Archive for the ‘General’ Category

What’s a Home, Anyway?

In General on May 31, 2021 at 9:15 am

We bought our house almost three years ago now. It remains undecorated, with our photos on the walls as our only decoration.

It got me thinking. This doesn’t feel like my home, it’s just the place that houses all my possessions. Maybe coming from being a long-term renter; and technically we do still also rent our house with it being shared ownership. We were never allowed to decorate, apart from repainting when we moved out.

We never got to choose carpets. They’ve always been there. We couldn’t do any decorating as we had to wait a year for the house to settle. It still creaks and moves, by the way.

I’m in no hurry to decorate it. Heck, I’ve almost grown to love the plain white walls and the sense of ‘clean’ it has. But then I see other people decorating and I feel like maybe these four walls might start to feel like a home if we make a start.

The only time we painted a room a colour that wasn’t “landlord magnolia” was the time we painted H’s room yellow. Which of course was repainted when we moved out, back to the neutral shade.

It’s a very strange feeling. We’ll have been here three years in a few months. Maybe I should just paint the walls white and be done with it!

This conversation came about while chatting with my mum. I pointed out how the home I grew up in doesn’t feel like “my home” any more like it used to. But actually, “my home” doesn’t feel like anywhere. That actually, what is a home anyway? Is it just the four walls and what’s inside makes your home?

I understand how people have attachments to places, in my days as a renter, I remember being heartbroken several times when the landlords decided they were selling up so we had to move out, when I had felt settled.

So in the end I learned not to be settled, that nothing lasts forever. That someone will come along and change things. That the only way you’ll never be moved on is owning somewhere, but knowing that owning somewhere was a distant dream, that stop passed several years beforehand.

I look at properties online and see homes and houses. I wonder, when anyone visits here (back when you could), do they see this as our home?


In General on August 2, 2020 at 9:45 am

I’m 50. There’s talk of people over the age of 50 going into mandatory lockdown should things get worse.

My mum has been in a care home since her fall at the end of the year, about to go home for the first time since Christmas.

Am I allowed to see my mum?

There are talk of bubbles and groups of people you can meet. We have nobody in our bubble, I’m not entirely sure what a bubble should be, or who a bubble should be. Do we have our own exclusive bubble, and that’s it, or do we have several bubbles?

H was in a class bubble at school. That meant she was with the same people through the day, and walked home with them. But if she bumped into someone who wasn’t in her bubble while walking home, that was okay. I think, because they were outside. But I don’t know if that’s one of the rules.

When we go back to see my mum, I can’t go into the house. That’s fine, we can sit in the garden. However, should I choose to enter an establishment which involves paying for something, and my mum does too, we can both be inside, as long as we don’t sit together.

My mum is 75. We have no guidance whatsoever about what sort of shielding she should be doing. She had pneumonia earlier this year, and doesn’t really understand. I’ve insisted she keeps away from areas which might put her at risk, and that she has a face mask. It doesn’t feel like enough.

We’re staying in AirBnb’s on our upcoming break. We can’t stay at my mum’s (as we can’t go inside the house) which is fine. Each host has an excellent rating, and we’re looking forward to going away. However, what happens if an area we’re visiting goes into lockdown? Are we meant to stay at the AirBnb or are we meant to go home? What would Cummings do? Barnard Castle isn’t that much further up the road…

So yeah, confusion is still with us, thanks to the unclear messages from the Government. I’ve read the guidelines and it’s still as clear as mud.

Anyway, I need to lose some of my weight gained in lockdown. I’m going to make the most of all those half price takeaways in the local junk food shops like McDonalds. Ummm.

A Rethink.

In General on June 9, 2020 at 4:59 pm

Every single post I’ve made here or imported here from elsewhere is private now. H is of an age where it’s hilarious to Google things, especially what her mum has written about her for the past twelve or so years. (she’s ten but there’s all the pregnancy stuff in there too)

So maybe for now we’ll just concentrate on parenting rather than achievements – after all, she’s ten now, and the kind of achievements she’d get wouldn’t be the sort you’d write a blog about.

“Congratulations! You have 100% attendance this term” yaaawwwn.

I’m thinking there should be parenting achievements really. “Congratulations, you got your child to school on time all year” or “Congratulations, they handed in their homework on time thanks to your nagging” or something along those lines. “Congratulations, you made it through Junior School and only joined three PTA’s”.


It was all going so swimmingly well, plenty of learning, plenty of social things going on and then of course it all stopped. The 2020 Lockdown. It has thrown something of a wobble to H’s last years of Primary School, with her not at all keen to complete it (she’s doing fine at home and has to work, just like I do). After hearing reports from other parents who have sent their kids back, being kept in your little bubble and kept from socialising with other kids is going to make for a very weird end to your time in a school.

We’ve opted not to send her back – for now.

This has resulted in a love of baking. Oh my, the baked goods. We’ve had cookies, peppermint creams, scones and she’s currently looking into doing some Ramadan confectionery (ticking off a section for one of her Guide badges in the process).

My parenting skills seem to be practical things like making sure we have clean clothes and cleaning the bathroom. Shaun is looking after almost every aspect of cooking, H does whatever she does. We have not yet run out of food, though we’re low on our yeast supply.

So yeah, let’s try this again. We’re doing okay, it’s going okay and I’m going to create certificates to present to myself. Or maybe at a push, a rosette. I did create a gold award for anyone in the office who accidentally presses ‘reply to all’ on a company-wide email, so it’s not *that* hard….