On another topic

Mrs S is relearning how to handle a car with a manual gearbox. So while we’re in yet another pointless bloody lockdown, we’re taking short pootles out half way to LocalTown, well within our 5km radius like the politicians tell us to. I’m sure the old muscle memory will come back rapidly the more she drives, so I just sit in the front passenger seat admiring the scenery and enjoying the ride. As I’ve been doing all the driving for the last seven weeks, it comes as something of a welcome break.

The traffic outside doesn’t seem to be reduced by much. Well, we’re in a rural area and it’s that time of year, so our landlord is busy ferrying cattle and sheep about, either from grazing area to grazing era or what is euphemistically called ‘cropping’ in some circles, in others ‘selling on’ or more honestly, slaughter for meat. He doesn’t tell us, and we don’t ask. Besides, while I’m quite comfortable with field to fork, Mrs S, like most non-rural folk, isn’t.

We have two solid fuel stoves, and as the chillier weather begins to close in, am getting in practice with the dark arts of fire lighting and grate maintenance. Dark as in grubby and arts as in these things can be finicky if you don’t set the dampers and draughts just so. We’re still waiting for our furniture, but we’ve got into a rhythm for the day, taking walks down country lanes and learning to step into the foliage when anything big and agricultural comes rolling down the road. And we’re being blessed with some fine Autumnal weather out here in the wilder west of Ireland at present. Even the rain has the good sense to let up after seven in the morning.

The politicians assure us these lockdowns are meant to ‘rescue’ Christmas, but I’m inclined to disagree. Christmas this year in the British Isles looks like being cancelled and the pollies are going to royally mess up New Year as well. They are succeeding where Cromwell’s Puritans failed. If it’s left to them, no one will be allowed to have any fun at all over the festering season, the miserable bar stewards.

Back in BC, Elderly friend is losing her last marbles, but we keep in touch by phone. She can’t walk any more because her balance has gone AWOL and her care staff report she’s being cantankerous. There’s nothing we or our proxies can do apart from watch and wait. Hell, she’s had a bloody good run at life, and everyone dies sometime. I hope that when my time comes, as it will, I don’t keep everyone hanging around, twiddling their thumbs. For one thing, it’s bad manners to keep people waiting because you can’t make up your silly mind.

On the plus side, the kids are fine in their chosen locales, and they’re even talking to me via email on a regular basis. We’re busy walking and talking. Getting to know the locale, showing our faces, getting mugged by over enthusiastic dogs and suchlike. It’s not all doom and gloom. There is wine, there is food, we’ve discovered the David Tennant / Michael Sheen lockdown series ‘Staged’, which is remarkably good for the chuckle muscles. See below.

Well, Mrs S and I like it.

Oh yes I forgot. It’s spaghetti and meatballs tonight with a nice Chilean red.