“Leave it on the doorstep,” I shout. Clumps of cinnamon scented bubbles slide down my legs forming white rocky outcrops on the bathmat.
“I’m in the bath!” Well, I was. Now I’m shiveringly naked shouting through the open bathroom window at an unseen parcel deliverer. At this point I don’t care whether the parcel’s delivered. It isn’t for me.
Virologist daughter’s online purchases have been prolific this year: four deliveries a day on average. Four deliveries means four interruptions for me in my home office. Delivery businesses must have a plethora of images of my slippered feet plus parcel in their data clouds.
Thing is, I’m not a fan of online Christmas shopping. I prefer the real thing: window displays with Santa and fake snow, impossibly large sparkly baubles, trees decorated with engineering precision. This year I’ve barely been into Bournemouth town centre, so I’ve been looking forward to a special Christmas shopping trip.
Oh, goodie – the 20ft gold and white reindeer is resplendent outside Beales – as always…but Beales, where are you? The usual gorgeous festive window displays have been replaced by ugly chipboard. Beales is shut, closed, dead. I imagine the gloomy barren interior that once teemed with the pretty and the practical. Several other shop windows reveal nothing more than blank walls and concrete floors. Debenhams is advertising its closing down sale.
Downright depressed, I return home to find virologist daughter making paper snowflakes. That’s more like it!
“They’re lovely,” I say.
“Yes,” she says, holding one up so I can admire its intricate tracery.
“Where did you get the designs – they’re beautiful?”
“Glasgow University. This one’s calicivirus.”
“Eh? You mean they’re all…”
“Virus snowflakes. This one’s coronavirus…”