Tag Archives: covid-19

Twas the Night before Christmas

I know what you’re thinking. I should be writing this on Christmas Eve, having finished work for the week and in readiness for some downtime reading for my followers. Truthfully, 3 days after Christmas and this is the first day that I am alert enough to put pen to paper.

But I just had to share this – my son’s ingenious way to portray the Nativity for our household.

Christmas 2021 has been hectic and so much so that I hadn’t yet gotten round to putting up decorations by the middle of last week (yep, 3 days before Christmas day). Having 2 kids whose age gap was so large really hit home as a result. I had an adult child who really wasn’t that fussed as to whether we had time to put decorations up. I think she was more concerned with making sure this wasn’t added to my numerous to-do list. Then I had the younger one who at 10, still saw the magic of Christmas. To my shame I had been too busy with work and family affairs these past 4 to 6 weeks to actually make it special for him. So by Wednesday of last week he sullenly stood next to me while I was between webinars and stared at both my workstation and myself. As I turned to him, I realised that I had dropped the ball again – everyone else (work and wider family) had taken precedent over quality time with my boy. At this point he told me how he would have really liked it if there were decorations up in our house.

So, realising that I had another 4 hours of work that day, I gave him the nod and said, “Son, I hereby hand you the honourable mantle of decorating our abode. May it be a fantastical spectacle for all to see”. Obviously I didn’t really say that – more realistically it was “Go for it dude”. But his face lit up and he ran out of my ‘office’.

When work had finished I wearily walked down the stairs and was greeted with a very excited child. He grabbed me by the hand and gave me a tour of – I must say – the best decor that has ever graced my house. Tinsel was everywhere including our robotic Frosty the Snowman who now resembled Cousin Itt from the Adam’s Family. Our banister was covered with tinsel and in a nut shell every place that a 10 year could reach had been decorated. I was literally overjoyed.

But he had left the best until last.

There had been, each year, a long debate about our nativity scene. Each year I would put it up and by day 2, a reptile from the Cretaceous period would pay homage to baby Jesus in the manger . And I would never notice until days later.

Not to be outdone this year my interior designer not only had a T-Rex but also had succeeded in re-writing the 4 books of the Gospel. Not only had a T-Rex managed to find Bethlehem but he brought his mate, Indominus Rex with him and allowed Owen from Jurassic World to hitch a ride on his back.

Of course this caused a chain reaction to the big day. One of the Magi bottled after arriving to find the T-Rex and Owen had taken his prime slot by the manger. In protest, he turned his back on Jesus and became an apostate

The shepherds were made redundant after missing their deadline for receiving 2 jabs and they were promptly replaced by Iron man, War-machine, a Lego guy (my son did tell me but his name escapes me right now), then some policemen from the local station said they’d help out. Someone’s dog realised that the sheep were working to rule with the shepherds being sacked and so he decided to represent the sheep.

The Angel Gabriel wanted to wear his Spiderman suit for Christmas and so because we were in our second year of the pandemic, God let him. Gabriel was so chuffed, that he told the rest of his mates that they too could dress up and so they came as Ninjago, Indiana Jones, a Copper (his words), a Lego Construction worker (he didn’t want to dress up), one angel who only wanted the helmet of a Storm Trooper and then one totally outdid himself by finding that his Carnage costume still fitted him after working from home for over a year.

So after explaining what was going on with the Nativity scene, my son slowly exhaled, smiled and looked at me asking, “What do you think, Mum?”

I was so impressed, that I turned round and promptly said, “You’re Hired!”

Hello, It’s Me, Migraine

I guess a lot of us in the UK celebrated ‘Freedom Day‘ by heading outside doing things which we have been prevented from doing since Covid began last year. Except for yours truly of course. Instead, after a night of profuse tossing and turning I woke up realising that I had the first migraine in a while and was this a humdinger.

During my peri-menopausal years I had a guaranteed monthly occurrence of migraines having never had them when I was younger. It took numerous visits to the GP before it was officially recognised as just that – a migraine – and I had pretty much managed it with over the counter migraine relief. There was one caveat though – if I caught the migraine while I was awake I didn’t have any issues at all except the feeling of being in a different solar system due to the strength of the pain relief. But if it came on in the night, I would kiss goodbye the ability to carry out my duties as a normal human being. When I passed the menopause threshold of 50, they began to reduce significantly as my oestrogen levels bid their farewells as well and I very much didn’t miss them.

So who told this particular migraine to visit on one of the hottest days of this year?

Yesterday during a fitful sleep I vaguely recalled feeling pain sufficient to bring me out of deep sleep but I ignored it as it was a Sunday night and I regretfully thought I had to force myself to sleep due to work on the Monday. By the time my alarm went off at 6am the migraine literally slapped me awake! I stumbled out of bed and staggered downstairs to the kitchen. Once there I fumbled to get the medicine box from the upper most shelf in the kitchen cupboard – it occurred to me at that moment that my son was 10 and so was not about to overdose on out of date plasters and paracetamol. After being attacked by an avalanche of medically related boxes (never did get round to placing them in the box), I finally found the migraleve and popped the pink pills with a full glass of water.

It struck me an hour later that the migraine possibly started a good 4 to 6 hours prior to me getting up as my stomach began its telltale cramping which occurs towards the end of a migraine episode along with what I call the ‘munchies’. During a daytime episode, I would be 4 hours into the migraine when – in spite of eating normally – my stomach would feel immensely empty to the degree that no amount of eating would alleviate the sensation. Hence the term, “the munchies”. If I ignored this sensation, I would be rewarded with the mother of all stomach cramps. However at 7am with a tight school run to do, I ignored the warning signs and attempted to get by with another glass of water and a bio-yogurt drink.


Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

By the time I had made it to the car with my son, I was in the full throngs of unbelievable stomach pain. Sweating profusely, I pigheadedly drove my son to school and made the 14 mile round trip back home. Back on the drive, I was making my peace with God, trying to remember where I had placed my stupid Will, but somehow managed to get myself back inside just in time to chuck the two glasses of water, bio-yogurt and migraine tablets into the toilet bowl.

About 20 minutes later my older daughter saw me sat on the landing like a wet lettuce and I must have looked really bad because she genuinely looked worried and did not retort with some kind of banter that she normally would. Instead there was a degree of role reversal – she gently and quietly rubbed my back, dried my sweaty forehead and comforted me until I was strong enough to get up. She then forced me to drink some water before helping me back into my bedroom which had a fan blasting and closed curtains. I rode out the rest of the migraine there until it subsided.

I have an idea of what brought on that migraine and in a small part the hot night did not help.

But the thought of me working for the NHS, hearing and witnessing the deep routed concern about ‘Freedom Day’ from the frontline workers who care deeply about their patients and the continuing rise of cases hitting the wards, had my brain working over time on what would have been the hottest night of the year.

Annual Leave WOO HOO!

Why is it that annual leave comes with so much promise of the kinds of things you’re going to achieve but reality then kicks in?

I am one day into my first real break from working in a year and already the first day off is over. As with all good intentions I was going to purchase school shoes and work clothes, pick up some paint so that for the rest of the week I could catch up with the very things I couldn’t do because of working. but interestingly I am just. plain. tired.

Lockdown and home learning meant that what I perceived as being a walk in the park in terms of working with no commute nor school commute turned out to be more intense than the old 5 day week routine and it turned out that I was not alone.

One of the culprits was the scale of meetings that we were taking now that most of the world had to do video conferencing. I thought it was me and in particular my age but in actual fact Microsoft found that Brainwaves reveal that remote meeting fatigue is real.

Woo hoo! I can put the zimmer frame away for now but ultimately I need to get the old bike out and counter balance the increased fatigue with activities that promote a release of stored stress which comes from not taking regular holiday breaks.

Has this put me off working from home or freelancing? In actual fact COVID-19 has shown me that I can adapt to different ways of working and if I can find a vocation which allows me to work when it suits, then I look forward to the prospect of working from home in the future (but not as a result of a darn pandemic).