Tuesday 5 January

I have to admit to feeling much like my cat today, who was asleep in front of the fire with her paws over her face.

I’ll only wake up when it’s all over. But hey, I galvanised myself into doing a fitness video and felt much better for doing that. The circulation gets going and I feel more energised.

I had a lot of emails, text messages and phone calls today. All relating to the new lockdown really, and all declaring in essence that they are BORED! Not that anyone is short of activities, it’s just it’s the same activities day in, day out, and now Chris Whitty says it may be the same next winter too. So what is there to do except drink wine and eat chocolate, both of which I admit to cheerfully.

But to justify this, I did walk over 2 miles near here, in the rain, and did feel much warmer as I was wrapped up in a thick coat and stepped it out pretty smartly. I came past the local primary school at home time, and was surprised to see how many children there were. I thought all schools were closed. But no: key workers’ children and vulnerable children still go to school. It seems that in primaries, 40-50% of the pupils will be there. If you are as amazed as I was, have a look at the government website as to who counts as a key worker. It is a startling amount. In secondaries, many of the children of keyworkers will opt not to go, because they can be left alone to work online at home, although in reality, I guess an awful lot of computer games are being played. The primary school children are doing their online lessons supervised by the teachers rather than parents: teachers are not going to be preparing online tuition and “real” lessons. When the pupils have finished the day’s tasks, they can play. It is glorified child minding as far as I can deduce. I am extremely glad that I am no longer teaching. A modern foreign language remotely? Just tune in to Duolingo.

My current earworm is The Harmonious Blacksmith, which my mother particularly liked. so I commend it to you, and hope it haunts you as much as it has me today.

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