November 2020
Anyone under the age of 8 is going to be thoroughly delighted at having both parents all to themselves for this, our new Autumn lockdown. Anyone still living at home between the ages of 16 and 25 is going to be thoroughly pissed off.

As a solo parent of two feisty twenty something girls, here’s a list of really lame ideas which might help them from going mad:

1.  Get a pack of cards and agree on a card night, a couple of times a week.  Write prizes on bits of paper (things like ‘loan of my favourite shirt’ or ‘dinner in December at fave pub’ or ‘exempt from unstacking dishwasher for two weeks’ ) and barter, play, argue…….whatever gets you through the evening.

2.  Do a Life Drawing class together.  Paper, pencils, sense of humour and a YouTube video. (Beginner’s Life Drawing skills)

3.  Research recipes.  Take it in turns to challenge one of your millennials to a bake-off.  Who can make the best wholemeal bread?  Even better, who can make the best scone.  Then donate them to a neighbour who’s on their own and in need.

4.  Still with recipes, experiment with new ingredients.  Each person must research, shop and cook for one meal per week.  Take fennel.  I never cook with fennel.  My friend Sally gave me this recipe. Cod and Prawns with Fennel and White Wine.  (Swap the creme fraiche for full fat Total yogurt if you’re doing the Blast plan :).

5.  Encourage them to do a “Remember when?” Zoom quiz with a few of their friends.  Questions to be specifically about places they went, lessons they skived, holidays they had, evenings they can’t remember, teachers they fancied, boys they avoided.  One big fat trip down memory lane.

6.  Find 3 local walks (not mountaineering, for God’s sake, just somewhere to stroll) and encourage them to meet up and connect with the one permitted friend.  Chat, debate, people watch, drink a takeaway coffee, kick leaves, smell the air, feed the ducks.  All trivial, all not what they want to be doing but it all involves human contact in the flesh with someone other than their Mother or an Uber driver.

7.  Stick a life-enriching book in front of their noses.  (Biased towards female millennials, I don’t do sons).  And apologies, all links are to Amazon.
Dolly Alderton: Everything I know about love
Caitlan Moran: More Than a Woman
Viv Groskop: How to Own the Room
Ruth Jones: Us Three (hardcover available now, PB coming April)  According to Dawn French this is :..‘A touching celebration of the beauty and endurance of female friendship”
Rhonda Byrnes: The Secret

8.  Play Scrabble, but with no phone.  In a bid to fight cobwebs in brain cells and to open a dictionary.

9.  Painting by numbers.

10.  Painting the downstairs loo.  Or anywhere you don’t care that much about.  They can practise rollering, mastering the art of cutting-in, and generally finding out how the tidying up afterwards takes much longer than the actual painting.

Told you they were lame.
Stay with it, stay home, stay cheerful.

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