Day 14 – Lockdown in Barcelona

The unexpected yet beautiful home schooling/home activism experiment


Day 14
Thursday 26th March. What a difference a yoga session makes. Today was messy, we switched the timetable so I was with Kira in the morning, planting potatoes. It’s always the tiniest thing that ruins an activity, today I squashed her fingers a tiny bit with the hammer, and that was it. Game over. She went downstairs and no more gardening. I mean it was a really tiny accidental squash. I finished the project and made a video of the activity, but cut my head off the frame, and made a few mistakes with my Catalan. I fully intend to do a re-make, which will involve pulling up the potatoes and washing them so it looks like the first run. The crazy world of gardening cross video making cross home-schooling.

I worry most days that we have crushed my child’s imagination with too much tv. I think most parents share that feeling. She never asks “why?”, aren’t kids supposed to do that? Maybe she’s such a genius that she understands everything already? These waves of worry are part of the human condition I’m afraid. I notice it and I now let it pass.

Anyway I’m not sure where the time went, but by 13:30 I dragged Dad out of the office and went to do yoga. It was windy, sunny and a bit rainy. Beautiful and left me feeling so relaxed, luckily it was sun not rain for the part where you lie on the floor at the end. I love that bit. I have to recognise that my (first world) worries come not only from home-schooling, being on lockdown but also because I am in a big transition period in my life. Before the world was thrown upside-down, my world was already upside-down, in a moment of massive transition to a life without the regular teaching job, and with a wealth of opportunities at my feet, just a seemingly minute amount of time to myself to do anything.

After lunch I ran to the bakery before it closed at 15:00. It was a strange and wonderful feeling running down the road! I saw a handful of people on the street. I spoke to a friend who cycles across town to work every day and she hasn’t been stopped once, but is wondering if her job as a nanny is really allowed, and is a bit more concerned every day. I saw a message reminding us to make sure we stay inside because of concern for the virus and protection of our loved ones, and not because of concern about receiving a fine. The first reason is beautiful, the second is ugly.

Kira spent the afternoon making bread with Bernat. I was struggling to find peace in the house. Just like the other 2.6 billion people who are on lockdown. Well except the ones who live alone I guess.

And it’s cold. It’s too cold for this time of year.

Everyone got fed, and Kira went to bed on time and happy. I tuned in to a wonderful live streaming “How to beat coronavirus capitalism” with Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Astra Taylor, Naomi Klein (Haymarket Books) 15000 people tuned in! 7 times as many as for Joe Biden the other day.

Some of my favourite comments from the talk, among many passionate and brilliant words

  • The importance of care work is brought to light with this crisis. “Care workers can never be treated like garbage again”. The reason that this was always ignored by capitalism is that it demonstrates the absolute necessity of connection with others (story of interbeing) and doesn’t fit with the individualistic competition of capialism (the story of seperation). Our interdependence on carers, nurses, delivery services, food producers is so clear now.
  • We need to rescue people, aid recovery, but also we need to reimagine the future. Returning to normal isn’t an option any more because normal was, if we still remember, forest fires, floods and collapsing ecological systems.
  • Are we activists prepared for the worst if social media channels are shut down? Let’s make sure we are resilient, and not forget the importance of community, real, connections.
  • Related to the previous point – union activity has increased massively since this corona crisis, let’s use and reinvent the unions for their incredibly important and effective purpose.

home-schooling 4 : a messy day didn’t help, and only bits of the potato activity were collaborative. A lot of it was me being bossy. It must be really important for Kira to guide the activities she wants to do for a big chunk of the day. But I still feel aching when there’s a “school” day with no reading, writing or maths at all. I wonder how the only child issues will be exacerbated by being at home all this time.

home- activism 1 : shall I give up on this measure?

Read More:

Days 1 – 11

Day 12 and 13


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