Follow one crying eye on

Am I going just ever so slightly…?

Out walking. Suburban roads and not the park, for ‘tis the weekend and I must leave the open-space greenery to those without gardens.

The film ‘A Star is Born’ is mentioned in passing on one of my regular podcasts. Perhaps tiring, and certainly becoming a little footsore in my unaccustomed sandals, on a whim I switch to Spotify and hurl myself into the depths of ‘Shallow’, risking a return to the madness of March 2019 (remembering this). No, no, no – I will not go there! I am stronger now, maybe? I wrench myself from the shallows and – because I read in the paper today that Graham Gouldman will be 74 this weekend, oh lord how can that be? – I switch to 10cc. ‘I’m not in Love’, ‘The Things we do for Love’ – Eric Stewart had the sexiest voice (so I thought back then, and it still sounds good to me now).

Then I move, teenage-chronologically, to a Genesis track that I recall listening to endlessly on headphones lying on my bedroom floor. And yes, the refrain of ‘Undertow’ can still reduce me to tears even whilst marching perfectly happily towards home. Or rather, limping slightly with a massive blister – maybe it’s that?

Whatever. Typically, I immediately encounter a neighbour and, still with tears in my eyes, we discuss – six foot apart – the social distancing arrangement in the local pet-shop.



I just don’t know how to feel about all this

After last night’s glorious coming together of the neighbourhood in applause for ‘our’ NHS, as we now seem to call it, I have started to wonder at the emotional chicanery I’m currently experiencing. On the one hand, the clapping/whooping/cow-bell clanging was tear-inducingly uplifting. On the other, was it a bit mawkish? It didn’t pay them any more or provide any new masks or ventilators, did it? But it did attract attention and it was a way of publicly thanking people. And we all cried together.

Why do I fight such internal battles? Who cares? It was a nice thing to do and we all waved at each other from a safe distance, before retreating rather uncomfortably back indoors to our TVs. I imagine I was not alone in being confused at my response. It is a very small thing to worry about – and perhaps easier to focus on than the HUGE worries others have right now and we might have at any point in the future. Get over it.

Suitably over it, this morning I marched purposefully to the local small supermarket, a branch of Sainsbury’s conveniently located across the road from a large hospital – even more conveniently, just a 5 minute walk from my home.

In the bright cold sunshine around 10am, the road was eerily quiet. No other pedestrians as I walked, no-one in their front gardens, and no road traffic. Truly like one of those post-apocalyptic films. Would there be a dinosaur or a futuristic alien round the corner?

In fact, no, no aliens*, just a small queue of obediently self-distancing people outside the supermarket. 

There are also confusing joys and pressures in food shopping, it seems.

On the plus side – more availability cheers me up.  Fewer shelves were empty today. On the negative side, when there is almost nothing left of a product, it makes me feel bad to take it, even if I genuinely need it.

The best bit of all, though – and here I am guilty of massive smugness – was when an ambulance driver turned up while I was first in the queue outside. Both I and the security guard on the door simultaneously waved her straight inside. Hurrah – we’re spontaneously DOING THE RIGHT THING!

Mind you, I then felt bad for feeling so good. Aaargh!

*Why did the spell-checker change ‘aliens’ to ‘clients’? !!  There’s a throwback for you.

Safe distance

Yesterday on my walk (for exercise), I did my usual circuit on local residential roads and then Richmond Park. At all times I was more than 6 feet away from anyone else. All above board and in accordance with the new rules.

But it was just so sad somehow. I have never been one for close contact with others, but when approaching another walker coming towards me who veers, ostentatiously or embarrassedly, into the road or onto the verge to avoid me, I cannot help but feel hurt. Or at least disturbed. I know this is the right thing to do, and was doing it myself too. But still.

The more uplifting story however was that I saw no-one flouting these distance rules, other than obvious couples enjoying the sunshine and their relationships. And the Park appears to have security guards and parking spaces specifically for NHS workers.


My first ever Zoom meeting today – with singing friends, to replace our regular Monday morning rehearsal. 

Reminded me of work days on Skype and the teething problems we had with that, back in the day.

Wonderful to see our oldest member accessing with ease on his MacBook at 90 years old, and another on a Smartphone from her sofa – although we may have glimpsed some accidental cleavage from the latter as she groped for headphones. 

Of course some of us ended up holding up our pets to join in the fun. And I had a good old play with the virtual background feature to force people into inadvertent viewing of my holiday snaps. 

Only one person was actually in bed.

We’ve agreed to try some actual singing next week. Now that might bring a tear to my eye…


Follow one crying eye on