So we are all under house arrested and many of us are going mad. What’s happening at the Gentleman’s Family household I’m sure you are wondering.
Excuse me is this post is more about a Gentleman’s Family life than finances but at the end of the day money is just what you use to get other people to do or make for you. It’s a facilitator for the life you want to live but not life itself.
So, we are now some number of weeks into being marooned at home. It’s starting to test the nerves of the Lady of the Family and she’s beginning to get a bit irritated with me – but that’s only because I’m a bit irritating.
Sadly, her company has decided to fire more or less everyone and she’ll lose her job in the future. As with many planned redundancies, it takes months to work out the details and it appears that she’ll be kept on until the end of the year and will get paid a nice bonus for that.
On the face of it, that’s a devastating “you’ve got 9 months to
live work” scenario and it would make me pull me hair out and lose a lot of sleep. But the Lady is a trooper and pragmatically stoical. On the plus side, she’s working from home and can afford to not give too much of a shit about work. On the downside, she’s largely stuck looking after the kids all day.
To re-cap we have two great kids called the Master (M) and Little Lady (LL). They are both born in Autumn 2016 and 2018 respecively and just had their half birthdays recently. They are in nursery and the nursery is now shut and we are stuck with them 24/7. Which is difficult and the burden falls on the lady.
We are still sticking to a M-F / Weekend arrangement (I know – we are so BCV – that’s Before Corona-Virus f&cked everything up and changed the world as we know it) and our routine consists of this type of schedule:
6:30 – LL wakes up and I spend the next hour or so in a sleepy haze of giving breakfast and listening to Radio 4.
8:00 – M manages to make it downstairs and is disappointed that I’ve eaten breakfast without him. I’m on my third cup of coffee by this stage so I’m able to chat a bit more. The Lady appears and I slink off to start work.
8-11 – work goes on along with a few more cups of coffee
11 – kids go for a walk and I take a shower
12 – kids back from walk and I’m working
13 – lunch time
14 – kids go to sleep or M stays up
16 – kids awake again
17 – end of work for me time to play
18-19 – dinner time. Often we go for a family cycle or walk before or after dinner. The weather is just amazing these days and we’ve been a few times out on the kids – LL on the back of mine, the Lady on hers and M on his bike (balance bike). Trips last for maybe 3km in total but we could go further.
19-20 – dinner over time to play / tidy
20-21 – bath, books, bed for the kids – normally by 9:45pm as LL takes a bit of getting down.
21-23:30 – parents enjoy a beer or two, watch something or talk.
So that’s about it. I personally think that it’s great except that it’s hard for both of us to work with the kids here. The nursery that they are at are not going to charge us for May which is a win I guess but I think that I would pay them double to get rid of them a bit more. They are nice but it’s tiring to be with them all the time. I missed out on too much of M growing up and similarly with LL – previous jobs included a lot of travel and more recently, getting back home knackered at 6pm. I do have a new job but I am working from home at the moment and spending a lot more time with the kids. LLL is becoming very affectionate to me, in the same sense that M is a Mummy’s Boy, LL is Daddy’s Girl.
The lockdown has been overall good for us I think. Of course the death and disaster is not good and losing£40k in Feb. ain’t so great either. But the air is cleaner, we are getting to know our neighbours and our kids, no commutes and our spending is dropping like a stone.
One thing you hear a lot is “when things go back to normal”, well to copy someone else “you can’t go back”. This is hopefully something that we can learn from and improve our lives. The bitter person in my just loves stories of people who would laugh at our cars and drive around in brand new luxury cars and now can’t afford their repayments. I don’t think that we particularly had a “prepper” attitude to life (but I always bulk bought what we use regularly (TP, pasta, olive oil) but I’ve had a long lasting attitude that the main costs in life are structural and you should avoid them. If the SHTF then having to find £300 a month for your pay payments is just stupid – or boat payments or £50 for your phone or your sofa.
I digress, life is in many ways better for us. What is not good is that our leisure activities are closed! We recently signed up for annual membership to the Glasgow Science Centre. This is a fantastic place for young and old alike. It’s the freedom to go to a place like this that I miss. And it makes me think that the entry fee is a steal! I think that we paid £30 for adults and £24 for M – or £84 in total. If you go just twice that’s about £10 per person – and the value is just enormous!
It’s things like this that I miss. But at the same time, we packed so much into our weekends that we never had that much “free” time together. Now we have too much. We also used to travel a lot and that’s over so, the lockdown has made us more local than ever. I like that. It means that we can go for a walk in the park at 5pm instead of me being stuck on a train. It means I can put the kids in the bike trailer and wizz around the town on virtually car-free roads at the weekends.
So that’s about it. I’ve not posted much as I think that there’s not always anything that’s worth saying that hasn’t been said already. We are in uncharted waters – who knows where the world is heading to. What I do know is that I like where I am at the minute.