21. Mar, 2020

Here's the first bit of writing from a multi - generation house coping with the threat of covid 19 in the UK, in Salford near Manchester. Our house is on three floors on a suburban road near Salford Royal Hospital; on the ground floor live the grandparents - myself and my husband. He's 73 and supposed to be self-isolating in the current crisis. He's doing ok so far but I'm wondering how long it will take before the lack of televised football starts to make him go a bit twitchy. I'm hoping the solution will be a nice new garden shed so he can pursue his artistic endeavours.

Down here we have a nice living space, a spacious bedroom with a view of the front garden, a family kitchen, an outdoor deck and garden and a downstairs shower room. I spend my time down here following the after effects of a deep vein thrombosis in my right leg which make it hard to climb steps or walk any distance, so although I'm not in the self-isolating age category, I could be in the vulnerable health group.

Upstairs we have our daughter and her partner. She is currently on maternity leave from her job at a local university. She, so far, is our chief goer out or forager as I like to call her. Today  (Monday 23rd), she reported that there was no flour to be had in any of the 5 shops she visited but luckily we found half a bag in the cupboard, so home made pasta here we come! Her partner is working from home as he teaches English in a local school. Their daughter, aged 7, has set up a friends network via social media and as well as talking to them, has practised her 4 times table, reading and writing this morning. Her little sister, the three month old baby is up there too. None of this seems to have affected her life at all. I wonder what she'll make of it when we tell her all about it when she's older.

The very top floor belongs to the girls who have their own space and bathroom plus our eldest son who is also working from home. When I look at the house from the outside, it always reminds me of a dolls house. I imagine swinging back the front and finding all the little people in their rooms, sitting on sofas, one in the kitchen holding a kettle and the baby in her cradle.

I'm keeping in touch with our eldest son, who works in Barcelona. Until a few days ago, he was leading a perfectly regulated life with his American girlfriend - we even saw them at his grandad's funeral in February - but then her grandma died and she wanted to go back for that funeral as they were so close.