Diary of a Self-isolator – Week 2
A lighthearted look at the situation, please don’t take it too seriously.
Monday 23/03/2020 – Day 8
Well, the good news is that I’ve survived my first full week of self-isolation mostly intact, when I say mostly intact what I mean is that my super supply of Buttermints is running low, the problem is that I am too much of a tight-fisted git, I could have had some delivered yesterday with our online shopping, but Sainsbury’s buttermints are 95p a packet, Aldi’s are 45p a packet! I don’t know why, perhaps my basic instincts kicked in. but I just could not press that button which temptingly said the golden word ‘Buttermints’. The other part of ‘mostly’ is the fact that Mrs H is still speaking to me.
Speaking of Sainsbury’s online, My order arrived at 7.40am yesterday, (Sunday)at least 50% of what we’d ordered had been changed, which I don’t mind, we were just grateful to see the bloke, Now, I can accept beefburger’s substituted for steaks but how the pickers think that 18 tins of Fosters are any substitute for 20 cans of Guinness I will never know, I am a dedicated stout drinker, the way my luck is going I probably had the only teetotal picker in the store lol. There also seems to be a dire shortage of Chicken breasts – I just cannot tell you what picture that conjures up in this sad old mind lol Having said that I wouldn’t be a delivery driver today, the sheer look of relief on his face when I said I accepted the changes was a joy. Just one more thing – no toilet roll! Now I’ve been putting pictures on my site all week of lovely people clutching bog rolls triumphantly as they leave the shop, but they ran out by Sunday morning, just my luck! Oh well there’s always the Sun newspaper cut into squares it should go a long way. Got another delivery later this week from Morrisons, that’ll be interesting – I’ve ordered lots of frozen stuff, Ice-cream instead of Cauliflower florets? Curry in place of custard? watch this space.
Meantime, over the weekend there were pictures appearing of a landlord in town complaining to the Shuttle newspaper about not being given enough time to get rid of his surplus beer before total closedown, (He didn’t get much sympathy on here) then the following day there were pictures everywhere of him having a bit of a party at his other pub ‘The Vault’, in all fairness the guy did say he wasn’t there, but when the full picture was exposed he was actually taking the ‘selfie’, Anyway the upshot was that the local constabulary were made aware of the situation (for those of you who don’t understand, they were grassed up) and took steps – well cars actually – and emptied the place. The owner said it was a staff meeting at ten at night and that he was in bed lol, you couldn’t make it up could you. The upshot was that the landlord had made the aforementioned Sun newspaper by today.
I went outside early this beautiful morning and the air seemed so fresh and sweet. At this thought a shiver ran through me as I remembered that an early symptom of the Bubonic plague was smelling sweet air, then I realised it was my body spray!
Apparently Boris and his sidekicks will not be broadcasting at their usual slot of 5.15pm, he has another meeting with Cobra! Now why he has to meet with snakes I do not pretend to know for one minute, but I suppose the Brexit negotiations must still continue in these dark days. We await with bated breath for the inevitable!
Meanwhile I myself have been coughing and spluttering all weekend, having had vast experience of chest infections over the years I have taken the decision to start my emergency course of steroids and antibiotics as I’m not feeling too well.
Tuesday 24/03/2020 – day 9
This is day one of Lockdown, at 8.30 last night Boris came on TV with the news that everyone knew was going to come, we knew because Nicola Sturgeon always tries to pre-empt Boris by getting in first and starred on TV in the afternoon. I already knew of course because my mate George told me, he was told by his neighbour a chap called Trigger who was told by his mate Boycie who was told by a chap down the pub named Del whose Uncle Albert was in the war, and Uncle Albert really knows his stuff.
Anyway I digress, what is basically happening is that we are all on lockdown, but -wait for it – we can all still go shopping, we can all go out for a walk, we can all take our pooches walking as long as there aren’t more than two of you together, so professional dogwalkers who would have at least ten dogs trying to trip them up in the park will now become extinct as mass gatherings are not allowed.
Speaking of mass gatherings our friend Mrs G volunteered to go down to the chemists yesterday for my inhalers and tablets, she says that when she got there the car park which held about 100 vehicles was rammed, anyway, she managed to get a space next to the five or so vans that were supposed to be out delivering medicines to the needy (when I phoned they said all home deliveries were taken for 2 weeks lol), so, like the dutiful friend she is, she joined the long queue who were most definitely not practising the new social distancing thing, women huddled in groups of five or more discussing the day’s events and swapping tales about where eggs were available etc, the old lady in front of Mrs G tried her best to keep her distance as she coughed and sneezed whilst inhaling deeply on a cigarette, (bless her). Just in front of the old lady was a chap in a long raincoat who kept giving Mrs H lecherous looks, know what I mean nudge, nudge, nods as good as a wink to a blind man looks.
Mrs G chose to ignore the lecher and distance herself from sneezy. It was nearly 45 minutes before the lecher reached the door and got his antidepressants for his problem, sneezy was next and got her husband’s monthly dose of Viagra, walking away in a cloud of cigarette smoke and a seriously wide grin on her face, then it was the turn of Mrs G, with the bag she was given she was glad she had brought the car, she walked away thinking wouldn’t it have been quicker if the dispensing chemist wasn’t on the door greeting everyone!
Boris didn’t make an appearance today, but sadly, the death toll went up by 87 to 423, there is a new temporary hospital in London called the Nightingales, it will hold 4000 patients, that has to be bad news. The news is not good abroad either, America has it bad and seem to become the next ‘epicentre’. Italy, Spain, France and Germany see their deaths grow higher every day. Worrying times.
Wednesday 25/03/2020 – day 10
Phoned George this morning asked him how he was coping with self-isolation, “look here young Eric” (he’s 6 months older than me) “ Anne Frank and seven others spent 761 days in an attic 450 square foot, they had to stay quiet to remain undiscovered and stay alive, a few months in the house will be like a walk in the park in comparison, do you want anything from the shop”, that man has much wisdom I thought.
Just been watching the 4.30 government blog on the BBC, slightly concerned that no-one has yet mentioned the death rate in the UK for the past 24 hours, yes I know, I’m morbid, but does this mean that there has been a massive increase which is being hidden from us?
Got my official letter from the NHS today (which the wife sprayed with stuff as the postie wasn’t wearing gloves) saying basically that I’m half dead and I should not be ‘popping out’ for groceries if I truly value my living half, anyway, the letter said that I was a priority for the NHS, which left me feeling that I was being a bit of a nuisance, I must avoid face to face contact with everyone for 12 weeks and stay in my home, not much change there then! All joking aside the Government in my humble opinion are doing a great job under the circumstances.
I feel that this should be the right time to mention Mrs H and her complete understanding of the situation we find ourselves in, you see, my steroids have now kicked in and I have slowly turned into a raving lunatic with little or no patience whatsoever, everything is too much trouble, if she asks me what I want to eat I give her dirty looks and scowl, in fact, I feel that it has got so bad that I have turned into that manipulating bigot Geoff from coronation street, so I will now say publicly, Mrs H I love you and worship the very ground you walk upon xx.
The other bit of bad news is that we had a little visitor, a fieldmouse made his way into the kitchen and scared the living daylights out of Mrs H. so out came the trusty traps, it is a fallacy that mice like cheese, so I loaded the trap with a chocolate biscuit.
The figures for the last 24 hours are given out on the ten o clock news, apparently, they are changing the reporting slightly to give more accurate numbers, sadly, 83 lost their lives yesterday, the toll included a 21 year old girl with no underlying problems, but I have since read that her sad death wasn’t coronavirus related, there are also children as young as five hospitalised, this needs to be broadcast to warn all the gangs of youths going past my house that they are not invulnerable after all!
Thursday 26/03/2020 – Day 11
Jumped out of bed this morning full of the joys of Spring, not only did I get a full night sleep for the first time in a week ( The anti-biotics and steroids are working) but we have a delivery from Morrisons, to say I’m like a kid in a sweet shop would be an understatement! The other good news is that I have managed to purchase a massive bag of spuds!
Sad news is that the little visitor got a bit greedy and alas is no more, but before you all get emotional -from past experience, I know that mice are always in pairs!
So, after breakfast it is out into the sun to continue all those unpaid jobs I have been promising she who must be obeyed for the past two or three years, I really do feel sorry for all you chaps out there who have been promising to do the same when you have time lol, Come in Mr Brown, your time is up. Of course, there will be those enterprising fellows amongst you who will diligently point out to the missus that you would dearly love to do that job but all the DIY’s are shut. Well done that man!
While Mrs H was in the back garden (me working while she supervised) we heard a shout from the front door, Mrs H went around and was greeted by a lovely fellow with a sack of spuds on his shoulder, he was wearing a mask, no not because of the price he was charging, but to protect his customers, he was also wearing the longest pair of gloves Mrs H had ever seen, they were like butchered waders and rose stealthily up to his armpits, the conversation went as follows;
Spudman ‘How do you want to do this?’
Mrs H ‘ If you could leave them on the step hubby will carry them around the back’ (er excuse me Mrs H, I am ill, I have an NHS letter telling me so).
Spudman ‘No problem at all, I have left a dish on the doorstep for you to put the money into, (taking a few steps back) as the wife throws the tenner into the bowl.
Spudman (looking at me, says to the wife) ‘Are you sure you wouldn’t like me to carry them around the back? (cheeky sod). ‘Thank you very much, sorry about the gloves etc but can’t be too careful.’
Mrs H ‘I think that’s very thoughtful of you. Thank you.’
And so, off he toddled as Mrs H got the spray out before he was in his van and I carried the newly disinfected into the garage ready to share out between the offspring, on opening the bag I discovered that they had come straight from the field and were unwashed in their natural state covered in dirt, which I don’t mind at all. It bought back reminisces of my childhood when during the school holidays, armed with my fish paste sarnies wrapped in a greaseproof Mother’s Pride wrapper and a bottle of cold tea I would go blackberry or pea picking, this also included spud picking, getting thrown up onto that old lorry with little sides on the back, then the smell of the exhaust fumes, the swirl of the dust from the back getting up your nose, the flies hitting you in the face, and you hadn’t got to the field yet, of course, it would inevitably rain all day, but all the old ladies would continue picking in the mud with old mac’s on their bent backs as I tried in vain to shelter under a twig on the nearest and only available tree, returning home well soggy and downhearted because I had no money for my struggling Mum, happy days!
My last job of the day was to reload the mouse traps, I await the outcome.
The death toll is well over one hundred today, some of the rules are starting to get through at last, the shops are a bit quieter but there are still queues stretching outside supermarkets.
The one event that brought a nation together happened at 8.00 tonight, it was the most emotional and moving moment I can remember since the death of Princess Diana, in our road myself and Mrs H went out to the step and cheered and clapped along with lots more people, it didn’t seem much to do and only took a few minutes, but to the wonderful NHS staff and all those key workers it was aimed at – it meant the world!
Friday 27/03/2020 – Day 12
After last night’s emotional five minutes I had a bit of a lie in today, so getting up at 6am was a bit of a novelty for me. Straight downstairs to check the mice traps before Mrs H got up. Apprehensively I checked by the cooker where I had left them and where I knew they came in, to say I was gobsmacked would be a gross understatement, the traps had disappeared completely! I got my torch and shone it under the cooker, I could see half of the trap at the back and it had been triggered but I couldn’t see if there was anything in it, the other trap had just disappeared altogether. I pulled the cooker out, sure enough, the trap had gone off but there were no contents, the mouse had pulled the trap to the back of the cooker, somehow set the thing off and helped itself to the biscuit. Ok, I could live with that, not the end of the world, but I was perplexed as to where the other trap had gone, off came the plinths out came the torch and I glimpsed it, I could see that it too had been triggered and again it was empty, the little bugger had dragged the thing at least ten foot from where it was sat, set it off and ate the contents, I came to the conclusion that we were dealing with a supermouse here! He was going to take some thinking about!
Got another delivery yesterday from Morrisons, started early morning with a phone call from the obviously exasperated driver, Mrs H answered, the poor chap was panicking, even though our order wasn’t due till between 2 and 3 he said he was running a couple of hours late, He was told very nicely not to worry. He turned up at 3.20 so it wasn’t that bad after all. I have to say although some items had been substituted they were at least something like the items we ordered, and the best news? I got TWO cases of Guinness, as I danced around the kitchen Mrs H gave me strange looks – just cannot fathom why. One of the better shopping experiences to date, the best thing was that we were his last drop, I have no idea what time the poor chap started but he went home to his family a very tired man indeed. My only problem is that because of the steroids I am on I can’t have a Guinness till Monday, but it will taste all the better.
Got outside early and gave the vast amount of decking a fresh coat of slate grey non-slip paint. The son in law popped round and picked up some potatoes where we had left them, he also relieved me of eight cans of Fosters Lager which had been substituted earlier in the week, but, in all fairness they left us some food and -joy of all joys – three packets of Buttermints, that was all Aldi would allow them at the time.
The news from yesterday that Boris and the Health secretary now have the virus brought a mixed response, some good from well-wishers and some not so good from adversaries, You would have thought that with what is happening in the world today that all politics, wars, conflicts etc would have taken a back seat, but no, the words of the classic from Jack Jones called ‘The Impossible Dream’ come to mind. Sadly, a further 181 people in the UK lost their lives in the last 24 hours.
As for myself, things are going quite well I suppose, I’m not that bored but I have read War and Peace twice, the Bible 3 times, seven of Mrs H’s gardening mags and the Cornflake cereal box twice at breakfast! The telephone directory is looking good for tomorrow, after that – who knows, anyone got a full set of the Encyclopedia Brittanica I could borrow?
Last job of the evening was to set the trap for Supermouse, Now, I knew that it was dragging the traps back, springing them then having a feast, so I strapped a stick to the trap so it made it a lot wider. We await results’
Saturday 28/03 2020 – Day 13
Woke up this morning as daylight started to break (5.15 ish) and lay there for about 10 minutes with the strangest thoughts going through my head, (no not that), For some unknown reason I started to think about some of my young bald-headed colleagues at work, it started when It dawned on me that I was housebound for 12 weeks, I suddenly realised I wouldn’t be able to get my hair cut so I’m thinking that I’m going to look like one of the wild men of Borneo by that time! Parting my hair in the morning like a pair of curtains. Then, as I said my baldheaded colleagues came into my head and all sorts of hippie images of them having hair down to their backsides, or those genuinely bald having beards down to their knees lol! And of course, all of us oldies are going to be well hirsute by then, wives will be complaining about the mass of silver hairs on the pillow every day, not to mention those in the basin, we will all have become those ‘long haired yobs’ we despised, tying up those ponytails we all hate! For reasons known only to my feeble mind, my thoughts turned to National Service.
I then started to have visions of the sergeant major yelling in my ear as he lifted my long hair; “I’m gonna take a crap in a box and send it home to your parents – because they sent me theirs!”
At this point, I thought it best to get my deranged mind out of the bedroom and check on Supermouse! I wish I hadn’t, there he was poor little chap, doing a good impression of a dead fly. I had won the battle of wits – yet somehow wished I hadn’t.
Three main things have happened since I began my self -isolation,
- The TV is no longer the same old boring rubbish that we are used to, All channels have been forced to substitute their rubbish soaps for half decent films, the viewer never knows what’s on till the actual day and it’s a refreshing change.
- The dustbin, it’s come to my attention that our food/rubbish bin is empty whilst the re-cycling bin is overflowing, doesn’t that tell you something about our lifestyle today?
- I have run out of biscuits!
Finally, and on a sadder note, over 200 lost their lives yesterday, it brings the total of deaths to over 1000, we haven’t even peaked yet and I look out my window and I see groups of people strolling past my house on their way into town like they are on a day at the seaside, all the experts are now saying that the death figures will double every ¾ days, yet still youths gather and groups pass by, will we never learn?
On that sobering thought I will take my leave, but can I just say – It’s been emotional!
Until next week, God willing……………………………………
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