Lockdown, down, deeper and down

Well, this is all a bit crap, isn’t it?

Since the last time I posted, there has been a bit of a relentless period of hobbit-baiting  news.  First, we had a general election where, in the battle of Buffoon Scarecrow vs. Magic Grandpa, the posh boy won.  It was really was the evil of two lessers in most people’s eyes, and although I have no love whatsoever for the right-wing elite that now run the country, I don’t hold much admiration for Comrade Jeremy either.

If December’s election had been a cup final at Wembley, it would have been the Zenith Data Systems Cup – you’ve heard of the teams but you have no recollection how they got there, and if the ZDS Cup is anything to go by, it won’t last long.

Next, of course, was Brexit.  It’s happening folks, and those misled masses that think it’s done and dusted because we’ve offically left are in for a surprise once the transition period is over…that’s when it gets really messy.  Of course I hope that, despite my reservations, Waffly Boris and his cronies are able to pull off a deal that enables us to trade, travel and work with our friends across La Manche…but I see no signs of their ability to pull a rabbit out of the hat…not one that they haven’t bagged on a shoot on the croquet lawns of Eton, anyway.

Written on the wall just in case he forgets his own name…

My only hope is that the new leader of the Labour Party can be the grown-up in the room.  Sir Keir Starmer appears to be knowledgable, sensible, clever and a bit left of centre but not into swivel-eyed loon territory.  Hopefully he will provide good, balanced opposition to a government seemingly intent on bullying the nation to it’s will.  Time will tell.

And now, of course, we have COVID-19.  Or coronavirus.  Or SARS-CoV-2.  Many names for a nasty virus that is sweeping across the globe, killing tens of thousands in its wake.  It really is a masterpiece of evolution – from a purely scientific persepective it is fasciating to watch a new form of pseudo-life emerge, transmit, conquer – and hopefully – be conquered.  Leading scientists have warned for years that the world has been susceptible to pandemic of this kind, and pretty much every nation has ignored those warnings – now we’re all reaping what we’ve sown.

The effects of this on everyday life have been incredibly dramatic.  We’re just starting our second period of lockdown in the UK, and it ain’t fun folks.  Schools are off, which means the kids are home all the time.  ALL.  THE.  TIME.  It’s like the world’s worst series of Big Brother, where one of the contestants is on a mission to destroy the house via the medium of Play-Doh and Cookie Swirl C, another is just sat in his room screaming ‘OHMYGOD’ into a headset, a third is beginning to snort gin, and the last is starting to resemble a chocolate bar.

Being cooped up for so long is certainly testing our patience, though I’m sure we’re no different to anyone else – in fact I suspect we’re doing pretty well compared to other housholds.  After all, we’re still earning a wage, albeit via a slightly different path than usual.  The distaff side has escaped furlough by being bloody useful and being able to turn her hand to many problems.  She’s working weird hours helping out in bits of the business that she never normally gets involved in – 80% of her colleagues are furloughed, sat at home in their pants watching Cash In The Attic reruns and swigging chardonnay from a Tommee Tippee bottle.

As for me, all my events have evaporated – up till the end of May at the moment, and many in June and July as well.  So I’ve had to take on a proper job to help keep the roof over our heads.  I’m working for Tesco in their distribution centre near Bristol, and it’s been a bit of an eye-opener to be honest.  I’m one of the pickers in their massive chilled warehouse (1.7 degrees on a good day), and all I do all day is collect pallets (of fruit, veg, meat, chilled products) and load the goods into cages or on to trolleys that you’ll see delivered to supermarkets and stores across the south west and south Wales.

It’s repetitive work, it can be tough physically for a former desk jockey like myself, but it’s interesting to see how it works; you get a wrist terminal that gives you your assignments, connected to a scanner that you zap barcodes with to tell you what goes where; and somewhen, overnight mainly, lots of vitamin-D averse drivers come and collect it all and motor off to all points Tesco-y.  And then the next day…it all happens again.  Relentless, constant, and bloody cold…but essential, or the shops don’t get their stuff.  And more importantly for me – it’s a job.  It’ll tide me over till events start up again.  I’ll have to postpone the order for the Bugatti again, but that’s such a First World problem I think I can cope.

It means I am, at the moment, classed as an essential worker (I have a letter to prove it, just in case I get stopped by the rozzers).  Now I fully understand the love that the front line of the NHS are getting right now – they are genuinely putting themselves on the line right now, and some are losing their lives over it.  Frontline emergency services, the same.  Shop workers, as well – dealing with  truculent Karens on the shop floor when they can’t stockpile bog roll.  Kudos.

But me?  Yes, I guess I’m doing ‘essential’ work…but not for altruistic purposes…frankly, I need the money.  If I could survive on savings and stay safely at home, and only pop out for essentials – I damn well would.  But apparently we have clap for everyone right now, like the good sheeple we are.

OK, I’ll get off my high horse (sheep?) now.  Not sure how I got up there anyway, it’s high

And with that, I’m signing off, till I feel the need to rant again.

Don’t worry, it won’t be long…


“If cats looked like frogs we’d realize what nasty, cruel little bastards they are. Style. That’s what people remember.”
Terry Pratchett, Lords and Ladies

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