Not easy sharing a glass of vino with a mate at the moment. There are a few handicaps when you have to remain 2 metres apart made even more arduous if you are hard of hearing and too far away to lip read.
“What did you say…… Sorry I can’t hear you. Was that weather – no – Oh leather shoes…. sorry can you repeat it just once more….” Very frustrating but good to see another human face and have a chat that isn’t through a phone. I hadn’t realised just how people starved I had become. Although for the last few years I have become somewhat of a recluse so lockdown is not that difficult for me, but seeing close friends is important and I foresee that I will be doing a lot more of the social distance drinking over the summer. At least I have a big enough garden – just might need to be investing in a hearing aid. Actually, I was in the process of getting one – well I have been in the process for many years! and its been driving the boys nuts. “Mum it isn’t funny any more when we have to tell you the same joke 5 times.” So I finally succumbed to the test which indeed confirmed my chronic loss of hearing. “Did you know Madam,” said the audiologist, “you have a congenital hearing defect and you have probably been deaf from birth.” What a relief to know that failing my exams at school including the 11+ wasn’t because I was stupid, more that I had couldn’t hear properly. School, especially in the fifties could be very cruel. I remember when they were giving out the results from the 11+ we were all called into this big hall and one by one they called out the names of those that had passed. Finally, there was just 2 of us left and we had failed. This scarred me for life, and I am still trying to rid myself of the enormous ‘dunce’ hat that I have been wearing ever since. So, no wonder I hated school. Made worse by the anti-sematic teachers. Being the only Jew in the school was a tough burden to carry. After all we killed Jesus, and everybody knew this because they had been taught it in religious instruction classes. “Why did you kill Jesus,” my classmates would ask. Actually, what they really said was, “Roma killed Jesus, Roma killed Jesus in that horribly sing-song taunting voice kids have. As I was excluded from religious instruction classes – not because I killed Jesus but because mum though it not proper for me to be in attendance – I couldn’t defend myself. Back to more important matters. This morning I looked languidly at my 3 wardrobes full of clothes. Then donned my sweatpants and jumper. The same clothes I have been wearing except when they are in the wash for the past 6 weeks. Which is odd because I love clothes, I have always loved clothes hence 3 wardrobes. I probably love clothes because when I was little, I only got hand-me-downs from my female cousins. But vanity is no longer high on my agenda – why bother? And in some way it is quite relaxing having no pressure to keep up appearances. There have been times I am embarrassed to disclose, that I have stayed in my PJ’s all day! It reminded me of another time when my vanity took leave of absence. Giving birth. You hang your vanity on the door as you walk into the hospital. I mean when you get all sorts of odd strangers looking into parts that are normally reserved for a particular loved one, you can hardly retain any vanity. That said I did make a point of waxing my legs before the birth of my last child. and I think the very dishy doctor appreciated it. I realise that COVID-19 loss of vanity isn’t quite the same. No one is looking down there any more or in fact anywhere! But this virus has somewhat stolen my vanity. My hair gets a brush in the morning then forgotten, my teeth get cleaned, I have a shower, but I have no idea what lipstick or mascara looks like. The only shred of vanity that I am hanging on to for dear life is the elimination of my grey hair. If that goes then all is lost. But more important than vanity is Boris’s get out of lockdown’ speech this week. Clearly it is going to take a long time to get back to any normality – if ever and maybe we will just have to adjust our expectations to living a new kind of norm. This last 6 weeks has given us all time to think and appreciate the important stuff in our lives. I do so hope that as a nation, and indeed as one world, we will have changed for the better and not return to a selfish materialistic egocentric way of living. So, the big demolition has began. And Toby uncovered 4254 spiders and some very large, 47 slugs, 15 worms and 1 millipede plus uncountable woodlice. And he hasn’t as yet lifted the carpet! I am keeping my distance. That is at the top of the garden with a nice glass of single malt.
“Let’s be careful out there”