Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Apocalypse, anyone?

It’s been a while… and by ‘a while’ I mean an entire frigging year. I’d love to tell you that it’s been a quiet twelve months and I haven’t blogged because I haven’t had anything to say but if you know me at all or you’ve read at least two of my blog posts, you’ll know that there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell, that that’s true. Sadly, I am still a Grade A drama magnet.

One of the reasons why I stopped blogging is because early last year I set up a YouTube channel. My original intention was to post film reviews on there and to begin with, that’s exactly what I did. And then I stopped. It was my film guru buddy, James King, who encouraged me to start again. I’d done a few reviews from my car and JK said he liked those ones best. The channel changed from ‘What Kati Saw’ to ‘Kati in a Car’ and it went from just being film reviews to being anything I wanted to talk about: mental health, parenthood, money, dating. I have a grand total of 88 subscribers so I’m hardly setting the YouTube world alight, but I enjoy it. Having said that, I realised the other day that I missed writing so here I am.

It’s difficult to know where to start after taking such a significant break from blogging. I have personal stuff to talk about as you’d expect after so long but globally there’s quite a lot going on too. We’re only three months in to 2020 but so far, it’s felt rather… how can I put this…? Apocalyptic?! 

Trump continues his terrifying reign as Toddler‐in‐Chief, picking fights with the world and ignoring any and all problems facing his country and its people. The UK was battered by back to back storms in the first two months of the year and the countryside was plagued by gangs of rogue trampolines roaming the land. And now, right now, we’re in the midst of a global pandemic. Even writing that is so surreal but it’s true.

COVID‐19, a type of Coronavirus, started in China and spread with alarming speed through the country in the weeks that followed. To begin with, it was something happening ‘over there’ and I paid it little attention, but it wasn’t long before it was over here too. At the time of writing we have over 1000 known cases in the UK (with the real number estimated somewhere around 5000) and 70+ people have died as a result of the virus.

Italy (as in the entire country) is on lock-down. The Premier League is suspended. Disney is closed. Oh and the good people of the world have decided that the best way to protect themselves from Coronavirus and survive the impending apocalypse is to stockpile pasta and toilet roll. Not only that, but ordinary folks are stealing hand sanitiser dispensers from the walls of hospitals and health care facilities. I. Shit. You. Not.

My hope is that when I read this back in the future, all of this will have blown over and I’ll laugh at how bonkers the world was for a few months in early 2020. Of course, we could be living in some sort of Mad Max style wasteland by then. Good Lord… I do hope not.

My private life is far less dramatic by comparison, but I’ve certainly had some battles of my own to fight. Last November I moved from my shoe box flat in Kettering town centre to… a better designed but smaller shoe box flat on the Ise Lodge. My new gaff is managed by Stonewater and is classed as Social Housing. I first applied for a ‘council house’ in February 2018 and it took until October 2019 for me to get one. It took some hard work (painting, cleaning etc) but it’s actually pretty sweet now. Being a 30 second drive from the children’s father is very handy and it feels nice to be back on an estate that I know well. Of course, it’s far too small for a grown woman and two children of 11 and 7 years old but whaddya gonna do? I must do a year living there and prove myself to be a reliable tenant then hopefully, Stonewater will offer me something bigger. I have moments when the lack of space frustrates me or I feel like I’m failing the children but then I remember that I’m doing the best I can and that we won’t be there forever. It’s warm and cosy. We have pictures on the walls to make it feel more homely and when all three of us are wedged on the sofa watching Saturday Night Takeaway together, there’s nowhere I’d rather be.

My love life is as farcical as ever. After swearing I'd never go down the app route again after 2016's cat fishing disaster, I took the plunge last year and joined Bumble. After a few false starts (and a ghosting incident) I dated someone for a few months in the summer. It came to a natural conclusion and I think the fact that I wasn't devastated told me all I needed to know. I binned the apps again late last year and decided to take a break from looking. Within weeks of making that decision in late November, I found myself on a date with someone I'd known for more than a year. The date went swimmingly, and I felt a glimmer of hope that maybe I'd made a connection. We connected a lot over the following months [insert theatrical wink here] spending (naked, grown up) time together. I'd then try and make plans for a proper date at which point, he'd freak out and friend zone me. We did this dance all the way up to last week and now it's done for good. sigh. I think for me; the hardest part was the realisation that I'd been an almost identical situation in early 2018. I'd allowed a man, battered and bruised from his previous relationship coming to an end, to use me to rebuild his ego. Never again! ... Hopefully! I mean I thought that the last time and then I didn't even notice it happening again but I'm going to try really hard not to be a crutch for anyone. I am worth more and I need to keep reminding myself of that.  

2019 ended with me having not one but two car crashes. In total, since passing my test in May 2014 I have owned five cars including the one I have now. Three have them have been written off and one of them I only owned for a month. I feel compelled to point out that I am not a terrible driver! The death of my first ever car, Dax the Twingo, was entirely my fault and is detailed in an earlier blog post. In late September last year, a woman ran straight in to the back of me, writing off JoJo Clio. Her fault, not mine. Whiplash, ongoing personal injury claim. Insurance paid out and I found a car on Auto Trader. It was my first time buying a car without Pete's input and I could not have got it more wrong. I won't go in to the full saga but in short, I was sold a proper dodgy motor and ended up in a huge battle to get my money back. I eventually did but, in the meantime, my amazing friend Jo set up a crowdfunding thing through PayPal and Facebook and raised enough to buy me a car! Crazy, right?! The car I bought with that money was another black Clio and I named her JoJo 2.0. Fifty days after purchase, I hit black ice on my way to work and hit a tree. Bye bye JoJo 2.0. Fifty fucking days. The gap between car crashes was eighty-one days. A week or so later, I bought a Citroen C1 from a friend. Picked it up on a Sunday... the clutch went on the Wednesday. You couldn’t make this up, could you?! Clutch got fixed and so far, my 2020 has been free of car drama. Long may it remain so! 

It's taken me from Saturday morning until Wednesday to finish this post. In that time, there are been significant increase in cases of COVID-19 worldwide. The death toll in the UK is rising. Most of mainland Europe have closed their schools... as it stands here, right now, our schools remain open. Theatres and cinemas are closed. Euro 2020 will now be held in 2021. The world is weird right now. I may be back soon with another blog post or it may be another twelve months...! Who knows?! I’ll be honest, I’ve really enjoyed writing this so hopefully I’ll be able to keep it up. It declutters my mind and I feel that’s something that I may need to do more often as the year goes on.

Thanks for reading if you have. Stay safe out there. Wash your hands thoroughly. Oh, and stop buying all the fucking toilet paper!!