Chai And A Chat #76 #ChaiAndAChat #CoronaDiaries

Well, hello there everyone! It feels like it is a very different world I am living in, as I type this, compared to last week. Still filled with uncertainty and worry, but more… stark. That is the only way I can describe it.

From this week, I will still be sharing my Chai with you, but these will be my #CoronaDiaries. A view from the eyes of a teacher as well as what is happening in life.

But let’s start with a recap of last week!

  • On Monday, my colleague and I had a course to go to, so off we trotted, and the course was about changes in the curriculum, but each section was peppered with comments basically saying “If we’re still in school,” or “if we finish this year…”. It was hard to think about changes in next year, when this years education was so up in the air. We got confirmation from our colleagues that the class numbers were 20 and 17 respectively, in our two reception classes, out of a posible 30 in each. This was as a result of people self-isolating, if there were symptoms, as directed by the government. The next day a message was sent to confirm that if you as a parent were concerned, then it was up to you if you wanted to keep your children off. That meant a further drop in numbers. Tuesday mine was 19 the others 13. Wednesday was 12 and 8. Thursday was 7 and 5. Friday was 6 and 5… Whether these were scared parents, or self isolators, it remains to be seen, but if I was a parent, I’d have been trying to send them in, knowing that a closure for a LONG TIME was due…
  • We did our best, as a team, to keep upbeat. You know me. I’m always up for silliness. We amalgamated the two classes and really let them do fun stuff, alongside learning, then on Wednesday good old BoJo (don’t know why, I always seem to say Bozo, instead of BoJo, and have to correct myself!) announced blanket school closures as of the end of the school day, on Friday. Even more reason to keep the kids we had in, smiling. So on Thursday, some decided they wanted to go trick or treating. They dressed up from my home corner, and went knocking at the tables in the classroom, shouting “Trick or Treat!”. That wasn’t sufficient so the next stage was them asking us teachers to dress up , in costumes designed for kids… well, you have to indulge in these sillinesses, for the kids, don’t you?
I think I make a great Spidey carrying Goldilocks!
  • We have been using the Pirates theme to base our learning around and had things been normal, this Friday coming was to be our dress up as Pirates day. Well that was obviously not happening, so I talked to my team and we decided we would dress up to entertain the kids who turned up at least, on their last day. Kudos to the ladies who work in my class. They know the lengths I would go to and they heartily joined in. The other class, not so much, but at least the children were all going to be together, so they all benefitted from our silliness!
Meet my crew! That is me, Captain Stinky Jo, the Lady Buccaneer, on the left!
  • But what of these school closures? What was going to happen to us all? Despite the announcements made to the nation on Wednesday, the government still hadn’t cleared up a huge amount of niggly information needed for these closures to take place. He told the world that school was closed for everyone, except the children of keyworkers (detailing only three examples; front line NHS workers, delivery drivers and police), vulnerable children, and those with EHCP plans (children with complex educational needs, who have an agreed plan.) this brought up a quagmire of questions from parents and schools alike; Am I a key worker? If this is social distancing, why are teachers not allowed to stay at home? What are we going to do with our children? Who needs to be in school and who doesn’t? Well, there were no real clear answers until Friday morning, by which time, so many rumours and theories had been thrown around, that no one really knew what was real and what was suggested. To cut a long story short (ish) we are all still going to be in, in our school, as I write this (plans could change at any moment) and four teachers will be with the children who will be allowed to come in. They will be split into two age groups, and there is to be no official curriculum learning happening, more a childcare facility, with more arts, crafts, music, story, PE, creativity. How many children we have will change daily, depending on the shifts people work. It has been made clear that if you have the chance to keep your child at home, it is safer for them, rather than sending them to school, but we are here to support. We will be using the Joe Wicks live streaming PE at 9am every morning, to get the kids going, and I have even got a friend who will be doing three live Learn Bhangra sessions for an alternative physical activity too. May get the kids up and dancing.
  • As for the rest of the weekend, I was nervously excited because I had my radio interview, didn’t I? But no, it was postponed because the virus talk went on and on. The editor didn’t want to just squeeze me in, so we will be rescheduling. Disappointing, but it makes sense. I comfort ate cake instead!
  • Right, enough of that… So, the weekend was also Mother’s Day here. The kids hadn’t bought me cards, but Lil Princess painted me a picture, and Lil Man wrote me a card with some of his loose change taped to the back! 😂Then we popped over to see Mum in law to drop off some flowers for her, and came back home, after finally locating some beer for Hubby Dearest (this panic buying led to NO BEER! Tragedy!) We even squeezed a rather windy, brisk family walk to the prom, in the afternoon too! I had a lovely chat with my own mummy too.
  • I have to be honest. Yesterday was the first time I allowed everything that is happening to get to me. Maybe it was because it was Mother’s Day and I wasn’t able to see my mum. Maybe it was hearing that my best friend’s husband is unwell, suspected Covid-19 and he’s a paramedic. Maybe it’s because I’m scared because I am going to work tomorrow, while my family are safe at home… But I cried. A little. I am going to have to be so much more stringent with everything. We have told my in-laws, categorically, that we won’t be coming round now, unless an absolute emergency. There are two diabetics in that house, a heart patient, an asthma sufferer and one with a weak chest. We’d rather video call them, and see them healthy, rather than risk passing the virus on to them as we are more out than them, especially me. I will have to get in, shower and change my clothes before greeting my own family, with an el-bump, rather than a hug. I am going to miss hugs, from my babes at school, and my friends and family. I live for hugs. I want you all to start air hugging right now. Wrap your arm around yourself, and give yourself a huge squeeze. Imagine, me standing in front of you doing the same. That is my hug to you ALL!
My Hug to you ❤

My final words to you this week, as I prepare myself for what will be a scary, strange week, will be please stay safe, stay at home.

Love you lots, Peeps ❤

Seva is the Sikh principle of Serving Selflessly

Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 264 – Disappointment to Hope

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“Carve a tunnel of hope through a dark mountain of dissapointment.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

You’re really directing that one at me, aren’t you, Spidey?

Because, Peeps, if you didn’t pop over yesterday, you wouldn’t know that I had excitedly posted about my appearance on a proper radio station, TalkRadio. I had been invited last month, to talk about my book.

I was even more excited as I would have met one of my favourite authors, Amanda Prowse, who was to be on the show as well, and Hubby Dearest and I were making plan to stay in London the night too.

Then this coronavirus came around. The weekend away got cancelled, but I was told we could still do the interview via phone, and that everything was going to be dome by phone, for the safety of everyone.

I waited, stomach churning, for 8.45pm when they were calling me. Shortly before, I got a message. Could we make it a little later at 21.20? The discussions in play were running a little late.

Okay, fine, no worries.

I tried to notify everyone that knew.

Then about five minutes before, my phone rang.

“I’m so sorry, Ritu, I really didn’t want to do this, but we are going to have to postpone your appearance. The discussion regarding CoronaVirus has just exploded, and the phonelines are going crazy. I really wanted a balanced show where there was talk about something current and serious, then you, bringing in the lightness to the show.”

Drat!

This bloody CoronaVirus has a lot to answer for!

He’s calling on Monday to arrange a rescheduled date.

But what about my nerves? My excitement? My disappointment?

I was down at first.

But then I thought, am I really that shallow?

Yes, it would be great to get my voice heard, today, so people knew more about my book. But am I really bigger than what is happening around us?

Surely there is more sense in an expert answering questions about a very serious situation, than them cutting the questions off, so they can talk about a book, which might get resented instead.

A different, less corona-led day would be better, definitely.

I can still promote my book, myself until then.

It’s what I have been doing.

And a different day gives me more time to prepare, and hopefully a better chance to talk!

There, hope from dissapointment!

Apparently my name was already mentioned online… who knows? Someone may look up my book out of interest!

So… tell me, have you had to get over a big disappointment before?

Have a peaceful Sunday, Peeps.  And enjoy your week! ❤ 

Gutted – Interview Has Been Postponed

So #coronavirus has delayed my interview to another day.

The plan was for me to be the upbeat part of the show… But the callers with questions and stories about CoronaVirus was unprecedented.

It’ll be postponed to another day where I can be given more quality time.

😥😥😥

I’m Going to be on Radio Tonight! UPDATE!!!

Update- I’m still going on, but a little later, at 21.20!

Hang tight folks and still try and tune in!!!

If any of you are at a loss of something to do, or genuinely want to hear me, I’m being interviewed live, by TalkRADIO London, tonight, between 8.45pm and 9pm GMT

I’m on a programme called BADASS Women’s Hour to talk about my book, Marriage Unarranged with Harriet Minter.

Tune in if you can!

https://talkradio.co.uk/

getbook.at/MarriageUnarranged

Mitigation #CoronaVerses

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The country's in a muddle
We don't know what to do
Can't even reach for a cuddle
Or even a handshake, it's true

The virus does its rounds
Shutting businesses left right and centre
People buying bog roll in mounds
To ward away this tormentor

Panic buying's not stopping
And it's only getting worse
People are over-shopping
From a nearly empty purse

A prisoner in self-isolation
A cough or fever will render you
Or a vulnerable citizen of the nation
You need to be careful too

Distance yourself, socially
Work from home if you can
But what about the effect, mentally
On all every woman, child and man?

Schools doors have shut
To help halt the disease spread
But it's left folk in a rut
Parents are filled with dread

What will happen to education
How can we teach our kids?
They think it's an extended vacation
Meanwhile, we're losing quids

Teachers and schools will try
To alleviate the tension
Childcare, we will supply
To those helping with prevention

But what to do, it's an emergency
An unprecedented situation
We're all feeling the urgency 
Of curing this awful mutation

I beg of you, please don't be fools
That will land you in despair
Just make sure you're heeding rules
And washing hands with care

Ritu 2020
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