Our family history 2020 skools out for Coronavirus Blog Week 1

20th March 2020

Here goes, my first blog to record my thoughts, feelings, life events and provide my children and their future generations with a first hand account of these life changing events. WARNING these blogs may include controversial comments, thoughts, feelings etc – I’m not going to apologise this is my personal blog so please do not take anything I say personally, but you’re welcome to comment if you wish – I won’t take it personally! πŸ˜‰

What a year 2020 is turning out to be! Lots of ‘I never thought I’d………….’ see the supermarket shelves empty, be standing in a queue outside at the chemist to collect a prescription (two in at time policy), see the churches close even on a Sunday, see a world at war against a virus!

People are quite rightly anxious and scared and maybe it will help us a little better appreciate how our ancestors felt and what they went through with those even worse announcements and events of the past – WW1 and WW2. Whilst not underestimating the impact of this nasty virus and completely agree with the steps our government is taking, I do want to put some perspective on all this – we are hearing growing numbers of cases every day and yes those numbers are large but in terms of percentage of population – whether you look at it nationally or globally – the number of those affected are less than 0.05%:

UK Population – Government statistics Mid 2018 66.4 million (estimated 2020 67.8 million World population Review)

With the measures put in place, if everyone adheres to them, the UK hope to control Coronavirus to an estimated 20,000 people infected

Percentage of the population…..you do the maths! ……… 0.029% for those who can’t!

Without the interventions they estimates 250,000 would be affected …. 0.36% of the population.

Don’t get me wrong, it is certainly no the case that I am not concerned, although I not necessarily concerned about my immediate family (children, husband and myself) I am concerned about my parents (being in the high risk groups of over 70’s although they do not have any of the health risks). They live 200 miles away from me, I haven’t seen them since Christmas and now our plans for them to visit us over the Easter are gone! They recently celebrated their golden wedding anniversary and we were going to have a family celebration. Now I don’t know when I will see them again! I am just thankful that my brother only lives 40 miles away from them! And thankfully they are a bit tech-savvy and we can skype.

My father-in-law who will be 89 this year had a stroke at Christmas but is now thankfully home. They live in the same village as us so that’s not such a worry.

As for my children, well the schools will be out this afternoon until who knows when (I suspect September). Here is one of those ‘I never thought I’d….’ moments – home schooling my children! At least mine are only 3 and 5 and not at a critical stage of their education. My task of teaching them the basic building blocks at a young age is not as daunting as for many. My heart goes out to all those due to sit their sats, GCSE’s (including my nephew) and A level exams. Whilst this is an important stage in your life, just remember health and happiness are so much more important and once you’re at university or in work those grades get long forgotten. You will get thorough this and you will prosper. It may feel like all that hard work was for nothing now, but it will still all stand you in good stead for life’s future adventures.

As for me personally……..

21st March

Well, I have to say I don’t think I’m going to have difficulty homeschooling for the first few weeks, James started pestering to do the work they have been sent home with as soon as he got home yesterday! And I have given up counting the number of times he has asked this morning……its the weekend!!!! But to pacify him and prepare home for Monday he has helped me set a timetable …lets see how well we stick to it!

Family History will of course be covered…and I think the games and crafts will include some ‘helping mummy spring clean the house’ and a bit of gardening! ha ha

We’ve been to our local shops to spend the kids book tokens before they close. Made me quite cross! We were doing our best to comply with the social distancing advice but looking round many people are clearly still ignoring advice. Walking past the local butchers shop the queue was just the same as usual, no one was standing the recommended 2 metres apart which would be quite feasible! And there were groups of friends (young and older adults!) just stood as normal having a chat. What is wrong with people not listening to the advice! We all know the advice – no one surely is going to be offended if you stand away from them!?! Thankfully in the post office (I wanted to post a parcel) the queue was short and we were able to maintain the distance, we just moved if someone got too close! ha ha

Seriously people, this next week we will face shop closures, queuing to take you turn to be allowed into the supermarkets and the possibility of martial law if the advice is not taken – we have already seen the start of this with the closure of pubs, clubs, leisure centres etc. We will be faced with Italian lock down.

I was please to hear from the CEO of Sainsburys this morning that they are going to increase their opening times specifically for the over 70’s, vulnerable and to include those in the keyworker sectors in particular those NHS workers who have struggled to get food after they have finished a long shift saving lives and caring for those afflicted by this horrid virus! They need to be kept nourished to continue their amazing work. Conversely they will reduced they normal weekly opening hours to help with the stocking up of shelves and protect their staff. I think this is certainly a move in the right direction!

We may face many of these restrictions on our lives for up to a year, varying to a lessor and greater extent, to control ‘spikes’ in the virus and manage and sustain the NHS. Lets just all work together so that the worse restrictions stay in place for the shortest time as possible.

For us, save for food if I can’t shop online, this was our last trip to the shops. Thankfully we have a large garden for the kids and some lovely walks on our doorstep to get out into the fresh air and get some exercise. But we will be keeping our distance from everyone else, I might even get a stick 2 metres long to take out with us! ha ha

We’re off into the garden this afternoon to have some fun and spring clean the kids outdoor toys …. this may get rather messy! ha ha

Firefighting practice!
Washing their outdoor toys

Looking forward to some warmer weather πŸ™‚

Happy Mother’s day

22nd March

Or should I say Mothering Sunday.

Maybe not my best photo but it was 7am!!!!

What a lovely sunny morning in Surrey perfect for a morning run. Maybe people are starting to take note of the social distancing, the few people I passed all made an effort (as did I) to keep the prescribed (and more where possible) away from each other.

Had a lovely relaxed morning then, coffee followed by a long Skype call with my mum and dad and Sunday roast cooked by my lovely husband. Just a normal mothering Sunday here! Went for a little walk this afternoon to exercise the kids and say happy mothers day to my mother in law – from their drive! Please be assured we did not be go in or get close to them (father in law was asleep!) We are keeping them safe!

So, the home schooling (well, doing the work set by the teachers!) starts tomorrow morning and my son still seems as keen as ever to get on with it. Got to love him, he really does enjoy school and learning, how lucky are we. Two weeks and then we will still have an Easter break from learning…..if he’ll let me he he

I’m so impressed with his reading and writing, he’ll be helping me write our family history and as part of his schooling I may even get him to write in this blog πŸ˜‰

Here’s to a relaxing rest of Mother’s Day or Mothering Sunday as it should correctly be known from the its origins of when people would visit their “mother” church on Laetare Sunday, the fourth Sunday of Lent, three Sundays’ before Easter. It gradually became a day when domestic servants were given the day off to visit their mother church, usually with their own mothers and other family members. It was often the only time that entire families could gather together, often been prevented from doing so on other days due to conflicting working hours

It is not hard to see how, as the dominance of religion and the church declined in recent centuries, and in particular the latter half of the 20th Century, this religious tradition evolved into the mothers day we know today.

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, stay safe, keep you mothers (and fathers) safe and have a lovely day.

I can’t go without saying I’m glad to hear the news today that Sainsburys are allocating priority online slots for deliveries to the most vulnerable groups. Conversely it is very saddening to hear the National Trust have taken the decision to close their parks essentially due to people taking advantage of their kind offer to open their parks for free to all without taking on board the advice for social distancing! I hope those who spoiled this generous offer from the National Trust are suitably disgraced with themselves! The beeches and Areas of Outstanding National Beauty will be the next to close if people continue to behave in such an irresponsible way. As for complete lockdown….Whilst I would urge the government to now put the country into lockdown, at the rate it is going I don’t think it will be necessary as shops are taking the decisions themselves to close and it won’t belong for the loved ones of those who have failed take the advice of social distancing will start to show symptoms and people then may start to take all the advice seriously. Clearly seeing what is happening in other countries is not sufficient.

I now know of two families who have been directly affected by this illness – one losing a close family friend to the illness, one whose entire family (two adults and two children) has had the illness and have expressed how nasty it is – thankfully they are all recovering well.

23rd March

So here are a few photos of our first day of schooling at home! I’m not sure I will survive this! Very hard work trying to split myself in two to keep both children entertained at the same time, eldest needing help with his school work and youngest wanting me to do something else with her most of the time – I tried to get her to do easier versions of what James was doing, sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.

But at least the sun was shining and they kept going outside to play. The house was not wrecked but my brain is fried! Didn’t help that every one with kids was trying to access the online resources this morning meaning many just weren’t working!

The timetable essentially went out of the window in terms of timings but we did get in some phonics, crafts, numbers, writing and reading – so somehow we did cover all the essential learning elements! wow!

Just asked my son how he has enjoyed his first day of home schooling – GOOD! ha ha He might not say that tomorrow – when he asked what craft they could do tomorrow I told him the art and craft of spring cleaning his room!!! ha ha ha

ME – I need a drink! On the plus side, Sainsburys came with my delivery and only a few items missing – bet you can guess which ones – yes loo roll, soap, baked beans (one of the kids staple foods!), tinned tomatoes ….. and the very nice bottle of wine I ordered for my birthday treat on Friday! Lets hope I get out to find a replacement at some point!!!!! Oh and the picture frame finally arrived for me to put together my mum and dads golden wedding anniversary present (a family tree surrounded by photos from their wedding) which I will now need to send them as we won’t be seeing them any time soon 😦 I’ll post a photo when its complete πŸ™‚

I am also very glad I got my IHGS course completed and that the exam is likely to be postponed – if today is anything to go by I won’t get much revision or other work done!

Hopefully it can only get easier as we all get more used to it. We have no choice, lockdown is coming and I’m guessing tomorrow seeing as the PM’s daily press conference was cancelled because they were having a cobra meeting……..and the shops are all making their own sensible decisions to close but continue online shopping, hmm online shopping was taking over before – now it really will take off and will our high streets ever recover? Or will we start to shops turned into living accommodation??? Potential huge long term changes to some areas of our lives. Food for thought!

25th March

Well i’m writing day 5 blog this morning (day 6) as I just did not get time yesterday! What a busy day, tiring but good. The kids were really well behaved (mostly!) and the day went without any shouting, telling off or arguments! What an achievement! 🀣

There is no wonder I was tired by the end of it…the day started with me enjoying a 5k run out in the gorgeous sunshine (my one daily exercise) followed by joining the kids doing the Joe Wicks morning kids PE session. Then, I must have spent an hour or more in total (sporadically throughout the day) bouncing with the kids on the trampoline….my poor knees!

As for schooling, well James managed some maths (basic additionπŸ‘), writing, reading and phonics. We skipped the craft today but came up with a longer term craft we can do over the coming days and weeks – the kids collected lots of sticks a few weeks ago and they are still in the garage in a bag so, we have asked all our family members to send selfies to us and we will create a twiglet family tree. Not quite sure when this will start but we shall see 🀣

We also managed a good clear out and tidy up of James’ room – he can now use his desk again so I can hide him away to do school work if Rose starts to pester him. I’m just wondering how long it will stay like that! Roses’ room is next on the list….

I must say I think we are very lucky that the weather has vastly improved for the schools closing, they are spending much of their day out in the garden which is great. I say make the most of it whilst the weather lasts 🀞 schooling and learning can be increased on those rainy says that will no doubt come at some point. Perhaps mother nature is looking down on us all and having sent this nasty virus to test us, she is giving us a little help to survive this lockdown period.

For me, I even managed to get some research done for a friend who has been waiting ages for me….it is a freebie and she knew it wouldn’t take priority but now I would like to get it done for her and then I can get on with some of my own family research. I have a few of my own family history projects to crack on with – getting to grips with a DNA test and analysing the results; and writing more of our family history biographies.

25 March

Another good day, pretty uneventful day today in the Pettyfer household, although I didn’t think it was going to be this morning waking up with what I thought was going to be a migraine but thankfully, some string pain killers and a lay down for an hour in a dark bedroom seemed to knock the worst of it on its head.

Another sunny day so the kids were happy spending most of the day outside in the gardenπŸ‘πŸ˜ after an online ballet class this morning.

Our craft session today was baking – my birthday cake for Friday and some scones hmmmm with jam and cream. Tomorrow’s craft will be decorating my cake! That could be messy 🀣

All this home schooling/learning has got me thinking about how our ancestors were educated …. or not. Watch this space, I feel another blog coming on! ……

26 March

Another uneventful day in our household. The kids have again spent most of the day outside but James did do some school work after lunch. He’s doing really well with basic maths πŸ‘πŸ˜Š

Not really much more to report today but I can’t believe some of the news reports today, in particular some young people’s lack of respect and consideration for the older generation if anyone has read about the case in Ipswich of an elderly couple being spat on and attacked you will hopefully know what I am talking about. I am really pleased to hear the police and prosecution services are taking such incidents and those again key workers seriously and the culprits will be facing a prison sentence, it is absolutely beyond belief that in these times people think such behaviour could in any way be tolerated, not that such behaviour should be tolerated in any circumstances, but I am sure the police are taking it far more seriously given the risk of Covid-19….it could actually be the death of someone and that’s murder!!!!

But I won’t rant on!

For a bit of light relief I’ll share this brilliant and hilarious family tree related video….

27 March

Happy birthday to me!

Yep it’s that day of the year again when I celebrate being born. Rather a surreal day today in the circumstances and I have decided to be like the Queen this year and have an official birthday later in the year when a proper celebration can be had with friends and family – a celebration of birthdays (I’m sure there’ll be other friends and family with birthdays in this surreal time before the restrictions lift) and survival 😜 The alternative is to not age this year and celebrate this birthday next year – well our ancestors got away with not knowing their correct date/year of birth why not me! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

However Corona virus did not spoil my birthday. The kids made me lovely cards – I even got a handmade once from my hubby ❀ lots of cuddles and time out of everything else to just spend with them – I even let James off his school work for the day (don’t tell his teachers πŸ˜‚)

I had a lovely long skype chat with my parents and we had a lovely long walk as a family despite the fact Graeme should have been working! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜œβ€

Just a chilled out day, playing, enjoying the fresh air, watching Frozen II (my choice πŸ˜‰) and a nice glass or two of white wine.

So well received genealogy related birthday gifts…..

So all in all, a lovely day πŸ’•πŸŽ‚

Although I will always remember that it was the day the PM got corona virus and the nastiness of some people really did show through…..I wonder how many people will regret some of their comments on social media in the future and how many people will fill out prisons because of their selfishness and stupidy!

The weekend (28/29th March)

Well, apart from the fact we couldn’t go out anywhere the weekend has been quite normal for us really.

Jobs round the house… Done with the kids helping out πŸ‘

A family bike ride, the first one with James riding his own bike rather than on the back of me…. He managed 2 miles, half off road… Not bad for 5 year old πŸ‘

And I started my family history biography book… A nice big project to keep me going and good practice for future client report writingπŸ‘

Pretty quiet relaxing weekend shame about the weather turning colder and windy! Where did the wind come from this weekend?πŸŒͺ️🌬️☁️And yes even the odd spot of rain β˜”and snow!!! β„οΈβ˜ΉοΈ Let’s hope its better weather during the week.

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