Day two: House of illness

6.10am ( awake at 5.45am up at 5.55am)

The white vans are passing, these are the earliest of workers, the hardest of workers. The lights of the vehicles still need to be switched on, but the early mornings are getting much brighter now.

I must get to the garden centre to buy my potatoes and start chitting, and then there will be the seedlings to pot. Spring is a crucial time when you have an allotment to keep. All the preparation work for the days of growing needs to be done. Each year our potatoes suffer blight and each year I attempt again to grow them. Last year the weather was warm and dry, it was easy to grow things. This is not always the case, I remember one very wet, cold year when even my beetroot seeds failed to germinate. Its hard to grow food in the peaty, acid,clay soil that lies here in the pennines and monster sized slugs are a nightmare to keep at bay. Organic slug pellets work a little. If I lived nearer my plot I would go out each night with a torch and pick off the beasties one by one.

The washing machine is chugging away, I feel that there is little to say, it is ground hog day here at home. Man and boys are in their beds sleeping.

Naoise woke me around five and asked me to put my arm around him. Are you cold, I asked. No, was the reply. Then it was just the comfort and love and security that he wanted. All the cuts and scabs and rashes seem to be clearing up on his little body, he is scratching less. I applied some antiseptic cream to all his sores as he slept. He hates the feel and smell of cream on his skin and refuses to let you apply it when he is conscious. Such a relief it was horrifying to see him picking deep scabs into his beautiful fair skin. He must have been so run down and exhausted. I am so glad that he is home resting, getting strong again.

School takes its toll, days are long and filled with less play and more and more maths and words each passing week. I am still shocked by the amount of work they expect our five year olds to get through and then the phonics test, what a load of ridiculousness. Makes my blood boil thinking about it so best to stop or I will rant. Its not the teachers fault, the government seem intent on turning our children into compliant, word and maths zombies. It will not be so, at home we rebel with art and music and riding bikes and running and poetry, politics, philosophy, growing potatoes and critical thinking. There is no way that my children will comply we shall play Breaking Bad top trumps till the sun goes down.


I have lowered the expectations of myself. The screens have taken over, but I guess when you have three ill people to look after, thats permissible. We built lego and played top trumps, the children’s eyes did get some break from the burn of the electric screens. I am quite enjoying keeping a tally of the medicine intake. It is fun to chalk up the times on the blackboard, to make a record. I swallow vitamin pills and iron supplements and wash my hands and try not to breath to close to them all. A mother never gets ill, does she?


Yesterday I managed to clear the dinning table, there are still stacks of lego and paperwork and bits n bobs everywhere but at least we can now sit down at a proper table to eat once again.


The buzzer on the oven timer sounds its beeps.




1 comment

  • Alison Burrows

    OMG I’ve got to find out what’s been wrong with you all. I have been out of touch and will have to catch up with you. Hope you all get well very very soon XXX

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