Jack in the Bottle

That flicker of light at the end of the lockdown tunnel is getting brighter. Our days in the sun (or beer garden) will soon return. Meanwhile, we continue to do what we can to stay safe and sane. I hear sales of jigsaws have gone off like a rocket. It’s not the sport for us. We have neither the patience nor the table space in the micro-cottage. No, we spend our days playing hide the sausage and naked twister – sometimes at the same time.

You’ll be relieved to know there are no images of either for me to share. We don’t want to frighten the horses (or pheasants, pigeons, blackbirds, robins, doves, ducks and tits great and small). There is, however, this little vid of my favourite lockdown pastime. It’s not me (obvs) but you get my drift.

Cheers!

Turning the Lockdown Blues Pink

This cocktail of winter and lockdown blues gets so boring. Then something comes along to turn the blues to a sunny shade of pink and make me realise that there are worse things in life than being a bit bored.

A virtual performance by The Pink Singers of the 80’s synthpop classic ‘Together in Electric Dreams’. Featuring over 130 LGBT+ singers and musicians from around the world, the second lockdown video from the Pink Singers aims to bring a little bit of queer joy in these challenging times and show that even when people are ‘miles and miles away… love never ends’.

The Pink Singers

Amen to that.

I first saw this winter-warmer on Faceache thanks to the marvellous Annie of Back to Bodrum.

A Shot in the Arm

I got the call, booked my slot, rode the bus to the next-door village of Poringland and joined the orderly queue at the COVID-19 vaccination hub at the Community Centre. Friendly, fast and efficient, I was in, jabbed and out within five minutes – no messin’. The NHS really know how to run this kind of thing. Some people who get the Oxford AstraZeneca shot report flu-like symptoms for a while. Not me, I just got a slightly sore arm and a bit of swelling. Roll on jab number two – and freedom. A shot in the arm is just what we all need right now.

Is There Anybody There?

I know it’s a remarkable invention and has really helped many of us keep in touch and stay sane during the pandemic. But I’m so over Zooming and by that I mean this video-conferencing malarkey in general. It’s like attending a séance.

Can you see me?

Can you hear me?

Is there anybody there?

You’ve frozen.

No, you’ve gone.

The whole psychic encounter is made all the more spooky by the use of cheap digital backgrounds where participants appear and disappear like ghostly apparitions. First you see ’em, then you don’t. If only we could all hold hands to contact the living.

Hairy Marys

This lockdown malarky has played havoc with our sense of time. Samey days have merged into one and our weekly routine now dances to an entirely new rhythm – the supermarkets giveth, the binmen taketh away. Much of our recycling rattles. Despite daily trips on the exercise bike and scenic walks down by the River Chet, we’ve both piled on the pounds. I daren’t pull on a pair of skinny jeans as it might cut off the circulation.

Personal care has suffered too. We wash, of course, but other essentials – shaving, haircuts and judicious pruning of other important little places – are on a strictly when-we-can-be-arsed basis. So much so, Liam is starting to resemble Catweazle.

For those not in the know, Catweazle, was a British children’s TV series back in the day. The eponymous Catweazle is an 11th century wizard who accidentally travels through time, arriving in 1969. Poor old Catweazle mistakes all modern technology for powerful magic, particularly ‘elec-trickery’ (electricity) and the ‘telling bone’ (telephone). It was a hugely successful show and I loved it as a 10 year-old!