Happy 1st April – although this is a prank-free zone!

Someone asked me for tips on how to stay away from the fridge while you work from home. If I ever work this out, I will let you know, but it did make me realise that I have been self-isolating for a few years now! This is how we’ve been combining school-work with working from home and setting out our days:

  1. Exercise –  Joe Wicks is just the kind of person you need to be spending time with at the moment. Relentlessly cheerful and seemingly successful at getting adults and children alike to bunny hop around the living room, he is an inspiration and vital to ensuring people who can’t get outside, are still getting exercise.

Don’t forget that guidelines allow us to go outside once a day for a walk, run or cycle, so if you can, make the most of this.  Dr William Bird, founder of Intelligent Health which runs the Beat the Street game is asking people to walk for 30 minutes to strengthen their immune system and to #BeatTheBug.  Exercise is one crucial component of ensuring your immune system is ready to create ‘natural killer cells’ to fight against the virus.

If this is too much and you’re not meant to be leaving the house at present, remember that you can do chair exercises with leg and arm raises, or lift tins of baked beans. Anything is better than nothing.

We also love the Lotte Berk workouts where the brilliant teacher is raising money for Refuge. These exercises might not be suitable for children though!

2. Music-  we have a daily kitchen disco to lift the spirits, plus we’ve been to more gigs via live stream in the last week than in the whole of 2020 to date! With events, festivals and gigs cancelled all over the place (even Glastonbury!!), lots of musicians are struggling. Why not check out a local musician and put the ticket price in the virtual tip jar?  In the last couple of weeks, we’ve watched Ferocious Dog, Gaz Brookfield, Dubioza Kolektiv, Edgelarks, Holy Moly and the Crackers, 3 Daft Monkeys, and Nick Parker with a cup of tea in hand (although I’ve noticed there’s no queue for the bar!) and without people nattering in the row behind. There’s a timetable of live streamed gigs so you can see what’s coming up here www.gigstreamlist.co.uk

3. TV – there’s classic films on BBC 2 next week so what better time to introduce your kids (or yourself!) to classics like The Man in the White Suit or School for Scoundrels

4. Books – libraries are closed, so try your local independent bookshop where they might recommend specifically omething for you. Audible has some free books – we are currently listening to Kid Normal which we somehow missed when it came out in 2017.

We’re also introducing the small one to books we enjoyed as children; Malory Towers (there’s a new adaptation on BBC iPlayer which is not at all bad!) and the Jennings books for some nice old fashioned comfort. You can also check out authors like David Walliams reading his work.

5. Comedy – it’s so important to find things to laugh at and to step away from the weirdness of real life right now. We’re watching Le Navet Bete’s Dick Tracy show and also looking forward to a live tweet along on Friday evenings at 7pm  with Mischief Theatre, the mad cap team behind the Goes Wrong Show that was on BBC one earlier this year.  Looks like they’re going to start with the incredibly ambitious “90 degrees”. My son knows this word for word and frequently acts out his favourite line which is performed by a dog: “I’m executing a three-point turn”.

6. Netflix – recently added: Community (we’ll soon find out if it stayed joyously funny beyond series 3); Brooklyn 99 series 6 (prompting the question when is series 7 going to appear) and for kids, the Studio Ghibli collection  – our favourites, Kiki’s Delivery Service and Spirited Away, plus added today: Ponyo, Howl’s Moving Castle; Pom Poko; Whisper of the Heart; From Up on Poppy Hill; The Wind Rises and When Marnie Was There.

7. Treats

Nostalgia is a great comfort at difficult times like this. We try to set aside time for chatting to friends and also important little treats like Buttermilk who are sending out a little taste of Cornwall. There’s all your favourite fudge flavours from Vanilla to Clotted Cream to Rum and Cappuccino.

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If you’re looking to cheer a friend up, Buttermilk also have two Easter egg ranges – a ‘traditional’ range including a Caramelised Hazelnut Easter egg  ; a Caramelised Sea Salt Easter egg and a Dark Cacao Nib Easter egg plus two ‘free from’ eggs; a delicious Choc Orange free from egg and a Choc Honeycomb Easter Egg

Have a lovely April!  Stay safe – in the words (almost) of Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar “let’s come together by staying apart”. Wash those hands and stay well. We will get through this  xx


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