(Do-do, do-do, do-do-de-do-do-do)
Continuing on from the general theme of last Friday’s entry (my first for a while), I would like to focus on some of the positives to be gained from the current shitstorm gripping our country – and, indeed, the planet.
Sure, COVID-19 is about the least popular thing to invade these shores since a certain Austrian with a distinctive moustache decided to show the world what a colossal fuck-nugget he was, but me sitting here writing about the horrors of this pandemic is a little bit pointless, really. Not only can you gather all the misery you like from the news or social media, should the mood take you – and I pray it doesn’t – but this is intended to be a lighthearted and comedic blog, and there is nothing even remotely lighthearted or funny about what it going on.
Hitler: bit of a twat
So, yes, I know some people are unable to work, and struggling financially. I know most of us are unable to see our loved ones and friends. I know the sensible among us are avoiding pubs, restaurants, cinemas, parks and other public places (and I only hope those morons ignoring the rules don’t live to regret their selfish stupidity). I know, sometimes, the light at the end of this particularly dark tunnel only appears to flicker slightly before it is eclipsed by another setback. And, yes, I know Mother Nature decided to screw us all over by hosting summer in mid-April, when none of us could fully enjoy it. However, I always try to raise a smile with my blog, and if there is one thing we all need right now, it’s a bit of positivity and a chuckle.
Therefore, I have conjured up a list of the ten consequences from being stuck at home which I see as positive, in the hope that perhaps a few of you, can take a few of them, away for yourselves.
1. Virtual Pub Night
For those of you who read my blog but do not follow my Facebook page, you may not be aware that I have been hosting an online ‘pub night’ every Friday since lockdown began.
The doors to my ‘Ye Olde Cock & Balls’ open at 8pm, and attendees are treated to a ‘Jukebox’ (which is essentially just a different YouTube playlist each week), some topics for debate, and a live Quiz. The latter, in particular, has proved especially popular, with hundreds of people taking part from all over the world – including such far flung places as America, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa (as well as a number of our neighbouring countries in Europe).
Anyway, while my virtual pub nights were only created in response to this terrible situation, I absolutely love them, and many of my Facebook followers have declared it the highlight of their week, too.
2. Avoiding People
Look, I don’t want you thinking I am being anti-social, as I am generally easy-going with most folk – so long as ‘most folk’ are my family, friends, and the vast majority of the general public who aren’t monumental cockwombles. Unfortunately, however, there remains that small minority who behave like idiots (such as anyone who still thinks it is ok to host barbecues and parties, or lean over you in the supermarket), and the fact I can now avoid interacting with the lowest echelons of society is a bonus.
Also, I love all of our local friends dearly, but I always feel guilty when someone calls round and I am too embarrassed to invite them in, because our children have transformed the house into a post-apocalyptic war zone. Fortunately, for the time being, I cannot possibly invite them in anyway (and I would like to think they would decline my offer even if I did).
Our living room
3. Talking To Our Neighbours
I am well-aware that there are streets and communities up and down the nation who frequently socialise together, pop round each other’s houses for a chat, and exchange Christmas cards and gifts every December. Well, not on our street, we don’t.
For example, we very rarely spoke to the chap next door before lockdown, perhaps as infrequently as once a month (despite the fact he has lived there for the best part of a decade and appears to be very pleasant), but now I chat to him most days. Ok, that might only be across the fence, to thank him for returning Ollie’s football for the third time that morning, but it’s still progress.
Plus, before lockdown, the only time I ever interacted with those on our street, was to ask whether they had kindly accepted another parcel for us, and now we get to smile and wave at the couple opposite every Thursday evening, as they appear to be the only other household willing to step outside and applaud the nation’s key-workers.
I mean, we’re still a far cry from inviting them around for drinks and nibbles, but it’s all baby steps in the right direction.
4. Embracing Wackiness
Following on from that last point, about applauding key-workers from our doorstep every Thursday, how delightful is it to be stood on our doorsteps in just pyjamas (having not got dressed at all that day), loudly banging a saucepan with a wooden spoon like a fucking lunatic, without someone accusing you of being a ‘saucepan-banging fucking lunatic’?
And, speaking of wearing pyjamas all day*, the fact I no longer have to put on a suit and clean socks for the office is having a very positive effect on our washing pile (before lockdown, I once noticed some Sherpas erecting a base camp about half-way up).
*I have only done this twice (so far), but it was rather liberating – until we had a parcel delivered, and the driver could not approach for a signature, so had to take a photo of me stood next to the parcel, at a time when I happened to be wearing the shorts which leave little to the imagination.
Plus, distancing myself from most of my family (apart from the wife and children), our friends and my colleagues, means I am currently able to attempt something I have never tried before – growing a beard.
The fact I have never attempted this before is primarily because my wife claims she will hate it, so perhaps selecting the one time when we are stuck in the house together (and she is most likely to smother me in my sleep anyway) is ill-advised, but I would argue that, if it looks shit, no one need know – save for any parcel delivery drivers, or the muggles I encounter in Tesco, and I don’t care what they think.
True, I only stopped shaving a week ago, so I am still in the ‘sleeping rough’ stage of my facial hair adventure, and I do not yet know which path my new look will take: ‘sexy academic’ or ‘deviant sex pest’ (my wife is certain it will be the latter), but if I don’t like it, or there is more grey in there than expected, I’ll get rid. Now is the time to experiment.
6. Saving Money
An unexpected advantage of being in ‘lockdown’, bearing in mind our weekly shopping budget appears to have almost doubled, and I am now forking out for a takeaway every Friday (to break the monotony, and give the family a sense of what day it is), but I actually made it to payday a couple of weeks ago without dipping into my overdraft or savings.
I suspect (nay, I know) that the money I am saving in fuel is having a big impact on my finances, as my usual commute requires me to drive 250 miles each week, but I honestly cannot work out where the rest of my current ‘wealth’ is coming from. I mean, I only go out once every few weeks, and I usually take my own lunch to the office anyway, so where am I making all these savings? Maybe it’s best not to question it.
7. No Commuting
The fuel-savings lead me to the other advantage I have discovered from working at home: I do not have to deal with other road users. Look, I accept that my driving is by no means perfect (although it’s not far off), and I will generally tolerate mild misdemeanours on the road for the sake of my blood pressure, but there have been days in the past when I have genuinely questioned whether Cheshire has been blessed with more than it’s fair share of road wankers, and the fact I don’t have to suffer them each day is having a positive effect on my physical and mental health.
Conversely (and I did say I would only focus on the positives in this week’s blog, but please indulge me), my new daily commute of walking down the stairs is not without it’s own hazards, as some long-haired dickhead cut me up on our landing the other morning, and nearly caused a pile up of Daddy’s shattered limbs at the bottom.
8. Soft Play Centres
I don’t have to go to these for the foreseeable future! Sure, they often mean our boys fuck off and leave me alone for a bit, whereas they are now constantly around me all the time, but at least that means I don’t have to worry about other people’s feral little nightmares, and/or Isaac attacking one of them.
9. Clearing Sky Planner
In the same way my bank account has spent the last year teetering perilously close to the overdraft, our Sky Planner has fluctuated between having 1% and 5% storage remaining for the best part of six months. Not these days, though. Thanks to us watching some programmes recorded at the start of the year (which I never thought we would have time to watch), we are currently up to a whopping 13%. Boom.
10. Getting To Spend More Time With My Children
Finally, I am thoroughly enjoying spending some quali-
Nope, I can’t even type it without laughing. Like fuck I am.
(I knew I should have stopped the list at #9, but my damn OCD insisted I add one more to round it up….)
Thanks for reading x