Dear friends and readers – sorry that the blog part of this post has been somewhat erratic in recent weeks.
I have been keeping up with the poetry each day because I believe it would be discourteous to leave a void for those who visit daily.
This covid19 has been tragic for so many even though there have been the good news stories where people such as the brilliant author Michael Rosen have teetered on the edge but pulled through.
Some say the government should have acted sooner in getting people to isolate but is it possible they did not realise the danger we all face?
Should we give them the benefit of the doubt?
I remember at the beginning of March there was a lot of talk about avoiding direct contacts outside your home and people did start to panic buy (think of the lack of toilet paper) but the government didn’t appear to show much concern at that stage.
Where we blasé about it because the government seemed blasé or did the government try and play it down in an effort to stop panic-buying?
I had noticed shortages from the very beginning of March. I didn’t go filling my trolley with two or three times the amount I normally bought, but I did buy a few extra bits.
I think my wife Marion recognised the dangers more.
I had been for the normal Friday shop and said maybe I should go out in the morning and get more in case of a lockdown.
Marion said “No.”
When I said better safe than sorry and one more trip to the shops might see us through for a couple of weeks she was even more adamant with her response “NO”.
I will never forget what she said when I asked why not:
“Because I don’t want to die!”
That brought me up with a jolt.
Marion is a very levelheaded person and her concern at the situation made me realise how serious it was getting.
We started our lockdown on Monday 16 March, my 70th birthday. Our son had been working from home for a week by then, directed to do so by his bosses.
It did mean our household was properly shielded as nobody needed to go out.
On the downside we would not see our eldest daughter and our two grandchildren. At least we had Skype.
Our other daughter proved a godsend. As she was still working at the school, where she is assistant head, she was still going out and did a weekly shop for us.
To avoid any contact she would leave it inside the gate and then back off to a safe distance. Then we could at least wave and blow kisses.
A few weeks ago we did manage to get a weekly delivery slot, although it did mean using three different supermarkets depending on who had a delivery slot.
I know many more of you have seen a lot worse and suffered much more than us but the whole thing does prey on the mind.
We are still shielding because we don’t believe it when the PM says everything’s OK again and then the figures shoot up because people believed him and flocked to the beach.
This situation does weigh heavily but I didn’t intend to bother my readers with it. On the other hand it was unfair not to provide a reasonably ordered blog and I thought you deserved an explanation.
The poems will continue and I hope to get my life story back on the road with at least four updates a week.
If I do occasionally fall behind please forgive an old man who wants to keep his readers happy but sometimes finds he can’t concentrate.