Bubble trouble @JanetChristie2 Mum's the Word

In a lather over social support
Feline social? Bubble up with a fluffy friendFeline social? Bubble up with a fluffy friend
Feline social? Bubble up with a fluffy friend

“Support bubbles for lone adult households in England, to stop loneliness and isolation,” I read from a screen to Youngest. “Hmm. Might be good for mental health. Do you think your brothers would like to be in our support bubble if it comes to Scotland?’ I say to Youngest.


“Why not?” I say, stung. “Three days pushing you out and this is what I get.”

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“Aw. I would, Mother,” she says sweetly, confident in the knowledge she’s in my household anyway so we’re bubbled up whether she likes it or not.

Over half the month she’s with me and we follow her rules - strictly no News, lots of comedy, very regular healthy meals, demarcation of work/leisure hours, exercise, as much sleep as you need, drinking lots of water, spontaneous dancing, animals on TikTok, fiddling with hair extensions, outfits and having a laugh.

Then when she’s at Other Parent’s it’s time alone for me to catch up on the death toll and eat taco chips and hummus for dinner every night while working at a screen for hours uninterrupted - a happy healthy balance.

“I’d forgotten I’m a Single Parent,” I say, looking at the English recommendations. “Maybe I need a support bubble?”

“No,” she says. “You can only bubble with one other household, and Eldest will be in a bubble with his girlfriend, and Middle has friends he’d probably choose rather than you cos you don’t stay up all night watching films, listening to music and playing computer games. Because you’re old,” she adds, to soften the blow. She’s thoughtful.

“Because I’m WORKING,” I say. “In fact, I’m working even more somehow, and all the other stuff that’s going on... Isolated? I don’t think so.”

“Well you’re lucky you’re not lonely. YOU’RE just tired from doing too much. Running, Zumba, moving house, decorating, going to the tip, FaceTiming and WhatsApping, quizzes, film nights, book groups - you’re maybe doing a bit too much socialising, young lady.” (She doesn’t say ‘young lady’ but she might as well have. And I notice she didn’t mention my huge effort in giving up smoking again. That’s been very tiring).

“You have to learn to say no. And not make bubbles another thing to do. Jeez.”

“Did you hear that?” I say.


“The sound of my bubble bursting.”


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