Life in Poetry reading, writing, reflecting

Life in Poetry reading, writing, reflecting
April showers bring May flowers

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

⌗IWSG , 1st April 2020, My Life in Confinement

Welcome to another monthly post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group.
If you would like to know more about this very encouraging and supportive writing group

Anyone can join, budding writer, published or unpublished, writer of poetry, short stories, novels, essays ... So give it a go and visit the other members , read their contributions and don't hesitate to leave comments.

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.
Remember, the question is optional!!!

April 1 question - The IWSG’s focus is on our writers. Each month, from all over the globe, we are a united group sharing our insecurities, our troubles, and our pain. So, in this time when our world is in crisis with the covid-19 pandemic, our optional question this month is: how are things in your world?

Quote of the Day :

The Japanese philosopher Musashi said that only a few appreciate the Art of War,
" A Good Warrior is not defined by the cause he defines but by the meaning which derives from the struggle "

My answer to today's question is inspired by an article which appeared in the New York Times on Monday the 23rd of March last, and the drawing which came with it,

This has been my life for the past 25 years, with not one 'Mom' but three; a work-from-home hubby 1/4 of the time, 3/4 travelling the world far and wide for up to three weeks running; 5 years of which I had on top of it all an outside job when two of the children were small; another 5 years of back-to-University studies with three.

So, honestly, the past three weeks of confinement here in France have been a joke !

Irony of fate the Covid-19 might finally vanquish me if I'm unlucky.

Not only did I do the work, the outer circle always dealt with before the inner, but I was greeted by " Toi, t' as la belle Vie ",  you're living the life,  and " You're always on holiday " outside our Big Five, from family and 'friends' included, even ' old, career-working women, friends '
Oh ! Well, I recovered ... What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
( 3 two-week stays in 2 different psychiatric clinics notwithstanding 1995, 2009, 2013; and 10 years of mood regulation pills )

How did I cope and still do ?

My hubby's Grand-mother, Mutti,  used to say  " Laziness makes you Smart "
So I guess I had to put my thinking cap on and find the best way to be efficient.

A perfect example :
My son (19) had to do an interview of one of his parents this morning ( journalistic studies ). So he wanted to do me with the 'writer' angle.
I said that I wouldn't be available before 11 am after my morning writing, breakfast and the CHORES. So I said if he did the washing-up, cleared the kitchen and put the laundry in, I would be ready at 10.30.
He replied : " I'll go with Daddy then. "  HA !

Another example, at this instant : my husband came up to tell me about his first Zoom meeting and to stroke the cat, asleep on my eldest daughter's bed, her room now being my computer office. I listened, replied, then shooed him away ... And he says ironically
" Toujours aussi agréable "   still so pleasant ...

So how did I become efficient ?

My inner rules : learn to know yourself, learn to love yourself.

I live, love, create and play with my Heart.
I think and act with my Reason.

These have helped me to become an even better analysist, planner and organiser. Still have difficulties with delegation, though having worked as a Hotel Manager, certainly helped improve this, but then I had leverage. With Family and Friends, you don't have that kind of power.

With my children, books were invaluable :

Miriam Stoppard's, 1965, Pregnancy and Birth bought in Spanish (we lived in Barcelona at the time)
The Catalan Public Maternity Health Service
Miriam Stoppard's, 1965, Baby Care from 0 to 3 in English bought at W.H. Smith's, Paris.
The Good Housekeeping, 1960, Baby Care book, lent to me by my mother (had to make photocopies, because she wouldn't give it to me).

Common sense and my memories of my childhood, observing my mother doing her chores.
And a certain dose of creativity.

I met my neighbour this morning, while bringing in the recycling bin.
I asked him if all the family was doing O.K. (fortunately we have as yet no cases in our village, just outside of Toulouse, where there have only been a few deaths up till now), and he replied that they had to improvise at being school teachers.
So I said that teaching had always been part of parenting ... O.K. I was being cocky ... But the younger generations (he is 15 years younger than us) have a terrible tendency to think that the National Health Services and the Education Nationale, the State globally, divest them of all their parenting AND individual responsabilities .
No wonder the world is spinning off its axis !

Last inner rule :

Prevention rather than Emergency Healing.

see my post February 2019, ⌗FMF, HEAL, here

So we come back to the drawing and the article which you can read here:

The New York Times 
Monday 23rd March 2020

Working From Home

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted all of the systems that keep our lives running. Add to that the pressures of work (and holding onto a job) in an increasingly precarious economy.
Those strains, felt across the world, were echoed in text exchanges between the editor of our gender initiative, Francesca Donner, and Corinne Purtill, a journalist based in Los Angeles. The two women have five children between them.

Francesca: “First things first: How do you maintain a sense of control when you’re WFH? Is there a daily routine? Do you get dressed every day?”
Corinne: “All good questions. If you take away one key point from this conversation, it should be this: Put on pants. Real pants. Every day.”
That was not Corinne’s only resonant piece of advice. “Days home with small children should be approached like airplane flights with small children,” she wrote. “Whatever it takes to get through it, do it, as long as they’re safe and not hurting anyone. We’re going to have to stretch some of our rules here.”

I am who I am as Jerry Lee Lewis would say, AND fortunately I am not alone.
I just stay clear of  the situations, surroundings and people who make me ill.


How about you ? Does this drawing make you laugh or cry ? As we say in French " On rit jaune "  we laugh yellow, no pun intended. How are you coping ?

And because Artists know how to put it all into ART.

What a Wonderful World, Louis Armstrong, with lyrics listen and read here
makes me cry ...
Sad Song, Fredo Viola, 2009, here
Phoenix, Lisztomania, 2009, here
The Big Pink, Velvet, 2009, here
Antony and the Johnsons, Another World, here
that I listened to when my sister left us.

and The Beatles who said it all
Lady Madonna, here
Revolution, here
Hey, Jude listen and read
Penny Lane, here
Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts' Club Band, here

my first and favourite Beatle song, 45 spin, bought in 1971 :
Eleanor Rigby, watch and read
My Guitar Gently Weeps, here

IMAGINE, John Lennon, listen and read here
Neil Young, Harvest Moon, watch here

Sunrise this morning

April First blossom

Horizon to the North, this morning

Living The Life

Tulips 19th March

Thank you for stopping by. Please feel free to comment, like, dislike, discuss and I will be sure to reply.
Spring definitely underway in ernest, April showers over May flowers (yes, the tulips have been out for three weeks). Cool zephyr today, some snow in parts of the County yesterday. Bouncy clouds zipping about trying to avoid the sun.

Take Care, Stay Safe and have an inspiring month of April.


  1. So many have forgotten what it's like to be a parent. They think everyone else should take care of their kids. You know better though.

    1. Thanks Alex for your feedback. Yes, so true, but fortunately I am not alone. Most of our friends , as it happens, have three children and brought them up in much the same way. So plenty of balanced, strong and self-sufficient young generations out there. Take care, stay safe, will be reading you shortly.

  2. Thanks bunches for stopping by my blog.
    Your pictures are lovely.
    Sounds like you are coping well.
    Hopefully, for some parents, this situation will be a wake-up call.
    Stay safe.

  3. Yes, hopefully, or they’ll just go back to their unlightened ways. Where there is a Will, there is a Way.
    Take care. Have an inspiring Easter.


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