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Tuna.

It’s going to take time for the cats to accept this bundle of puppy energy. We’re six months in and tuna is the magic that brings these two opposing parties together.

Today was let’s eat Tuna together and not chase or swipe.

We sit on the stairs as that is neutral territory, both can retreat if it gets too much.

Frannie sits as still as she can but the tail always betrays her, the faster the swoosh, I know we have imminent chase pending and to cancel negotiations quickly…

Gloom.

On some nights, the steelworks on the horizon in Port Talbot, light up the clouds with a fiery glow (like Mordor from the Lord of the Rings). It’s eerily beautiful, you can see flames reaching high into the sky. Last night, it was full aglow, quite something to look at and I was very much enjoying the view.

I was so busy staring, I very nearly collided into a man holding his small dog high on his head cursing my little evening day dream and accusing *Bonnie, (on the lead, by my side, looking as puzzled as myself) of wanting to eat his small furry thing.

I muttered an apology along the lines of “So sorry, miles away, lovely hat” and scurried away.

Cue a fox running across our path and I really wondered where I was, Mad Max or Swansea.

Swansea Angie.

Swansea in a pandemic, Mad Max is little too sensible right now.

*Being a big sized dog, she quite often gets accused of wanting to eat smaller dogs but she’s actually a huge fan of dogs smaller than herself as she can play Queen.

Covid School.

School days are a strange business during these lockdown days.

No car run, no rush out the door in the morning.

Still, early to rise, in the dark for a morning check in, registration or daily work download.

Gone are the assemblies, singing and hanging up of coats and hellos to friends.

It’s find a space away from whiskers and paws and chewing mouths.

Please let mum have a coffee and I’ll figure out that maths I promise.

Dressed and ready but no where to go.

Funny, lonely business this learning on screens but there we are right now, in the midst of a pandemic and figuring out the area of Tom’s Toblerone chocolate bar.

Let me tell you a little secret, us mums are looking at you and are very glad it’s not them having to do this.

Children of 2020, you’re doing amazing, don’t ever forget that.

Snow wet.

It’s cold.

Very cold right now, just above freezing and it’s decided to rain so we are slipping our way around the streets tonight.

Even the billboard is half arsing the light.

There are warmer and lighter days ahead but this month is the queen of dark and cold and she isn’t shifting herself in any hurry. January won’t be rushed.

Dragging our way through this lockdown January.

Drone face.

Can we update the puppy training manual to include how not to chase and destroy drones please, that would be great. Frannie has had a whale of a time chasing one a hundred foot high, she’s got ambition but not wings.

Still in lockdown, still in alert level 4 or whatever that’s come to mean as we’re all out on the covid numbers.

Graphs, charts and projections, I’ve seen more this past year than I ever did at school, all pretty like my tired looking Christmas decorations, must take them down Angie, before twelfth night.

As it’s bad luck.

I laughed a bit too much at that.

Luck rhymed with my reply.

End.

The giant cul-de-sac that is 2020 is gasping it’s last wheezy covid filled breaths, slowly melting at the bottom of my beer.

I won’t miss you.

New year does not promise much either but we can hope and hang on through the dark months.

I’ll raise a glass to that.

Best wishes to you all and all the love from a small sketchbook in Wales.

Covid central.

A letter has arrived from the local council and health service reminding us to remember to stay away and stay at home. Infections here and in the surrounding areas are very, very high. Our hospitals are in danger of being overwhelmed if numbers keep rising.
The electronic bill board is still promoting Christmas deals with the odd public service information asking us to keep our 2 metre distances and stay at home whenever possible.
In other news, the cats have decided Gruff’s window is wonderful to watch the birds from and bring their muddy paws in.

It’s still raining, we may need a boat soon.

Flying.

The rain is playing games with me.

Every day this week, I’ve arrived at the park and the heavens have opened.

Nothing stopping Frannie lightning bolt puppy, she’s been busy herding the crows and seagulls and did attempt to herd the red kite that soared over our heads but it wasn’t having any of it.

We are now very wet, muddy but happy to see open space, (even if I’m soaked to the bone).

The news is pretty grim right now, Swansea still has stupidly high levels of infections. Social media is full of experts.

I’m just an expert in tea making and puppy drying. I don’t smell very nice right now.

Midnight.

Midnight last night we went into a full lockdown again.

The news was announced a few hours before and the ensuing rush in my city to the shops was like a tsunami of panic. My social media filled up pretty quickly with images of miserable queuing and cars gridlocking car parks in the rain, in the dark with the backdrop of blinking Christmas lights.
I walked the dogs later and the roads were very busy with speeding cars and honking horns, you could genuinely feel the atmosphere. One of anger and frustration.

The news says it’s a new variant, it spreads faster. We’re all to stay at home indefinitely, there will be a review in three weeks but numbers are flying here as I’ve said before so Christmas day is the only day we are ok to go out and see our other “bubble”.

A very strange Christmas this is going to be. I’m quite deflated to be honest with you as I imagine the whole of Wales is right now but I understand why.

More milk it is then.

Grab Bag

I have a problem.

I want cakes.

But the plastic bag that I have to put my hand into won’t open and I can’t lick my finger.

My glasses are also steaming up so it could very well be a bread roll I’ll be picking up instead.

That’s going to cause riots.

Focus pocus.

Millie’s studying A- levels and Welsh Baccalaureate. Being at home means she has to study remotely with the school.

I can tell she’s doing Welsh, the pencil has been chewed and she’s ignoring the dogs while giving the laptop a stare that would make a grown man cry.

I’m going to hide in the kitchen.

Walking in a winter wonderland.

The lights this year are lovely on my street. I can ignore the litter and the rain when I see the houses lit up.

Schools out for Covid.

Feels like forever for those who only went back recently after more isolating.

So many blaming schools for the rapid spread in our area right now.

So many not seeing how education and school life is everything when you miss your friends and chips at lunch. (Even if you have to study in the classroom with the windows wide open). Please go easy on our young people, they’re struggling too.

I think this break over Christmas will go on a bit longer as Covid infections are not slowing down.

Shortest school run in the world.

Leave for school at 8 am.

Back home by 8.30 am because your school year has to self isolate again as there are covid positive cases.

Fun times.

One is mortified, one is delighted because they missed P.E.

And we wait. Again.

One pump for hands.

Achoo

Back to school and here come the sniffles, (oh we are smothering with it).

Here comes a tissue eating puppy.

And a list of symptoms to check off just in case it’s Covid symptoms.

Numbers are still rising again and mask wearing is compulsory indoors in school and in public spaces for children over 11 years of age.

In schools, the children can mix in their class as a “bubble” so if in the instance of someone getting infected, only that class affected needs to self isolate at home. It makes for a strange playtime but it’s a compromise to continue education after so long off school.

Some counties are already in special localised lockdowns restricting movements. There is talk of a bleak winter ahead on the news.

Frannie found a sock in the park today and tore off like a cheetah with it, sprinting with a snotty nose at 46 years old after a puppy makes my face go a strange colour…

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