The C-19 Diaries. Traybakes and Queuing Protocol.

Day 3

Slept great last night. Clearly limoncello just before bed is the way forward.

Woke up to a message from a friend, linking to a series of Tweets from Nick Heath, who – as a sports commentator – has taken to commentating on scenes in everyday life, and recording them in a series of short videos.

If you need your day brightened up… check them out here.

Mum included traybakes in yesterday’s mercy package. Chocolate-covered fudge squares. Disappointingly, my flat mate is off chocolate for Lent, so I am having to power through them myself. Two down, eight to go. I am confident of hitting the target by lunchtime.

It feels like everybody is online, all the time, right now. I am usually someone who keeps on top of their notifications, emails, etc. But for the last week or so it feels like everybody I know has been emailing me, tagging me on Facebook and WhatsApping me all at the same time.

So if you’ve sent me a message via one of these platforms (or any other platform) recently and I seem to be ignoring it, please accept my apologies, I might not even have read it yet.

Didn’t manage to leave the house today. Didn’t so much as open the front door to a startled delivery person.

My flatmate did, though, and brought news of the Great Outdoors.

Morrisons, he reports, have brought in the queuing-with-enforced-2m-separation just to get in to the store. I witnessed this phenomenon yesterday, as I drove into Tesco. It’s what inspired me to drive straight back out again. People standing 2m apart down the side of the building. It’s a queue-jumper’s DREAM. 

I discovered this at my next port of call – Margiotta – when an old dear sailed straight up to the checkout at an oblique angle, before the kind checkout operator gently pointed out that I – the mildly disgruntled man standing against the far wall of the shop – was next in the queue.

But I’ve forgiven her. She probably had zero peripheral vision due to the vast array of apparel she had wrapped around her head, to ward off viruses, one assumes. She might even have been foreign, and unaware of how seriously we take queuing in this country.

The London Branch of the family have had a disturbing development. My sister-in-law accidentally drank some Turmeric-infused tea and has turned yellow. Or so says my sister, who can’t always be relied upon to relay turmeric-related information with a great deal of accuracy.

Sleep tight y’all.

Easter Eggs and the Coronavirus

Well, dear reader, Easter is upon us, and so it must be time for another blog update, and maybe another change of bed linen. 

Just the other day I was speaking to a regular blog reader (not you, the other one) who was complaining that it was difficult to maintain their status as a regular reader, given there wasn’t much in the way of regular reading on my blog, and how much more enriched their life would be if I was to post an update more frequently. I’m paraphrasing there slightly. 

I do apologise to both of you.

But back to Easter. I’m not sure exactly how close it is, but it can’t be far off, as I’m now on my third Easter egg. I began with a Rolo one, followed it up with a Kit Kat, and now I’m onto the Creme Egg. I’m aiming to keep up my current consumption rate of one full-size Easter egg per week, which is arguably a less traditional way to celebrate Lent, but I have a feeling it could catch on.

Although it’s fair to say it’s not normal for me to either set, or follow, trends. Usually I am swimming against the tide of popular culture. If you picture a poor-to-average swimmer doing a doggy paddle in a tsunami, you’ll pretty much have the idea. Except, perhaps, on those days when I decide to pay a visit to Ikea – on these days I seem to be fully aligned with the thinking of everyone else in Edinburgh. 

On my last visit there I was seduced by one of those oversized spherical light bulbs, with the glowing yellow filament. I brought it home and fitted it to the main light in my bedroom. On switching it on, I discovered it gives off about the same amount of light as one of those energy-saving lightbulbs before they’ve warmed up. Not terribly practical, really, and I can’t see a whole lot in there now, which means I have to rely a bit more on muscle memory for tasks like changing the bed linen, but I do feel pretty hipster.

The onward march of Coronavirus was all the talk in the office today. Having survived a ski trip to Northern Italy in January, I caught a cold on my return to the UK. Googling “symptoms of Coronavirus” momentarily brought cause for alarm, as I realised I was suffering from almost every single symptom listed , but on closer inspection I realised I had landed on the Daily Mail’s website, and I de-escalated the alarm accordingly.

I aim to stave off the virus with a health-conscious diet of plenty of turmeric milk and regular Easter eggs. I think that should just about do it.

Stay healthy, Britons, and don’t forget to wash your hands thoroughly while singing “Happy Birthday” twice through. That should do the trick, apparently…

First Test, the Aftermath

Today’s text comes from Psalm 127: “In vain you rise early and stay up late, eating the bread of anxious toil…” Or in my case, eating chocolates, anxiously. Have now spent two fruitless late nights/early mornings watching England’s miserable performance in the First Test. Followed that with a late night showing of the new Bond film, in Glasgow, which was great fun, but another late night… naturally I was working the next morning, so no respite there either.

But here I am, after a few days’ intensive sleep therapy, ready for my enthusiasm to take another battering at the hands of the Aussies in the Second Test. Starts Friday. Empirical research* has shown that the Aussies are susceptible to Mingles, so they will be the sweet of choice.

Michael Vaughan, out injured for a year now, is making noises about being fit to play before the Ashes series is out.. question: with the series tied at 2-2 going into Sydney (humour me here), would you play Vaughan if he was fit? He played a warm-up game today against some 2nd XI in Perth, and scored…. 0. Ashes-winning captain he may be, but am unsure how many runs he would contribute, so the primary attraction of fast-tracking him back into the side would be for his captaincy. And if Freddie has skippered England to two victories at that stage (humour me here) would you dump him as captain to accommodate Vaughan? If he hasn’t managed to win or draw a game by that stage, it will all be academic anyway…

Sigh. Come on England. Restore our faith in you (well, mine and Friendy’s faith anyway) and give the Aussies a good pummelling this weekend. I’ve got a box of Mingles in specially.

* Outcome of trials indicates that the more Mingles consumed during a session, the more emphatic the beating taken by the Aussies. Research only undertaken on the PS2, but extrapolation of these results to real Test matches is surely a reasonable approach.

First Test, Day 1

So, it hasn’t been a great start for England. Australia 346/3, with Ponting unbeaten on one hundred and thirty-something overnight, and Mike Hussey looking ominous as well.

There are two clear reasons why Australia dominated the first day so easily.

(1) I didn’t manage to finish reading the Times Ashes supplement, which threw my whole Ashes buildup into disarray

(2) I was eating the wrong chocolates for the first hour and a half of the first session. Big packet of Aero things, green packet. GREEN packet, I ask you. It’s Maltesers tonight, red and white packet, can’t go wrong. And Empire Biscuits (thanks Neebs) – more red and white.

So I think I’ve put (2) right, although the Malteser supply has been significantly depleted by Mrs Robbo. However, despite some speed-reading, I haven’t quite finished that jolly supplement yet. Been a busy evening. Mr Robbo is installed on the sofa sous duvet and ready for the cricket to recommence. Time for me to sign off and join him. In watching the cricket, not under the duvet.

Duvet? It’s not often I prefer American terms to British, but I think ‘comforter’ might be more appropriate.

Come ON the Poms 🙂