The Coronavirus pandemic started to have an effect on my routine, with mass cancellations appearing in my diary, on St Patricks Day, 17 March 2020. So, 24 March is Day 8.
I’d decided that I needed to keep active, fit and well, so planned a small project to replace the 3 trellis panels supporting the climbing roses in the front garden.
Bought the panels the day before and decided this morning to ‘tosh’ them with some preservative, as they looked a bit bare after the factory process. I would not have done this but for the enormous amount of time bestowed on me by cancellations. I found two dented cans of stain in the garage. One half full the other with a little left. Felt good to be saving dosh by using up old stuff. Then I managed to find a dog-eared paintbrush that was still soft.
6-foot-high and 2-foot-wide (1.82 x .609 for the yoofs.) narrow timbers forming squares. Well, that’s a lot of narrow timber to coat with a one-inch brush. (.025) The first panel took over an hour and that was just the front side. It was a sunny morning and I was enjoying it.
I was contemplating a coffee break when my mobile rang. My Optician’s receptionist told me that my new glasses were ready to collect, but they were closing at 1pm for the duration of the Coronavirus outbreak. It was 11.45am, so no rush then! There would be no fitting, touching was out. Nor could she take the balance of the payment in the shop for fear of contamination, so I paid by card, there and then over the phone.
I set off, still in clothes marked by years of wrestling weeds and more recently, preservative stains. In Station Square, I actually saw parking spaces, this is rare as they are usually hidden beneath cars. I parked outside the opticians, ignored the pay and display requirements. After all, would they, at a time like this?
A sombre face appeared at the window of the bank next door. The Optician’s door was locked and when I caught sight of my reflection in the glass, complete with baseball hat, I resembled a bank robber rather than a short-sighted gardener. A tap on the window brought the receptionist up to the door. ‘I’ll put them on the chair,’ she mouthed. The door opened and she shielded herself behind it. Sure enough, on a straight-backed chair, were my specs, receipt and discarded lenses for my growing collection.
‘Any problems, come back in a month, we should have re-opened by then. Keep well from the Virus.’ She called out. ‘Keep well,’ I returned and she closed the door for the duration.
At least the street was clear of Parking Wardens, but at home my soft brush had turned hard.