3 April 2020. A face-to-face conversation today. My second in 10 days. Maybe third if you count exchanging quick info at the self-service check-out at Waitrose. And not counting husband. Made me realise that said husband hasn’t spoken face-to-face with anyone but me and the dog for the best part of a month. Interested to find out where he’s getting his information from. Pretty sure the dog is discreet. But apparently a lot of people have quite loud conversations on their phones just below our first floor sitting-room window. So he knew more about the Virtual Grand National than I did, except he thought that Red Rum won it. I was surprised that Red Rum didn’t. Not as up to date with horse-racing as I could be.
An SOS from a friend. He and his daughter have been enjoying 1000-piece jigsaws. But have run out! Anyone up for swopsies if a suitable decontamination method and person-free collection point can be organised? It seems a lot of work for a jigsaw puzzle but this is a long haul and anything to foster and maintain family harmony. So we had a rummage through storage boxes and the old toy chest. Found some wonderful toys and spent a happy afternoon trying them all out. The dog now loves yo-yos. Also that dangerous cup and ball game that Victorian children apparently rated above X-Box (according to the packaging). Sore knuckles for me and a narrowly avoided black eye for the dog. Score zero. Constructing Stonehenge out of steel blocks using just a magnetic wand must be fairly close to how Merlin achieved the original.
Trying to decide what could be donated to a communal bring and share board game collection, all neatly wrapped in plastic with clear labels for age and suitability and possible small sanitiser spray. Only to be collected or exchanged after 3-4 days in quarantine for each item. Quite a lot didn’t make the cut because we won’t have any adult friends left after their children have bashed and flicked and shot and bounced all of them off the walls. And nobody is getting my light saber or my fully working model of Thunderbird Two (with the Mole). So it will be a small donation. The 1000-piece jigsaws may be shared – after we have done them ourselves.
And at the end of the day, brought up sharp against reality with the news that Gof, formerly a first responder in Faringdon, has lost his battle against COVID-19. A small community now mourning one of its key members. RIP Gof.
This is my personal Mass Observation blog. I invite anyone to join in to create a group record of this important period in our history as we face the COVID-19 pandemic.
© Clare Sargent