Barbara Windsor is a national treasure | Cheryl Gibbs

I was gutted to hear the sad news former EastEnders star and all round British legend, actress Dame Barbara Windsor may be forced to go into a care home because her Alzheimer’s has progressed.

Thursday, 18th June 2020, 4:54 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th June 2020, 8:45 pm
Barbara Windsor may have to move into a home as her Alzheimer's has progressed

She’s been cared for her by her husband Scott Mitchell since she was first diagnosed with the disease in 2014.

But Babs’s illness has taken such a turn for the worse he may not be able to do so for much longer.

I remember interviewing Barbara on the red carpet at an awards ceremony and she really lived up to her legend status. I asked her if she’d look down the lens of the camera and do her famous Peggy Mitchell line, ‘Go on, get out of my pub’ and she did it with full-on Peggy gusto.

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A national treasure.

Our beautiful bungalow has become a giant crèche

Before I became a mum I had all these intentions about what kind of mother I would be, what kind of parenting style Matt and I would adopt, and how we’d live our lives.

I remember commenting to my sister Michelle, who has two children now, that I didn’t want a routine like her.

I wanted to be an easy-going, free spirited kind of parent who takes their children out for the day and they’ll eat and sleep whenever and wherever is convenient.

And I recall a parenting group that Matt and I attended before we had Harley, and thinking that I had a pretty good idea about what it would be like to have a baby.

Well, all of the above went flying out of the window.

When you become a mum or dad, your entire world changes overnight and you have zero clue how to make this new baby, who relies on you for absolutely everything, fit into your world.

The reality is, you can’t.

You now have to fit into theirs and with all the will in the world that’s how it is.

For us anyway.

Lockdown has forced us to establish a new way of life together as a three and I’ll forever be grateful for that.

Despite how hard it’s been, it has enabled us to establish the kind of routine (yes, the dreaded routine) that takes many parents a much longer time to achieve.

Matt has bonded with her like I have – that’s usually rare for the dads who normally return to work after just a couple of weeks’ paternity leave.

The one thing that has been tough to get to grips with is how our once beautifully tidy, modern-ish bungalow now resembles a brightly coloured, patterned and motif-heavy (oh good god) créche that is full to the brim with toys and contraptions to keep Harley entertained.

Our sleek coffee machine has been replaced with a Tommee Tippee baby bottle machine (life-saver) and our spare room, which was our dressing room, is now Harley’s bedroom and changing area.

Life has changed and I don’t think the world will ever return completely back to normal after this, but in some ways I’m not sure I want it to.

I quite like our new normal.

Silence is golden while you’re having your locks chopped

Hairdressers are due to go back to work next month, but advised not to talk to customers.

I have no idea how this will work. Call me Miss Unsociable, but wouldn’t that be lovely for both sides of the party?

Poor hairdressers must get fed-up to the back teeth of asking the same questions. ‘Going anywhere nice on holiday?’ ‘Gosh, isn’t the weather lovely at the moment? ‘Anything fun planned for the weekend?’

You know the drill. I’ve always loved going to the salon, even more so now. I’d love to sit there for a couple of hours, be pruned, have a cup of tea, read a magazine, and now I’ll get to do it without all the small talk.

Pure bliss if you ask me.

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