A brief trip into Kingston, today, where we noticed plenty of building work going on, with none of the builders social-distancing, as far as we could see. (I realise it could be tricky for them, of course.) However, around the town and in the shops, people seemed to be making much more effort to keep their distance, with many more wearing masks and gloves.
Yes, we needed to go in there, before anybody has a go! For lots of different reasons. We were all behaving sensibly and responsibly. I’m a bit sick of people on social media saying things like: “I was out today and noticed so many others out, too. Why aren’t they all at home?” Er…!!! One woman on our local fb group even said: “I have a serious illness and everyone should keep their distance.” It’s you who shouldn’t be going out, then, you silly mare!
A lone busker was singing his heart out to one of my favourite songs, “Wild World” which seemed especially poignant. At least the nearby bank queue were being entertained while they patiently waited to be let in one at a time.
I got very emotional at seeing Kingston so bare and with so many shops shut. It was shocking. After today, Waterstones and John Lewis are closing. Hardly any shops were open in the Bentalls Centre, including Bentalls itself.
I cried in the bank and Waterstones (where the surprisingly cheery staff outnumbered the customers) and wobbled a bit in Boots and M&S and Guiluanos, where the man himself is selling off his stock of tinned beans and tomatoes and dried pasta, if any local people still need it.
The lovely man in Boots suggested I go home and watch a comedy on television. The equally lovely woman in the bank said I should pray and go for walks by the river. I said I don’t really pray as such but I might be starting very soon and how can I go for walks by the river, when everybody is telling us to stay at home?!
By the way – I’ve discovered that chicken is the nation’s favourite meat, judging from the empty poultry shelves in both M&S and Waitrose. It’s certainly mine. Back to the farm shop at the weekend, then…
The cashier in Waitrose said she wished they were closing, as well as John Lewis, so they could all have a well-earned break from the chaos and madness of the last few days.
The cashier in M&S said they might close the clothes part of the shop and just leave the food section open, as John Lewis have done, but she wasn’t sure.
I worry for the people I know with small businesses and those who rely on the farmers’ markets and other outlets for their sales. I feel desperately sad for the staff, as well. I can only hope – yes, and pray – that they will be able to get back on their feet after all this is over but I fear that many won’t.
Oh, and they were giving out free bunches of flowers at Waitrose, to thank us all for supporting them. It nearly set me off again.