Quarantine Day 11

I ran around the house today. 100 times. It took me over an hour, and according to my app “RunKeeper” I ran 1.8 km. Which means it would take me about 20 hours to run a marathon.

I would like to run further tomorrow – it is just so boring. I tried to mix it up by changing direction every 25 laps but it is still running in a fairly tight circle over and over. Occasionally blue lights through the hedge would show me that the police were at the roundabout checking the papers of every car which came and left the neighbourhood. My hat and the hair beneath it go off gladly to that incredible Parisian who ran a marathon – 42 kilometres – to and fro on his apartment balcony. Mind-boggling endurance.

The other highlight of my day was taking out the rubbish. This was quite the expedition! Not only for sheer magnitude (I hope the number of bottles which J and I consumed during this quarantine expires with it) but also for being a very exciting outing. To the bins!

As it was quite a special occasion I decided to bring M with me as a treat. She was over the moon and did her sideways gallop run to the car. We have four types of bins – the usual “big black kitchen bin” which was collapsing with the weight of discarded food and old nappies. Lovely. Then three mini bins for glass, plastic and cardboard.

These were so small and I haven’t been able to find replacement mini bin bags (for some reason 10 litre bin bags is on the panic buy list. Industrial quantities of loo roll, rubbing alcohol and mini bin bags. Right). I decided to just put the bins into the boot of the car and empty each on into the rubbish container.

Mary was tickled at this strange turn of events and insisted on helping me carry the yellow one (plastic) to the car.

We arranged the bins at the back (it’s a black Citroen C4 Picasso with a big roomy boot) and got in. I strapped Mary in diligently and glanced around nervously for police. Noone likes to see children out these days. Starting the car is quite the operation. It is actually a hire car from the app Drivy/Get Around, and it took J about 20 minutes to figure this out the first time! There is no ignition, you stick the key fob straight into some hole on the right hand side of the steering wheel, floor the clutch pedal and press the start button. Voom. The car bursts into life. Getting into reverse gear is tricky. You have to kind of wrestle with the gear shift from the base and wriggle it into the top right position.

Eventually, I get it into reverse. I do a tricky 4 point turn to get out (I realize too late I could have simply reversed onto the road but this was actually quite fun). Mary is strapped in and ready for action. We drive 5 metres down the road and stop.

The bins.

We take out the bags one by one to draw out the activity a little longer.

I would have spent even longer by the bins. I realize that the house in the distance is the same one where we see “La Nena” (The Girl) from the garden. Mary is always so happy to see “La Nena”, as she hasn’t laid eyes on another toddler, child or baby for nearly 2 weeks now.

When she spots La Nena bouncing on her trampoline in the distance Mary hops up and down too mirroring her movements. It is equal parts sweet and tragic.

I thought it would be fun to show Mary the back of La Nena’s house, but then I felt wary of curtain twitching around me and thought I had better not stay out with her too long. Technically, I could have left her with J (even though he was working) and I didn’t want to risk getting a fine.

One minute later we were back at our gate. When I unclipped Mary from her carseat she was dismayed. “No, Mama!” she protested desperately trying to buckle herself back in.

I let her scamper around the car for a bit. After she had emptied the dossier of car papers around the backseat and accidentally turned the radio on full blast I called time of death on car fun and then she reluctantly got back out.  

Luckily, 2 year olds live in the present. Once home, she was instantly distracted by the beach ball which had wandered into the living room. “Baw”! The fact that we were in enforced quarantine for the foreseeable future, with no prospects of playgrounds, playdates or pool parties in the future completely forgotten. (edit: pool parties occupy a regrettably small verging on non-existent part of our lives. I don’t think Mary has ever actually been to one. It just sounded good and started with “p”).

As usual, we split up the afternoon. J had just finished submitting an article, and we swapped shifts. He took my place in the sea of PlayDoh and I went upstairs rather balefully to do an afternoon’s work and meet some deadlines.

We restrained ourselves from polishing off a bottle of wine for a change and had a relatively early night after having virtual games night with Mum. (I lost abysmally, with not a single point).

Bed – before doing it all again tomorrow!