Readers, it has been too long since we last spoke; nigh on 18 days since my last blog and this is unacceptable – I do apologise. I promise you a bumper edition today, so sit down with a glass of something and get comfortable.
There are many reasons for the lack of a blog recently. She has had a bldyheavy workload, even bldyheavier than normal it seems, and has simply not had the time to sit down and write with me. Friends, I know for a fact that of an evening She has been chatting on Whatsapp, watching Masterchef with Young Lad and enjoying another Scandi noir subtitled thing when Young Lad isn’t here, so it’s not good enough to say there hasn’t been time. On how many occasions over the years have we all said it? TIME. MANAGEMENT. But nobody listens.
The other reason that everyone has been too busy to write my blog is that the world has entered a strange phase and all sorts of things are going on. These things are, I gather from the solemnity of the newsreaders’ voices on the BBC, very Serious and Grave. I haven’t the slightest clue what they’re all talking about but even I have sensed that things are not normal any more. The house, for a start, has been cleaned far more often that normal – Regular Readers will know what a slovenly pigsty it usually is – and there is an endless smell of bleach and disinfectant. Door handles, light switches, you name it – constantly being wiped down with anti-bac sprays. Frankly I’m surprised that the Zoflora Summer Meadow Super-Strong Disinfectant hasn’t been wiped all over myself, Gingercat, Lad and Young Lad. I suspect our time may come.
Coronavirus is what they’re all talking about, and I have to say I sense an air of anxiety. There is definitely a little tension everywhere and nobody seems to be going out or doing their normal things, all of a sudden. Of course this is excellent news for me, as I have them here with me while I self-isolate in my armchair just like any other day of any other year, but still. Life has changed.
From what I can pick up, this virus is spread from animals – especially poultry – to humans and is deadly. It seems to have started in the live animal and poultry markets in other countries and due to the number of creatures squashed into a very small space, spread quickly. Now, I’m no expert but I would have thought cramming lots of living, breathing things together like this isn’t a great idea for so many reasons, but who am I to wax lyrical and say anything about the Human Race and how it treats everything else that lives on the planet. There, that surprised you!! There’s more to me than meets the eye!
Readers, I’m so sorry – I don’t know what came over me! You all rely on me for whimsical commentaries on the minutiae of daily life – not politics! This is what happens when you’ve had to listen to Lad revising A Level Philosophy for two years. For all the good it’s done him……poor Lad.
Yes, indeed, schools here are now ‘closed’ for the foreseeable future to limit the spread of this virus. Only they’re not actually closed, as some pupils and staff still go in but the media prefer to say that schools are closed as it sounds More Dramatic. (There I go again!) So Lad and Young Lad are now at home for weeks or months – Lad’s A Level exams have been cancelled and so all that hard work and studying is not going to be tested in a two-hour paper. Poor Lad. He has worked so hard, and his revision notes are lying all round the bldyhouse. Looking on the bright side, though, he will be able to chuck them all away and tidy up a bit. Lad and his friends were a little sad to finish school for ever on Friday, and had no choice but to drink themselves silly in the pub that evening, before the pubs were ordered to close. Lad is also sad as he can’t go to visit his friends in a town far away for quite a while, and you know how much he enjoyed doing that. She has told Lad to cheer up as She has a huge lists of jobs around the house and garden for him to do. She is calling this a “project” to make it sound far more exciting than it actually is.
Young Lad is also at home as his school has shut for most pupils – now, the funny thing is that She is something called a Key Worker which means that Young Lad is entitled to still go to school even though it is “shut”. However, this threat is being saved for the event that Young Lad thinks he is going to spend every day on the Xbox – Readers, he is being given set times for school work and “recreation”. Doesn’t this sound awfully fun? I imagine Young Lad will be given a list of jobs or ‘projects’ too.
Lad has one main worry, Readers, which is whether the coronavirus pandemic will have stopped in time for him and his friends to go on their lads’ holiday to Magaluf in the summer. He doesn’t seem too bothered about the lack of A Level exams or how on earth one gets into university now, but Magaluf is weighing heavily on his mind. Young Lad, on the other hand, is more concerned that the pubs have shut and there is no football being played. Lad and Young Lad have had a Stern Talking To today, about the state of the world, and people’s suffering, and how Magaluf or Manchester City really don’t feature in the grand scheme of things. I don’t think they were convinced and She stomped out the room and started spraying disinfectant round again.
Today is Mothering Sunday. It’s a beautiful day with glorious sunshine, and She, Young Lad and I sat in the garden for a while. Young Lad had brought the bean bag out to sit on, which was really kind of him and if you look at the photo REALLY carefully, you will see that I sat sort of on top of Young Lad’s head which is where the nice sunny part was, and squashed Young Lad down to the cold, shady part.
I’ve emptied the bathroom bin this morning, and under the dining table She found some biscuit wrappers, a plastic pot that used to contain humus, and a crisp packet. I do not think this disgusting mess is likely to be helping the global situation one little bit and they should clear up after me a lot quicker. It was a nice job for her, on Mothers’ Day. Young Lad made her tea and toast in bed this morning, and I climbed up as well – so did Gingercat so it was quite crowded. Later in the morning, Readers, something funny happened. A delivery of flowers arrived – how lovely I hear you say! Sadly, these were the flowers that She had ordered to be sent to Nana Aged 88 – only She put our address in the delivery box, instead of Nana Aged 88’s. How I laughed! Our friend LovelyDor down the road now has the beautiful flowers and Nana Aged 88 will just get a photo of them. It’s the thought that counts.
Now that Lad and Young Lad aren’t at school, I will be seeing less of my dear friends Ebony and Pippa. This is upsetting. I know we have to observe social distancing but I’m really hoping I might bump into them down at the river, and run across the field together with 2 metres between us.
There were a LOT of people with dogs, children and bikes at the river today. And they were NOT all observing the 2 metre guidance, I can tell you. On the way home I spotted the huge German Shepherd with whom I always pick a fight – before we got anywhere near him, She shouted, “Don’t start, Russell!” and pulled me away. For goodness sake, there is no need to be so dramatic about everything. She was also irritable with me in Top Top Field, as I kept stopping to eat rabbit droppings – there were loads, and they were really fresh.
Yesterday, Friends, strimmers and lawn mowers across the land were pulled out of sheds and put to use – these are the things people will be doing a lot while they can’t go out. Never before will the nation’s gardens have looked so cared- for. She strimmed (once the strimmer had been disassembled with a lot of swearing and the little blue bit of plastic thread found), and the lawn was mowed. In all honesty the garden looked lovely in the afternoon sunshine. I felt it lacked a little je ne sais quoi, so while everyone was busy indoors I ripped open the recycling bag and emptied it round the lawn, taking particular care to rip up a box of Shreddies into tiny pieces and spit them out like confetti. It looked nice.
Well, Friends, I’m quite exhausted after a day with two walks, sun-bathing on top of Young Lad’s head on the bean bag, and emptying the bathroom bin. Time for a kip before Sunday tea. Young Lad is in charge of this tonight – it being Mothers’ Day – though he failed to make a lemon drizzle cake this afternoon so his mother had to do that after all. Look, he did the hoovering upstairs!!
Friends – those of you overseas in America, Australia, all over the shop – and my Readers in the UK – I hope you are coping. I will do my best to keep your spirits lifted over the next few weeks and months, and She has promised we will write a blog much more frequently again. I will let you know how Lad copes without the gym/friends/A Level revision/certainty of a week in Magaluf and whether he and Young Lad enjoy spending Enforced Time Together. We know they won’t.
Stay safe, and well.
See you soon,