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. Limoncello and The Back Garden Offensive.

Day 5

Day 5 of Lockdown, people. That’s almost a week. 

Here in the OHFTC bunker, nestled on the northeastern slopes of Arthur’s Seat, we press on. We aren’t wiping down door handles and the like – we find it’s easier to just use The Force to open doors. No contact required. Job done.

I had a spot of video-editing to do today to pull together tomorrow’s online church service. There’s a risk that there might not be quite enough limoncello left in the bottle to fuel the video-editing. So, St Mungo’s church viewers, if the service kind of grinds to a halt halfway though, you’ll know what’s happened.

On the subject of limoncello, one lunchtime last week, a friend – who may or may not hold an important position at a prestigious university – sent me a photo of the bottle of limoncello he was proposing to sample, to – as he put it – “help this afternoon’s meetings.”

I think Limoncello-makers could make this into a great advertising slogan.

Lunchtime Limoncello. Helps your afternoon’s meetings.

I haven’t heard anything from him since. I do hope he’s ok, and still employed.

My flatmate is not working today. Not that he’s not employed, it’s just a Saturday, when normal people don’t work. He has not yet appeared in the shared Multipurpose Facility we used to call the living room. I can only deduce that his buttocks are more accommodating to hard chairs than mine.

However, later on I spot him scraping moss off our back steps. The back steps lead down to our Back Garden, which is a euphemistic description at best. My flatmate and I decided, quite recently, that this Spring we would attack the undergrowth, and indeed the overgrowth, of which there is quite a lot, in the Back Garden.

This is not as straightforward as it might seem, because in order to access the back steps leading to the Back Garden one must open the back door. And after a particularly vigorous appearance by one of the Storms (it may have been Dennis) earlier in the year, we got a kind note posted through our door from our neighbour, explaining that half our back door had blown off and landed in his garden.

It’s quite fortunate that it was his garden it landed in. His garden is of an award-winningly immaculate nature, and thus a blown-off half-door is quite an obvious addition. If it had landed in our Back Garden it’s fair to say it might never have been found – in the undergrowth, or possibly the overgrowth.

In case you’re wondering how we didn’t notice, without a note being posted to us, that half our back door was missing, I should point out that it was the outer layer of the door. So from the interior, which is where we were, everything looked completely normal.

However, it now became very difficult to open the door. Even though there’s only half of it left. Even using The Force – both of us concentrating madly for some time. I would defy your average Jedi to open this door using only The Force. And so my flatmate deserves a lot of credit for getting out there at all, never mind beginning the Back Garden Offensive. I believe he used the Force in conjunction with the Shoulder Charge.

A word about this blog.

Am conscious that I am – in my usual manner – writing in a whimsical tone. I am not the only one, of course – funny videos and memes abound poking fun at social distancing, and Coronavirus, and lockdown, and all the rest.

It’s a strange thing. I am conscious that Coronavirus is having a very serious impact on some people. People are actually dying from this, and although it still seems somewhat distant to me, it’s becoming closer as I learn of people I know who have been hospitalised with it. I hope nothing of what I write comes across as blasé about the stark realities of this for some people.

I can only write from my experience, and my experience currently involves nothing more serious than being confined to barracks for the foreseeable. I will continue to try to find humour in the mundane, but want you to understand that I am not blind to the more serious side of all this.

So… after yesterday’s 10-press-up workout, I spent most of today recovering from my exertions. But I did venture out to Morrison’s to pick up some important provisions. Just as I left the house, a hailstorm started, which was pretty great. Walking through a hailstorm isn’t an experience you can have inside, now is it.

Sometimes it’s the little things.

Stay safe and well folks. ❤️