Having run out of time to do my blog yesterday, I thought I’d combine it with today’s for a double dose of our thrilling adventures. No, really, it’s my pleasure!
I was able to dry our washing outdoors yesterday. It’s always a bit of a gamble – we don’t have a washing-line, so use airers, which tumble over in the slightest breeze like dominoes, taking each other with them as they go, or we can run the risk of ending up with an interesting pattern of artfully-splattered pigeon sh*t all over everything. However, it’s well worth it in the end, as, folding them up before putting them away, I am hit with the most heavenly, evocative blast of fresh, outdoorsy air that no scented candle or room spray can ever replicate entirely accurately, however hard they try. There’s a challenge for someone!
We decided to go back to the Italian restaurant for our takeaway treat last night, combining it with our short daily walk and, on the way, passed a group of people socialising down by the river. It looked to be the same group as last week. Neighbours, not one big happy family, and all, in my opinion, sitting far too close to one another. It seems rather blatant and, if I lived any nearer, I would be tempted to report them (as the police are encouraging us all to do), though it’s rather un-neighbourly, I know. Meanwhile, the rest of us are behaving ourselves; pining for our friends and the happy social lives we once knew.
Overly-pally neighbours aside, it would be nice if we all acknowledged each other in the streets a little more. I mean, all the time would be great (it just doesn’t happen around here), but especially so at the moment. While some of us are smiling and grimacing at each other from a safe distance, others are deliberately turning their heads and not making eye contact at all. This is a shame, in my view – and also, perhaps unsurprisingly given her stance on mental health, Ruby Wax’s. She was a guest on Question Time the other evening and spoke about how we are all in this together and should be reaching out, metaphorically speaking, to connect. Just try it!
Speaking of TV programmes, I felt that Question Time worked fine as a “distance” format, but other shows I have seen, ie, The Graham Norton Show and Have I Got News For You, fell flat, in my opinion. I like to observe the body language between the guests and I felt the continuity, spontaneity and humour were not up to par. (Also, is it just me, or does anyone else think that Ian Hislop is starting to look like Winston Churchill?)
We heard police sirens this morning, and guessed they were heading for one of two places: our nearby park, to monitor the social-distancing in there, or our local big Tesco, which has seen some rather unpleasant behaviour from the manic-panic-buying brigade of late. Or both.
On our way out later on, we noted that entrances to popular walking areas were all closed off, with skips in some cases and huge trucks in others.
A friend who works in a large supermarket in the Midlands says he witnesses unpleasant situations there every day. In another supermarket in that area, there were 14 arrests on Thursday; one for assault on the manager because the moron concerned objected having to wait to be served. It beggars belief.
To a lesser extent, shelf-emptying mania hit even the relatively civilised supermarket we ended up in today (same as last week). I made an idle comment about how wonderful it was to see the shelves filling up so nicely again, although some were still quite empty, to which the assistant replied that they were all full on Thursday, but people were going a bit mad in there again, because of the long Easter weekend. Listen up, folks! We’re none of us going anywhere, so what’s with all the panic? We can’t meet our friends, have parties or bbqs, invite people round or go on nice day trips to visit relatives. What difference does it make if the shops are shut for one day, anyway? We will survive!
My OH has become a bit more twitchy about being amongst the other customers in the supermarkets, because they are still not all obeying the rules. The other day, in M&S, a woman came up to him to ask him what the date was (none of us know that any more, dearie)! So he now waits for me outside while I beetle around with my trolley, trying to be as quick as I can. I have two lists to work from, as we are getting bits and pieces for our neighbours as well. His nervousness has made me more nervous than I already was, so I hold my breath as I pass others who are coming too close. Not sure this has much effect, really, except to make me feel light-headed and more prone to panic-buying supplies of cheese and chocolate. A friend wears gloves and a mask while going out shopping, but finds them both unbearably hot. There are no easy answers. We’re all just trying to behave as sensibly as we can in this crazily-surreal situation. Well, some of us are, anyway…