The C-19 Diaries. The Haircut and the Run.

Day 15

The day finally arrived. I was so scared that I unearthed the instructions and read them cover to cover. They look like they’ve been Google-translated direct from the original Korean.

There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of guidance on offer beyond a basic suggestion that one applies the clippers to the hair, (once one has determined the length of hair of the pet in question), and chosen an appropriate guard.

That’s about it. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

I decide not to shave my face. That way, by this evening, there’s a chance that at least some of my head will have some evenly-distributed hair growth.

As it turns out, the results are more impressive than I dared hope for. I hope you’re not all too disappointed. Disco Dave has warned me that I would definitely miss bits, and would become suddenly aware of some tufty patches in the days ahead. I can feel no such tuftiness. I feel flushed with my success.

I actually considered doing some press-ups and sit-ups today, but just as I was about to spring into action – in the nick of time, one might say – my back began to hurt, so I cancelled the home workout, to be on the safe side.

Instead, I went for a run.

Looking back, the logic of this decision continues to elude me. I haven’t been for a run for approximately three years.

Around 20 minutes into the “run”, just as I was transitioning gently out of the walking-warm-up phase, a lady, with what I can only describe as a slow and somewhat ungainly running style, ran past me. I felt confident of reeling her in without too much trouble before long. Not that it’s a race, you understand.

Minutes later, after swerving several times to maintain the requisite 2m of airspace between myself and oncoming pedestrians, I noticed that she was, actually, quite far off in the distance. Almost out of sight, in fact.

Then she stopped to take some photos. Ha. As she took the time to snap some pics of the bright yellow gorse, even taking some close-ups, I sped past, in my quite athletic running style.

Moments later, she shot past me again. I began to revise my judgement of her running style, and speed.

Made it home in one piece.

My flatmate goes for a run every day. After today’s experience I think I’ll settle for one run per nationwide lockdown.

Hair Update: Shorn. Evenly and beautifully.

Day 16 – Day 21

Too tired to blog. See Day 15.

Day 22

Went for a run again.

If anything, this time it felt even harder. There was a breeze blowing, which I am confident was a lot to do with it. But really, isn’t this supposed to get easier with practice?

It feels like I’ve been shot in the calves. Both of them, but from particularly close range in the left.

I am somewhat chagrined to report that I have noticed undeniable tuftiness on my head. Just to the left and slightly rear of the crown. Perhaps in other places too, I couldn’t possibly say.

Oh, well. Maybe home-haircutting improves with practice too.

Tonight, for dinner, I am going to have that Northern Irish classic dish: lasagne con potatoes. 

Molto bene, so it is.

Stay safe everyone.

Hair Update: Tufty.

The C-19 Diaries. More Back Garden Shenanigans.

Day 12

On waking up, my abs felt like they’d been tenderised by one of those spiky-ended hammers you use to soften up steak, in the hands of a muscle-bound maniac like Disco Dave.

Nipped out to Morrison’s in the morning. The queue stretched for miles. However, if we had all been scrunched up instead of 2 metres apart, it wouldn’t have been a very long queue at all. And it kept moving.

Inside, I found myself involuntarily holding my breath as I walked past people. Is this normal behaviour? Is anyone else doing this?! I suspect not.

The flatmate and I attacked the Back Garden again in the afternoon. I say “again” – it was “again” for him. I was dipping my toe in horticultural waters for the first time in… a while.

In one corner of the Back Garden lies half of the back door, flat on the ground. We decided to leave it where it was, as it’s covering over the weeds in that area quite nicely. Also, who knows – were we to lift it we might find it was covering a doorway to another dimension. And leaving one’s own dimension would be liable to attract a fine right now, I imagine.

So we left it untouched. And let all of our pent-up aggression, which has been building nicely for two weeks, out on the undergrowth in the remainder of the garden.

After much clipping, snipping, weeding and digging, there was a pile of garden detritus almost as tall as the house, and nowhere to put it. We have no brown bin, and even if we did it would be at the front of the house, meaning we would need to cart all the briars, moss and weeds through the house. 

I suggested a bonfire. Neither of us were entirely confident that this would be good idea. Are the Fire Brigade working from home?

Elsewhere, I think hysteria is beginning to set in. A friend has been taking videos of herself having conversations with virtual penguins in her house. She assures us she’s grand. 

“Having a ball with Wilson!” she assures us, as if naming one’s imaginary penguin-friend makes it ok. 

My concerns are not assuaged.

My sister has almost run out of Baileys (only “a dribble” left in the Christmas bottle, she says) although she has ordered more to arrive tomorrow. But she has concerns that there might not be enough room in the cellar for the Bailey’s as she’s currently keeping the children down there. She brings them out for Zoom calls.

Tonight I embarked upon watching the West Wing. My flatmate has the box set – this is an actual literal box set of actual DVDs, which will please Nicola. I am getting round to this, as is my fashion, twenty years after everyone else did. It’s very good. I sort of hope Lockdown lasts long enough for me to complete all seven seasons.

Day 13

Woke up with scratches all over my arms from yesterday’s fight with the Back Garden brambles. Abs still hurt. After our church service I took a walk to my new favourite spot in Holyrood Pk – sheltered from the wind by gorse bushes, and elevated enough that I can look out over the Forth to the coastlines of Fife and East Lothian. I can see all the way to Longniddry and Aberlady and Lundin Links and lots of other places I can’t go right now.

In England there is great concern that the sunny weather this weekend will cause a mass disregard for the lockdown rules. In Scotland (or at least in Edinburgh) we have no such worries. Perhaps the First Minister kindly arranged for an impenetrable cloud cover to be provided.  

Actually, the sun came out later, and it felt pleasantly warm as I took a late-afternoon stroll along the street, carrying with me an orange Sainsbury’s bag full of empty Domino’s boxes. I was taking these to the large recycling bin on a nearby street, having noticed that it had some space in it. Our flat’s recycling bin is jammed to the top, and it’s another three days before it gets emptied.

This was probably an illegal excursion on multiple counts, not least because it was my second exercise of the day. Nobody tell Boris, now.

Felt a little despondent today. I remember feeling a little despondent last Sunday as well. On both of these occasions I have taken a proper walk. I can only deduce that exercising outside is bad for my spirits. 

Hair Update: What comes after voluminous?
Limoncello Update: Topped up! Almost full!

The C-19 Diaries. Exercise and putting one’s feet up.

Day 11

Morrison’s was shut. Closes at 8pm now. So still no limoncello.

Missed another Big Clap last night, apparently. Not doing very well with the community spirit.

I exercised this morning, in the Dining Room-Gym. Managed 35 press-ups, and 100 sit-ups (not all at once, obviously, I was taking on sustenance throughout in the form of First and Second Breakfast).

Immediately afterwards I felt quite faint and considered taking the rest of the day off to recover. I opened the Dining Room-Gym window in case my flatmate found the combination of the Overnight Fragrance and the Indoor Exercise Aroma overwhelming. The feelings of faintness subsided.

Just before my shower I hopped on the bathroom scales. Not good. In the space of 48hrs I’ve gone from 90.5 to 199.2. 

I then realised my flatmate had switched us back to Imperial units. Turns out that 199.2 lb is 90.4 kg. So that’s a win. A whole 100g lighter! 

I contemplate putting my feet up for a bit and celebrating with a Caramel Wafer. Although that’s actually my working posture now – lounging in an armchair, feet up on a stool, laptop on my lap keeping me warm, eating Caramel Wafers.

I settled in the Multipurpose Facility, ready to do some work. I could murder an Empire Biscuit right now.

Later, my flatmate comes through from the Dining Room-Office, where he has been working. He is breathlessly excited.

“I’ve been given permission to go into the office to get some keys!”

“No way”


He’s quite beside himself. Minutes later he runs out the front door.

Minutes later, he comes back through the front door. I fear that he has been thwarted by a new Police Anti-Movement barricade or something. But it turns out he has just forgotten his phone.

Hair Update: voluminous
Limoncello Update: no change

The C-19 Diaries. Video-editing and Cheese.

Day 9

Today was a quiet day, spent submerged in headphones, engrossed in a dual-screen world of video-editing.  I realised that my practice of working with my laptop on top of my actual lap is saving a lot of heating bills here in the bunker. One of the silver linings that come with the current arrangement’s cloud.

Decided to have a lighter lunch today. No boiled eggs. No eggs at all in fact. 

This proved to be a false economy. Was starving by 3:30pm. Snacked on raw carrot and nuts. That’s right. Read that bit again, mum. 

On discovering La Favorita has closed (non-silver lining), the flatmate and I ordered Dominos online and watched the first Jack Reacher.

Hair status: bushy
Limoncello status: dry

Day 10

Woke up in a cold sweat from a dream that I had began the much-anticipated haircut and the clippers’ battery ran out of charge halfway through the process. 

More video-editing. Got very hungry at 10:53. Looked around at what was within easy reach, and found myself momentarily considering dipping a Vitamin C tablet in the left-over BBQ sauce from last night’s Dominos. But I came to my senses and made the trip all the way through to the kitchen for a Tunnocks Caramel Wafer. It was worth it.

Had a Zoom chat with Disco Dave. He is doing ok. He enquired after my haircut status, and I explained that things were getting bushier up there. It turns out Disco is an experienced home-hair-cutter. He has moved on from an all-over number 2 headshave to a GRADED cut, what you might call a 4-3-2. I am in awe at his skills. He gives me some tips on what to watch out for.

“The crown’s really tricky – make sure you go over that a few times.”
“That’s not going to be a problem, mate.”

Recently I discovered the most amazing cheese in our fridge. West Country Farmhouse Mature Cheddar. This cheese is so good that I have almost singlehandedly eaten two whole blocks of it. Regrettably it belonged to my flatmate. And so I must make reparation for my theft.

It’s only available from Sainsbury’s. There are two problems with this: Sainsbury’s is fractionally further away than Morrisons, and so can it be considered an essential journey to drive there? And secondly, the Sainsbury’s DJ just isn’t in the same league.

But it’s probably wise to give the car a bit of a run, after days of inactivity, even though that will inevitably mean losing a coveted parking spot on the street. As I’m fastening my seatbelt, I imagine myself getting pulled over by the police.

“Is this an essential journey, sir?”
“I mean… this cheese is unbelievable, officer”

I made it to Sainsbury’s without incident. Seemed like the Sainsbury’s DJ was working from home.  There were no tunes at all, not even bad ones.

The other thing on my list of “essentials” (there really were only two things) was Lurpak. But all the Lurpak had been panic-bought apart from the Lurpak-with-added-garlic. I didn’t feel that this would work all that well sitting between my toast and marmalade of a morning, so I passed and picked up Another Brand.

Completely forgot to get some more Limoncello. And I lost the parking spot.

Hair status: slightly bushier
Limoncello status: hold the phone. The flatmate’s gone to Morrison’s.