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Yesterday the government announced the plan for leaving lockdown. Our pub remains closed, but shops open next Tuesday, followed by restaurants and pubs serving food on Friday. Non-essential travel outside of the county may resume on the 18th of December, and 3 households may meet indoors from the 18th until the 6th of January.

The in-laws visited, and after the children go to bed, we sit up drinking wine, watching the Late Late Toy Show. Normally I wouldn't watch it, so many people wouldn’t—it’s a bit naff—but with bars and restaurants closed, what else is there to do on a Friday night? A little Black girl strokes the hair of a doll, and says, “She’s my favorite, she has hair like mine.” Another girl, white, gets up to show off her beautiful prosthetic limb. The show raises nearly six million squids for charity. When the presenter says "Fuck" after a bottle of Fanta erupts, Irish Twitter explodes with memes seconds later.

The sister-in-law refers to one of her students as "Dan the Traveller". He's polite and tidy, helpful for a 12-year-old, always cleaning his desk and her desk: "Can I sweep this up, miss?" I'm irked. Imagine myself at his age, called "Phil the Asian", my immigrant-daughter "quirks" a point of humour. Never a child, but a small monkey in a sequined vest and fez, banging a tiny drum. I think of Dan’s cleaning as one of those defense mechanisms a child develops, internalising his teacher's biases to distinguish himself as a "good ‘un”, not like the rest, already damned by difference.


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