the week's snippets...
A conversation between two women walking past our house. “Not long now.”
“Can’t bear to wait any longer.” “A year in prison, who’d have thought it possible!” “And look, it’s a changed world.”
“It’s as if some nasty country planned this…” “China has been back to normal for months as the entire world suffers….”
“Makes you think…”
“Well, they lost almost nobody….”
“And they’ve gained for making all the stuff people have been buying….” “And all that PPE….” “And as you say, they’re back to normal.” “Hmmm.”
There’s a new pop-up stall in a caravan set up near to a building supply firm. The man cooks burgers, warm bacon&egg baps and all sorts of typical English fast food. He normally runs a food stall at festivals but when coronavirus killed entertainment, he stopped dead with no income or support. “I got seriously depressed. My business, built up over the years, was nought!”
"Friends, other chefs, felt suicidal. “But they mostly pulled themselves together. One of them volunteers in various old people’s homes, showing the staff how to save money by buying sensibly, using everything, teaching them easy, cheap but nourishing recipes.”
Our man decided to have a go and set himself up serving builders what they like, but with a gourmet twist. “Not too much, builders are steady guys who don’t like dietary change.”
A friend, a world-class chef who lost his London restaurants, has done the same, but up-market. Set beside a farm-shop, he cooks delicious fast food from a truck he converted. The sad thing is that he’s just a little too far away for us to legally drive over and enjoy his food. I think come April, we’ll be able to dive over… can’t wait….
Our builder was standing too close to my wife and I said, “P, social distancing and all that!”
“Don’t believe in it….” “But we do so please step back…’ “I’ve had my jab, last week.” “It takes three weeks to kick in and protect you.” “So why get vaccinated then?” “If we all were, the bug wouldn’t grow and spread.”
“I like my freedom. If I want to stand close, what not.” “We like being alive and prefer you didn’t endanger us.”
“But you’ve had your jab.” “Only last week,” my wife said.
I asked the medics dealing with me how it had been in the hospital. They looked glum, “We’ve lost two colleagues.” “How sad that is….” “They were good people….”
“It’s a dreadful disease and it’s not over yet.” “Variants are starting to spread and who knows if our current vaccines will cope with them.”
“All we can do is keep safe - for ourselves, for others, and to dampen this thing before it gets out of hand.”
“What a world we’ve entered….”
I look down our short high street, will the cafes reopen? What about The Arts Centre, will it revive it jazz evenings, continue with it's various arty classes? Will the restaurant live on? What about the gift shop? And the hall of small stalls? How will the two clothes shop fare? The two charity shops? And the sweet shop-cum-cafe which employs the handicapped? I know the flower shop will, she's a strong local base, but what about the fancy new dried-flower shop? The take-away, two Indian, one Chinese, a Lebanese and the two fish&chip shops will as they've done well this past year. The butchers, the fruit and veg, the cheese shop and the delicatessen will, for they've served our community well over this weird year. Each evening one of them too turns in collecting parcels from the others and drove around town delivering orders to those who were too vulnerable to leave home.
“Hurry Dad!” The child scampering down our street called over her shoulder.
“I’m trying, but you’re too fast,” the fit young father called to his five year old daughter.
“Giggle, giggle,” she panted, “I’m beating Dad!”
“Go, go!” Laughed mother, heavily pregnant and puffing twenty paces behind as she held the hand of her three year old.
The wee tot gripping her finger chuckled and yelled some sort of encouragement to his sister. At about 8.20 such sounds echo up and down our street as the school run gets underway. What better greeting as you step outside after breakfast.