Tales from lockdown

With Bec laid up in bed surrounded by family and mine and Dude's daily excursions limited to an hour a day, like everyone, we are going slightly mad.

I have always, somewhat unfortunately, had a natural proclivity towards idiocy, and do tend to make somewhat unbalanced decisions, which I think is causing people who know me well to check that during this slightly surreal new normal I haven't shaved my head or decided to undertake building an extension or some other unstated yet weird way of filling my time.

Beautiful Daughter is FaceTiming me daily to show off the incredibly Wonderful Grandson and check that I'm not doing anything too stupid. I think I'm holding up okay thus far - although apparently the stupendous new boots I purchased online have slid me to the edge of reason - in her view.

I think we can all agree that these are boots of beauty?

(pic of boots)

I have happily added them to my collection, Beautiful Daughter thinks that these are silly and I couldn't muck the pigs 'ooot' in them, as I would be utterly horrified if asked to muck pigs out this feels like a huge positive...

At the beginning of the week, somewhere around lunchtime, SPB, who had just got up (yes apparently it makes the day shorter) and has NO understanding of the fact that I am actually still working, messaged me. It went a bit like this;

“Mama?” Even in a text message I know a cry for help when I read it.

“Yes darling Boy?” I replied in my best patient tone.

”Lady Wycombeee and I have had our first lockdown argument.” He typed, pathetically.

”Go give him a hug.” Sympathetic Mama types in response, whilst trying to manage a Zoom call with 6 colleagues, a barking dog and the delivery of my new radiator cover (more on that later).

So he calls me, seemingly feeling I am not taking this situation seriously enough. I mute my microphone and video, hoping no one notices.

Apparently the falling out occurred because of a crisp sandwich. Yes reader, a fucking crisp sandwich, and here he is calling me in the middle of a frigging meeting to moan about it.

I wind up the meeting with alacrity, years of removing myself from tricking situations without causing a fuss finally paid off.

Now to be fair we are all feeling the strain, and they are bless them, both highly strung, I'm surprised it hadn't happened earlier.

The previous evening, SPB kindly made both him and his Lady Wycombeeee a crisp sandwich, presumably to dunk in the G&T (they’d run out of ice and were reduced to cooling their alcoholic beverages with a chopped up zoom ice lolly....we’ve all been there). Lady W took umbridge at the fact that SPB's sandwich was more elegant and had better crisps contained within.

A temper tantrum of monumental proportions ensued, with gay flouncing, slammed doors, possibly feathers, stamping of feet: the whole works.

Going into advising Mama mode, I suggest tentatively that it might be best to sort it out,

”Oh, I have.” Retorts SPB airily,

“Awww.” I respond, imagining, sweet lovey dovey scenes of mutual apologies and hand holding whilst promising not to be silly again.

“Did you say sorry?” I enquire reasonably.

“Did I bollocks!” SPB states, starting to laugh ”I farted on his head.”

I let out a deep sign in utter despair.

Last Saturday - I think it was Saturday, all the days are sort of melding together into one very long day, punctuated by incidents of hilarity which alleviate my boredom, I received an invitation to a Zoom meeting from my Pops, which was fairly odd. Odder still was the alternate reality I was sucked into therafter.

I'm trying to join the meeting, Mother is texting me telling whats happening at her end (seriously it’s a good job I was two glasses into my first bottle) then hey presto, they both appear, each clutching their own phones slightly too near their faces and sitting at either end of the sofa. The feedback echo was incredible.

Mother banished Pops to the conservatory which solved this particular issue, however once he was settled on the settee in the conservatory, she proceeded to intermittently nag him and shout into her phone at me. It was beyond my usual abilities to explain why she couldn't see us both, mainly because she had the bloody thing on speaker view, so only the person speaking shows on the screen, and as she was shouting and screeching without drawing breath, nobody else could get a word in edge-ways. She has taken the quite understandable decision that she doesn't like Zoom and will be sticking with FaceTime from now on. I laughed so much I had to hobble to the loo with my legs crossed.

As the evenings do stretch in front of us like an interminably dull wilderness, I have decided that I will use the opportunity to do some of the DIY and decorating I have been ignoring for ages. Not known as a slacker, I hopped online and ordered a radiator cover for the sitting room.

Radiators are useful but in truth, (unless you have a gorgeous Victorian one) are extremely ugly.

I measured the radiator very carefully, definitely ordered the correct size, and it was duly delivered by a very nice young man who shouted at me in Polish from 96 feet away gesticulating at the box he had deposited on my doorstep.

The box was interestingly large, and slightly heavy and I managed to contain my deep excitement until 5.30 when I finished work, then it was out with the electric screwdriver and a hammer (aka 'the persuader).

The beautiful cover came with nice easy to follow instructions and within no time I had a fully assembled beautiful radiator cover, with which to mask the unpleasantness that is the radiator in the sitting room.

Except for one small issue....the fucking thing didn't fit!

“For fuck’s sake!” I shouted at the defenceless ill-fitting radiator cover, “why are you the wrong bloody size?” At this point it took it upon itself to tentatively point out the pokey out bits at the bottom of the radiator, which I had, of course, completely neglected to take into account when doing my ever so accurate measuring. The dog felt it was politic to leave the room at this point.

I snarled at the world as I heaved the frigging thing upstairs to cover the equally ugly radiator in my bedroom. The beautiful radiator cover and I have come to a mutual understanding never to discuss this matter again.

During the week we have had some wonderful weather, causing me and the Dude to decide to have a BBQ. Luckily I purchased a small charcoal BBQ a couple of weekends ago (it was on offer and I didn't yet own one) so I set to putting it together. Happily, no measuring was required.

Ten minutes in and I am regretting buying the BBQ, having a dog, who was being helpful and placing his giant paws supportively on everything tool, nut and bolt I need to build the thing. Who in God’s name decided that using the tiniest nuts and bolts in the universe ever was a great idea? I had been designed by mice.

Eventually Dude moves, I manage to get the frigging legs on the BBQ , happy days, off we toddle into the garden.

Now Dude is a dog of very little brain, but he does know what’s what when it comes to food. He definitely heard the word Snausage, and he knows that they are his (literally even if they are yours, he knows that they are his, and resents every single mouthful you take). So he is very interested in proceedings, carefully monitoring activity and helpfully getting completely in the way.

I carefully lob in a load of charcoal, slurping my fizz, and enthusiastically squirt some BBQ lighter over it. This is my usual BBQ lighting method and has always worked well for me in the past. Usually, I purchase BBQ lighting fluid, this time for reasons best know to fucking nobody I purchased BBQ lighting GEL, it came out of the bottle at 11ty billion miles and hour like jet propelled custard and coated not only the charcoal but the side and inside of the new BBQ, 'ho hum' I think to myself, thoughtfully slurping more prosecco, as I apply a lighter to one end of the BBQ. Sometime later, I read the bottle it mentioned that it had some sort of anti flare thing contained within.

It lies. Lies I tell you.

I was lulled into a short lived sense of security by the mild, slow way the flames gently licked across the top of the charcoal, caressing it with it’s warmth, when with a whoosh of epic magnitude the entire BBQ turned into the block of flats (or whatever) on Towering Inferno.

Reader, I lost an eyebrow.

Dude fucked off to the bottom of the garden where he watched with interest as I ran around (eyebrowless) waving my hands in the air, and trying to move my washing line so it didn't burn down and compound my (eyebrowless) misery.

Sensibly (occasionally this happens) I flicked the lid closed thereby depriving the fire of oxygen, not so sensibly (more usual) losing my finger tips at the same time which are, I presume, still stuck to the rodent designed BBQ.

I grilled the Snausages and Salmon sans eyebrows whilst Dude looked on, smirking.

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