With my daughter off school for the winter holidays, we could shield together as a family. So after nearly five months of living in the flat, I moved back home for nearly two weeks.
People envision a perfect reunion — a fairy-tale Christmas with a glowing tree, hot chocolate and hugs. And it was amazing in all the ways you might imagine. But it also was challenging in all the ways you wouldn’t.
It was my first time back in the house since August. The furniture was moved oh-so-slightly, we had new curtains in our bedroom windows. Plants has grown. One of the kitchen tiles was chipped. Richard and Maddie moved through the house with ease, and I felt like a visitor, tiptoeing my way around their routines, stepping on the floorboard we usually avoid because its nail pokes up and snags your socks.
After a few days we settled back in together and I remembered how to live there again, just in time to be ripped away, back to my life in isolation. Before I packed my suitcase and dragged it back across the street, we booked a holiday house to visit together during the next school holiday.
Suffolk. 38 days and counting.