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!

Pooing on a Paddle

As further confirmation of my inevitable slide towards the slab, a bowel cancer screening test kit dropped on the mat – part of the national programme to regularly screen everyone over 55. It was back in 2016 that I endured the pain in the arse procedure at our local hospital. Five years on and the quacks are back for a second poke around. This time, though, it doesn’t involve a rear view camera, just a stick and a bottle.

As we all know, the NHS is under unbelievable pressure right now due to the pandemic knocking it for six. But it’s not quite ‘all out’ yet. I, for one, remain eternally grateful that my own health is in such capable, dedicated hands. Thank you!

Ghost Post

Sorry about the ghost post – Pooing on a Paddle – that just went out. I blame it my increasing decrepitude!

Jack Frost

Jack Frost

Brisk walks are the best way to burn off all those festive calories, especially during lockdown when keep fit options are limited. Timing is everything at this time of year. The distant sun is low on the horizon and, at its height, peeps only briefly above the tree line. A midday stroll is best, crunching through the frost, bubble-wrapped against the winds that blow across the East Anglian flatlands. Then it’s back to the cottage to put all those calories back on again.