This article was written for Annabel & Grace, which is now part of Rest Less.
We are allowed to feel all of these things, I mean it is nearing the end of Lockdown week 6. However we can’t do anything about them. It appears we have may have to put up with another month of these anxieties and feelings. A small price to pay for our good health. Even when and if lockdown is lifted I am not sure how many of us (slightly) older ones are going to want to go out anywhere?
On top of it all the rain has fortuitously arrived to keep us all in our homes. In ours there have been some unusual happenings which may be attributed to isolation insanity.
Firstly Alexa. In our house she has refused to play BBC Radio 4 in the mornings. She has obviously had enough of the news – haven’t we all? I have tried speaking to her in a very clear and pronounced way but still she will only play a country music channel from America. I have accepted this decision by Alexa as she is obviously taking my mental health into consideration and relieving me of more bad news. To be honest, getting up with country music playing has been rather uplifting. It is hard getting out of bed when it is raining and you haven’t got anything pressing to do. So silencing Nick, Martha and the Today team is quite acceptable to me.
However the other morning I found my OH sitting on the edge of the bed pleading with Alexa. He was saying, “Please Alexa will you play BBC Radio 4″ but she refused to be swayed and country music continued to blare out. OH was not to be put off and so he politely asked, “Why won’t you play BBC Radio 4?” and she replied, “Sorry, I’m not sure.” So he gave up and Alexa won and I get to dance to Billie Eilish most mornings.
But it doesn’t stop there. My Christmas Cactus, aptly name as they flower in December, is flowering now. I know that I don’t know what day of the week it is but you can hardly mistake the month of May for December. Still I am not complaining as it is lovely having a burst of colour in the house as all my orchids have died and this cactus and my Cape Primrose are the only flowering survivors to Lockdown week 6.
Meanwhile we are fast approaching the date we should have been going to Corfu for a few weeks. Whilst Greece, apparently, is the safest place to be right now how can we get there even if we were allowed? This is the moment we could do with some, ‘Beam me up, Scottie.’
If we did get there we would have to go into quarantine for two weeks so bang goes the holiday. I know I can hardly complain but as these entries in our diaries get deleted our lives become more simple. It’s a bit like living in a previous century where work was in short supply, money was for essentials, and life revolved around family and those living close by.
One of my weekly stabilisers is listening to The Archers. I have been a fan for many years. However I understand that even they have been hit by Coronavirus, not literally I hasten to add. The cast are all in lockdown. There is to be a four day week from 4th May with less characters participating. When they return I wonder if that little corner of middle England is going to be infected by Covid-19 and if so do some of the actors worry that their ‘character’ may be infected and possibly have to leave the series. Aargh no.!
Since, in the past, they have embraced many other worldly issues for example the latest Cabinet reshuffle, Brexit or England’s fortunes in the World Cup – each has previously been added to scripts, but that has not been possible with Coronavirus. However I understand it will be reflected in future story lines that they are frantically recording, each in their own home. So I can’t even escape Coronavirus for 15 minutes every day and now I am worried for both of the characters Jill Archer and Peggy Woolley. The actresses who play them are both over 90 years so how they are coping with recording in their homes. I am willing them to stay safe and well, and to return soon to give me and millions of others their daily dose of escapism.
Talking of recording I hope, if you are ‘Zooming’ or ‘FaceTiming’, you are observing nasal etiquette. On the one hand, your friends and colleagues really do not want to see your untrimmed nostril hair; on the other, looking too radiant seems somehow slightly bad form. Time to nail your Zoom groom. One of the many ironic footnotes of lockdown life is that now that there is nowhere to get our hair cut or our roots done or a manicure or brow threading, and nothing in the diary to actually get dressed up for and nothing to stop us raiding the fridge every 10 minutes, we spend hours every day staring at our own faces on video conference calls. I have never looked at myself so often.
Please note Jane (top right) modelling her mask, made by BackPackingGranny (top left) out of one of Jane’s old bras! She will be top of the fashionistas when she goes to pick up her Click and Collect from Tesco!
As we look forward to another week in Lockdown Limbo – empty diaries, endless days to fill, when being constantly next to your dearest may now be a little too nearest, we can console ourselves with how much we have learned about ourselves.
Will I ever return to Radio 4 to wake me up when country and western is so much more motivating? I can now nearly put my head on my knees in Yoga. I have learned how to Zoom, record a podcast with Grace when not together, clip my dogs hair though not my own! I am sure there are so many more lifeskills out there for me to embrace.
So I am off now to make OH and I a ‘Quarantini’ to celebrate making it through to the end of lockdown week 6, followed by our daily dose of ‘Doron’ in the epic series, Fauda (Netflix). Read my post, Best TV for May.
Please stay safe and well and keep clapping for our carers on Thursday evenings at 8pm. Ax