If you asked me what we do at weekends, I would say ‘not a lot’ and, compared to a lot of people, we probably don’t do a lot. But you never know what you’ve got until it’s gone. Now we’re all living in the shadow of coronavirus, I realise we did a lot more at weekends than I thought we did (even if it wasn’t all fun).
Now just to say – this isn’t a ‘poor me’ post. These are tough times for everyone and I realise that we are very lucky. None of us have been ill and none of us have underlying health conditions. We haven’t been forced into self-isolation, we’re just practising social distancing and staying at home as we should.
Regular readers will know that weekends in our house start with parkrun at 9am on Saturday. We usually run in a local park, but if my son is doing sport elsewhere (either an athletics competition or an away rugby or football match) we will do some parkrun tourism and run there instead. With parkrun cancelled indefinitely, we’re trying to do our own family parkrun locally as our prescribed ‘once a day’ exercise. While maintaining our social distance of course.
Ever since my eldest was a baby, my husband has gone to coffee shops at weekends. As the kids got older, it became an important time for him to share with them. So, even though he gave up caffeine last year, he still goes to the coffee shops. On Saturday, my younger son always goes with him. Whether he has got any sport on or not, my son will happily get out of bed at 7.15 to go to a coffee shop with his dad. On Sundays, both of the younger kids (and sometimes their brother too) go to a coffee shop with my husband after we’ve had our big run.
With coffee shops closed, my husband is making do with my eldest’s coffee machine. It might be messier than going out, but it is cheaper and it can still be a bonding time with the kids.
Sundays are always a bit rushed in our house. Even if we’re going to for a relatively ‘short’ run (eight or 10 miles), running eats into our day quite a bit. Of course until very recently, my husband and I were training for a marathon and our runs had got up to 18 miles. Once everyone is home from the coffee shop, it is nearly lunchtime, even though they have only just had their breakfast. My husband and son need to be at the football pitch (home or up to 25 miles away) by 1.15pm.
(Admittedly, football matches have mainly been off for the last few months due to the dreadful weather, but we now know they are off permanently. This season won’t ever be finished.)
Under 16s play an 80 minute game, kicking off at 2pm. So it’s getting quite late in the afternoon when they finish. There may be a long journey home from an away game. And we have this really bad habit of not planning what we’re going to have to eat and then having to rush to the Co-op, because the conventional supermarkets are already closed.
Long runs make me hungry and hunger makes me irrational. I really want to be cooking and eating soon after my son’s football finishes, but inevitably there will be a Man Utd game on telly at 4pm on Sunday. My husband is a huge football fan in general and a big Man Utd fan. There’s no way he will miss a game. So I either have to cook on my own and work it around half-time or wait for the damn game to finish before I get help. And, like I said, hunger makes me irrational… Man Utd on TV ruins pretty much every single Sunday for me.
So every cloud has a silver lining – with no kids’ football and no Premier League on TV, we have plenty of time to shop, cook and eat. No irrational, hangry me!
As long as we can find what we want in the supermarkets…