Diary of a self-isolator – week 26

A lighthearted look at a few memories and the situation over the last seven days in our house.

Sunday 06/09/2020 – Day 175

A nice sunny morning so far, I’m thinking that I’ll do a few small jobs and then get on with a really lazy, laid back Sunday, after taking Mrs H her Latte in bed, of course, feeling a bit better than yesterday but still aching on the top half of my body, my arms and especially the left one seem to be the worst affected, oh well, onwards and upwards.

I have to report that Mrs H and myself are certainly living life in the fast lane, last night we ordered fish and chips online using a thing called appy grabs, really wonderful – until we let ourselves down badly by drinking a bottle of plonk with them. We not only let ourselves down but our diet as well, so uncouth, I mean, is it ok to have fish and chips now and then? Answers on a postcard please. Talking about diets, to help my diet along I actually did a push up today, well I fell down to be exact, but I had to use my hands to push myself back up – as Tesco’s say – every little helps.

So anyway, Mrs H did a spectacular roast chicken lunch accompanied with a half glass of wine (I know, the diet) to wash it down, I was just about to settle down for my afternoon catnap (I had already been up 9 hours at this stage) when Mrs H suggested that we go out for a walk. I looked into her eyes with my best ‘You cannot be serious’ John McEnroe stare, but sadly she wasn’t joking, within minutes we were donning coats as it looked like it could rain at any moment. We had planned a route which wouldn’t take it out of us on our first jaunt since lockdown  – actually, let’s be honest about this,  it was our first jaunt for years. Within minutes we were at the point where we should have turned the corner and headed back toward home, which would take perhaps a further ten minutes walking.

But then the dreaded male ego reared its ugly head!

“Shall we go right instead of left?” I uttered bravely, expecting Mrs H to say no.

“Ok” she said, (I’m sure I caught the start of a smile on her face).

We turned right and headed off on what would eventually be three times the walk we had originally intended, Mrs H kept asking if I was ok and did I want to turn around and go back, but I suspect it was she who was completely knackered, and I, being just as stubborn kept saying I was fine – which, I hasten to add, I was not. Fortunately, we only met one family and two couples who all gave us a wide berth, we continued on our journey as I sniffed my armpits – just wondering lol!

By the time we got back in the house we had covered almost five miles, I went straight outside and did fourty press ups. Actually I dreamt that scenario as I flopped into a chair and had my long overdue siesta.

After a lovely 40,000 winks I turned on my laptop and went to my mail which is supplied by AOL, I read the headline ‘ National emergency declared as gangs met in the early hours of Sunday morning in Birmingham, multiple stabbings’. I continued to read as the city is only 18 miles from where I lived, they had eye-witness reports of gangs of youths attacking each other, shirts were torn off backs and jewellry? was flying everywhere.

The report went on to say that racist slurs were heard being exchanged.

You may well be thinking, ‘Why do we need to know all this’, Well, at 6.00pm I turned on the news, the main item was about the stabbings, and it said that one man had walked through the streets of the city between 12.30 am and 2.30am randomly stabbing anyone who passed him, one poor soul was killed on the spot. The assailant is still on the run.

My point is, why are news people like AOL allowed to get away with sensationalising reports in the way that they do, they are an American company and should not be ‘guessing’ or ‘making up’ stuff that is happening here. Our thoughts are with all the victims and their families.

I don’t normally like reporting the news on here but another really important item was that the daily new coronavirus cases had doubled in 24 hours to just below 3000, if you followed my blog last week you would have seen this coming, Youngsters and teens are being blamed for not caring or bothering, but while the TV crew were filming in the street there were lots of people from all ages strolling past without a mask.

Monday 07/09/2020 – Day 176

Here we are at the start of our 26th week, can you believe it is six months since I last showed this handsome profile at Screwfix where I work. In all fairness, they have been excellent toward me, very caring and understanding to date.

My aches and pains have all gone, with the exception of my left arm and especially the elbow, Mrs H suggested I may have tennis elbow, but I’ve never played tennis in my life!

As I said previously, Mrs H does not like Monday mornings, whereas I do and always have.

Cast your mind back to your childhood Mondays, the previous night mother would have made sure you’d had your ‘weekly’ bath, in our house I was always about fourth in line, so the water would be very cloudy and just about tepid, then – when I was very young – mum would lift me out of the bath and wrap me in a lovely soft and fluffy towel, Strange isn’t it, we never had much but there was always an airing-cupboard full of lovely clean and fluffy towels. Probably because they weren’t used much in the week lol.

Anyway, I digress, she would then take us downstairs to sit in front of a lovely roaring fire, trust me, after leaving a cold bath and walking down even colder stairs it was sheer bliss, believe me. One of my elder siblings would then get the three-pronged well-blackened toasting fork from the side of the grate and toast big ‘doorsteps’ of freshly cut bread, this would be smothered with lashings of margarine, no butter in our house because no-one liked it.

Then, come Monday morning, a nice new crisp shirt, My mum would put her hand up my short trousers (no-one wore long trousers until they were about 11 years old) and pull the long shirt down, it was long because it had once belonged to my elder brother, but in those days you would grow into such things.

Then the magic handkerchief would appear from the apron pocket, It didn’t matter that you’d had a bath the previous night, there was always a stubborn bit of ground in dirt on your face or knees, this would be removed quite easily with a lick of the magic handkerchief and a ferocious rub.

After a final inspection, it was off to school to meet all those mates you hadn’t seen since last Friday at 3.30pm.

Yes, I loved Mondays and still do, to this day.

Today I have to don the painting clothes, there are so many places that either need finishing or are in need of a re-coat, including Mrs H’s greenhouse – which, as you may gather – is wooden.

Glad to say that the assailant who casually walked through the streets of Birmingham on Sunday morning has been arrested.

At 4.30 sharp Mrs H and I were off around the block, so to speak, we didn’t walk as far as yesterday but it was almost the same, I reckon we did about three and a half miles in 45 minutes, not bad for a couple of novice pensioners eh!

The news at six was a bit frightening again, new cases of almost three thousand were reported for the second day in a row, thankfully there were only three deaths but still 3 families left in sheer hell.

Tuesday 08/09/2020 – Day 177

Yesterday didn’t pan out as it should have, I had every intention of painting but the skies were a bit dark, So I spent a few hours tidying the garden paths up which – strangely enough – I had been saving for a rainy day, This entailed the removal of all the moss and re-sanding the joints in the blockwork down the path

Later, I was sat in the downstairs loo (posh eh!) doing what comes naturally – the sudoku puzzle actually – when I looked up at the door and saw the shadow of a rather large spider, I looked around and came face to face with the brute as he was about to land on my shoulder, I whacked it away but didn’t see where it went, Anyone who said out of sight  – out of mind hasn’t lost a big hairy spider in a confined space!

After vacating the loo in haste, before hairy Harry returned with some of his mates, I gathered all my brushes and paint together and set of down the newly coated garden path to freshen up Mrs H’s greenhouse. The door had been very stiff for quite a while, probably due to the very thick coating of brown rust on the bottom hinge, which promptly snapped as I forced the door back, luckily I had a spare which was replaced in a matter of minutes.

We had every intention of going for an evening stroll after tea, but our Grandson (bigger one) was playing in a floodlit football match at 8.00pm so it was off up to watch him, well, that was the plan, but Mrs H was a bit worried about driving in the dark after so long,  there were half a dozen other family members going so it wasn’t too bad,

Once again, the news was littered with despondency, new cases were once more at 2460 but more frighteningly, deaths had risen to 32, Most government scientists are ‘gravely concerned’ with the way things are going, with good reason.

Wednesday 09/09/2020 – 178

It’s a fine sunny day here in downtown Kidderminster in the heart of Worcestershire, can you tell that I always wanted to be a DJ? Well, it really is sunny, and the forecast is good for the next few days.

The good news is that the Grandsons (bigger one) team won 2-1 in last night’s match, even though he was tackled badly and flew through the air.

We didn’t go for our evening constitutional last night and my legs were really aching, how strange is that!

The day was spent mowing, trimming and pruning and we still hadn’t finished, we had loads of pears but apart from the neighbours n0-one really wants them, what a waste, they are currently in the kitchen in all different size bowls, let’s hope they don’t all ripen together eh lol!

Have finally given up the ghost with that rubbish Flymo lawnmower, it took three times longer to tidy up after mowing, it just blows everywhere, it doesn’t cut the edges and I’m looking for someone – who I don’t particularly like – to sell it to. Other than that, the son in law can add it to his collection.

I have just ordered the same machine that I had two lawnmowers ago, which was the best I ever had, it was a Bosch and I don’t normally like buying foreign goods but needs must and my sanity must be maintained, besides the fact that it was cheaper than I paid for the crappy Flymo.

George popped around this morning, looking very worried, he thinks it’s his new girlfriend Rose’s birthday but he’s not sure

“Didn’t you ask her when you met?” I enquired

“In my experience of women “, he replied, “Asking a woman her age is the equivalent of whether to cut the red, green or black wire to defuse a bomb”

Trying to change the subject I asked how his son Colin was coping with married life,

“He’s been hanging out in the Gym”, he said, “Apparently, they’ve advised him to get longer shorts, before he returns, like father like son”.

Boris and co were on the BBC at 4.00pm to give an update on the current crisis, which seems to be getting worse on a daily basis, the upshot is of course that we are now back to where we were in April, let’s all hope and pray that what happened in June doesn’t also re-occur. We are all now restricted to six in a household and outside.

Scientists and health professionals have raised doubts about Prime Minister Boris’s “Operation Moonshot” plan for mass coronavirus testing.

The PM hopes millions of Covid-19 tests – including some giving results within minutes – could be processed daily.

But experts say there are issues with laboratory capacity for current tests, while the technology for more rapid tests “does not, as yet, exist”.

The British Medical Journal says leaked memos show the plan could cost £100bn.

Today, a further 2659 new cases were logged, this brings the seven day national average up to 2363 a 50% increase on one week ago, there were also a further 8 deaths announced.

Thursday 10/09/2020 – Day – 179

I was up at 5.45am this morning, it is now 11.00am and I am still in my dressing gown, I am turning into a lazy slob before your eyes!

I have to confess that I  have made another monumental mistake, If you recall I ordered a bench about 6 weeks ago and received a pair of sunglasses, it was from a scam company in China, but I did eventually get my money back as I paid with Paypal.

Well, I was online the other day and saw a metal jig that would take out a lot of pain in furniture making, so, I naturally ordered it didn’t I, then as soon as I had paid through Paypal. those dreaded Chinese signs came up, they have since emailed and said that the item has been despatched and will be with me in 7 – 15 days, have I done it again, watch this space.

Today is my second eldest daughter’s birthday, the lovely Sarah is coming round later for one of those lunches that you have delivered in, she will also be accompanied by the also lovely Granddaughter Mollie. Sadly, they have to leave the little pooch Brucie at home as he tears up Mrs H’s garden. If I had a dog I’d call him five miles, so I could tell everyone I walked five miles every day.

George called round on his way back from his flu jab at the doctor’s, the nurse was complimenting him on how fit and healthy he looked (so he says), Trying to impress the young lady he told her that he was quite sporty ha ha,  she asked “Are you involved in any Dangerous sports?” he replied “ No, but I sometimes argue with the girlfriend”.

That man doesn’t help himself!

So, the afternoon tea with Sarah and Mollie went really well and we all indulged, problem was that one of us had forgotten that we had been on a diet for two weeks or more, the one who forgot over-indulged and felt quite bilious as he lay in the bed on the night – never again, My mum used to say ‘Your eyes are bigger than your belly’, many a true word!

My dear old neighbour has finally had the rest of the fallen tree removed from his lawn, and to be quite honest – with the exception of the small stump – you wouldn’t know that there was ever a tree there.

Another jump in the infected figures to 2919 and a further 12 deaths, the seven day average is now up to 11.

Friday 11/09/2020 – Day 180

Well here we are at the maximum score in Darts, 180 days is a long time and I’m sorry to say that it looks as though you are going to be stuck with me for a lot longer yet, you poor things.

No need for any reminders of what 9/11 means in World history, this was the day when one of the worst atrocities in the World was carried out by cowards. The hijacked Flight 11 was crashed into floors 93 to 99 of the North Tower (1 WTC) at 8:46 a.m. The hijacked Flight 175 struck floors 77 to 85 of the South Tower (2 WTC) 17 minutes later at 9:03 a.m. When the towers were struck, between 16,400 and 18,000 people were in the WTC complex. Of those, the vast majority evacuated safely. As they rushed out, first responders rushed in trying to save those still trapped or injured.

The fires from the impacts were intensified by the planes’ burning jet fuel. They weakened the steel support trusses, which attached each of the floors to the buildings’ exterior walls. Along with the initial damage to the buildings’ structural columns, this ultimately caused both towers to collapse. The five other buildings in the WTC complex were also destroyed because of damage sustained when the Twin Towers fell.

The collapse of the buildings left the site devastated. Thousands of volunteers came to Ground Zero to help with the rescue, recovery, and clean-up efforts, and on May 30, 2002, the last piece of WTC steel was ceremonially removed.

2977 souls had lost their lives on that day 19 years ago.

We had a walk around to the daughter’s house (about 2 mile) to wish the son in law Gary a very happy birthday, I had a sit down for a few minutes in the back garden, just to be hospitable of course, not to recuperate as was suggested, then I was offered a beer, very tempting, problem was – I have got to the stage where one drink and I need a loo within easy distance, so I politely declined.

Another massive shock in the daily figures today, there was arise of over 600 on yesterdays figures with the total being 3539 and deaths totalling 6.

Saturday 12/09/2020 – Day 181

A lovely sunny morning today, I will be in the Repair shop later for a bit of a tidy up, my tools seem to be all over the place, having said that in my humble opinion, you only need two tools in life, WD40 and Duct tape, if it doesn’t move and should use WD40, if it moves and shouldn’t use Duct tape, there you go, another snippet from the useless information department.

Finally finished off all the painting with the exception of the pond area and Mrs H’s greenhouse, the pond area is only a five minute job, but the greenhouse and surrounds are going to take most of next week, which, here in the Midlands have promised to be quite warm.

I have to ask. do you believe in Ghosts? The reason I ask is that 60 years ago today we were staying at our Grans house while Mum was taken to hospital to have her tenth child, up until now she had given birth to nine children at home, but things were moving fast in the late fifties and early sixties and as it was her tenth child they wouldn’t allow her to have it at home.

So, as I said we (my two brother and myself) were shipped off to my Nan’s house two miles away, it was heaven there, we were spoiled rotten, I would have been eight years old and my main memory was my Gran – on the first teatime – bringing a plate of homemade egg and chips into the table where we were sat, we all took a chip and my Gran asked what we were doing, and why we were we eating off one plate, we were to young to understand, we were used to sharing or arguing over what our dad had left, so imagine our surprise when she left the room and returned with a further two plates of egg and chips!

On the night the three of us slept in a massive bed which I suspect was my Grans emergency bed when Granddad had a drop to drink and was snoring. It was – or seemed like – a bed you could drown in, Goose feather pillows, and eiderdown that made a crackling noise when you moved, The headboard was about five feet high and six feet wide, in fact, the bed that John Wayne carries across the stream in the film ‘The Quiet Man’ always reminds me of it.

I was always a bit restless when in a strange place, in the middle of the night I was woken by something pulling the bedclothes, thinking it was my little brothers I ignored it and snuggled down, then I realised that the tugging was coming from the bottom of the bed – and we were all at the top!

I plucked up the courage to have a peep, I got my head from under the bedclothes and saw a woman standing there with a horrible grin on her face, I was dumbstruck for what seemed like an age, then I let out an almighty scream, by the time gran had come into the room I was sobbing and hysterical, she calmed me down and said I was having a nightmare.

But the next morning at breakfast she could tell that I was still uneasy about the night’s events, she started to ask me questions, like, what did this lady look like, what was she wearing etc, I explained what I had seen and I saw the colour drain from Gran’s face, no more was said about the matter, but that evening I had been down the shop and come back in through the back door when I heard Gran talking to Granddad:

“I’m telling you Albert, he described her perfectly, even the clothes we had her buried in”

“Don’t be silly woman” said Granddad laughing, “There’s no such things as Ghosts, and I can’t see your Mother making it back here with her bad legs”

So, do you believe in Ghosts, I do, and have done since that night I saw my Great Grandmother at the foot of the bed.

In 1972 Mrs H and I went to see the ‘Excorcist’ at the local fleapit, it scared the hell out of me lol.

Once again there was 3497 new cases reported in 24 hours, also a further 9 deaths, it is not looking good with warm weather forecast in the coming week.

I have after fifteen long years got my website up and running, it is here that you can check out my latest news, order my books with just one click or even have a personal poem written. Just go to https://www.erhblog.co.uk/.

Just copy and paste the link.

Well my lovelies, I have ranted on long enough for this week, many thanks to all of you who have bought my new book ‘A Poetic Trip Along Memory Lane’, I could do with a few more reviews though, and a few more sales lol.

It’s been emotional, until next week, please stay safe.

About the author

eric1
2427 Up Votes
Hi, I am a grandfather of four beautiful Grandchildren, I have one son and three daughters, We lost Vickie to Cancer in December 2013, she was 23 years old, whoever said time heals haven't lost a child. My profile picture is of Vickie and I haven't changed it since she died, I have a wonderful loving wife without whom I would not have made it through. My escape is writing poetry, I have had five published to date, I now have two books published 'World War One In Verse' is available on Amazon books and 'Poetry From The Heart' is available on Amazon or Feed a Read, just enter the title and my name Eric Harvey. If you love the 50's, 60.s and 70's my new book of poems will take you back to those days, 'A Poetic Trip Along Memory Lane' will jog your memories of bygone days.

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MaureenB935
17th Oct 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
I enjoyed reading this. I think you might be a male version of me.

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