Tuesday, 5 January 2021

2020 Latecomers: Just When You Thought It Was Safe...


Happy New Year, we said. 

2021 has got to be better than 2020, we laughed.

Then 2021 laughed back.

"Kids are going back to school," said Boris on Sunday.

"Kids are staying home," said Boris on Monday.

"Sam is going back to school," said Rol and Louise on Tuesday, evoking keyworker status I didn't even know applied to me last lockdown.

Do I feel guilty about sending him back to school in the middle of the 43rd wave? 


But better he's there than stuck at home with two psychotic middle-aged job-hating lunatics on the verge of going postal every second. He's an only child, he needs company his own age. This family needs to cling onto the few last vestiges of our sanity 2020 hasn't yet stripped away. 

Judge us, if you will, but we tried the home-schooling while juggling two full time jobs last year and it nearly killed us all. There's the virus, and then there's mental health. Sometimes you have to weigh up the risks.

And I must be a keyworker: Morrisons gave me 10% off my shopping last week.

Here's a song from last year, about last year, that's more appropriate than ever today...

A party’s a cocktail we drink all alone
Our friends are a movie we watch on our phone
Our parents are teenagers sneaking around in the night
Our children are monkeys that are tied to our wrists
Our houses are wrecking balls tied to a list
A plan is a guess where the jester insists that he’s right

Oh 2020, you’re fading away
Your weeks into months and your months into days
As they all blur together like tears on the page
As if the angels were writing it down

At night I hear sirens and songs in the dark
And the roar of propellers like heaves of dry coughs
In the heart of the city, there’s a hole where John Prine still belongs


  1. I'm with you, Rol - if I had key worker status mine would be off to school, for exactly the same reasons.

    On the plus side, today I have taught physics, computer science, English and music, so not all bad... (and you can remind me I said that in two months time).

  2. I don't think you should be judged Rol. We are being forced to question even the most basic decisions now - should I go to this shop, should I go out to dinner with my friends that I haven't seen in nearly a year, or just hold off a bit long, shoul I do this, that etc....its hard. And as someone who had the kids doing schooling from home for most of 2020 here in Melbourne, Australia, it was very very difficult to also juggle my wife and I working from home too, and not an experience I would be keen to go go through again. The mere fact alone that you feel guilty about it means that you are not making the decision lightly, or spouting strange conspiracies etc...so don't feel guilty.

    On a lighter note, hello again, happy new year, and glad I have found a spare moment to skim through some older posts. As always, its usually a great read and I have discovered plenty of music I didn't know via reading your blog, so keep up the good work!

  3. Better for him and better for you
    You have made the right decision

  4. What Charity Chic said. Take care mate.

  5. Yes, as has been said by all above, it has to be the right thing for you/family. Mental health is just as important. Deano has hit the nail on the head too about being forced to question even the most basic decisions - the cumulative stress can't be underestimated.

  6. No judging - I couldn't do it. I have trouble enough working and looking after 3 dogs, let alone when we had 4 kids in the house (a 2 bedroom terraced house).
    I know colleagues who've had to balance the home-schooling and work - they're absolutely shattered. One I know did the home schooling during the day (with their laptop on to answer calls if required) and then did their work in the evening (often til gone midnight).
    No - we had to put a stop to that - it'll kill them.
    Don't know if I'm just lucky, but my recent Mental Health experiences have seen me in an unexpected better position since all the locking down. I fer for how others are dealing with it.
    The thing I always wonder is: are employees of Timpsons classed as key workers?

  7. Do what you got to do Rol. If your child's entitled to go to school, send him in. Look after yourself.

  8. My youngest is a first year high school student. He has not been in a classroom since early March of last year. There is a shaky plan for them to return this March. I hope it works out. He's very outgoing (not sure where that came from), and I'm afraid he has suffered greatly from a mental standpoint. Man, a whole year. If the plan sticks, I'll send him off to school with no regrets.

  9. You’ve absolutely done the right thing for all the reasons you mentioned about. You were spot on with your intro - Despite all the New Year greetings 2021 has indeed laughed back at us.

    Good luck with it all although you’ve not been back again this week (understandably) so guessing your hard work getting students ready for their exams has now been thrown into disarray.

    DD is/was an only child - Important for Sam to be with kids his own age. Stay safe as they say.


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