“A bit of a corker!”

I have a friend who often gets her words and phrases muddled.  She refers to “poodling” about instead of “pootling” and people who have been “furlonged” not “furloughed” during the current crisis.  Her latest one, though, is a bit of a corker: she explained how she had bought a “scratchcock” chicken from her local supermarket. I said it was only too clear where her mind was at the time. It should, of course, be “spatchcock” though I am surprised by how few people have heard of it (look it up). Spatchcock, scratchcock, or whatever, one lady in particular was overjoyed to see the hot chicken counter up and running again, so to speak, in Waitrose.

A woman in front of me at the till was practising what looked like ballet barre moves to me. It was the same woman who had been doing these movements while waiting in a very long outside queue the other week. I’d love to be so unselfconscious!

Chatting to the girl on the till about her forthcoming end-of-year exams revealed she wasn’t confident about the results. She’s doing her A-levels next year and said, due to there being no open days at any of the universities at the moment, it was hard to choose the one she favoured. I helpfully told her how upset I was, the other day, on re-reading my old school reports. But I’m not going to go into all that now. That’s for another blog…

It was lovely to see the Big Issue seller outside, again. We know she has a family but we don’t know where she lives. She said lockdown had been really hard for her. I wanted to hug her. I miss hugging people – though they might be relieved!

I wanted to visit the big Sainsbury’s just down the road, afterwards.  As we queued outside, a large notice prominently displayed reminded us that lockdown has not been a bundle of laughs and a nice rest for many, giving numbers to call for victims of domestic abuse or bullying at home.

Inside, a woman was wearing a sweatshirt that read: REALITY CONTINUES TO RUIN MY LIFE. Meanwhile, the staff were all wearing “social distancing” T-shirts.

A sign outside Esher cinema is announcing: We’re back!  Don’t  ‘mask’ your feelings. You’re going to (g)love it.

Meanwhile, an Esher householder has come up with an ingenious idea: they’ve cut their house number into the very tall hedge by their drive. No delivery driver is going to be able to miss that…

We noticed a betting shop was open. Wonder if it’s been open throughout lockdown? My heart is sinking at each further relaxation of lockdown rules, for personal reasons, and I have very mixed feelings about it. Many can’t wait to rush back to their old lives as quickly as they can, it would appear – even if they have been virtuously (and hyper-anxiously, in some cases) following lockdown rules to the letter and beyond for the past few months – but, equally, hundreds of people are still dying from the virus every day around the world and in this country, and many people I know are in no hurry to start socialising and shopping again. As for the hordes who headed for the beaches in the recent hot weather: did any of them stop to think that others might have had the same idea? Did they even care? And would anyone on here care to gamble on there being a ‘second wave’ (excuse the seaside-related pun) very soon?




Author: Hampton Caught

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

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