During an unproductive trip to a supermarket this morning and chatting with a young person who recognised me, I told her that ‘these are unprecedented times.’ She dwelled on my words and looked concerned as she stared at me and then asked whether I had ever experienced anything like this before?
My turn to stare.
The big news of the day is that school examinations in the UK have been cancelled and that pupils will be awarded qualifications based on their progress to date and their teacher’s assessments of them. I would not have fared very well in such circumstances. In my day, our predicted grades by our teachers were a pivotal part of our applications to university. Back then, A-Levels were graded A to E – and then a grade O (a technical fail) and finally, grade F – for fail and not Fantastic as I remember joking about at the time.
My history teacher and I were not like-minded. Dare-I-say-it but we had history. Ahead of my A level examination, he predicted that I would achieve a grade ‘O’ and unsurprisingly, most universities took a dim view of my application.
I applied to Cambridge University and as yet, I am still waiting to hear back – and so I assume that it’s a no.
But all these years later – I write today in what are very strange times with the Corona virus being the only thing that anyone is discussing.
Certainly, it is calamitous already and very worrying but also strangely galvanising and unifying as well because it is a situation which genuinely affects us all. Some people are more vulnerable but no one is immune and every single person on our planet is affected to some extent.
There is talk of lock downs and hibernation. With the fires in Australia, the floods in the UK and now this blinking virus, idle talk about the apocalypse is not such a surprise.
Rushing back from Dubai, because in March I happened to have a series of great gigs. The sort of month I needed to kick start my year after its sluggish start. But I needn’t have rushed, since ALL these gigs and those in April and beyond have now cancelled.
Essential services only from here-on-in and even though laughter is important and has a role, it is a much funnier comedian than me who would consider his services essential.
People are panicking and suffering from a heightened sense of anxiety.
‘Step aside, please. Professional comedian coming through…’
I daren’t turn on the news for fear of what I might hear next.
And yet, us humans, we quickly adjust to the new normal.
Worries about my income quickly pale against health worries for my family members older than me. Tom’s filming in Germany is halted – which is bad – but he makes it home safely – which is good. But Paddy has a cough and so I can’t visit my elderly mum.
These are truly unprecedented times.
The stock market tanking is bleak for us all but less tangible than people immediately losing their livelihoods. People in the gig economy: café owners, taxi drivers, waiters, restaurateurs… I could go on but you get my point.
Something I hear fairly regularly is that ‘I am OKAY’ because of my son is Tom Holland.
The presumption being that should this havoc continue for an extended period of time, then my son can cushion my fall.
This is not something I seek or would ever welcome and why I remain busy on my various projects (as well as my gigs) in the hope that one day, one of them will bear fruit – which is a neat link to The Fruit Bowl – my next bullet in the barrel of a gun I am about to fire – at a target which seems a long way off and is that a swirling wind I can feel?
Of course, our levels of anxiety are heightened at this time as we hunker down and wait; vigilant for any of the symptoms which includes a headache – which rather unhelpfully is equally associated with stress.
Spring might be upon us, but few of us feel that we can enjoy it – when we are told to stay home and fret because not even the experts know what is actually ahead.
But whatever becomes of us in the coming weeks and months ahead – Sam and I will produce more podcasts – we might even include other Holland brothers too, since they are available (assuming I can avoid their people, that is) – I have some FB lives planned – and the Brothers Trust have some fun initiatives in the pipeline also – and designed more to harness team spirit than to raise funds, for reasons already mentioned in this post.
I am concluding this post now and more considered readers amongst you, will want to know how I fared in my history exam and whether my teacher’s pessimism was misplaced.
Indeed it was.
This guy couldn’t see greatness before him.
I got a D – which is not terribly good and is better explained by my recent Ted talk which I won’t go in to here.
‘D’ for distracted is how I like to interpret it.
And distracted not by girls – but by comedy.
I never wanted to be a historian and I always wanted to be a comedian.
And now in to my 50’s – it is the only thing that I can realistically do. But what if I can’t? What if my recent blog is right – and I AM TOO OLD!
Which brings me back to that thing I alluded to earlier; the safety net that comes courtesy of my progeny.
But, you see, the thing is… I am a very proud man.
And as such, I am never going to ask for any help.
…if everyone keeps on mentioning this safety net – then there is a high probability that Tom might get the message and weigh in on my behalf.
I am joking btw – which I hope doesn’t need to be stated – but then again, unprecedented isn’t exactly a complicated word…
Expect lots of content from me and the Bros Trust to come – which I hope might be a help to some of you who are looking to be safely distracted.
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64 thoughts on “In it together…”
I’m sorry that all of you gigs have been cancelled. All of my lectures have been moved online till Easter, it’s very strange as; as you said, nothing is for certain. But, the news that China is getting back to normal now gives me hope that we’ll be ok by May maybe! I just wanted to say thank you for your podcast with Sam yesterday it was a great escape and really made me smile! Sam’s piano playing is incredible, definitely money well spent for his birthday! I look forward to your other podcasts, they’ve all been really great!! All my love, Ellen xxxx
cool man – stay tuned
Love the blog and the podcast! Can’t wait to hear more of Sam playing the piano:)
I am looking forward to more podcasts with or without your eldest son. You and Sam do a great job to entertain me on my way to my shifts. I would get quite depress if my favourite podcast or radio DJ we’re stopping during this period. We really need the laughs.
Maybe you could ask the NHS to be employed as comic relief to keep the staff morale high.
Thanks for your effort.
sending an email to NHS direct now!
I always look forward to your blogs. I can’t say I always relate or agree with you, but I think that’s part of why I like reading them. It looks like you have a lot lined up, but I was wondering if you had considered doing a paid live streamed gig at some point? I enjoy your clips on YouTube but haven’t had the opportunity to see you live, admittedly it might be difficult to do without any live audience feedback, but I know I would be tuning in. Perhaps in these unprecedented times you could even outearn your eldest again… Looking forward to your next blog post!
food for thought but tech-wise I have complete confidence in the reality that this will never happen!
Hope your family stays safe and healthy! Looking forward to the Bros Trust content you mentioned and maybe seeing the other Holland brothers in a prodcast in the near future! I also ordered Eclipsed and I’m very excited to read it, though I have a small list as I’m a bookworm 🙂
Are the schools in the Uk closed or does Paddy still have school? Here in Germany everything is closed even bars and restaurants. And is the whole Holland family back together ?
all back together – but not necessarily everyone happy at the same time!
I was just thinking earlier that what is needed to lift spirits in this unsettling time is more Holland Family content. XD So, please, consider yourself an essential service!
Good to know – No pressure!
I couldn’t have said it better Ceol.
Hello Mr. Holland, these are times when we must be united and think about the common welfare.
I feel that you cannot visit your mother, I live with my grandfather who is almost 90 years old, even at home we maintain our distances with him, we know that when this is over we will be able to hug each other as before.
Take care and stay healthy.
Greetings from Colombia.
Back at ya
How lovely to have an extra blog today of all days..the dreaded Covid 19 has hit “my” Kingston (the one in Canada) and I am preparing for a long stretch of shifts in the ICU. I am so sorry to hear that work will be scarce over the next while. Selfish me is happy to hear that you will be providing me with more distractions from this whole mess! IT is horrible to watch so many small businesses suffering and I imagine it is hard for you to see fellow entertainers and writers go through this as well. I wish you and your family (esp the more senior members) good health through all of this..
Cheers and thank you for sharing!
Pleasure – stay tuned
Saving your podcast for my road trip from Nashville, TN to Fort Worth, Texas tomorrow!
Thanks for making me smile and the welcome distraction from the surreal current situation.
It’s lovely hearing you and Sam on the podcast. There’s a lovely warmth that comes through. Would love to hear more chat and music to. Could you perhaps add in some cooking suggestions to? Our local supermarket was almost cleared so if you have any ideas of what to make with what’s left in my cupboard that would be handy!
Looking forward to it! I will save the podcasts for when I finish my online classes..
Stay safe guys
Thank you for your blog! As a teacher, the unknown is causing a bit of stress! We have a big meeting on Monday to plan to be out next week for sure with no idea if it will be extended! Last Friday, sent home some work for my kiddos to do ‘just in case’ this would happen. I will be calling/emailing each of my students to check up on how they are doing and what to expect with remote learning. On the plus side, more podcasts, blogs and FB lives to come!! Hope Paddy’s cough goes away quickly so you are able to see your mom! Blessing to you and your family!
Thank you Pam – Paddys fine (he’s got a great dad!)
This corona business has the country in chaos! I went to tesco today and there were so many shelves stripped of their wares because of people panic buying. Bread, meat, crisps, canned food, all gone!
Add that to the fact that my place of work shut today until further notice and you can imagine the day isn’t going so well. Oh well, at least there was some booze still available in store! that’ll keep me happy for a while!
14 units per week!
Hi Dom. What a nice surprise to hear from you today. These are certainly very unsettled times and we can only do as directed to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. I listened to the blog last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was great to hear Sam play the piano, the sound is lovely from it. Laughed at the interruption I’m with you on your choice of music The Piano Man is one of my favorites along with Desperado by the Eagles. Glad to hear Tom is home safely and presumably Harry too. Hope Paddy’s cough improves and all the family are safe Dom. As you say we are all in this together and hopefully we can beat it if we look out for each other. Looking forward to your next blog.
Echo that Lorraine – omnwards
Hi dom, I am quite scared writing this. I am Also quite sad, I couldn’t come to ur gig in Dubai even tho I live in Abu Dhabi. Well I was wondering if paddy is well and wanted to say stay safe.
he’s fine – (if a little annoying, still)
I really like ur blogs and wish u do more. I love how u write about ur boys. Like no shade they all are great, but I wish u wrote about paddy more often.(oh and thanks for replying)
Unprecedented times indeed. Keep safe and well Holland family!
With all the extra time we have on our hands, I’m glad you wrote another blog. Between your blogs and podcasts it’s been fun to listen and to read what you’ve done. Glad you and the Holland Clan are together. Can’t wait to see what the Brothers Trust and you do in the next coming weeks. Hope you and the family are doing well- Hopefully Paddy gets over his cough soon! Stay Safe!
Was very happy to check in and find another blog post to keep me distracted. Texas is in lock down. I’m about to embark on the somewhat terrifying prospect of “remote learning” with my students who I haven’t seen since before our (now extended) spring break. I hope I get to have actual class time with the seniors before the end of the school year, whenever that is and whatever that entails. My 90 year old grandma has a cold and most of my family live out of state, also experiencing lockdowns. So, it was a wonderful thing to check in and find a post. I am grateful for all the distractions from those who know how to entertain the rest of us. A podcast from the Holland family would be lovely!
you got this Regina
That one word, unprecedented, sums it up so well.
The schools, local government, religious institutions, restaurants, bars, are all closed until further notice. The hospital where I work today announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19, so everyone is shaken. We continue to do our jobs because there are MANY MANY others who need support – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We’ve been preparing since it was first discovered, praying we’d never need to implement the protocols, but here we are. This shall pass eventually, but until then it’s day-to-day series of unprecedented events.
good man Paul
I’m so happy to hear you and Sam are still planning on podcasting, Dom. I enjoy listening to the two of you so much. In fact, as a graduate student now schooling online I am struggling to both work and study from home and have set your latest podcast as a reward once I complete a few necessary assignments. It’s been quite the motivator so far, I am looking forward to a listen.
I hope you and your family remain well!
great to hear Heather, thanks
Love the blog and the podcast! Can’t wait to hear more of Sam playing the piano:)
hi Dom i just want to say i live for ur podcasts and if possible i’d love for u to do them more often, with any Holland family members – i love u all
(also random fact i met u all at the brothers trust event 83 days ago)
and counting! thank you
Thanks Dom for this one. The world is crazy/scary right now & I needed a normal confirmation that we’re all this together. By normal I mean there isn’t politics or people who go off topic & pile on with their thoughts in great detail about everything that’s happening (thus the headache). I understand being proud but I feel like it’s not so much proud but for me it’s that I’ve worked so hard & want to continue working hard so I can say that I’ve accomplished or aided to whatever needs to be aided. I know money isn’t always a way to aid & there are other ways to add ones “two cents” to help but as someone who seems to be drowning from lack to funds & now work, I have to figure out how I can aid. Maybe by knitting? Keeping everyone’s spirits up even though mine are down? Staying sane & hanging on? I don’t know, but god knows I have some time to figure it out. You guys stay safe & see you on other side. I said other side like I meant that to sound cool. Like something Liam Neeson would say in one of his movies. I hope it comes across cool !~!
hey kayla – chin up man – we’ve all got this
also just wanted to add – i’m halfway through reading ‘eclipsed’ and ‘i, gabriel’ and i’m loving them both so far!
your pod cast and everything you make lately has been filling my days with less boredom so thank you for that. i have nothing to do all day and now i have thanks to you. your family is so interesting, you guys seem so normal and it’s so funny to hear what goes on and it makes me want to hear more- so please don’t stop with the podcast they are so funny and nice to hear. it’s crazy i never thought a family with a famous person could really be such a normal lovable family. not that i know what happens so i wouldn’t judge in the first place if it wasn’t. anyways i really enjoy these podcast and the comments and how you guys go on about your life. my life is so boring especially right now since i’m stuck in this house and not aloud to go out because of well you know… corona-. anyways thank you so much for actually making my days this week less boring i really enjoy everything your family does and everything you do. you probably won’t read this but if you do- HELLOOOOOO ahahahahahahah
its so weird i thought i wrote a comment but i cant find it- ah that sucks lolololol
Although it was the admiration of your progeny that brought me here to start with, over the course of the last year I’ve become enamoured with your family and the positivity & light (and normalcy) of you all. I enjoy very much reading/hearing the adventures of the Holland family and although world circumstances are not in the best of shape, I guiltily admit to being thankful that it means more podcasts & connection. It’s going to keep me sane & entertained if even for moments while holed up at home for however long this goes on. Thanks to you all & safe wishes.
Hello, Dear Mr. Dom,
Thanks again for the podcast (although I do not understand the conversation in English but it was good to hear your voice and Sam’s, it is good that all your children are at home and that you continue together in joy and in the chaos always united in love, Sam besides a Chef is a musician this is great, my sister is a teacher of singing and piano and we have a piano which she teaches here at home, and as for me I am in the same situation of many, freelance work as a fashion producer and all my work was for the second semester so I will live these days depending on my parents (and of course I accept it with open arms even because no one in this world loves me more than mine dad and my mom) but everything in life has a purpose, we should never lose faith, happiness and health for Holland family ❤️
God bless you
Sorry for my writing in English, I hope you understand ✌
Listen, I’ll be honest. The “unprecedented” dig probably shouldn’t have made me laugh as hard as it did. I nearly choked on my dinner. Which was somehow exactly what I needed today. A++++ snark, my friend.
Hello, Dom. Like everyone, this Coronavirus has got me a bit shaken but hanging in there. My brother’s and I are alright, and I’m thankful your family is too. As for Paddy’s cough, try some honey and lemon in his tea. Maybe some mint. It Good and helps ease the discomfort of a cough. Glad to know he’ll be alright. My mom passed in 2017 and my father last May, and I miss them terribly! But, I’m grateful they don’t have to experience this. As both had serious health ailments. I do have other older members of the family, but it’s best to stay away until its completely safe to be around them. I miss them, though. Terribly! Your podcast help so much! You make me smile, laugh, and dare I say think on occasion! Thanks so much, and please keep them coming! I am sorry to hear of the loss of gigs, and such. When things calm down and go back to some normalcy, imagine all the amazing things you’ll continue to do. Not just for you, or your family. But, for us whom you help make smile when it feels like its impossible to do. Quite a gift you do give to this world, Dom! I’d take a smile and laugh, over any amount of money, any day of the week! Stay safe, take good care, and thanks again!
“I applied to Cambridge University and as yet, I am still waiting to hear back – and so I assume that it’s a no.”
Thanks for making me laugh out loud. Needed that. Hope Paddy is feeling better!
Hi! I just wanted to say that I really need you all to do more podcasts because I am bored out of my mind and slowly dying while being in the house with my (annoying) older sister plus, I seem to be able to get more homework done when listening to the podcasts and as school is now online I need some encouragement and they ARE quite entertaining. You guys are great!!!!!:)
Thank you Mr. Holland, your blogs, podcast and jokes have been a great company during this quarantine.
I’m sorry you can’t see your mother, but it’s for the best. Here at home all my family is taking care for my Grandmother. It’s crazy how we all are living the same crisis. We have to be patient, this will pass.
I’m looking forward for all the content to come.
¡Espero que Paddy se recupere pronto! ♡ Stay safe.
Was great to see this blog today! It is becoming a mayhem, my teachers are prepping us for home schooling already nothing confirmed though!
It is great that there will be more content! Will need a distraction when Dad gets back from Peru, will be quarantined for 14 days at Easter.
Hope Paddy gets better soon.
Never too old to rock !
(And by rock, I mean comedy of course)
Please keep the blogs and podcasts coming Dom. Times like this I think it pretty much is an essential service . I’m now on unpaid leave for at least a month and will be trapped in the house with a 12 and 14 year old trying to get them to do some school work It’s going to be a testing time and your blogs and hearing about how your family are getting on will offer some much needed light relief. It genuinely lifts my spirits when I see you’ve put something new on (no pressure, honest!!!) and it would be great to hear about how your 4 boys are passing the time now they’re all at home.
Good to read your blog today. Like many others we’re adapting to our ‘new normal’, working from home (I’m upstairs, Pete is down ) Leah is at school for last day of term, gutted that she cannot take the GCSEs she’s worked so incredibly hard for. We were due to travel to Paris today to celebrate her 16th birthday – instead last night we ate a huge cake and binge watched ‘Friday Night Dinner’ – it gave us all the belly laughs that have been lacking for a while!
Blogs like yours keep us smiling and sane in these very uncertain times so thank, keep them coming. Stay safe and well
With love and hope xxxx
will do – just written one ready for Sunday
Good morning, Mr. Holland!
Thank you for the entertaining blogs and podcasts! As many above have stated, they are a much-needed distraction for many people right now. What I love is that my 10yr old and 13yr old can read your blogs and listen to your podcasts (they definitely enjoyed Sam’s piano talents and, of course, his great laugh!) and enjoy taking a journey away from current stresses that face us all. I am very happy your family is all well and together; I do hope you can visit your mother soon. Can’t wait for more podcasts and blogs!!! Blessings from the States–Kristen
Thanks for the recent abundant blogs and podcasts – comedy is very much an essential need right now….but preferably not in a small, crowded, badly ventilated room!
My family are one of the lucky ones in that my husband works for a big company that shut up shop worldwide and sent all staff home on full pay – that doesn’t mean we don’t have worries (I have only just come out of 2 weeks hospitalised isolation after a bout of influenza A, because I was one of the idiots that thought I didn’t need a flu jab until I ended up in ICU with respiring failure!), but it does eradicate the financial concerns that others have about how to find the mortgage/rent/shopping money. I do feel for those, like yourself, who have the ultimate zero hour contracts (or lack of contracts!). It’s an added pressure no-one needs right now.
The British weather is being its usual self, so hopefully most of the coughs people are coming down with are just the usual damp weather coughs and colds….but as parents that doesn’t stop us worrying (I keep taking my 9 year old’s temperature to make sure his is still acting like just a cold!) or from being responsible people and avoiding passing anything on just in case. I hope Paddy’s cough is just a cold too and that both your mum and in-laws have kindly, healthy neighbours who can help them and keep in touch with you whilst you are unable to visit – of course now you have told us this, we expect updates on Paddy and your mum just to add to your workload!!!
Maybe you could start a new book for us with anecdotes and stories from this unprecedented time! If anyone can turn this weirdness into a good read it’s you!
Food for thought, thank you.
Always look forward to your blogs.. even more so at the moment! I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel anxious and scared over what’s happening – I just hope that some rationality can prevail! The supermarkets being stripped of basic supplies can be more frightening for some than the threat of the virus itself. And as you mentioned it’s the older relatives I fear for. Anyway, it’s nice to have your books, blogs and podcasts to distract – so thank you. Loved the latest one with Sam. I honestly think I could listen to you guys all day – you have soothing voices. And tell Sam more piano please!… that was beautiful. I received my latest book order from you in the post yesterday and really looking forward to getting started on those. I just finished Only In America and loved it! In all this madness I’ve taken some time to get creative myself and have actually started writing. I had a dream the other night, woke up and just thought that could actually make a decent story. So started putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) that morning. Perhaps it’s you who has inspired me, so thanks! It may not end up being any good, but I’m enjoying it nevertheless so who cares right?!
Go for it Claire
Recently discovered your blogs and am enjoying it, much more so these days. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit worried about what’s been going on around the world. Not only with the virus, but the growing racism as well, especially here in the states. That being said, I’m looking forward to more of your content and projects! Thank you, hope you and your family stay safe, and take care.