Happy Anniversary 11 Years card with a handpainted watercolour badger head

Six weeks ago to the day, I was out in Brighton with friends to celebrate my 40th birthday. We had cocktails and sang karaoke and it was a blast. It feels very surreal to see how things have changed in such a short time. March 2020 will be remembered in the UK as the month when everything went nuts. This is the new normal for the foreseeable future (as seen on Facebook, author unknown – my additions in bold):

  • Fuel prices dropped a record amount (now £1.08/litre)
  • Self-distancing measures on a rise.
  • Tape on the floors at food stores and others to help distance shoppers 2m (6ft) from each other.
  • Limited number of people inside stores, therefore lineups outside the store doors.
  • Non-essential stores and businesses mandated closed.
  • Parks, trails, entire cities locked up.
  • Entire sports seasons cancelled.
  • Concerts, tours, festivals, entertainment events – cancelled.
  • Weddings, family celebrations, holiday gatherings – cancelled.
  • Funerals limited to children/parents/spouses of deceased.
  • No other family or friends.
  • No masses, churches are closed.
  • Schools are all closed.
  • No gatherings permitted.
  • Don’t socialize with anyone outside of your home.
  • We are to distance from each other.
  • Shortage of masks, gowns, gloves for our front-line workers.
  • Shortage of respirators for the critically ill.
  • Panic buying sets in and we have no toilet paper, no disinfecting supplies, no paper towel, no laundry soap, no hand sanitizer. (and no pasta or flour!)
  • Shelves are bare.
  • Manufacturers, distilleries and other businesses switch their lines to help make visors, masks, hand sanitizer and PPE.
  • Government closes the border to all non essential travel and makes it mandatory to self isolate for 14 days when returning. (or is it 7 days? or not at all? The government changes its mind a lot and doesn’t quite follow the WHO guidance)
  • Fines are established for breaking the rules.
  • Fines for those price-gauging others.
  • Stadiums and recreation facilities open up for the overflow of Covid-19 patients.
  • Press conferences daily from the Prime Minister. (or one of his minions, because the PM’s earlier boastful hand-shaking didn’t end well)
  • Barely anyone in the street or on the roads. (apart from all the morons shopping for flowers, crowding the parks or having a fun time at Cheltenham.)
  • People wearing masks and gloves outside.
  • Essential service workers are terrified to go to work.
  • Medical workers are afraid to go home to their families.
  • Many people placed on furlough and unable to work with the government paying 80% of their wage.
  • Joe Wicks shows us how unfit we all are.
  • An overwhelming amount of homeschooling stuff online – where do you even start?
  • Volunteers come out the woodwork to support the community and deliver shopping to our most vulnerable.
  • Clapping for the NHS.
  • Zoom saves our sanity.
  • They say it started in Wuhan, China at a seafood market. Hundreds of thousands affected, dead, dying, critically ill.
  • Many recovered.
  • This is the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic, declared March 11th, 2020.
  • Why, you ask, do I write this status? One day it will show up in my memory feed, and it will be a yearly reminder that life is precious. To not take the things we dearly love for granted. We have so much! Be thankful. Be grateful. Be kind to each other – love one another – support everyone. 💜

Meanwhile at home

On a more personal note, today is Badgerman and I’s 11th wedding anniversary, which we are going to celebrate with one of our favourite’s celebration dinner Duck with Lentils, which is always way more delicious than expected followed by rhubarb crumble and a Mojito. A couple of weeks ago we suddenly remembered our anniversary was coming up and gave each other a wild look. I completely forgot to buy a card (not least because I’ve not left the house) and I was ill yesterday so I made him a watercolour badger this afternoon as a belated apology for not being organised and requesting ‘a knife’ as a present as this year is the steel anniversary.

We are all well as is our extended family. We started the Easter holidays early and the relaxed routine has helped everyone’s sanity.

Lockdown Recommendations

Cards Against Humanity have released a Family Edition and it is free to print at home. I can’t wait to try this with the kids, and we’re going to Zoom with friends for a big fat multi-player game. The more the merrier!

PlayingCards.io: I’ve not tried this yet but PlayingCards.io are a ‘Virtual Tabletop’ where you can play card games with friends live online. You can then have Zoom or Skype in the background so you can talk to each other. You can play Checkers, Match Up or Remote Insensitivity (otherwise knowns as the original Cards vs Humanity) and other games.

Tutorials: Our favourite creative arts tutorials are Rob Biddulph’s Draw With Rob and McArt Studio.

Musicals! I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the YouTube Channel The Shows Must Go On! will release a full-length musical every Friday for free (streaming for 48 hours) and Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat is on RIGHT NOW. For the record, I watched Joseph for the first time only a few months ago and I was DEEPLY puzzled – to put it mildly – at how this is a show that children are encouraged to watch. I mean, Donny Osmond’s hair, Mrs Potiphar’s weird sex dungeon need I say anymore? This is one weird show.

What’s keeping you sane in these testing times?