For the next few weeks we occupied a life which felt somewhere between the inside pages of a dystopian novel and a film set in the deserted streets and parks of a post-Apocalyptic London. Like everyone we muddled through, distracting ourselves from the emotional rollercoaster by keeping busy. I led a national campaign lobbying government to amend its furlough scheme to better serve charities whilst Katherine trained to be redeployed into hospital should things worsen. Days became a constant juggle keeping two under 4s occupied whilst maintaining some semblance of home working – punctuated by daily coronavirus news briefings from Number 10 which painted a bleak, confused, and oftentimes frightening picture. As each day passed we became increasingly disheartened – we felt like poor parents, bad managers and even worse partners. The lack of exercise coupled with a deteriorating diet (dubbed the lockdown look) left us appearing and feeling pretty rubbish.
There were of course moments of sunshine, quite literally. The weather was second to none and we constantly gave thanks for our little patch of green in Brockley which transformed seamlessly into sporting arena, theme park, campsite, music festival, outdoor office, beach, BBQ zone several times a week as dictated by the kids. On the last Sunday in April, perhaps to avoid the reset of the garden from campsite to aqua park for the third time, I ventured into a deserted London to collect the post, bike, and check the charity’s premises.