DAY 7: Fri 20 Mar

Some musings on rubbish and the state of the world

Up by 7:30 this morning, in time take in the news and check social media and get stuck into 40 minutes on the treadmill (a hybrid machine that offers cycling and Norwegian Walking workouts. I am able to keep an eye out for the mangy fox that harasses the chickens out in the garden in the day time. To time myself I put on a CD. Today it was ‘Spirit and Spice’. No thumping beats, just mellifluous concoctions from saxophonist George Brooks and his Indo-Jazz fusion band Summit.

The little poem I put on my wheelie bin has been ’removed’ (see DAY 1) and there are spent tissues on the ground outside my house, again. My son told me that putting up signs like that just winds people up. What is wrong with people?

I live on an unadopted Back Lane that links two cul-de-sacs. The tree-lined Lane dips down steeply to what once might have been a ford across the now culverted Bally Brook. The Back Lane Gardeners Group has been ‘rewilding’ it with shrubs and bulbs and pollinator plants to revive its rustic feel and repair damage done by developers. 

It is heavily used by people making their way to shops, schools and the health centre nearby. At least twice a week I have to pick up their discarded  litter – sweet wrappers, cigarette packets and butts, supermarket receipts, packaging from Greggs, KFC, McDonald’s, and the chemists. Invariably there will be beer cans and plastic and glass bottles (sometimes with added urine). Occasionally there will be a piece of clothing. A couple of times I’ve come across dumped car number plates, but perhaps the strangest things to find tossed into the undergrowth were plastic pregnancy test sticks. Three times over a couple of weeks. It set me wondering what sad story lay behind them.

A deliciously nourishing mushroom omelette for lunch with home grown mushrooms, eggs from the chickens, herbs from the garden and a slice of homemade soda bread. ‘There ain’t half been some lucky bastards’ as Ian Drury might have said.

The blog site I’m helping with is now live. If any readers of this diary have relevant stories to tell from around the world, feel free to let us know.

The afternoon sped by (not) as I tried to come to terms with some new online banking procedures, but mostly corresponded with old mates from around the globe by email and WhatsApp. One in the States explained how she and her grandson have an Uno tournament on the go via Skype with two separate packs of cards.

Closer to home a a self-isolated friend with health issues was deliberating about whether he could or should visit his allotment. Yet another, born on exactly the same day as me, said he had taken to his bed with the virus itself and was feeling really rough. Later a friend from Zimbabwe announced that the first recorded case of coronavirus has been detected in that benighted country. Heaven help them.

I have been distributing funny vids and stills to cheer folk up. My current favourite comes from a Belfast comic: 

St. Paddy Raff on Twitter

I seem to spend all my time communicating rather than taking on the tasks I have secretly promised myself to do. Like sorting through all the old clothes in the cupboard; making a start on spring-cleaning and washing the curtains. I’ve read every little, haven’t even got half way through the latest issue Private Eye.

After another fun-filled story time with my grandsons – who seemed to find the subtitling on Skype more amusing than Salman Rushdie

I heated some bolognese from the freezer with some rice, and downed a can of Guinness as a toast to those going without tonight – only to learn from the Bristol Post that the bars In central Bristol were rammed instead of abandoned. Is this just recklessness or their way of cocking a snoot at Mr Johnson? More like it’s “Eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die!”

Mind you I did put in a call to ou local micro-pub Snuffy Jacks, on the off chance they wanted to sell off their stock in a hurry (just to help them out of course). No-one answered the phone. There will be many such brave little ventures closing their doors for good, I suspect.

As Joxer Daly says in Sean O’Casey’s ‘Juno and the Paycock’ “The world is in a terrible state of chassis.”

Right on cue my sister points out that Saint Corona is the patron saint of plagues. Disbelieving I find this in Gulf News. 

https://gulfnews.com/world/meet-st-corona-the-patroness-of-plagues-and-pandemics-1.1584521800786

As Joxer Daly says in Sean O’Casey’s ‘Juno and the Paycock’ “The world is in a terrible state of chassis.”

I will let Gogglebox cheer me up before retiring to bed to watch a movie on MUBI.

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