This week has been a school holiday.  Before the world changed, the three of us would always use this week for a family trip away.    What a difference a year makes.  Since coming back from school on Friday, we haven’t left the house.  We just didn’t feel like doing anything.  The start of the holidays coincided with our departed love ones birthday.   We tried to celebrate the birthday but we both just felt somber.   The plan to release a birthday balloon failed as we couldn’t get the thing to fly more than 10 yards.  Next year will be a bigger balloon and hope for some wind.

Just a few days of isolation does funny things to my mind.  Part of me desperately wants a knock at the door or the phone to ring.  A longing for any sort of outside contact.  However as no contact materialises, I’m strangely relieved.  It helps mask how out of synch I still feel with the outside world.

Today we took a decision to break out of our isolation and spend what’s left of the week going for day trips.  First trip would be a walk in the hills.  Forty minutes later we were stuck in the inevitable traffic jam.  At least it provided my son with an excuse for showing me how to play the Pokémon card game.  Thankfully the Pokémon session was interrupted quickly by moving cars again.

Almost at our destination we stopped off for refreshments.  Junk food in hand I arrived at the cash till and struck up my first outside conversation of the week with the cashier.  I was hoping for something more uplifting than being told that the credit card machine is beeping at me because it won’t accept a Pokémon playing card as a valid payment.  Desperately trying to find my visa in a pocket full of Pokémon cards, my son pointed out to the cashier, “that’s my dad and he’s a muppet!”.  At least one thing hasn’t changed.

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