Thanks to Covid-19, the UK went in to lock-down on 23 March 2020. It was for the best… The virus was circulating rapidly, and the death toll was increasing dramatically, day-by-day. Schools across the country had already closed on 20 March apart from the children of primary keyworkers), for the fear of the virus being brought into school by someone, then taken home by another person. It would only take one small child carrying the virus, to have a cuddle with a grandparent (or someone with an underlying health condition)… You know the rest.
Many schools reopened for some year groups on 1 June 2020. It was Donut’s turn to return to school on 22 June, due to a scattered return.
Donut is really enjoying being back at school, despite him not having his usual teacher. Instead, his class had been broken down in to several “bubbles” and he was placed in “Bubble B” (which he reminds me of daily!!). He now has two teachers – Mrs B on a Monday, and Mrs L from Tuesday to Friday. He likes both teachers, but what he likes most is being back with his friends. Not all of his friends are in the same bubble as him, but his girlfriend is… Yep. My 5 year old has a girlfriend, ha ha!
The school is being incredibly careful, ensuring that children wash their hands with hand gel, before entering the school, washing with soap and water after every class, after play time and lunch, and again with the hand gel at home time, before they are officially “handed back” to parents. Children in the lower years can play with each other without much social distancing rules (afterall, how can you keep 5 year olds away from each other?!), but in the classroom, there’s a maximum of 6 children per bubble, and each child has their own desk.
I really need to know where the time has gone though. The 22 June was almost 3 weeks ago… I blinked, and the school is breaking up for the summer holidays next Friday (17 July).
It’s been no time at all, and when he finishes his Reception year, he will have only spent 4 weeks in school since March.
So here comes the selfish part. We’ve been stuck indoors (apart from occasional shopping trips, and doing the school runs) since 23 March 2020. As of today (9 July 2020), that’s been 108 days of looking at the same walls, the same faces, and the same miserable weather…
Ok, ok, so the weather hasn’t actually been that bad. When we went in to lock-down, the weather was AMAZING!! Blue skies, fluffy, white clouds, average temperatures of 31°C (yes! I am in the UK, and that’s SOOOO strange!!), very little rain… Until lock-down started to ease on 1 June, then the heavens opened, and we’ve seen nothing but rain and strong winds since! Typical, huh?
Anyway, I digress…
In an average year (i.e. no coronavirus), from March to now, schools would have had two holidays – Easter (April) and Whit (May). In an average year, we would have had a couple of mini-breaks during those school holidays… Maybe a couple of nights in a hotel somewhere within a few hours drive, or a week in a cottage in the Lake District or Highlands of Scotland, or – if we were really lucky, a week sunning it up somewhere beautiful, like the Spanish islands. But 2020 is not the average year and, as aforesaid, I’ve been sitting in my house for 108 days. I need a break.
Last night I’m sitting here, watching “Bones” on Prime for the billionth time, and I’m thinking… Should I try to book a short break somewhere? I mean, hotels, B&B’s, guesthouses, campsites, etc. are all reopening from 15 July, so why not? So I drag my laptop on to my knee and start my search.
I think I must have been searching for over 5 hours… I was searching for self-catering cottages (less people to bump in to, therefore maintaining social distancing), but the prices were just ridiculous. Most places were playing on school holiday prices, but they were also adding extra amounts because of being closed for so long. I mean, why would I spend over £4,000 on a tiny cottage in the middle of nowhere that sleeps 4, with no Wi-Fi (not paid for Wi-Fi, but NO Wi-Fi!!), and we’d have to take our own bedding and towels too!! Cottages were out, so I started to search for glamping ideas.
Ahh, glamping. The luxury of camping without having to take a tent or anything to furnish it. Plus glamping usually has a few extra touches, like electricity and heating. AND, you could stay in a wigwam, tipi, yurt or treehouse! I love, love, love camping!! I love staying under canvas. There’s something about getting back to nature, and leaving all electronics behind, but I’m sorry to say that I’m beyond it now. I love my creature comforts, and when I go to bed, I don’t want to dress like I’m about to go on an expedition to the South Pole. Ok, I definitely exaggerated there, but the last few times I’ve been (real) camping, I slept in my pyjama’s, with my tracksuit bottoms over the top, a sweater, and sometimes a bobble hat and pair of gloves. Even then I was too cold, and I ended up dragging my sleeping bag to the car, where I painfully slept!
I suppose I should really give camping another go – especially as Donut has never been. Anyway, that’s for another day.
So what did I find? Glamping was almost as expensive as hiring a self-catering cottage! Well, nowhere near the amount of the £4k cottage I found, but I couldn’t justify paying £600 for 4 nights.
I was deflated. Maybe I’d have to give Donut his experience under canvas with no xbox earlier than I’d planned. Honestly? I was just about to give up, when something popped up in my “limited availability” suggestions. A caravan stay, just over the border in Scotland.
The caravan slept 4 in one double and one twin bedroom, had a fully fitted kitchen, shower room, all bedding included, and the reviews were all amazing…
“Caravans are fully deep-cleaned immediately after previous users, and again, before new arrivals” | “All cleaning products will be left in the caravan for occupants to use at their disposal” | “Customer service is impeccable. The lady we spoke to reassured our concerns…”
Ok, so what about the price..? I’d given up on a full weeks break – maybe I’ll try to book us in for a week long towards the end of August, so I’ll try for 5 days. Mon-Fri…
“Hurry! Only 2 units left!”
So I suppose I had best clear some memory on my camera phone now, as we’re going on holiday!!