It’s my Mum’s birthday. I haven’t seen her in over a week and the news has been terrifying us all. She and Dad are self-isolating. I wanted us to meet for dinner so much (she makes me feel safe, it would feel normal). But she is anxious and she is right to be. I have a teenage daughter and a husband that travels so although we are showing no signs of the virus we are all high-risk spreaders. It’s too risky. So I hatched a cunning plan.


We bought her M&S Chinese takeaway, icecream (her favourite) and profiteroles – all handled with just-washed hands and delivered to outside her front door. We brought our own cups, wrapped up warm, brought a separate cake for us to eat and candles. We sat outside. She made us tea and poured it and the milk into our cups outside (at a safe distance), retreated inside and then we sang happy birthday ate cake outside while she and my Dad did the same (with the other, M&S cake) inside. No transfer, no touching, no risk. We sang and conversed through the glass while she opened her presents. It was lovely. Spring is springing and we could see all the blossom in her beautiful garden and the Mournes in the distance. And I got to see my Mum. On her birthday.

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