Sunday Tittle Tattle: I’m Back In The Room

I’m back in the room! It’s not really as though I can go anywhere else, to be fair. Sorry for the slightly prolonged absence; I’ve been trying to get my head around the new working day, which consists of twelve hours of shared cat-herding (childcare) with Mr AMR followed by two hours of frantically trying to get admin done and, if there’s any time left over, work.

And I decided to distance myself a bit from social media for a while, mainly because I didn’t want to come on here and pour out my feelings and potentially add to your anxieties or feelings of doom and gloom. I wasn’t really in great shape the week before last.

You should see the post I wrote on Monday 16th, when we took the kids out of school early! It was a full four days before they officially closed and I just felt so weird and alone and had no idea, at that point, whether we were doing the right thing.

So the diary entry I wrote (and decided not to publish) was absolutely bonkers – more the sort of thing someone would write on the battlefield, knowing that they were living their last moments, than the diary entry of a woman faced with the prospect of home-schooling…

“Into the fray I go, not knowing what awaits us. I am locking down my family and battening the hatches and I feel as though we are preparing for the end of the world.”


Needless to say I’ve managed to gain some perspective in the eleven days we’ve been in isolation; not only do I feel incredibly lucky to have a healthy family, a relatively flexible job and a solid roof over our heads, I’ve managed to eke out some positives from the sudden, unexpected plunge into round-the-clock childcare.

I just need some time to think them up.

Haha. Only joking. It is a privilege to see your kids grow up and so a bit of extra time together should be seen as a blessing and not a curse – I think it’s the intensity with which we have all been thrown together, isn’t it? The sensation of not being able to escape or have a moment’s peace.

I feel as though I’d just got into a place where I could have a bit of my own life back when the kids went off to school and pre-school –  I was even managing to work some “me time” (UGH) into the schedule – and now those windows of opportunity have been completely removed, so we’re all basically in a relationship pressure cooker.

But I shan’t moan – I’m reserving that particular click and collect slot for those that need it. NHS workers and people who have lost their jobs and those who are vulnerable and worried for their lives. Bit of home-schooling is a cinch by comparison.

Not that we’re doing any home-schooling – I mean, the phrase itself brings me out in hives. It’s my worst nightmare. I have no patience with even the most mundane daily tasks when it comes to the kids, so trying to get them to sit in one place and read sends me over the edge. Today I tried to keep things “exciting” and made “nature crowns” with them, which basically involved me burning myself multiple times with the glue gun, sticking my fingernail to the table and getting dried leaves and dead twigs all over the kitchen floor.

Did they love their nature crowns? No they did not. They think that their nature crowns are shite and they would rather be watching Mia and Me (don’t ask) on Netflix. I mean I don’t blame them, because if someone gave me the choice between making an origami dinosaur at the kitchen table or kicking back on the sofa watching Tiger King then I know what I’d choose.

On the subject of Tiger King: please discuss. If you haven’t yet seen this bizarre documentary about bat-shit crazy exotic cat owners then do add it to your busy social diaries. I know it’s difficult to fit in Netflix at the moment, what with all the garden parties and drink soirées and so on, but if you do find yourself stuck in the house and at a loose end then it’s one to have a bash at.

I’ve honestly been transfixed. But also dismayed. There are some bad, bad people out there aren’t there? It’s worrying. You can lull yourself into a false sense of security that the world is lovely and blah blah blah, and then you watch Tiger King and it’s like walking into a Thieves n’ Liars conventional. Leave your morals at the door!

I’d love to do a proper review of the series but everyone on the documentary is quite nifty on social media and I’d be genuinely worried that they would hunt me down, shoot me with a Lion-tranquillising gun and put my body through the meat grinder.

On that note, I’m off for a four-way.

Not that kind!

Social distancing has ruled out that particular pastime (LOL! Joke!) and so I’m having a Whatsapp video call with three of my friends. (I’m writing this on Saturday night.) We have a monthly (ish) dinner together and tonight was penned in as the latest date, but as we can’t see each other in person we’ve decided to be all modern and woke.

There will be wine, but I’m limiting myself to two glasses because the idea of a hangover when there is no recovery day in sight for at least two weeks is just to grim to contemplate. I’ll let you know how it goes…

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  1. March 31, 2020 / 6:55 am

    Totally second this post. Your children are still very young they have time to catch up. Throw a blanket over the washing line and made a den, collect frog spawn and plant sunflower seeds together. These are the things that will be remembered.

  2. Susan Wilken
    March 30, 2020 / 3:32 pm

    Well, regarding ‘Tiger King’, I’ve watched 2 episodes and I don’t know if I can do any more. The vision of one of his husbands sitting there with no shirt on showing lots of ugly tattoos and one snaggle tooth in front is so off putting that I almost want to gag. However, everyone seems to think this is just a great series, that I’m thinking that something is wrong with ME. I live in the part of the USA that allows the keeping of exotic animals which is just crazy. I don’t know……..

    • March 30, 2020 / 5:29 pm

      He has meth teeth, they’ve basically all fallen out. The whole thing is so unbelievably grim.

  3. Karen
    March 30, 2020 / 12:49 am

    Going to try all of this once I get home.
    I’m british, live in Hong Kong and flying home tomorrow (couldn’t get a flight earlier)
    On the news all the time to check airport closures, airline busts, countries restrictions. So stressful with my 3 year old twins.
    Flying tomorrow and the best outcome is we get home to a 14 day electronically tagged quarantine (can’t even put the rubbish out!!)
    Worse is someone has symptoms so government quarantine centre or hospital and split up! Can’t even think of the idea of my 3 year olds in hospital or quarantine without me!!
    Deep breathe….

  4. Lea
    March 29, 2020 / 1:15 pm

    I love you’re writing and posts. Thank you for this article. Sending you a virtual hug . It’s so good you’re keeping your connections going and seeing your friends, we must stay connected in the best way we can right now.

  5. Ellie
    March 29, 2020 / 11:55 am

    Just finished Tiger King, and had to sit on the floor in my lounge for a while, just letting it all sink it. Dear god, the depravity.

  6. March 29, 2020 / 11:34 am

    Thanks for this post. You always manage to make me laugh out loud. Best of luck and take care x

  7. Emily
    March 29, 2020 / 10:52 am

    It’s been so long since you last posted… my browser had forgotten your website address!

    Are you slowly retiring A Model Recommends to focus on your app?

    • March 29, 2020 / 7:07 pm

      Noooooo, I posted about a week ago. Up until then it was as regular as ever, I just haven’t had a single moment to blog! x

  8. Juliet
    March 29, 2020 / 9:22 am

    All that I can say about Tiger King is that by the time they were interviewing his campaign manager, I thought “ This guy is normal.” And then, I thought , “ Oh Lordy, how far this has skewed my current definition of that word.”.

  9. Patricia W. Concannon
    March 29, 2020 / 9:17 am

    Thanks for this post. You always manage to make me laugh out loud. Best of luck and take care x

  10. Aliana
    March 29, 2020 / 9:04 am

    Oh darling, you don’t need to do School with your children. Just take wAlks, and bake cookies, and read and sing and nap and play. These years are the most precious, and life has given you this protected space for a bit now. Make play dough. Paint. Draw. I used to know the most wonderful art teacher who would play classical music on low while the children would paint. He would have cupcake tins filled with primary colors. Large paper. A large jar of water for each child to rinse their brushes. As one painting was finished, he would silently remove it and replace it with a clean sheet. The children would go into his studio and work like this for 45 minutes silently. Amazing. Spell binding. His name was Ashley Bryan. He is in his 90’s now and lives in Maine. He taught me so much about children and teaching and making space. You are a beautiful person and your children are beautiful. Just be. Let the chaos work itself out while you provide a calm center. They can help you cook. They can take baskets on walks and gather sticks and stones and findings and make collages. You can ask them to find things on the walks. Talk to them and secretly tape your conversations. They will be treasures in the future. Don’t let them be conscious of it. Just talking together. I appreciate you so much and your lovely postings. We will all get through this with grace. The sky here in San Francisco, California has become so clear and blue and radiant. I am imagining this long pause is a gift of sorts. Thinking of you and sending love.

    • Trimperley
      March 29, 2020 / 8:04 pm

      Totally second this post. Your children are still very young they have time to catch up. Throw a blanket over the washing line and made a den, collect frog spawn and plant sunflower seeds together. These are the things that will be remembered.

      • March 30, 2020 / 5:30 pm

        Takes less energy to sit with some reading tbh! : )

  11. Ruth
    March 29, 2020 / 8:29 am

    I read this FB post yesterday and it really helped me understand some of the feelings and reactions I’ve had recently. Now that we’re living in “The Uncertain Times”, which will presumably become much like “The Iron Age”, “Victorian Times”, or “Days of Yore”, any explanations which make some kind of sense are handy, I find. Sending love and thanks for the honesty and humour. x

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