Skip to content

Corona Diaries: a bad no-hair day

April 30, 2020

Yesterday was a bit of a ratty day. I started to shout at the TV. It happened during the Downing Street briefing. I then fired off two intemperate tweets, which is rare for me. In the first I said:

I do wish that the “health advisors” at the Downing St briefings would, for once, say what they really mean: “it’s complex. You don’t understand. You will never understand. Now shut up and f**k off.”

In the second:

We are reviewing. We are considering. We are thinking. This is the sound of bureaucracy at prayer.

Which just about sums up my jaundiced view of the government’s efforts to communicate with us at this time of crisis. I actually think that the time has come to consider whether these daily briefings are helpful. Do we really need to be told the same stuff, day in, day out by an assortment of mediocre politicians and health advisers who are clearly under orders to say nothing that suggests that the government’s performance has been anything other than optimal?

Am I suffering from lockdown fatigue, or has the government run out of things to say? Either way, perhaps these briefings should take place every two or even three days. At least then there might be something new to say other than the steady thud of death statistics.

Another example of my COVID-related bile is that after repeatedly swearing that I would never consider terminating with extreme prejudice the squirrels that are scratching away in my loft and waking us up at 6am, I actually went so far as to look on the web for air rifles. That’s as far as it went, and I still don’t think that I could kill an animal in cold blood, even though I happily eat those that have been terminated with equal prejudice.

But the fact that I even thought of the nuclear option was telling. Perhaps it would be OK if we ate the squirrels that we shot, but then the task of skinning and disembowelling them would also be beyond me, metropolitan wimp that I am. Cooking them would be no problem though, because the other day one of the readers of this blog very kindly sent me link to a website that had a recipe for squirrel stew. No so benign was the picture that accompanied it of a teenager with a very powerful-looking rifle.

It was clearly a bad no-hair day, at least on my part. What it suggests is that I’ve been watching too much TV coverage of the pandemic. And possibly too many movies featuring men with weapons who take out the bad guy with a single shot.

One upside is that overdosing on TV has given me a fresh insight into the mind of Donald Trump. It’s been reported that he spends hours every day in his bedroom searching for TV news stories about, for and against him. I imagine that the White House has cleaners who on a regular basis have to come in and wipe down his multiple screens after he’s pelted them with cheeseburgers and ketchup.

I’m reminded of the scene in Downfall in which the Fuhrer is ranting at his generals, and outside his office aides are weeping and cowering at the fearsome racket. The Trump scenario also brings to mind the last days of Robert Maxwell, and the lurid tales about the state of his bedroom before he jumped, was pushed or fell from his boat in the Mediterranean.

Fortunately we don’t live on a boat or in a bunker. And if I were to start throwing hummus or porridge at our TV I would have to do the cleaning myself or face the consequences.

Why, you might ask, do I not comfort myself with those nice natural history programmes, or shows about gardens? Because these days they rarely end without warnings that the gorillas are doomed, or that Japanese knotweed is taking over the world.

Another insight that came to me yesterday is that the dog population has multiplied during the lockdown. What’s more, they all seem to be hanging out in the park near us. In our little town we don’t have much of a problem with joggers, cyclists and sunbathers. But we do have all manner of strange dogs. Labradors with tiny sausage dog legs. Wolfpoos (or should they be called Woodles?). Saint Bernards the size of grizzly bears.

It’s as if somewhere in Surrey, the sedate English county where I live, there’s been a radiation leak nobody’s told us about. Or possibly there’s a Dr Mengele at work at the National Veterinary Laboratory, which happens to be a few miles away. Is it me, or have dogs always looked this odd?

Their owners seem normal enough. They congregate in socially-distanced groups and chat, presumably about doggy things, while the mutts bound around with a freedom unavailable to their minders, trying to eat each other. If only there were groups of squirrel owners who could tell me what to do about the renegades in my loft.

Ah well. Today is a glorious new day. There are no pee patches on the lawn (our dog passed away last year, which probably explains the emboldened squirrels). The lilac in the garden is in full flower, as are the rhodies. The rosebuds are on their final push, and so far there have been no scammers knocking on our door asking for their iPhone back (see previous post). Kim Jong Un is still alive, Trump is still trumping and from Downing Street comes the mewling of a hungry infant.

Nothing to complain about. All’s well with the world, n’est pas? Comfortably numb is a good place to be.

From → Social, UK, USA

  1. Andrew Robinson permalink

    “We are reviewing, the situation…can a fella be a villain all his life?”

    As potential recipients of froggy and rosbif audio-visual media, we have erred on the “Match of the Day” approach….highlights only.

    The daily drivel from Downing Street, or wherever the set is now located, rarely gets our attention, although “Hancock’s Half Hour” the other day retained my vacant gaze for all of ten minutes until a chap in military fatigues was asked for his “strategy”. I then VPN’d BBC IPlayer and caught up with “Killing Eve” which has all the dark comedy and bodycount of the afore comedy genius, Mr. H.

    Naturally, the French approach is different, having changed sides of the road to give advantage to only left-handed swordsmen in the past, whilst continuing to give way to the right to the surprise of all but the locals on Routes Nationales. I should add that lines are beginning to be drawn in this regard.

    The President’s “parlays” are loudly trumpeted in advance. We were told, what seems months ago, that his next big outing will be Monday May 11th, when all was to be revealed. However, no need for cabinet “leaks” here, as, the day before yesterday, it was announced that the PM would speak to the people “tomorrow”, now being yesterday, of course.

    He did this from the pulpit in the Hemi-cycle, with slightly less brou-ha-ha that PMQs in the room with JRM’s green snooze-sofas. Let us say that “many beans were spilled”. Il a fait, effectivement, laisser couler beaucoup de haricots!

    Beaches shut until June 2nd, no bars or restaurants (or rented villas) until that date, at the earliest. No more checks, but woe betide anyone who is caught doing anything over 100km from home, which is a hundred-fold improvement on pre-May 11th. Eleven days to go then.

    What WILL the President have left to say?

    (“clear insight” and “Trump’s mind” in the same phrase – bravo there!)

    3 minutes until lesson start…..Je me casse!

    • Very good Andrew. I’m so cross that I didn’t think of Hancock’s half hour! It must be useful having a PM you can kick if things go bad. Trump could probably do with one. I do hope things ease as anticipated in France soon. We have a trip to Lot et Garonne due some time in the next three months. Inshallah! S

  2. Andrew Robinson permalink

    On croise les doigts pour vous! (et nous…)

  3. deborah a moggio permalink

    perhaps everyone reading this blog could suggest names of movies that would lighten your heart?
    I submit for your consideration, “Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb”.


    • Thank you Debby. My heart is plenty light. Dr Strangelove is one of my three favourite movies of all time, so you chose well! S

  4. deborah a moggio permalink

    Other two?

    • You might be surprised. Life of Brian and Kingdom of Heaven.

      • deborah a moggio permalink

        LOVE life of brian. LOVE the scene where they are tutored by the roman guard!
        Don’t know Kingdom. Will look for it when we get turned loose.

      • It’s a Ridley Scott movie about the fall of Jerusalem. It didn’t get good reviews, but there’s something about it that resonates. Especially the performance of the Syrian actor who plays Saladin. S

  5. deborah a moggio permalink

    a friend who watches a LOT of movies said

    The director’s cut is the only way to see Kingdom of Heaven.

    agree? disagree? Seen the director’s cut?

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: