That’s not (just over) six feet!

A brief foray into Kingston, today. Plenty of people about, walking and cycling by the river, but fewer spotted in the actual town centre itself. Not surprising; there’s barely anything open now, although I was a bit taken aback (in a good way) to see a health food shop open in the marketplace and a handful of market stalls still valiantly trading, alongside politely-distanced queues of waiting customers.

We had a bit of trouble finding somewhere to park. The first two car parks we tried were closed but the third was open, and free. We noted it was a lot cheaper under normal paying circumstances than the one we usually visit, being a few steps further away from the shops, so will be using that one from now on.

I noted that the police, walking around the centre in pairs, were not social distancing from other people, but standing, talking, quite close to them!

There was some confusion in M&S, as well. One woman was standing outside letting people in as others came out, with staff inside keeping an eye on everyone.  The cashier was very good, as well, in keeping us all apart at her till.  But some customers were still standing far too close to each other at the food cabinets and counters. I think they are momentarily forgetting what they’re supposed to be doing; we’re all so pleased and maybe a bit overwhelmed to see the shelves filling up nicely again, it almost feels like things are back to normal.

They’ve got an awful lot of Easter eggs to shift atm, folks. Three for two! A chocoholic’s idea of heaven, though they’ve had to hastily change the wording on some of the packaging: “Easter egg hunt for one” is a bit sad, albeit a win-win for the lone hunter. I’d be OK with that one, though, as I still wouldn’t be able to remember where I’d hid them.

Boots didn’t yield what I was after (hand cream and face powder, if you must know). I felt a momentary frisson of fear when I saw that they have closed off all their make-up counters. Thank goodness for my “buy ahead and always in even numbers” siege/OCD mentality. I have enough of both for a little while longer and I bought new lipsticks (two) only the other week, phew. It’s one thing not being able to get my hair cut and looking more and more like the witch I’m supposed to have been in a past life (figures), but facing what’s left of the world without a bit of colour on my face? Never!

Walking across a pedestrian crossing, a car stayed a good distance back to let us cross, which we thought a tad excessive. Unusual, too; you’re lucky if they stop at all for you at the best of times and you’re pretty much playing Russian roulette with your life if you dare to chance it. I’ve had many a lively slanging match and sign language exchange with cyclists who NEVER stop at crossings. Or traffic lights. Don’t get me started!

I have heard several reports of people holding barbeques with friends in their back gardens and a local gardener posting on Facebook, clearly desperate for work, claiming it was perfectly safe for him to work in people’s gardens at the moment, as it was all outdoors and he would distance himself if he had to come through the house! (From what? The fridge?) Quite apart from anything else, how did he think people would be paying him? No one is accepting cash right now. After six hundred comments along the lines of “You silly sausage” his post collapsed and was swiftly shut down.

Talking of outdoors, we have a video camera on a tripod set up by the bird feeder at the moment. It’s a little bit boring, to be truthful, and tends to be turned off to save the battery just when it’s all kicking off out there. We’re hoping our resident fox will put in an appearance and we’d love to see the pair of woodpeckers we’ve spotted from a distance, but preferably not at the same time as the fox, of course. It made us laugh, at one point, though: a naughty cat came over our shed roof from next-door’s garden, started to slink across the lawn, spotted the camera, visibly started, then tip-toed rather exaggeratedly into the shrubbery. It reminded me of a Tom and Jerry cartoon.

Tonight’s meal is from M&S (sorry, Waitrose. Your turn will come): Chinese chicken in a sauce, with egg-fried rice.  We’re trying to be good and are gradually working our way through the contents of the freezer, but my culinary efforts have temporarily exhausted themselves. We’ll just have to make do with ogling all the wonderful dishes on MasterChef later on, instead.













Author: Hampton Caught

The rants and ramblings of an ex Deputy Fiction Editor of Woman's Weekly magazine.

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