It is rather too early to describe our family Zoom meetings as a regular feature of our Lockdown Life. We have, after all, only managed to get together (virtually speaking) on two occasions though we do all seem to have
got the hang of IDs, passwords, gallery view (so that we can see everyone all at the same time) and side-swiping (if somebody drops out of view.) This is, indeed, progress.
We haven’t yet tackled anything as organised as a quiz, we don’t have an agenda, and people do keep changing the start time to accommodate more important issues such as the daily walk or their allotted time slot at Click and Collect. I’m
not grumbling, you understand, but as the organiser, or “host” of the gathering I haven’t yet managed to find out how to alter the start time without setting up a whole new meeting. This means that on any given Saturday afternoon, I may have
two, three or even four meetings set up, only one of which will actually happen.
There are a few weekly recurrences. I will spend a good half an hour before the
Appointed Hour trying to position Mr B in his wheelchair and myself next to him on an adjacent dining chair so that we both appear in view on the IPad, (propped up on the table against a pot plant and standing on a packet of Krave cereal.) Despite all my efforts,
only half of Mr B’s face appears on screen for most of the time. We need to take a leaf out of the book of granddaughter Katie and her boyfriend, the Dependable Nathan, who sit, side by side, perfectly framed centre screen.
The Rascally Trio climb all over their mother’s lap in a bid to be seen and spend most of the time pulling faces at cousins Jack and Hazel - though, of course, this being a
Zoom meeting they could be making faces at any or all of us. The Youngest of the Darling Daughters is flanked on either side by her off-spring, while the (Not So Very Little) Welsh Boys drop in every so often over their father’s head to wave briefly
before heading back to their gadgets, secure in the knowledge that, for the duration of the Zoom meeting, their dad will be too busy chatting to nag them to get off them. The Eldest of the Darling Daughters has her phone on portrait so resembles a postage
stamp and we look out for granddaughter Eleanor to make an appearance. Maybe next week? The In-Laws seem to think, quite mistakenly, that this family gathering is not for them - Dunk’em Dave does make an appearance, “Rules is Rules”
can be spotted roaming in the background and the Darling Daughter-in-Law joins in as and when. We need to get them more involved as they might introduce a note of sanity into the proceedings. Though, in the case of Dunk’em Dave, there won’t be
much of that...
Yesterday afternoon we had a fairly civilised conversation (aside from the face-pulling, but then what would our Zoom meetings be without that
distraction?) covering home schooling, whether and when schools should reopen, Jack’s new job and plans for Young Morgan and Dunk’em Dave’s birthdays next Wednesday. That was until somebody asked me how we were getting on with the new Sky
remote control and the whole discussion descended into extended laughter at my expense.
I was explaining that, so far, I haven’t tried out the voice activation
button except once, in error, when Mr B accidentally pushed the blue button and a disembodied voice asked us what we wanted to do. These days I’m not used to being asked what I want to do so I couldn’t think of anything to say. Everybody else seemed
to find this extremely funny, apart from Mr B who took it as a personal affront. I left my seat at the table to go and fetch the Offending Article which I then waved at my family to illustrate the existence of the blue button (as opposed to the red button
which we are always being exhorted to press. I never do that either. I mean, who knows what might be expected of me?)
The Eldest of the Darling Daughters
told us the story of how her fella, who hails from Up North, once tried to get their TV to tune into a rugby match featuring Bath (rhyming with math) rather than Bath (to rhyme with laugh.) We all had a good laugh at this - though it did strengthen my view
that I would be best to experiment with our new toy at some time when Mr B is snoozing peacefully in his armchair, unable to bear witness to any, shall we say, issues I may experience.
All too soon we had to wave goodbye. The forty-five minutes had passed in a flash. Between now and next week I will have to master the voice activation button on the remote control before setting up another family pow-wow.
This may take some time...