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VIEW FROM HERE: MJ gets grounded before lockdown starts, but bounces back to take charge of home schooling, starting with maths…

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Lockdown 2021 aye. Here we go again. Although, true to form, my usual trendsetting ways shone out and I managed to get myself ‘grounded’ before it was even announced.

I will admit I went against my usual ethos by not using a small, independent travel company and booked a short stay with a larger organisation usually known as the NHS.

They’re terribly obliging for last minute enquiries, thankfully for me. Did it have fine dining food available? Not quite but it was all inclusive and I never travel anywhere without a packet of Jaffa cakes, you know, just in case.

It was a sojourn with the NHS instead of her usual small, independent travel company for MJ.

If I wasn’t up to cricking my neck far enough to see the vista down the River Tay, I was easily soothed by the Scottish landscape art on the walls. Staff were 5-star, but I’ve come to expect that from this establishment and they never disappoint. Not even for an overworked second.

Bless them and their tolerant ways. A big shout out to all the brilliant gang at Ward 32.

Naturally this short, but entirely necessary secondment, has left me behind in my plan to take long, leisurely walks with the mister while he’s off work, while the kids are off school and while the business is closed for a few days.

I truly believed I could. But I was tired, so I rested and you know what? The world went on, everything is okay and I knew that I could try again the next day.

As usual, the NHS service was 5-star.

One slight problem is that I no longer know what day of the week it is. I can regularly be heard saying this day, that day, the other day, some day and feel smug if I manage a yesterday, today or tomorrow. Not exactly reassuring when I’m supposed to be ramping up the old home schooling again.

I did manage to have the presence of mind to tell the kids they were to be starting their home schooling five whole days prior to when they actually did, but this didn’t leave me in their good books and I’m not quite sure the 30 minutes’ peace it afforded me was worth it.

This new lockdown has literally turned our two-legged bairns into dogs. They roam round the house looking for food. They’re firmly told ‘no’ if they get too close to strangers and they get ridiculously excited about getting in the car for a drive or a walk.

Every time they stretch or yawn I have to catch myself from saying ‘ooooooh big stretch’ or ‘ooooooh big yawn’. And do NOT get me started on their howling, I just can’t. Our actual dogs think I’ve completely lost it. They’re not entirely wrong.

Tired, but unbowed, MJ is ready to tackle the task of home-schooling with the kids.

I think I’ll start them all off with a maths question to kick off home learning 2021. The biggest bairn is hoping to go to university this year after all so I’m not going easy on her just because I’m the Alpha, sorry, her Mam.

Let’s make it topical to bring in some current affairs too. Right. Remember to always read and re-read the question to make sure you fully understand: If 2020 was a maths problem and you’re walking on the marshmallow cloud at 26 ounces per dishwasher when your kitty cat loses its bark, how many bicycles will you need to varnish your duck-billed platypus?

Too hard? Fine. Let’s move on. The UK population is approximately 68million. Everyone needs a vaccine which, in order to be effective, requires two jabs per person within 21 days.

Assuming people actually listen and don’t breach lockdown, how many Amazon delivery drivers need to be trained to provide the vaccine each week over the next year? Remember to take into account the variable of Prime memberships and the effect this will have on rate of delivery PLUS whether or not recipients are on Santa’s naughty or nice list to ensure they’re worthy……… I’m expecting A grades all round.

The smallest one tried to do long division on a sum I’d written down. I didn’t have the heart to tell her it was the number of the nearest pizza delivery service and let her get on with it. Note to self – from now on note numbers on mobile phone instead of random scraps of paper.