In light of recent events across the pond, it has been good to experience the feeling that not everything is wrong with the world. Not that everything is right, not by a long shot. But to be reminded of what it used to feel like, to have hope, to believe in our future.

I’m glad it’s the weekend and I can have a lie in. This last week was supposed to be straightforward but haha, not so.

Thursday afternoon, I had an unexpected change to my day which threw the good old anxiety into overdrive. The first time in a while that I have had such a big reaction and it left me exhausted. It all ran over into Friday where every small thing seemed imbued with far greater stress and significance than was really the case. On top of that, an email from my parents about their plans has set off alarm bells for my siblings and I.

Last night, I went to bed at 8:30pm, as I couldn’t stay awake. A restless night but overall feel better today. Going to take it slow today.

Last night, the Tories voted down Labour’s motion to extend free school meals during the holidays to disadvantaged children. My son enjoys maths so this morning we did a rough calculation to find out the cost to the Treasury of the scheme, had it been voted through.

According to this article in the Guardian, it would affect 1.4 million children. The vouchers are worth £15 per week, and there are four weeks holiday between now and Easter, which is when it was proposed the scheme would run until. So the calculation is as follows;

(15x 4) x 1.4 million = £84 million.

Which my son thought was a lot. However, according to the same article, the government has paid out £210 billion in financial help during the pandemic. So by way of comparison we then looked at what order of magnitude there was between the two sums;

210 billion/ 84 million = 2.5 million.

My son and I talked about how this put it into perspective; that it was like a rich person giving £2.5 million to help all sorts of people but refusing to give my son £1. He was aghast.

While I don’t think food vouchers are a long term solution and wouldn’t pretend to have any answers, I can’t believe for a moment this is about concern over spending money. Call me a cynic, but I’m sure this is more about the optics – looking good to the voter who gets up in arms about benefit fraud and the like. Thing is, from where I’m standing, it just looks mean-spirited.

Off to see Mum today. Up early, away by 7am. An easy drive and beautiful light. Gold and blue. A skein of geese passing over the motorway.

A much needed conversation. In a good way. Dad’s health, mind and moving forward. Concerns laid bare. Mum feeling looked after.

Practicalities. Sorted a problem with their phone.

Then back home. A different route to avoid the holiday traffic.

Exhausted. But worth it.