Diary of a self-isolator – Week 9

A lighthearted look at the situation over the last seven days in our house.

Sunday 10/05/2020 – Day 55

Well here we are at the end of week eight, Mrs H asked me to thank you all for the wonderful response she got to her picture last week, I’ve put a copy on the fireplace to keep the kids away from the fire (Just joking dearest lol) We are  now on day 55, and for some unknown reason it brought to mind the film ’55 Days at Peking’ which I went to see at the local fleapit (you always came out carrying more than you went in with) in 1964 at the tender age of 12 years, great action film about the true story of the Boxer uprising (no, you youngsters, not a riot in a gym), If I remember rightly it starred Charlton Heston, David Niven and Ava Gardner, I do remember my dear old dad saying, ‘another film where the Yanks won the war, (apologies to all Americans).

Been in the Repair shop (garage) all day doing up an old metal bedside cabinet which once stood in Mrs H’s Grandparents bathroom, her Nan used to work in a hospital so we have always assumed that this metal cabinet was ‘rescued’ when they renewed them in the wards, I remember it being in their bathroom, used to hold towels, toilet rolls and all those other things elderly people keep in their bathroom (and which we now keep in ours)  I stripped it back to the metal and put a new butcher’s block top on it and hey presto, a new preparation table for the BBQ.

I hadn’t heard from my mate George for a while, so I gave him a ring to enquire about his health. It turns out that he was as fit as a Butcher’s dog, when I asked where he had been hiding he informed me that he had invested some of his meagre pension on Sky TV, ‘So you’ve been watching Sky Tv for nearly 3 weeks’ I said, “Watching!” he bawled down the phone “I’ve spent nearly three weeks looking for something I haven’t seen before, what a load of rubbish! £54 quid a month? As soon as my three months free trial is over they can stick it”

As soon as my hearing came back I said, ‘So, you haven’t paid anything then George?’, I wish I hadn’t asked, “Paid? For this load of tosh, no way Jose, I watched all this rubbish the first time around, nearly forty years ago, and it hasn’t improved with age, trust me, I’m a Doctor”. I politely said goodbye and left him to his newfound life with satellite TV, if nothing else it’ll give him something to moan about.

There was no teatime catch up from Downing street today as Boris is making a speech at 7.00pm, the nation waits with bated breath, while the press no doubt will pull apart and twist every word he speaks. The total deaths in the last twenty four hours were 268 which, thankfully is quite a drop.

Monday 11/05/2020 – Day 56

And so starts our ninth week in self-isolation or staying In as we called it when we were kids. The weather’s a bit crap with a lovely arctic wind blowing down from the North, actually, when I went outside it wasn’t too bad at all, just needed a couple of jumpers, a hat and two coats on – warm as toast.

Well, I sat listening intently to Boris at 7,00 last night, hanging on his every word, then ten minutes later like millions of others – I sat there thinking ‘what the hell was that all about’ lol. Apparently, he is going to explain in more detail later today why he has given the whole nation just twelve hours to get their work clothes clean and some sandwiches made.

That reminds me of my dear old Mum, She was the best mother in the world but I have to say she didn’t have a clue about sandwiches, I left school at 15 and managed to get an apprenticeship with a local plumbing firm, I remember the first day going to the café with my new workmates, well, I hadn’t any money, so one of them bought me a hot steaming cup of well-stewed tea, I reached for my sandwiches as they all tucked into a fry up of bacon, eggs, beans and fried bread, I opened my meticulously wrapped sarnies (In a Mother’s Pride bread wrapper) and revealed my Jam butties! They were all too polite to say anything of course but I nearly died of embarrassment. Later I worked for a building company, it was a freezing cold day but at breakfast there was a lovely warm hut and a cup of tea waiting, in those days I used to take my sandwiches in an old OXO tin which mum always made the night before,(the sandwiches not the Oxo tin).

So, imagine the scenario,  a shed full of big burly builders trying to get warm having a chat – and then I opened my tin, mother had done boiled egg sandwiches and they had been trapped in the tin for nearly twelve hours! Well, we may as well have been sat in the toilet,  soon, myself, my eggs and a chap who had sinus problems were the only one’s sat alone in the nice warm hut, and as the men returned one by one the language was terrible.

I had a bit of a brainwave yesterday to save myself a few bob, I inboxed the Grandkids on their phones and told them that Santa didn’t make it through the pandemic, job done!

We had Boris on TV answering questions on an updated version of Prime Ministers question time live from the Houses of Parliament, he had a gruelling 90 minutes explaining his words from the previous evening and then facing questions from MP’s around the country re-video link. Poor chap struggled through though.

He was back on TV at 7.00 last night giving the Downing street catch up and answering questions from the press this time, I bet he’ll be glad to see his bed tonight, a further 210 people have sadly lost their lives in the last 24 hour period, the number has gone down for the third day in a row, dare we hope.

Tuesday 12/05/2020 – Day 57

Here we are at the old Heinz 57, people up and down the country are still arguing, discussing and debating what Boris actually said in the last two days. Facebook Fanny who knows everyone and everything and has suddenly become a medical expert says she knows best and everybody should heed her words as she inherited her skills from her Mam who used to read the tealeaves for all the neighbours. Then there is Norris the news who hits the like button before reading anything, just to say he was first to know whatever it was he has just liked! But the worst of the lot has got to be Beers Morgan, he sits in his reclining armchair, computer on lap, case of Extra strong lager at his side and a can in his hand, He will argue till the cows come home, and will never be wrong, he will trawl the internet looking for people to have a go at, will basically start  World War three and then move on to another site, he is the No1 troll, he has been banned from more sites than an eco-warrior and will live for evermore!

I just have to tell you this, last week I noticed my shed roof was letting water in, it’s been on a few years so I decided it was time to replace it, the only place delivering was B & Q, not a bad price for the exterior plywood but the roofing felt was a bit pricey, so I ordered 4 large sheets of exterior plywood and two rolls of roofing felt, the total price of the goods wasn’t too bad, then they put on the VAT and then the delivery charge, the final cost was £64 more than the actual materials, welcome to ROB, or Rip Off Britain, anyway, I had to have it so ordered it for today, fair play to them I had a call at 8.10am to say they were on their way, sure enough the driver pulled up outside, he used a crane??? to get the  4 sheets of plywood off the wagon, they were attached to a big ugly pallet (My heart sank, Mrs H loves pallets and now we have two). Then he decided to tell me that he hadn’t got my roofing felt, it wasn’t in stock! I said that it was in stock when I ordered it, what on earth is the good of plywood without the felt to cover it?

Well, the idiot must have thought I was talking to the sheets of wood, because he chose to ignore me, he eventually said that I would have to call B&Q and ask when my felt would be delivered.  As soon as he had gone I rang the shop, after 10 minutes of continuously ringing a very exasperated girl answered, I explained my predicament and she told me I shouldn’t ring the shop, I should ring the head office. At this stage I just wanted to ring someone’s neck lol! She gave me the new number and I rang it to get answered by a message saying there was no-one there and I needed to go online and ask my question – beam me up Scotty!

I filled in the online form, told them everything, what time I went to the loo etc, and guess what – yes, I am still awaiting a reply, not even a text to acknowledge receipt of the E Mail, watch this space bambino’s.

Sadly, there are more important things to be concerned about, as I feared todays death toll has risen by 627 bringing the total to 32962.

Wednesday 13/05/2020 – Day 58

I have some really bad news for you all, I know you may not want to hear it but according to Government sources on TV last night – you are going to be stuck with me for a further four months lol, four more months of this endless drivel that pretends to pass for entertainment, please accept my apologies in advance.

Mrs H has put a strip of white tape in front of the fridge, ‘what’s that for?’ I innocently asked, “It’s to keep you away from the fridge’” she replied, “Mind you, your stomach will do that for you!”, I was so devastated that I flopped into an easy chair and they recorded 3.4 on the Richter scale.

Well, she finally did it, Mrs H has at last talked me into doing something with the two pallets we seem to have adopted in the past week or so, she has decided that I should have a counter to serve from by the BBQ, it goes without saying that Mrs H hasn’t a clue what this will entail, she is adamant that people just stand them up, put a top on them and job done! Oh, how I wish. Trying to get those damn pallets apart is like trying to get a Scottish Rugby player to make a money donation to the English Rugby Union. So, I have to make do with what I’ve got, which is two manky pallets, both different size, both totally different, but according to Mrs H I am superman and I can work miracles, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Still had no reply from the people at B&Q, they have over £80 of my money in their coffers and don’t even have the decency to acknowledge receipt of my complaint, can’t get anyone on the phone either, so annoying, I sent them another message today but won’t expect a reply, how rude are they?

A further 494 poor souls have lost their lives in the last 24 hours, we are being told constantly that the number of hospital admissions are coming down, yet the death rate isn’t diminishing.

Thursday 14/05/2020 – Day 59

Lovely sunny day today but there has been a bit of a frost, my patio table was white!

As I told you earlier my old mate George had become addicted to his free trial on Sky, he had spent three weeks looking for something he hadn’t seen forty years ago. He hadn’t got out of his nightwear for days. So, he finally gave that up as a bad job and realising he was unshaven and out of bread and milk rang me this morning while I was demolishing my 4 Weetabix to say he was off to the supermarket and did I want anything, I politely refused as I know for a fact that he has carrier bags celebrating the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977 – and he keeps them under sink! He phoned back 3 hours later while I was having my lunch (he’s really good at catching me at mealtimes) before I could say anything he had started —-

“What a bloody disgrace, bloke three feet behind me sneezing and coughing, then they let people let in willy nilly, no-one following the arrows around the store, no-one wearing protective masks or clothes, and I was followed everywhere by an old woman (he’s 69) who kept leaning all over me to grab stuff, touching me all the time,  she stank really bad of a musky smelling perfume, I didn’t know if she was shopping or plying her trade, I tell you, I have never been so worried in all my life, I was glad to get out of there, things don’t often scare me but I was more nervous than a virgin in a brothel, never again” with that the phone went dead.

I was working on the new pallet bar when Mrs H shouted that there was someone at the door, by the time I had got there I saw a B&Q lorry driving away and two £39 rolls of roofing felt had been unceremoniously dumped on the gravel on my drive, the protective paper around it was torn to shreds, they obviously received my E mail, but still too ignorant to reply to it, Last time I shop at that place, the customer service is better at Her Majesty’s Prison Winson Green, not that I’ve had any contact with them you understand.

Still having fun with that video doorbell thingammyjjg, she keeps saying every five minutes in that terrible American accent that ‘you  have an amber notification’ when there is no-one at the door, yet she kept quiet when the B&Q chap threw my felt down, that’s three women in this house I’m having trouble with now, Her, Alexa and Mrs H.

Another 428 fatalities in the last 24 hours, every time we think this thing’s going away it comes back and bites us in the backside

Friday 15/05/2020 – Day 60

Sixty days in self-isolation with Mrs H, could have been worse I suppose, good job I worship the ground she walks on lol!

Haven’t psyched myself up to tackle that shed roof yet, mauling eight foot x four ffoot sheets of plywood onto a roof doesn’t exactly excite me at this moment in time so I think it’s best left alone until I’m in the right frame of mind or I’ll be writing this blog from a  hospital bed

Had our latest Tesco order last night, I must say that they have been the best so far for deliveries, their products are always well within date as well. The delivery staff are always so polite and so helpful.

Work continues on the pallet counter and I have to admit, it’s not looking too bad with a few subtle adjustments, still work in progress though. It’s going to need a ton of filler and then at least two coats of paint. It is being built around the BBQ and potato oven, so Mrs H has come up with a half  decent name for it, she’s going to call it EL’s kitchen which of course means Eric & Lynn’s kitchen, clever eh! No wonder I married her twice. A few months back I came up with a name for our entertainment area down the garden, I am going to call it Lyrics, as in Lynne & Eric’s, not too bad eh?

Made another bread pudding today, trouble is that it’s very fattening and there’s only me who likes it, if it isn’t eaten in three days it goes off, well that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it, just like the bread pudding’s sticking to my stomach!.

My attention span is not very good, Mrs H said to me the other day “You’re not even listening are you?”, I thought, that’s a funny way to start a conversation.

According to latest figures another 384 loved ones lost their fight for life in the last 24 hours, all people seem to be arguing about is the return to school on June 1st.

Saturday 16/05/2020 – day 61

It was once again a nice sunny day so I decided I would do the job I disliked the most, this was cutting the hedge!, It has grown quite a bit the last month or so, but I must tell you first how I got talked into cutting the neighbours side as well’

Last year our neighbour (the same one who smashed our garden chairs and introduced us to Dick and Ed) was saying how the partition hedge was getting too wide, it is a privet hedge which stood almost six foot tall, six foot wide and around 70 foot long, so as you can see it is one hell of  a hedge, now what I can’t understand is why my neighbour says it is too wide, considering  I have been cutting it for the last three years!

He did have a gardener cutting it for him until I took over, well, I say gardener but If he was a gardener then I am a rocket scientist. The problem was that his old gardener retired so he had to get someone else,  I was sat having a Guinness with my neighbour when he turned up, I’m not very tall and I could see over his head. What I am trying to say is that he was quite small, the hedge is six foot tall and he never brought any steps with him, my neighbour offered to lend him some but he refused, it doesn’t take much to work out the problem does it. So he starts up his petrol hedge trimmer and we lose him temporarily in a cloud of smoke, the air clears and he holds the trimmer above his head and begins cutting, he has no idea what he is cutting and he is staggering under the weight of the machine while definitely overstretching, by the time he is 70 feet down to the other end our lovely hedge looks more like a roller coaster, there were big chunks missing where he lost control of the cutter as he stumbled on the tufts of grass and over the next year it just got worse and worse, you could see the hedge cower and drift to my side every time he turned up. My Neighbour – bless him, couldn’t find any fault – but from my side it was looking terrible. I was talking to him one day when I mentioned the hedge, before I could finish he said that the gardener wouldn’t be returning after he doubled his price to £20 an hour!

To this day I don’t know how, maybe it was the Guinness but I somehow got talked into doing the whole hedge, my side and his, but no payment was mentioned. I just wanted to get the top straight again! Anyway, back to last year, the neighbour thought that we (WE?) should take at least two feet off the width of the hedge, the thing was that it had all drifted over to my side so it made sense to take it off there as it had claimed about three foot of Mrs H’s border, I already had a shredder, within a week it was done, the hedge shape was back but the only growth left on our side was about two feet from the top, the neighbours side looked perfect!

Anyway, the upshot is that the damn hedge hasn’t grown back and looks a right old mess, a few weeks ago we decided to put a four foot feather edge fence along there, this would leave the top showing just perfectly. Found a brilliant maker in Worcestershire who delivered them yesterday along with the posts. The only problem I have now is Mrs H, Her borders are rammed full with shrubs and plants, I have to dig out post holes and erect six foot panels, there’s only one thing that’s known for sure – Mrs H will be there watching me every inch of the way, not looking forward to that lol!

Fortunately, my son came to the rescue again today, he brought me a load of necessities from the aforementioned B&Q that I said I would never use again, but hey, needs must, I can now finish my projects

Meanwhile, my daughter went to the gym this week, tried out a new machine, she said she had to give it up after 30 minutes as she started to feel sick, she reckons it was really good though, it did mars bars, Twix, Snickers and Kit Kats!

We had the Education secretary on the podium this afternoon at 4.00pm, there seems to be a lot of controversy about sending the little ones back to school on June 1st, some Mothers, teachers and Union bosses are not very happy about it, saying it is far too soon the debate continues. The number of deaths is quite high for the last 24 hours, sadly a further 468 had lost their battle for life.

See you all next week – God willing, stay alert, stay safe, stay home!


About the author

2190 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.

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