Friday, 1 May 2020

Day Six

I’m not saying things have gone feral here, but I have been reduced to grunting and burning stuff.

I had a pile of paperwork half as tall as me to dispose of, but once my ancient shredder died after three sheets, I decided fire was a valid option. Being all middle class, this resulted in me ordering a chiminea.  A cheap chiminea, cheap chiminea, chim chim chiminea (apologies, but I’ve been singing this all day). 

When the socially-distanced delivery driver dropped it and ran, I roped the kids into helping me with the Some Assembly Required. The only lesson anyone learned from this decision was ‘Don’t’. Don’t involve your kids in any form of required assembly.

So I’m sitting in the garden, eyeing the grey clouds and incinerating my way through the stack of papers. If you're wondering where the pile has come from, most of it is from my daughter, and is related to her Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS). Because when someone has PWS they also automatically become a GOSOP (Generator Of Shitoads Of Paperwork). This monster pile included my girl’s old Independent Education Plans, out of date Statements of Special Education Needs, and hospital letters from long-retired consultants, much of it dating back to the early 2000s (I’ve got three boxes of more recent paperwork that are going to remain in the loft, probably for another decade or so!). 

For those of you who would like to paint a mental image of me, my rapidly greying hair is sticking up in wind-blown tufts and I have a 1000-yard stare from this morning's home schooling (which included a science experiment involving a bag of margarine and some ice cubes, plus a lesson with my maths-intolerant daughter on 3D shapes which left me wanting to make a human sacrifice of myself on this very chiminea). 

I am dressed, optimistically, in a T-shirt, shorts and flip flops, which is OK because this bonfire of the sanities is generating some proper heat, and I don’t care, it’s April, and I will now be wearing my shorts until October, because I’m hard, me.

My daughter has emerged from inside, asked if she can poke the flames, and announced that I ‘smell of smoke’. 

“Why do you think that is?” I asked.

“Oh, it’s because you’re using the chimpanzee-er.”

Song is Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan - The Flame That Burns

As part of the 2.6 Challenge (which is asking people to fundraise and donate towards small charities that are threatened with closure because of the effects of the Covid-19 crisis) I'm currently writing 26 blogs in 26 days.The PWSA UK is a charity which is absolutely vital for people with PWS, their families, carers and professionals who work with them. Without urgent help, PWSA UK will fold. This charity saves lives and for some people makes lives worth living. If you can, please go to my Just Giving page. I've been overwhelmed by everyone's generosity in these uncertain times. THANK YOU to everyone who has already donated! 26p or £2.60 or any amount you care to give - it's all hugely appreciated, unlike my promise to hand out post social distancing sexual favours to those donating £26 or above, which has seen a number of less than enthusiastic responses. What's wrong with you all? If you could see me in my flip flops, standing by the chiminea, holding the fire tongs provocatively, you'd soon change your tune...

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