Greg's Occasional News & Views

5 April 2020

We’ve survived four weeks of the coronavirus lockdown! Still talking to one another (occasionally) and just about maintaining our sanity. I reckon the government could improve morale at a stroke by issuing certificates of achievement for those in self-isolation. Rather like awarding stars to young students for good work. You could get a certificate after a month, after three months, a year, three years, etc.

As I said last time, if we’ve got to be in self-isolated lockdown, Moreton Pinkney is probably as good a place as any. We’ve had some great long walks across the fields with only the rabbits, deer, sheep and lambs for company. The weather has not been as good this week but we haven’t been rained on whilst out walking (yet) so what’s not to like.

We’ve also enjoyed a few bike rides round and about. I must say, the Arrogant Bastard jersey is perfect – it’s just about the right weight for our current temperatures and it sums up the essence of the wearer so succinctly. Thank you Sallie and Rod.

I suppose the only “problem” we face at the moment is that I will soon be in need of a haircut. I know I don’t have much but it gets to a point where I just want it off so that I needn’t concern myself with it for another month or so. It’s not a real problem, of course. I have no doubt that Penny will gladly grab the garden shears and give me a crop when I complain sufficiently loudly. Her greatest worry must be that I am going to have to do the same for her one day. Quelle Merde!

Penelope has continued her gardening onslaught. She has dug over the vegetable garden and planted the broad beans (one of my favourites). She’s also moved some raspberry canes to a new, permanent location and has been busy up in the potting shed (aka the garage) seeding her seedlings. She has re-potted the hibiscus (which are loving their new legroom), moved another few shrubs and bushes to better locations and dug over the area at the back of the garage for some bee bombs. I get tired just thinking about what she’s been doing!

We watched the National Theatre at Home presentation of One Man, Two Guvnors from 2011 or so on Thursday evening. James Corden played the lead and was very good. We saw it back in 2012 but I guess it’s no surprise that I only remembered about half of it. I believe it’s available for a week (until next week’s presentation which, I think, is Jane Eyre). So, if you have the spare 2 1/2 hours or so give it a watch. You can watch a trailer below and you can find the whole play here.

Frightening and worrisome as the coronavirus is, there have been lots of quite funny videos and other observations to take one’s mind off things. I’m sure you all have your own favourites. One of the best I’ve seen so far is the chap who develops his own treadmill so that he can continue his workouts at home now that the gyms are all closed:

And, my sister Sallie sent this one along the other day – some excellent advice on surviving the isolation:

My mother always told me that I wouldn’t accomplish anything by lying in bed all day. But look at me now, I’m saving the world!

And, it’s great to see so many people doing such wonderful things to help the health service and others respond to the crisis. Sometimes, though, things go a little bit awry – did you see the news of the Australian astrophysicist who was trying to develop a device to warn you when your hands approached your face? His idea was to use magnetic fields to sound a buzzer if your hands approached your face. Unfortunately, in the process he got two small but very powerful magnets stuck up his nose. He couldn’t get them out so he put another one up there hoping that they would stick together and he could extract them. They stuck together all right but remained firmly lodged up his nostrils. So, naturally, he put another one up his nose. What’s that definition of insanity – doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result? A trip to the emergency department at his local hospital soon had them out.

A coronavirus question: can anyone explain to me the hordes of folks panic-buying toilet rolls? Hand sanitiser, cleaning products, even paper towels I understand. But toilet paper? Were these folks so panic stricken that they reckoned they would be shitting themselves every twenty minutes or so for the next 18 months? And, a follow-up question: if they bought eighteen months worth of toilet paper and therefore don’t need to buy any for months to come, why is there still no toilet paper to be had? Or, are these same people continuing to purchase loo rolls so that they always have eighteen months’ supply in the pantry?

Another question: as I was doing the hoovering yesterday, I was thinking about all those folks (and there are plenty in our village) who have a cleaning lady/person visit once a week or so. What are they doing now that such folks are housebound along with the rest of us? Are their houses becoming increasingly dirty and disgusting or have they discovered the on/off switch on their vacuum cleaner? Do they have a vacuum cleaner?

And finally, yet more from the “You Could Not Make This Shit Up” department. It seems that the Home Secretary has decided to grant an automatic one year visa extension to the thousands of foreign doctors and nurses working on the front lines fighting the coronavirus. Goodness me! It now seems that we do need immigrants after all. Quelle surprise!

The amazing thing (and the government has received some real stick for it) is that the visas have been extended only for a year. So, it’s clear that the government’s attitude is that we need you now but once we’ve been through the worst you can bugger off back to where you came from.

Nope, you could not make this shit up. Rather like the antics of our government which spent most of January arguing about whether to pay a couple of million quid to have Big Ben Bong on Brexit Day instead of making preparations for what many could see was the danger of a looming pandemic. It’s good to know their priorities are in the right place.

In the meantime, keep happy, keep smiling, keep isolating and keep safe.

Lots of love to you all,

Greg

 

 

One Response to 5 April 2020

  • Thanks, Gregory. Your weeklies may be the one thing enabling me to hang onto what I – somewhat amusingly in the opinion of some – refer to as my sanity.

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