Sunday, 12th April, 2020

[Day 27]

This must be one of the strangest Easter Sundays that any of us have ever experienced but I suppose we will all get used to living in strange times. This morning we were delighted to make our daily trip to the park which, actually, was extremely quiet compared with yesterday. I am pleased to report that the ducklings now number 5 from that we suspect is brood No. 2. Whilst we were having our daily coffee (necessary for the ‘oldies’ to regain their strength after an energetic 1km walk to the park, you understand) we had a couple of conversations, one with the elderly lady with whom we exchanged wartime reminiscences early on in the week, and the other with Julie, our ‘Waitrose’ friend. In the midst of our conversations, a heron swooped and nearly made off with one of the ducklings, only to be beaten off by an assiduous mother duck. And so to home, where we enjoyed a nice dinner of roast beef, cooked in our slow cooker (and I saved half of the joint for another Sunday lunch). In the afternoon, I undertook one of my regular duties which is to round the house, wiping each light switch with an anti-bacteriological wipe which may, or may not, fend off the COVID-19 virus. This task doesn’t take that long but I am amazed how many light switches there are in the house overall (I lose count after the first 20!) I feel that I will have the same degree of success as that enjoyed by the elderly gentleman who used to throw little pieces of pink paper out of the top of a Chapham omnibus in order to deter the elephants. He was always successful, by the way, as no doubt I will be.

In the early evening, I was playing about with the FaceTime contacts list that FaceTime displays when an older Winchester colleague accidentally made me a video-call. He intended to call his son but hit the wrong button! I was delighted and we exchanged notes. They were amazed at the sojourns that Meg and I enjoy on our local park bench as down in Southampton, the local officials have taped up all of the park benches to deter would-be loiterers and aged rest-takers from utilising them – I must say, that I feel that it is a bit over the top. Incidentally, after my encounter with the flesh-coloured tights lady yesterday, we were passed in the park today (at a suitable distance) by a lady runner who was displaying a full face-load of makeup complete with false eyelashes and sporting a fetching leopard-skin leotard (or whatever you call the gear that people run in these days).

In the early evening, we watched the rerun of last Thursday’s Question Time on the Parliament channel (232). We then had a FaceTime chat with my sister (who I didn’t realise had an iPad) so that was a pleasant bonus and we are now arrangements in place to FaceTime the rest of the family as well, once we have suitable times organised. We are also in email contact with one of Meg’s cousin’s daughters who had been re-located before the crisis to Seattle. We received a long email telling us that things were like in the USA from the inside and are making similar arrangements to FaceTime each other as soon as time zones and diaries allow. So all in all, we have had a fully communication-rich Sunday – we wonder what the forthcoming week is going to bring. If the crisis had any benefits whatsoever, it was to appreciate how lucky we are to have family and friends with whom we can rapidly communicate – perhaps this will set up a good model for the future when we don’t neglect the friends that we have as we were forced to do during our working years.