I don’t wish to start this post off in a morbid fashion, but anyway, I will. It was the 21st anniversary of my dad’s death on Friday and I was idly thinking about how he would have managed self-isolating. I reckon he would have coped with it very well indeed. He lived on his own for many years and was not overly sociable; though he did enjoy other people’s company, he was very content with his own. So long as he had his fags (until his first stroke, when he had to give up a lifetime’s habit overnight, which was extremely hard for him), his endless cups of tea and biscuits to dunk in them, his papers, Private Eye, sport and sitcoms on the telly and his garden and garage to potter/tinker about in, I think he would barely have noticed any difference.
He loved driving, and it featured largely in his job in insurance. Even though he used his car quite a bit during the week for work, he still loved to drive about at the weekends. He said he found it relaxing and it gave him a sense of freedom. So it was painfully hard for him to have to give that up immediately, as well, as soon as he had his first stroke.
The father of an ex-boyfriend, who had a very stressful job, would often take off in the night to drive away the frustrations of the day. On at least one occasion, he ended up in Devon. I should add that he lived in West London. That must have been one hell of a day at the office!
How would you explain that one away, in the current situation, if the police stopped you to question what you were doing on the road at that time of night?
Talking of stress-related driving and the West Country, I am utterly baffled by the couple who recently drove all the way to St Ives from Surrey, only to be caught, fined and told to turn around and go straight back home again. I know how long it takes us to get there from here – we can safely write off two days from our precious holiday, there and back – so what on earth possessed them?! (They blamed their impulsive trip on “exam stress” but I feel that’s a pretty feeble excuse in such excessive circumstances.)
When I first heard this, my number one thought was: Public toilets, the lack of, and how did they manage? (It’s a bit of an issue with me.) Closely followed by: Had they really thought this through? What about eating and sleeping? If all they had wanted to do was be near the sea, there are plenty of beaches a heck of a lot closer to Surrey than St Ives, beautiful though it undoubtedly is.
Clearly, their biggest mistake, once they got there, was choosing to park in such a public place (on the pier, apparently). They were reported by suspicious locals. As the OH put it, they could have parked in one of the back roads and probably got away with it – for a little while longer, anyway. We are lucky enough to have lovely friends living down there, but I don’t think they would be too thrilled to see us in the present circumstances – even if we did just want to borrow their loo before heading back home again. To go all that way and not be able to do the rounds of meeting up properly with our friends, eating out, shopping, moseying around the art galleries and dipping our toes in the sea, let alone stocking up on pasties, fudge and fairings before heading back “up country” would be a completely pointless exercise for us. Then again, perhaps we’re not quite stressed enough yet… I’M JOKING!!