IT’S my brother’s birthday today. He lives in Australia and considering I live in Spain, a hug in person was never going to be on the cards, coronavirus or not.

But this year we decided to make it special. One positive thing about being locked up (I mean locked down, the former really does sound like we’ve been naughty!) is that everyone makes more of an effort to reach out and contact loved ones.

So a family Zoom meeting was set up, although by the time everyone had accessed correctly, with mics on and videos focused on faces rather than ceilings, we only had about five minutes left of the meeting to sing Happy Birthday.

But for the life of me I can’t figure out why I was the ONLY family member to have got the memo it was a fancy dress party.

THE ONLY ONE: Mamma is Catwoman, in pjs, and feeling rather foolish

The sole Catwoman, in pjs, was me. At least the mask which covered most of my face dissimulated how deathly pale I look for being cooped up indoors for weeks.

But it’s not all fun and games, is it?

By now everyone knows someone who has lost someone dear. I know I do.

But amid the fear, worry, and uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, during which, each day seems to bring news that’s worse than the day before, there are positive things shining through.

Improvements in air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, a slower pace of life, family connection time and the utter joy of an empty schedule.

Nature is taking a breath while the rest of us are holding ours.

And where would we be if we didn’t maintain a bit of humour in our lives?

A sense of humour can be an amazing line of defence when it comes to coping with stress.

Luckily for most, it’s not too hard to develop a healthy sense of humour either!

Start with a smile or, easier still, a glass of wine…

SURVIVAL TIP: If you hold a glass of wine in each hand, you can’t accidentally touch your face!

Now that I’m on a roll, I’m dressing up as a witch tonight, because let’s be frank, it’s as exciting as my Friday night will get.

And remember, if you hold a glass of wine in each hand, you can’t accidentally touch your face!


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