Day 45 – Pinch, Punch, First of the Month!

As has become the norm in our house, the first of the month is usually greeted with cries of ‘pinch! punch! first of the month, no returns!’ along with a good natured assault. This month Alexander woke before Lucy, so he got everyone. They both slept in the blanket fort (and they’ve gone back for another night).

Lucy inside the blanket fort built by Alexander (Photo: James Kemp)

This morning breakfast was made by the children, camping style. Alexander boiled water on the trangia in our camping kettle. They also toasted marshmallows to go with the hot chocolate that they forgot to make yesterday evening.

Alexander toasting marshmallows with a blowtorch. (Photo: James Kemp)

I don’t think either of them got dressed over the course of the day, although it’s possible that Alexander might have changed before joining in the Explorers zoom session this evening.

Lucy made her own breakfast, a toasted waffle with a mini-marshmallow in each square. (Photo: James Kemp)

Tracy and I were both working, neither of us had the most productive day. Tracy’s was way worse though, because she didn’t make it home from the hospital until after seven. I fed the children before she was in because I didn’t want them to wait any longer. Dinner was good, we had a chicken crown roasted, and fresh bread that was 50/50 white and wholemeal. We forgot about it and it spent longer in the oven than we’d planned. It was taken out with a very dark brown crust, and on eating it I think this was a huge improvement on our previous breads.

Alexander preparing to boil water to make hot chocolate on the trangia. (Photo: James Kemp)

I went for my evening walk on my own. Luckily it was in a gap in the rain, and so I didn’t get wet. My walk took me to the scout hut where I collected a couple of badge books. I took one round to the assistant leader candidate for the new troop we started a couple of weeks ago. We can’t meet fact to face until at least September, and maybe not even then. So we need to do some planning for teaching scout skills and doing badge requirements online. ALthough all the info is online, have a physical book is much easier to flick through and get inspiration from.

Day 37 – St George’s Day

I was working from home again while encouraging the children to do their schoolwork. Alexander seems to have done a fair amount. Lucy less so, but she has done quite a lot of computer skills, specifically finding images and saving them. Also the importance of file extensions, what they tell you about the type of file, and also how to attach files to email. Learning a lot, but I’m not sure how much of it is on the national curriculum!

Car Problems

The car is unwell. The electronics have been cutting out intermittently. When Tracy came home from the hospital yesterday the electrics failed while she was driving down the hill from Caterham, even though the engine kept going. It cut out again when she pulled up on the drive.

So at lunchtime the recovery truck came to take it to the garage. Before that though I persuaded the kids to help me empty the car of all our stuff, and to put the rubbish in the bin. The crate in the boot went into the garage, and a load of Lucy’s books and toys came into the house.


While we were stashing things from the back of the car in the garage I spotted our breadmaker. We thought we’d given it away, because we’d stopped using it. It was in the part of the garage where we stage things before they go to the tip or a charity shop. There were other things on top of it, which I moved to make space. So I brought it back into the kitchen and cleaned it up.

The instructions were tucked inside it, with the specific recipes optimised for it. In my lunch break I decided to make some bread with the wholemeal bread flour we got at the weekend. I couldn’t find the measuring cup that came with it, so I extemporised with scales and a rough approximation of a cup being 8 ounces, a tablespoon one ounce and doing teaspoons as 5 grams.

As you can see it sort of worked. I think I might have got too much fluid in it because I used milk in place of dried milk powder. I also measured everything by weight rather than volume, and that’s likely to have skewed it a bit. It tastes fine though and has a good crumb, even if it has sunk on top.


With us both working, and Alexander catching up on a heavy day of school work, I went freezer diving to see what would go with fresh bread. We’ve got a lot of meat still in the freezer, but it’s a lot emptier looking than it usually is.

The cancelled Easter trip to see Tracy’s parents meant that it didn’t get filled with fish and farm meat. Trips to Lincolnshire always have a full coolbox on the return leg because the market in Cleethorpes is close to both the fishing industry and the food preparation factories that get it direct from the farm. Everything is both fresher and cheaper than Surrey.

I eventually pulled out some bacon and tomato based pasta sauce we’d prepared some time ago. There was also some ham and cheese tortellini in the freezer. I thought that might supplement the dried penne and go well with some fresh bread.

Scouts Promise Renewal

This year’s St George’s Day event was online rather than in person. We got 47 families connected on our zoom account, many with more than one beaver, cub, or scout. We renewed our promise and then we watched a video from the Surrey Scouts County Commissioner. Lucy thought it was a very nice video. She also enjoyed the opportunity to wear her cub uniform for the first time at an official event.

After the event we went out for the Thursday evening clap for carers and essential workers. We took a couple of photos because it was suggested as a good idea by the scout association.

When the clap was over Alexander and I went out for a walk to get some exercise. We stopped and had a chat with a couple of neighbours, maintaining a safe distance. One of our neighbours thought he has had the virus. He’d just got up from ten days mostly in bed. At one point he was coughing up blood and was seriously considering dialling for an ambulance.

Car postscript

Tracy was a bit late home, which is getting pretty normal lately. However she came home in the car. The garage ran a load of tests, cleaned some bits and took it for a test drive. It seems to be okay, for now. If it goes again we’ll need to get a specialist mechanic to look at the electrical systems in it.

Or maybe we’ll just trade in for a newer car.

Day 34 – Summer (term) is here!

It was the start of the new term today, although we were still all at home, except Tracy who was at work. I rolled out of bed very early and got in about an hour of work before the children surfaced, in fact I had to wake them. They were both breakfasted and dressed by 0840 when I started their school day with checking they were ready and knew what they were doing.

Back to School

Alexander had five new tasks set for him on his homework app, as well as four from before the holidays. He was really good at getting on with it and planning his own workload, I only had to check a couple of times over the day that he was actually working!

For morning break Alexander made bread dough and left it to rise until lunchtime. He’s been doing this frequently over the last couple of weeks. So he had flatbreads for lunch, and then used the remaining dough to make a small loaf.

Alexander made a small loaf at lunchtime. (Photo: James Kemp)

Lucy was following the timetable we did for her before the Easter holidays. She stuck to it across the morning while I was on a number of work calls. She read a book (Captain Underpants), did Purple Mash maths, and also the PE challenge where she has a sheet to do a set of exercises every day and record how many she can do of each in 45 seconds (per rep).

Rotten Romans

After lunch I spent two hours with her for two lessons, one on her topic (Romans) and the other on botany (AKA gardening). She had to write three questions to research, and she was really quick, they were:

  • When were the romans around?
  • How many Roman emperors were there?
  • Were the Romans involved in democracy?

She then decided to eschew the pile of books that I have on the table and look for her horrible histories Rotten Romans. She realised when it wasn’t on the shelf that she’d taken it to school and left it there. So she fired up the laptop and hit a search engine. She found the answers to the first two questions easily (from 753BC) and about 70 emperors (although she wasn’t impressed when Alexander asked if that was Eastern or Western). The third question was a bit trickier, and we ended up with a philosophical point about absence of evidence not being the same as evidence of absence, and how hard it is to prove a negative.

Lucy then did a timeline of the first eight emperors on a piece of paper, having decided that it was possibly too tricky for her to do in a slide show on the computer. Next time we have topic on the timetable we’ll be doing a Roman timeline, and Alexander and I have already suggested that while it might start at 753 BC it ought to include the three Roman Empires and go up to the 19th century.

Botany (AKA Gardening)

With the Romans played out we put our shoes on and went into the garden. The first stop was into the shed to see the seedlings that have sprouted since we planted them about two weeks ago. At the time we forgot to label them, mostly because I couldn’t find the jar with all the labels. So we had a look at them and tried to identify them. The onions and the lettuce were easy to identify, the former had one round leaf, and the lettuce had a pair of rounded leaves. The peppers and tomatoes are very similar looking, so we weren’t quite sure which were which, although it’ll be easier in a week or so when the tomatoes start to develop their distinctive leaf shape.

Lucy writing the labels for the seedlings we planted a couple of weeks ago (Photo: James Kemp)

Lucy decided that the plants needed some more water. So while the watering can was filling up from the almost empty rain barrel, she wrote the names on the plant labels. Once we’d finished watering the seedlings, not forgetting the sunflowers on the patio, we put the labels in.

There was only one more thing that Lucy wanted to do. She wanted to write on the patio doors with her new chalk pens. So I showed her how to do mirror writing so that what she wrote could be read from the other side of the window. I gave her a quick demo and she got stuck in.

Lucy practices mirror writing on the patio door so that we can read it from inside the house. (Photo: James Kemp)

It was three o’clock by then, and Lucy informed me that school was over. I went back to work for a couple of hours while Lucy played with the lego bungalow that she’d built.

Day 32 – Stocking Up Saturday

We were all off today. We didn’t do a whole lot, some shopping, sorting out school for next week, and watching movies. Breakfast for me was the spelt loaf with cheese.

Stocking Up

We took a visit to Caterham for 11 today. Tracy had booked us a slot to visit Pedrick’s which is in the High Street. Pedrick’s is a new old-fashioned food shop. You label all your boxes with what you want in them and then the staff fill them. So we got some pasta, some wholemeal bread flour, plain flour, yeast, and some eco-friendly handwash and fabric conditioner. We also got some pick’n’mix and some fresh vegetables from local suppliers.

While Tracy waited for the Pedrick’s order to be filled I took a walk along to Waitrose with Lucy. We didn’t have a big shopping list, just some head and shoulders shampoo, and skimmed milk. While we were waiting in the queue outside I spotted some rosemary in the plants section, so I added that into the trolley. We also bought a Lego Friends magazine for Lucy, a couple of reduced smarties chocolate bunnies, and some chocolate mini-egg nest cakes.

Sorting School

No hats involved in sort out out what we’re doing about school for next week. Monday is the start of the summer term. So we had a chat with the kids about how we would go back to school work. We’re all going to sit at the dinner table during school time unless we’re doing practical stuff that’s best done elsewhere.

Alexander will keep on getting his work from the Go4schools app. He’s got RE and Computing to do for Monday, plus whatever English and Maths gets set on the day. One good thing is that he no longer has to do subjects that he’s not doing the GCSE for. So from Monday he only had English, Maths, Triple Science, Computing, Art and RE. We’ve also asked him to help Lucy with some of the science experiments that she’d like to do (for example making some home made vegetable dyes).

We also decided that since we’re not teachers, and we have our own jobs to do, that we aren’t going to try and work to a timetable or curriculum. The main concern is that Lucy continues to learn new things, reads, and is happy. So we’ve packaged up several things that the teachers have sent us into work for a day. We’ve also found all the educational books, and lined them up on the table. I’ve installed Scratch and a painting app on Lucy’s laptop.


Tracy made Lucy a cloak for her dressing up this afternoon. I thought it looked awesome.


Alexander made us Chicken Paprikash from the Binging with Babish book, and we also watched Civil War while we ate.

Day 31 – Last Friday of the Easter Holidays

Tracy spent the day at work, and I had an annual leave day. This is the last day of the Easter school holidays and it rained just at the point when we were going to go out for a walk to get some exercise. Lucy also had a bit of a meltdown at that point and she had an afternoon nap while she calmed down. I suspect she’s been staying up a little too late and then waking up when it gets light in her bedroom.

Lego Houses

As with most of the last week Lucy built and rebuilt rooms in a Lego friends bungalow. She also played out some scenarios in the bungalow between the building.

Today she talked me through the bedrooms for the family members. There were three, one for the parents with a double bed. One for their son, and a third for twin girls who had bunk beds.


Alexander and I finished off a two stage bread. Yesterday we mixed some self-raising flour with water and oil. Separately we made a loose dough of spelt flour and the sourdough starter. Today we mixed it all together, kneaded it for a bit and put it aside to prove.

At lunchtime Alexander made some flatbreads in a frying pan using some of the mixture. Afterwards he used most of it to make some pizza bases. We had pizza for dinner, and the remainder went in a loaf tin for later.

Green belt

During the afternoon Mrs E dropped by with Lucy’s new green belt. She did testing over zoom earlier in the week, and is now the proud owner of a green belt.

Fixing Spindles

We’ve had three broken spindles at the top of our stairs for some time. We’ve been meaning to go and get some from a DIY place but not quite got round to it. With the lockdown Tracy ordered some online and we’ve been waiting for a rainy day before putting them in.

So it rained this afternoon. While it did I got the tools out from the garage, measured up the spindles and cut them to size. It didn’t take as long as I thought it would. Once they were all in place, I dragged the vacuum cleaner upstairs to clean up all the sawdust.

Last Emperox

The third book in John Scalzi’s latest trilogy got released earlier this week. So between all the other things going on I got stuck in to reading it. It’s pretty good, if you like science fiction I’d recommend it to you.

Day 23 – 9th April 2020

Both Tracy and I were working today, I started super early to clear as much as I could before needing to look after Lucy and Alexander. However they were both quite good at amusing themself.

My work involved quite a few meetings today, evenly split between zoom and straight phone calls. More than usual as both my peers were on leave as was my boss, so I was covering everything that couldn’t be delegated. Our remit is evolving and becoming clearer, and we’re plugged in to most of what is going on. So I spent the day directing traffic. I also did the quiz at our team meeting with the extreme close ups we took at the weekend. The team did really well with them, I only had to give extra clues on four of the ten. Only one wasn’t guessed.

Lego Houses

Lucy had taken out conversation during last night’s walk about building to heart. She started building modular rooms and then connecting them together.

It was a very iterative process for her, because the 3d joins weren’t strong and stable. So bits came crashing down from time to time. I was quite proud though that she didn’t lose her temper with it and instead rebuilt it afresh, usually with quite a different design.

She had a few attempts at making a video to explain it, and shared one of them with her cousins via WhatsApp. She was also very patient with me in meetings. When I got off the call she would ask how long until my next meeting. When there was more than a few minutes I’d get taken through the latest remodeling. It was rather like some of the construction projects I’ve worked on, although with a much shorter time between the highlight reports!

After lunch Lucy began watching YouTube videos about Lego friends construction and room design. The house was progressively moved from the table into the floor and it became a bungalow in style because that reduced the complexity of her build.

By the time Tracy came home from work Lucy was on videos showing her how to modify Lego friends figurines to make them into child sized figurines. That’s her next thing that she wants to do. I suggested that she asks Alexander to help as he has a track record of customising Lego figures.


For lunch Alexander and I had paninis made with the bread rolls he made yesterday. We also took the cover off the patio furniture and had lunch outside. We decided that it must have been the self-raising flour that made it rise, because there was a very tight crumb, like a cake. The bread was also very dense. It tasted nice, but definitely not a sourdough.

Dinner was a defrost and heat meal, I worked until after six. We had chilli con carne with tortilla chips and a side order of breaded chicken from the freezer. No preparation, just applied heat.

After that we got our daily exercise in, three times round the green with Lucy and then down to the Merstham rec and back for Alexander and I to get us up to 10k steps. We chatted about the d&d campaign and also about subverting tropes when you design stories or games.

Washing Dishes

We’ve been getting our dishwasher and washing detergent from Smol. They post eco friendly detergent to you in demand. It’s a just in time sort of system, and like most other just in time systems of late it’s got a bit disrupted. I also didn’t get Tracy’s reminder to get dishwasher tablets when I was at the supermarket yesterday. So we’ve run out.

However we have plenty of washing up liquid. So, only realising when I’d filled the dishwasher with dirty dishes I had a moment. I decided that I’d just squirt a bit of washing up liquid into the machine. I gave it what I’d usually put in a bowl if I was washing by hand.

When I got back in from my walk I realised that there’s a reason why we use dishwasher tablets.

Day 22 – 8th April 2020

Today is Wednesday, my usual non-working day. So I’m not working and Tracy is. We had a fairly relaxed morning. Lucy found the camera tripod I used to take pictures of the moon last night and we played with attaching it to the banister upstairs and took some selfies.

One of the better selfies.


After we’d done that we spent a brief period in the back garden doing some more hoeing and prepping the raised beds to receive the seedlings we’ve planted. So far one bed (of five) is completely ready to have things planted in it. Another has been turned over but needs the lumps of turf shaken out and thrown into the compost heap. We could probably do with digging over the compost heap and sticking some of it in the raised beds too.

Making Bread

After a very brief stint in the garden we went back indoors to make sure Alexander was making his bread.

He needed some help recovering the sourdough. It had sat out for too long and it collapsed. It smelt pretty alcoholic, and it was runnier than it ought to have been. We ran out of plain flour, so it got a wee bit of the spelt I picked up yesterday, and also some self-raising flour. We also added a tiny bit of the starter to it. Alexander mixed it all up and split it into three batches.

One batch became pitta bread.

The other two batches became rolls, we were aiming for paninis for lunch tomorrow, and a loaf.

Lego Houses

During the afternoon Lucy decided to build a Lego house. She spent quite a time combing through the boxes of Lego and finding all the pieces she needed.

There are two levels. The lower level has a garage and some garden. The upper levels have a bedroom, complete with a very fancy bed with a hinged cover so that the Lego person can go inside. There’s also a closet with spare clothes and a robot from a TV show. Although one of the best bits is the built in zip wire for going out.

Hot Chocolate contest

After dinner (teriyaki chicken, noodles and stir fry vegetables) the children had a hot chocolate competition. They each made two cups worth of hot chocolate, one for them and the other split between two espresso cups for me and Tracy to taste.

Alexander made the Flanders Hot Chocolate from the Simpsons which was in the Binging with Babish book he got for Christmas. It was a very rich recipe and it produced a very dark chocolate.

Lucy made the cardamom hot chocolate from Nadiya’s Bake Me a Story book. Hers was a bit lighter and definitely had fewer calories.


After two hot chocolates, even small ones, I needed to go for a walk. So I took Lucy round the green four times and we chatted about building Lego Houses and I reminded her about the modular rooms on the house she got for her 6th birthday. After that Alexander and I went on a longer walk to make up the balance of my 10,000 steps. We also talked about the sort of houses we’d have if money wasn’t an object.

Day 21 – 7th April 2020

Today was a work day for me because Tracy was off. We’re covering the school holidays between us, so I’m working Tuesdays and Thursdays both weeks. So I spent most of the day hiding in our bedroom with my work laptop and phone.

I also discovered a new (to me) feature on Android phones from a futures report on AR/MR. It is the ability to have a 3D animal in your space via your phone camera. We’ve been watching the Tiger King recently (they’re all deranged), so I found this tiger in our bedroom.

Home Cinema

While I was working upstairs Tracy decided to turn the living room into a home cinema. She made some signs to advertise the now showing and also the concessions stall. The curtains were closed and some extra blanket added to make it a bit darker. The photos don’t do it justice because my phone camera is awesome in low light shots (see the full moon below).

We often go to the cinema, and we’d have done that at least once in the school holidays. So Tracy shelled out for Trolls World Tour via our Virgin media box. Lucy has managed to watch it twice (so far) in the 48 hour rental period.

As well as the movie Tracy made hotdogs, fries, popcorn and an impromptu pick and mix for the kids to have as lunch. It went down really well, although I took my share back upstairs to carry on working.


After dinner (home made spaghetti carbonara) it was my turn to go do some shopping. We had a small list of things that Tracy couldn’t get on Sunday or that we’d run out of. I took both children to Sainsbury’s in Redhill. There was only a brief wait outside the shop. Inside they’d marked the floor in 2m segments with tape, but none of the other shoppers seemed to be taking any notice of this.

We managed to get most of what we wanted, although some sections of the shop were clearly empty. In the pasta aisle we got excited because amidst the empty shelves there was a section with orange penne and green fusili. On closer inspection it was red lentil penne and green pea fusili. Over in the home baking aisle I found some spelt flour, which I’d struggled to find a couple of months ago when I’d wanted it. There was no other flour of any kind.

Apart from the flour and the pasta the only thing on our list that we didn’t get was paprika. That was just the usual shortage as there were plenty of herbs and spices, and I got some smoked paprika as a substitute. The one noticeable thing was that there were absolutely no special offers. We often keep an eye out for those, but on a small trolley of shopping that cost just over £50 we didn’t get a single special offer. I guess that’s supply and demand in action.

Super Moon

Last night was the super moon, it should be back again tonight. So I thought I’d have a go at taking some photos. I couldn’t find my proper camera with the optical zoom lens. So I put my phone (a Pixel 3A) in the tripod and had a go on the night sight setting. It turns out that it had an automatic astrophotography mode. So the pictures look almost like daylight!

When I was taking these the moon was visible through the clouds. To the naked eye you could see the shadows of the craters. But the camera just kept the shutter open for too long for the details to show up.

Day 19 – 5th April 2020

I had a lie-in this morning, I didn’t get out of bed until after half past eight. Tracy had gone to work, Lucy was playing quietly downstairs and Alex was on his explorer scout Minecraft server. It was a relaxed morning, I read and drank coffee between ensuring Alex and Lucy had breakfast, emptying the dishwasher, putting clothes away and getting dressed.

After lunch Tracy came home. Alex spent the afternoon in the kitchen making sourdough and bao buns. Tracy did some errands, and Lucy spent some time with me in the garden, and some with Tracy.

In the Garden

When Tracy came back after her half day on the ward I went outside with Lucy and we did some garden things. Initially I tried to flatten the area outside the hut while Lucy bounced in the trampoline. While I hit the lumpier bits of ground with a pickaxe Lucy realised that her friend was just over the fence. So the pair of them started shouting to each other and fetching things. Their game also involved throwing things into the air to see if the other one could see it.

It certainly made sure Lucy got some exercise, and it gave me some space to swing the pick axe. It took quite a while to dig up the larger roots and make the area less lumpy. Then I started to cover it in black fabric to hold back the weeds. Lucy tired of her game and came to help. So we had a look at the sunflower seeds we’d planted last weekend and watered the pots. With luck there will be some shoots next week.

Lucy then went off with Tracy to help her deliver flowers to a colleague. I got back to more digging. I decided to make a border round the edge of the area and line it with old bricks. So I dug a channel along the edge of an ancient concrete path for the bricks. At some point this might become a step/retaining wall for whatever we end up doing properly in this space.

Tidying up

Lucy has a great habit of slowly spreading out over the house. Lately she’s brought a couple of bags of toys and books in from the garage. These have all started to take up most of the dining space in our open plan living room. So while I was finishing off moving paving stones Tracy started a tidy up of the back of the room.

There were some complaints, but Lucy and I joined in while Alexander got his Bao Buns made. It looked a lot better when we were done.


As mentioned above, Alexander spent most of the afternoon in the kitchen. He took the sourdough starter and made some bao bun mixture. He also started some bread, although he hasn’t baked it yet. The bao buns were really delicious, but he ended up having to do them in the oven because we don’t have an effective steamer. This made them take a little longer too. He made a lovely pork concoction to go inside them.

After dinner I managed to sneak off and have a bath. It felt very relaxing, and I feel much cleaner.

Day 18 – 4th April 2020

Today is a Saturday, none of us are working. Despite this a young lady, who shall remain nameless, decided that we needed to get up early. So we’ve been at it just as long as the weekdays. I’m knackered and ready for bed, and it’s only nine o’clock.

Creative writing

I wrote a short story this morning, it’s not brilliant, and life writing rather than fiction. I’ve been meaning to write it for a few weeks, since the first Write Club meeting in the Merstham library at the beginning of March. I couldn’t make the meeting, Saturday mornings are when the kids do martial arts and we do our shopping. Or at least that used to be what we did. Lucy did her martial arts lesson over zoom, but we didn’t go shopping until later.

Anyway the challenge was to write 1,000 words on a place where you’d lost something. I struggled with that because I haven’t really lost anything. In the end I decided to write about a loss of innocence that I experienced, although it wasn’t my innocence that was lost. You can read Lost Luggage on my main blog.

Extreme Close Ups

We had a lot of fun taking photos of things this morning. It’s my turn to set a team quiz this week. We did a picture round of TV shows last week. So we had a chat and thought that extreme close ups of everyday items might be a really interesting idea.

This snowballed and we’ve taken pictures of about thirty things and challenged each other to identify them. So I’m definitely doing this with my team on Thursday. Here’s one for you to guess.


Lots of cooking went on today. This morning Alexander made French toast for his breakfast. I had a little bit and it tasted fab, although I’m not a fan of the texture of French toast.

When he’d done Tracy moved in and made a large pot of chilli con carne. She also started the prep for dinner, which was an experiment. We had a mixed feast of quesadillas for dinner, there were at least four flavours, chicken, sausage, chorizo and peppers. It was a very good meal.


We all went for a walk after lunch. It was supposed to be a rough circular walk round our house. I’d had a quick look at the map and decided that because there were public footpaths marked that we could walk round our house. The chosen route was to go up to Furzefield Wood, get onto the embankment and then follow it round until we got back onto Bletchingley Road. From there we’d go over the road and follow it back to our house.

It didn’t quite work though. When we got to the motorway junction the path became quite overgrown with brambles. Alexander was in the lead and he’d chosen to wear shorts. So we turned back and had an attempt to follow the embankment in the woods. However that brought us to a similar dead end. We turned round and went back to the other marked footpath and followed that instead. Total distance was 2km, and we were out of the house for an hour.

After that Tracy and I sat outside the house and enjoyed the sun. I read some of my current book, Polgara the Sorceress, and we just chilled for a bit.


After dinner Lucy and I walked to the co-op. Lucy navigated us by her special route. We went up the hill towards her school, past the childminder and a couple of her friends houses before arriving at the co-op. She talked the whole way there about what way we were going next and whose houses we were going past. It was a good walk.

When we got there it was just over half an hour before closing time and it was quite busy. There were four people ahead of us waiting to go in. While we were waiting a couple of NHS staff appeared and we encouraged them to jump the queue.

We were there for milk, bread and ice cream. We got some sweeties too. The shelves were pretty sparse, I’ve never seen them so empty. We managed to get some skimmed milk and a nice loaf. There was plenty of bread and milk. There were almost no crisps and half the sweet aisle was empty. Fizzy drinks were likewise depleted, just coke and some Schweppes lemonade. Pretty much just the more expensive stuff was left.

When we came out, with twenty minutes before closing, there were about eight people waiting to go in. All standing their two metres apart.