The boy turned 13

Last week, I completed 13 years as a mother in this world. Such a long span of time that went by in a whirl.

The son/kiddo/brat has turned into a fine young man, though he spends too much time in front of the screen. The bane for all parents in this age.

Having met his few teenage friends, I see how distant they are from their parents, with some hardly talking or spending very little time with them. I’m glad my son still hugs me every morning right after he wakes up. It is a very quiet hug, I am not supposed to say anything, rock him or sing or such. Lasts about a minute. I think of it as a recharge hug for both our souls. Early in the morning, before the screen sucks him in, we steal a minute to reassure ourselves of each other’s presence, to comfort ourselves with our mutual love for one another.

I get the occasional barbed response but overall he is a loving and kind soul. Sometimes a very witty, sarcastic and wise one. One night, a few years ago, I was tucking him in for bed. We talked some and somehow ended up on the subject of death. He turns to me and says, ‘Everyone has to die someday. Life is but a waiting game, a wait to die.’

Last week, he had snuggled up to me as we watched TV. Suddenly he says to me, ‘Every teenager is living 4 lives. One is their home life, second is their school life, third – life with their friends and fourth – a fantasy life – online gaming life.’

I didn’t know he had such crystal clear thoughts and could compartmentalize his life. In contrast, I was such a wreck as a teenager, riddled with anxiety, anger, fear and confusion with life.

Of ups and downs

Sunday 10th Jan 2021 –

Another day of ups and downs. Ups in the morning with some key decision making. Come evening, undoing those decisions. This is the second time this has happened and hopefully the last.

Going into this, I had thought that I won’t be taking the pressure and stressing over it but given my nature, I am feeling stressed. It is also a lot more frustrating, knowing you have given it time and effort and it has come to nothing. I hate a waste especially when it is to do with spending mental efforts into something and realigning your outlook towards a way of life.

I have realised I cannot live with indecision and the constant back of forth. I think it shows a weakness in mental fortitude.

Another lockdown

As of yesterday midnight, Scotland is in national lockdown until 1st of Feb. This obviously means a month of home-schooling. The last time this happened, it was chaos all around. Parents didn’t know what to do and neither did the kids. I think the kids did better in the lockdown than the parents.

It was the first time for schools as well and they were scrambling to take lessons online. This time round, I am hoping for a more organised approach. We have been there, done that, so everyone knows what to expect, in a way.

Home schooling is so much different from actual schooling. The kids get to revise but new learning does not happen. There has been a lot of debate about the effectiveness of home-schooling. For me, it’s just about getting through the day without too much screen time! We’ll see how it goes. I am letting go.

Tested negative for Covid

In July, I was put on to a project, which does not really match my job description, but hey, you do that work that falls on you. I had worked on a similar project back in February and yet I was dreading this work and just wanted to get it done with. Let’s not talk of project management and deadlines. As always, I will meet them and get it done; integrity and all that. Midway through the project, I got an assistant of sorts to help me through it. By then I was already working 12-14 hours a day including weekends. It got to the point that I couldn’t switch my mind off. I was thinking of work constantly even when I wasn’t working. After office work, there was housework, cooking, cleaning etc. It seemed like I was just working nonstop.

I didn’t have the time or inclination to celebrate my birthday come August. I honestly can’t remember, what I ate on that day. Now comes the drama. On the next day of my birthday, by afternoon, I think my body had had it. I just went to the bedroom and flopped down. Next day, early morning, I sent a text to my manager, saying I physically can’t work anymore. She excused me for the day. I had tremendous body ache, a slight fever and fatigue. I couldn’t sit for more than 15 minutes at a time. I had to go lie down then. KP got really worried about me. Although I had not stepped out of the house for the entire month of July (working like crazy); he felt that we should all get tested for COVID. Luckily, we got the appointment for the very next day afternoon.

We drove to the Edinburgh airport where the test centre was located. It took us some time to actually find it. I was imagining long queues and waits. However, there was hardly anyone there. We had to keep the car windows closed at all times. The volunteers guided us to a spot where we could park our car. We showed our appointment date and time on the phone through the glass window. KP was told to roll down the window and kits were passed to us. We had to do our own swabs – throat, and nose. We did not have to step out of the car. That was the 5th August. We could all sense the tension in the air. Although I had a feeling that I didn’t have it, you can’t be sure in these crazy times. I came home and smelled the coffee and I could smell it!

We got the results via a text message early on the morning of 6th August – all negative. Drumroll and celebrations all around. Phew! I was still feeling miserable though. I did not have a cough, nor did I have a high fever. After a lot of google research, we diagnosed it down to flu. The doctors here are really not useful as they don’t see you unless you have been ill for a couple of weeks. I was just taking paracetamol and ibuprofen. After a couple of weeks, I had no temperature and was recovering. It was a month before I felt back to normal.

This is a note for the diary to record our part in the history of this pandemic.

A note for the diary #covid19

Long time since I updated this space. It never felt that lockdown was lifted during the months of August and September. A new strain of the virus is circulating in England and it is supposed to be 70% more contagious than the already highly contagious one. This new variant has wreaked havoc just before the Christmas holidays and new year. The UK has imposed its most severe lockdown. Christmas is essentially cancelled. People can meet with other households only over Christmas Day. The UK will go into lockdown from 27th December for three weeks. School holidays are extended until 11th Jan and then there will be a week of online schooling. All non essential stores, gyms, hairdressers and entertainment venues will be closed. Over 40 countries have banned travel to and from the UK.

Schools closed for the Christmas on Friday the 18th. We got an email from the head teacher a day before school closed, saying he was happy that not a single Covid case was recorded for the junior school. On Friday though, I got a call from the school office saying a positive case has been identified and that S was in direct contact with the case; so he needs to go home soon. He also needs to self isolate until the 23rd December.

S is fine and not showing any symptoms. Initially he was happy as self isolation meant he would be in his room playing video games and food will be brought up to him. Been 3 days now and the boredom has set. He has lost interest in the games. He is missing going out and playing with his friends. Two more days to go.

The guidelines around self isolation are strange. S has to self isolate but we are free to go out, with masks and social distancing of course. Here I am thinking, shouldn’t we self isolate as well? If S is an asymptomatic carrier, isn’t there a chance that he has passed it on to us already?

Fingers crossed.

Repost – Art of Whodunit – Delicious Death

Reposting another one of my old blog posts. With all the time over the weekend, I struggled to choose a book to read. I have over a hundred books on my Kindle yet nothing hooked me on. I did what I usually do in situations like these. I turned to my bookshelf and chose a Christie book.

There is no thrill quite like what I experience after reading a whodunit. I love this genre with a passion. Why do I love whodunits so, you ask? Simple as Hercule Poirot says they gives you the illusion of living an exciting life.

This brings me to what is going to be the focus of this post – my abiding love for Agatha Christie and her unusual and idiosyncratic detectives – Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. I have read my fair share of Sherlock Holmes – who’s intent on impressing Watson all the time. I honestly don’t think you can deduce that someone’s wife has left him because his hat is dirty and not brushed often – god! Or probably he can possibly categorise 350 different types of tobacco ashes. No monsieur, that’s doesn’t impress me at all.

No doubt Christie’s mysteries are thrilling, one better than the other, but what charms me most is her detectives – a little old lady with a twinkle in her eyes and a Belgian ex-police detective with an egg-shaped head. They are witty, funny, kind but firm and so brainy. The cerebral appeal that they have is what is lacking in modern detectives. Today’s detectives do not have ‘the little grey cells” and cannot solve a mystery by “simply arranging the facts in order” and hence resort to sex appeal and dirtying their hands and all the action. I am more impressed with Poirot sitting in his chair, sipping a cup of hot chocolate and using his grey cells to solve the crime. That’s a true detective.

Miss Marple’s method are different though. Her little village of St. Mary Meads has given her ample opportunity to peep into the psyche of people and learn their nature and every new crime reminds her of someone who has done the something similar. Her study of human psychology and human nature is simply outstanding and perhaps that is the reason why I tend to enjoy her stories a bit more than Poirot’s.

Somewhere along some books, I have also taken an immense liking to Captain Hastings who’s Poirot’s closest friend and the narrator of most of his stories. He is loyal to Poirot, has a dry, witty sense of humour, is charming in his own way and never leaves a chance to point out Poirot’s pompousness.

I have read almost all of her books but still after reading a few other authors I need to read one Christie just to make the blood rush.

Some of my favourites:

  • A Caribbean Mystery
  • Murder of Roger Ackroyd
  • Murder on the Orient Express
  • Murder is Announced
  • The Witness for the Prosecution
  • Mirror cracked from side to side
  • The thirteen problems
  • Murder in three acts
  • Holiday for Murder
  • 4:50 from Paddington
  • Why didn’t they ask Evans?
  • At Bertram’s Hotel