PhD, Parenting, Pandemic… and Potter

Ali pic 2

Ali Lacey from the School of Psychology gives us a candid peek into her life during a month of lockdown:

April 2020 by numbers:

3 kids (off school) who devoured

90 meals, representing an increase of

21 lunches (plus untold biscuits and rice cakes) and an

Exponential explosion of crumbs.


4 semi-carved arrows poking out at threatening angles on the patio,

3 missing pairs of scissors,

1 pair of ski goggles in the washing machine and a

50% increase in household glass recycling (at least one bottle was olive oil!)


30 episodes of Ozarks: evening entertainment led by Netflix,

30 (at least 30) episodes of Friends with Child 1,

More social media lapses than I care to mention and

67 chapters of Harry Potter read aloud (I’m getting very good at McGonagall!)


12 virtual meetings,

12 glimpses of the lamps and lockdown grooming habits of colleagues,

(Why didn’t I move the Crunchy Nut Cornflakes!)

At least 12 piles of clothes moved off-camera.


2 blue-tick Twitter retweets (Caitlin Moran and Caroline Criado Perez!),

2 conference calls with government departments,

1 virtual 70th birthday,

3 cancelled holidays, 2 refunds.


28 online maths homework sessions ‘supported’,

1 second author status on an essay about Juliet’s relationship with her father,

0 projects about the Vikings/Egyptians/Anglo Saxons completed,

Daily (OK hourly) checking for news about schools reopening.


2600 parents in a similar bind recruited to new Covid-19 study,

1 radio interview with national treasure, Jenni Murray,

1 secondment and 1 conference postponed,

1 PhD taking a detour.


TLDR: Doing the best I can

— Ali Lacey


Sussex Researchers: If  would like to tell us about your experiences during Covid-19, get in touch with the Hive Scholars:

Reach us at @sussexreshive on Twitter or Instagram or email us at

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