Categories
Life

Jackanory

You find me sitting at the desk in the junk room – sipping coffee, looking back over the morning in my bullet journal, and half-watching the indicators at the bottom of the computer screen that tell me when emails have arrived, or conversations have started that concern me.

Apart from work, the day has been filled with a continual struggle to keep on top of chores – clearing the kitchen, tidying the lounge, putting clothes through the washing machine and hanging them out. When in the office I might wander down to the kitchen for a break, and gaze from the window while waiting for the kettle to boil. At home, those few minutes are filled with mad dashes here and there. I can’t imagine it’s good for your mental health.

The girls are camping out in the lounge today. Miss 15 is sitting at the dining table with her laptop – supposedly getting on with school work. Miss 16 is sitting on the sofa, binge-watching Netflix, and our eldest is sitting on the floor by the patio doors, doing a jigsaw.

My other half is at work today – yesterday we shared the junk room together while she worked on cutting videos together for the school website. She taught herself how to use Lightworks – a professional video editing tool – similar in most respects to Adobe Premiere, but free. The teachers are busy recording themselves reading story books to the children, and my other half is cutting in views of the book pages, zooming and scrolling “Ken Burns” style – as both Jackanory and Reading Rainbow have done over the years.

I did warn her before she started that if she learned how, it would become a living hell. Each five minute story takes well over an hour to turn into a slick video. After doing one book the evening before last, she came home the next day with an arm-full of books, and gigabytes of video clips. Thankfully the school have requested and received permission from the publishers. Today’s challenge (evidenced by a chat conversation with me) has been how to prevent parents from downloading and sharing the videos.

Anyway!

I should really get on with some work. Maybe another coffee first though.

Categories
Life

Slowing Down

While juggling various requests from my daughters, friends, emails, and instant messages today, I realised that I need to take a step back from everything for a while. I need to slow down. It’s too easy to find yourself attempting to be everywhere for everybody, all of the time. Or at least, it’s too easy for me.

I still haven’t touched the pile of books that was looming over me when lock-down began. I haven’t read a single page. There’s so many wonderful books – bought while wandering past bookshops before the social distancing insanity began. Obviously I didn’t buy them while wandering past – it was more a case of “before I knew it, I wasn’t walking past any more – I was in the book shop, and not entirely sure how I got there, or how long I had been there”. Bookshops are a bit like that. I wonder if Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein ever looked into them as a source of the missing mass in the universe ?

Of course you realise I’ll still end up writing almost every day. I won’t be able to help myself.