Requests via our street’s WhatsApp group have escalated. Started with a pint of semi-skimmed, then indoor television aerial to: can someone please pick up my reading glasses from Sainsbury’s?
With COPD, Dad had no choice but to self-isolate. So far he’s taken his bed to pieces, cleaned underneath and reassembled it, created a running circuit in his lounge and de-cluttered his wardrobe. Is every self-isolater doing this?
Like Juliet, he talks to us from the window of his first floor flat: “The brightness of his cheek would shame those stars…” Gosh, he does seem to have more colour in his cheeks than usual. I must ask daughter if she has a spare thermometer.
We drop off sweet potatoes, broccoli and a chicken dinner. Headlining today’s shopping list: white emulsion.
“I thought I’d paint the spare bedroom.” Of course you did. Why not re-model the kitchen while you’re at it?
My phone pings. It’s been doing that a lot lately. I watch a video of Spanish cops, sirens blaring, speeding down a street somewhere that is neither Valencia or Andalucia…a cop leaps from the patrol car brandishing…. a guitar! My Spanish-speaking son assures me the song they’re singing to delighted residents features words relating to body parts. A Spanish version of hands, shoulders, knees and toes?
Another ping: my mate Sara who lives off the west coast of Canada. We talk for over an hour. Usually neither of us has the time. She’s in lockdown too and, no, they don’t have toilet roll either. However, she assures me there are fifteen alternatives to bog roll. Really? Kitchen roll, tissues, damp cloth…Jimmy next door suggested petals from the magnolia across the street…but that’s only four.
Several calls later I find myself with daughter and prospective son-in-law standing in the garden under the stars clapping. Our effort sounds rather pathetic until we stop and listen: 360 degrees of cheers and rhythmic clapping – then fireworks, creating a climactic fullstop to our appreciation of health and other key workers around the world.
PS: I’d be most grateful if anyone out there can add to my list of alternatives to bog roll.