Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Putting Lockdown in a box - Tracy Darnton

This blog has crept up on me in the strange time warp of lockdown. What week is it? I've no idea. This is blog number four (four!!!) since this started. As I'm measuring my life now by Bin Day and Bin Day Eve, rather than by actual dates or months, I'm afraid this one is rather last minute. 

So I thought I'd share my Lockdown Box. In this weird twilight world of Lockdown/Not Lockdown, I've been thinking that even though we as a family are still largely marooned at home, something has shifted and we should assess Lockdown and better still, put it in a box. I want to do something practical in the same way I do after a bereavement or a momentous family occasion. I curate it, tame it, make it something I can put a lid on and file on a shelf. Something we can revisit in the future. What did you do in the Lockdown, Great Granny? Well, I shall say. Hold my cocoa and pass me that dusty box.

What's in it?
I half wish I could include that letter from the Government but it was ceremoniously ripped into tiny pieces. Or the giant catering can of tinned tomatoes that my local greengrocers improvised and kindly delivered to us. Or one of the lids of ice cream cartons from Deliver Moo keeping us supplied from our local Marshfield Ice Cream. Or the terrible 21st birthday cake I made from any old rubbish in the cupboard. 

I do have celebration cards for my kids stuck with their parents instead of celebrating rites of passage end of A levels and uni finals. And mementoes from the Hay festival they recreated in the garden for my birthday. 

And we've added the art we painted after watching Grayson Perry and a picture of our Lockdown Reading Pile. And the map of footpaths we discovered on our doorstep for all those walks which kept us going. And the menu from my Come Dine With Me Sicilian evening that I hoped would start off the rest of the family to do the same - but sadly didn't. 

And the book I worked so hard on but am bringing out with no book launch party - just a supreme sense of irony as it's about the effects on a family of preparing for disasters like pandemics. Yes, dear Reader, I foresaw the toilet roll shortages. 

Lastly, I'm a list maker - To Do, Shopping, Birthday gifts to buy, TBR - so we're starting another list. A family list poem. 

        The Lockdown A to Z. 

The poem's too personal, too angry in places, too mundane in others to share on this blog. And, anyway, you can guess what my Z stands for. I recommend it as a way, whatever your age, to remember and to make sense of what we've experienced so far. 

It's not finished yet - because Lockdown/Not Lockdown isn't finished. But when it is, it's going in the box. 

Tracy Darnton writes YA thrillers. Her latest novel The Rules is published on July 9th. It will be launched in a socially distanced way on Twitter @TracyDarnton but she's looking forward to a future party. 

1 comment:

Ann Darnton said...

I move from hair-washing day to hair-washing day. I have typical Darnton hair - very curly and fine - and my one luxury, however tight my financial situation has been, has always been to go to the hairdresser. Each occasion I have to deal with it at home is a major trauma.