese and beans. After lunch “I” got on with some work she had to do, “S” went upstairs while “E” and I played the Marvel Lego game on the X Box for a while.

Ended up ordering my contact lens solution from Amazon so can relax about that again now.

3 o’clock is board game time and today we played the Really Nasty Horse Racing Game. In the end “I” won after a very astute 1,500,000 bet on the winning horse in the last round.

We listened to the Musicals playlist while we played – An American in Paris, Beauty and the Beast, Bedknobs and Broomsticks and Calamity Jane.

Time to prepare dinner after the game so I am now in the midst of making pork goulash with rice and veg. A bit of an old favourite cop-out dinner but we all like it. No tinned tomatoes so I have used pasata today – a bit runnier but should still be OK.

Continuing the girls film education, we watched The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Tim Curry at his absolute best! They loved it so much we’ll be listening to that soundtrack and Little Shop of Horrors soundtrack during our next board games session.


Friday March 27th, 2020

Slept a little later this morning – woke about 6:30 which was nice. Listened to some more of the BBC Podcast Murmurs while having the morning tea then up to make breakfast. A bit of a mix and match to use up some leftovers today. Choice of toasted malt loaf or crumpies. Everyone managed to have what they wanted so all good.

“S” woke with a migraine so went back to bed after breakfast while the rest of us took “C” for her walk for our daily allowed exercise. Not many people out today but “C” could smell a dog in the distance and was a bit too bonkers so she was on her lead for half the walk unfortunately. The frogspawn seems to be surviving in the wheel ruts after the floods. We are concerned the water will dry up before they have grown enough to leave but they seem OK at the moment.

My turn to use the computer so managed to apply for 4 jobs today – let’s see how they go! A mix of enthusiasm for them but I need to be working properly from August so I can’t be too fussy. Listening to iTunes 101 Essential Opera Classics while I’m working.

Just heard that Boris Johnson has tested positive for COVID-19. I struggle to feel sympathy but wouldn’t wish the virus on anyone. I hope he isn’t too ill but then I also worry that if he isn’t he will use it as a reason to limit support for other people. I have no trust in his basic humanity!

We watched Lego Star Wars over lunch – quite funny. We have some of them on DVD but there are new ones available on Disney+. After lunch, “E” and I spent the afternoon playing the Lego Marvel game on the X Box – surprisingly good fun. “S” has spent the day in bed, feeling better as the day’s gone on but not fully recovered. It’s a luxury for her to be able to rest a migraine – normally she struggles through under the power of painkillers.

Making Mince & Onion pie and chips for dinner, a firm family favourite and real comfort food. Listening to some Bruce Springsteen while I am cooking.

Need to work out the logistics of going shopping tomorrow. Do we get up at the usual weekday time so I can head down for opening when they’ll hopefully be fairly well stocked or do we lie in and I risk going down later? We’re not too badly stocked for a few more days but there are some fresh things I’d like to replenish. I was reading about the amount of food being trhown away after the first few days of panic buying – it’s disgusting really, we’ve shopped slightly more regularly but have bought less than usual each time not more but the supermarkets just don’t seem to be abale to get on top of their basic stock. I hope that toilet rolls start to appear again soon – we’ve got enough for about 10 days because, again, we only bought what we usually buy.

I think a nice Friday night Ale is allowed today.

Unpleasant thoughts time – we probably need to talk to the girls about what they should do if “S” and I get the virus and are proper poorly with it. We’re trying to make sure we always have about a week’s worth of food in so they should be ok – just need to organise for replacing the fresh produce halfway through the week. I make up a menu for meals anyway so that when we shop we but what we need and they are both capable of following recipes if they put their minds to it. If not, we’ll suffer scrambled egg and quesedillas every day! Not really a nice thought but a conversation we probably need to have. Fortunately they’re 17 and 14 so old enough to understand without dwelling on it too much.

Hmmm, a Perfect Day like this would be nice at the moment!

Dinner was nice, followed by a Bailey’s Coffee while we watched The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. It is years since I had seen it and I had completely forgotten how totally inappropriate the sexual politics were. None of those teachers would make it past the vetting processes today (thankfully). Still, it’s a good film and Maggie Smith is, of course, excellent.

The film finished about 10:10 so bedtime then. Listened to the Kermode on Film podcast while we fell asleep.

We talked about what to do if “S” and I do get ill with the girls. They know what food we have in and how to work out how to make best use of it, they know who to call if they need help with anything and they know what to do if either of us need medical treatment so, although not a nice conversation to have had, one I think was important to have.


Thursday March 26th, 2020

Awake about 5:30 again. Managed to snooze through some episodes of the BBC podcast Murmers. Very good. Tea in bed (thanks Dad for giving us Mam’s old Teasmade – very 80s but so much better than arguing over whose turn it is to get up to make it).

Thinking about the utter tosh I’ve written here so far and wondering how long it will take for me to actually develop some form of skill in blog writing (or is life in lockdown just desperately dull?).

The milkman came this morning which was a relief – we’d not heard they weren’t but equally we hadn’t had a confirmation that they were able to keep delivering. I guess since they are delivering essential foodstuffs they are key workers. Love getting milk delivered again, odd how very simple things are quite exciting after living abroad for so long.

Breakfast was Hot Cross Buns today, I do like the fact that these are available all year round now. They are so much tastier than teacakes for a breakfast. The dog walk was very quiet. We saw one other dog walker (someone else with a crazy rescued dog). “C” managed to come back when called 4 times today – real progress! We’ll keep at it, the problem with her is that once she sees another dog (or birds, or rabbit) she just loses all control and runs. She also sounds really loud and looks aggressive so she frightens other people. It’s because her teeth are slightly too big for her mouth so when she barks it looks like she’s also snarling.

Very little sound from the motorway and “S” has downloaded a birdsong app so today we heard the following:

Blue Tit (
Mallard (
European Oystercatcher (
Eurasian Skylark (
Herring Gull (
Lesser Black Backed Gull (
European Glodfinch (
Crows – lots and lots of Crows (

Didn’t see the Crane today, hope nothing has happened to it.

Listening to our David Bowie playlist today, Best of Bowie just now.

After we come back from the walk and have washed/dried the dog, it’s ‘work’ time. “S” gets control of the main computer today and the girls are upstairs trying to keep on top of school work. It’s worrying for “I” as she has her SQA National Qualifications this year and having the exams cancelled and not having coursework marked means she’s worried about how her grades are going to be calculated. We have to trust the SQA and the school that whatever they do will be done fairly and that she’ll get the results she deserves. At least she’ll always be able to say that her results from this year were during Coronavirus. It’ll be a while before this fades from communal memory.

Wondering what the impact will be when we get to the other side. Hopefully it will have sounded the death knell to the recent Tory Party idealogical assault on collaboration and support systems in favour of rampant capitalism. Nicola Sturgeon seems to have got the jump on Boris Johnson on every major announcement and the Scottish government are currently looking into bringing in Universal Basic Income in Scotland. I’m a supporter of this as I think it will remove many people from poverty and will free many others up to do more charity and voluntary work. We’ll see what comes of it.

Lunch today was a mix and match of leftovers. Pea & Mint soup for me, noodles for “S” and “I”and Moussaka for “E”. We watched The Repair Shop – I would love to work in a place like that. My dream is to have a house with a garage or barn big enough to have as a workshop. Something very like we set up at the school in Peru. I wonder if The Repair Shop team would be interested in restopring Mam’s old piano? It’ll cost more to repair than it is worth but it has plenty of sentimental value. Might contact them to see.

This afternoon’s board game fest saw us playing Dixit. An excellent game that “I” first played in Romania with her friends then recommended to us. It’s really good.

Made Chicken Tikka Masala with curried vegetables and rice for dinner. Really nice recipe: Marinade chicken pieces (I used Tesco mini chicken breast fillets) in Greek yoghurt with a heaped treaspoon of Tikka Spice and a teaspoon of oil. Finely chop 2 onions and fry until soft. Add chopped garlic, grated ginger, 5 cloves, 1 bay leaf, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon chilli powder, 1.5 teaspoons coriander, 1.5 teaspoons ground cumin, 0.25 teaspoons turmeric, 1 can chopped tomatoes and 1 cup water. Reduce until lightly thickened. Dry fry the chicken until cooked through a darkened on outside and set aside.

Empty a can of cocnut milk into a pan with a heaped teaspoon of curry powder and 2 curry leaves. Boil until about 1 cm remains in the pan. Add the veg, put a lid on the veg and gently steam in the coconut liquid until cooked tender.

Add the chicken to the masala sauce mix about 10 minutes before serving. We had with Basmati and Wild rice while listening to the Popmaster Podcast.

Continued the girl’s movie education this evening by watching Breakfast Club. Still an excellent film but with some dubious sexual politics by today’s standards. Finished the night off with 2 episodes of Star Trek Discovery to please “E”.


Wednesday March 25th, 2020

Happy Birthday to my sister. This’ll be a birthday she won’t forget!

Up about 8:20 after a tea in bed and some more of Mortal Engines audiobook. Crumpies for breakfast with Philli and our usual juices. Crumpies are a really easy recipe fom our Jamie Oliver Great British cook book. Over breakfast we listened to podcasts as usual. This morning we finished an episode of Dan Snow’s History Hit, listened to this week’s Discovery podcast and started on the Click podcast.

Out with the dog after breakfast again – I’m enjoying us all going out as a family even if the girls could think of better things to do. Weather wasn’t as good today but the motorway was even quieter and there were fewer other dog walkers out.

It was my turn to hog the computer when we got back so I completed and submitted 3 job applications before lunch.

Thankfully the Dentastix and the cat litter we ordered from Amazon both arrived today – Phew! Thank you Royal Mail and Hermes delivery drivers for continuing to work at this difficult time.

Toasted corned beef sandwich for me; corned beef & pickle sandwich (not toasted) for “S”; quesedilla for “I” and cheese & cucumber sandwich for “E”. There’s a pattern developing! Watched an episode of BBC Scotland’s Corner Shop Cook Off over lunch.

I read another couple of chapters (of Catch-22) and listened to the end of Mortal Engines while “S” and “E” made a chocolate swiss roll this afternoon then it was Board Games time. Today we played one of “I”s games which doesn’t have a name. You pick a letter at random and have to write down a Name, Place, Plant, Object, Animal and a Job beginning with that letter. If you are the only one to choose the word you score 10, if two of you have the same word you score 5 and if more than 2 you score 2. It’s good fun. Listening to our Morrison and Costello playlist.

Heard the news that Prince Charles has tested positive – hope he hasn’t been near the queen recently.

Then started on preparing dinner. Spaghetti Bolognaise today with properly home-made bolognaise sauce (although, apologies to my Italian freinds, I am sure you wouldn’t approve of my recipe).

Enjoying a cheeky red while making dinner.

We forgot about the Gareth Malone Choir practice at 5:30 today – need to remember for tomorrow.

Watched Great British Bake Off SU2C episode with Caroline Quentin today – very funny. Finished the evening with the next 2 episodes of Star Trek Discovery before bedtime.


Tuesday March 24th, 2020

Tea in bed while listening to an audiobook of Mortal Engines courtesy of . Got up just after 8 to make breakfast. Breakfast consisted of our usual juices (Pineapple for me; Orange & Ginger for S; Lemon for I; Strawberry for E). “I” and I had toasted cheese while “S” had Shreddies and “E” had Kraves. Tea or Coffee to finish then we all got dressed to take “C” for her walk for our allowed one trip outside the house for exercise.

The path alongside the river was quite busy and the weather was lovely. “C” was off her lead for most of the way but we had to keep careful watch for other dog walkers as she is a little anti-social. It was amazing how quiet the roads were and how much birdsong could be heard. Stopped to watch the crane who we think has a nest on one of the islets for a while. The birds sounded really loud which makes me think that they are usually drowned out by the sound of the cars on the motorway.

I walked to Tesco for a few days worth of essentials (fruit/veg/meat). Nice quiet walk there, all of the convenience stores were open and nice to see how few cars were on the roads – those that were seemed to be business/commercial vehicles so it looks like people are following the directives. Orderly queue to get into Tesco, they were letting people in about 10 at a time to control the numbers.

Surprised that the self-scan section was closed but, thinking about it, this will be to stop the spread of the virus via the handsets. A nice chat with the check-out lady talking about the craziness of the current situation. Anyway, was able to buy a good range of goods, enough to stretch our supplies into next week so all good. A more tiring walk back as I had all the shopping in a rucsack and I’d had to buy a carrier bag (next time I’ll bring a couple of bags for life as well as the backpack).

Showered and changed once we’d put the shopping away then read a couple of chapters (reading Catch-22 at the moment).

Lunch consisted of cheese stuffed mushrooms for me and “S”, quesedilla for “I” and cheese & cucumber sandwich for “E”. We ate this while watching the first 2 episodes of The Mandalorian (Disney+ launched in the UK today).

Sorted out the laundry this afternoon and then it was Board Game time – we played Doodle Delirium. “S” & “I” won. Good fun. Listening to our ‘Celtic Rock’ playlist.

At 5.30 we joined the Great British Choir with Gareth Malone. Good fun. Unfortunately the chosen song (You Are My Sunshine) is “I”s least favourite song so she won’t join in.

Dinner was Lemon Chicken (from our Clever One Pot cook book) with stir fried veg and noodles. Delicious. The Popmaster podcast entertained us while we ate – Thanks Ken Bruce!

Watched the most recent episode of Picard after dinner was cleared up and then watched the BBC Back in Time for the Corner Shop. This has been an excellent programme. This week covered the 80s and 90s and S and I both recognised the products and the styling. Finished off with the next episode of Star Trek Discovery while enjoying a glass of Tesco own brand Tawny Port then off to bed. Listened to The Week Unwrapped podcast as we fell asleep.


Monday March 23rd, 2020

Although schools closed last Friday and we have already spent the weekend social-distancing in the house, I suppose the lockdown officially starts with Boris Johnson’s proclamation at 8:30pm. We’d just finished watching Go Connect on BBC 2 and turned over fully expecting the news.

All 4 of us sat round the TV to hear what he had to say, no surprise for any of us but it did make it all seem somewhat more serious. “I” took herself off to bed while “S”, “E” and I watched an episode of Star Trek – Discovery (actually, “E” and I (but not “I”) watched 2.

Enjoyed a glass of ‘1776 Straight Bourbon Whisky’ from Drinks by the Dram while watching Discovery – delicious. Quite a dark colour, rich flavours of sugar and vanilla with a citrusy/spicy finish.