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THE COVIDIARIES - Day 7 - Monday 23rd March

Running late today so will be in a rush tonight, Have just heard from Bridget that there are two cases in the hospital in Barnstaple. My lovely plumber telephoned this morning to sort a bill out and his brother, a G.P. in Iifracombe has it. He, the plumber, is at home, home schooling his two daughters, while his wife works as senior nurse at Fremington Practice.

Bridget and the children have just had their first day as online teacher and online pupils and the dinner lady got meals ready in time and is now thinking of tomorrow. The queue for the chemist was out of the car park and down South Street with at least an hour’s wait. Patrick has just sent yet another exocet to the council. Stood at the door to Slee’s and sent my order in, saw Linda S. in the background and yelled greetings. Our son has been laid off work for two months, but will get the government 80% funding.

Had a socially distanced walk on the beach with Roger, him of the gallon of alcohol for making hand gel; it has not arrived yet but he did cough to the fact that in fact it is ten litres, not just a gallon. Lovely weather, fantastic walk with all the locals social distancing whenever you met them. It was a bit like a pas de deux, shall I go left or shall I go right. Stopped on the top of a dune to have a coffee break with us in a line with six foot between us like good little children. It was hopeless when we tried to converse due to a density of hearing aids – Roger spoke to Patrick, it was relayed to me, I replied to Patrick and then the answer was sent to Roger. All very exhausting rather like when I was a child with a paper cup and a piece of string. Might buy one of those hearing trumpets, but that means ebay and the internet and that is way beyond my capabilities.

Father announced yesterday that he has another of his six teeth loose, number seven was removed on day one of this diary. Telephoned the dentist to find all dentists are closed with one triage dentist in Barnstaple. Keep up with the brush, toothpaste and floss girls or it will be back to a piece of string and the door handle or if you are really lucky a toffee apple.

Managed to source maltesers at Bookers today. Ha Ha. Gareth Malone has apparently started his virtual choir. Gorgeous film of Katie’s two little ones in a pen with a pile of lambs wriggling all around them; tells us that spring is well on its way. I have discovered what an emoji is and loving the proliferation of quizzes on the facebook page from Vanessa, Shona and Emma and I think these will become a regular feature now.

Gardening section is coming along. Penny is hard at work sorting out her pots and weeding, Maggi has swopped eggs for flowers, and Jenny has PURPLING SPROUTING BROCCOLLI hissssss. I germinated those plants and sold them to her at our fund raising stall at the village May Fair. The bloody rabbits have eaten all the ones I planted and it is my favourite vegetable...Carefully netted all summer to keep the caterpillars out and then the rabbits arrived. Used to get the grandkids to pick off the caterpillars in a competitive manner for a prize of chocolate. They have got too wise to that now. Other “in” veg is obviously nettles, having followed all the messages who would have thought it?

“I'm not sure whether to be grateful on this or not My daughter bring me this smoothy and says it's full of all nutritious things.. You must stay strong! Thank you darling...❤ Bless her!

It made me realise that the kids are certainly as worried as are we. It's tough not being able to prepare them for the unknown, but I have been openly discussing worst case scenerio too as mine are older now. Does anyone else feel this is a bit like a deployment and we are at war. Its feeling a bit like it for me today x” Emma posted this and yes they are worried. Patrick and I have had words with both the grandkids about how serious social distancing is and how important it is for them to keep fit. What was the smoothie like?

Do let us know how Colin is Sue, I have been thinking of you and that long drive to Bristol hospital. I remember when my father-in-law had his first cataract done and I went round in the morning to take off the dressing and he said, “Good God girl, cardie is a little bright.” The cardie in question was fuschia pink, but so bad was his cataract that it had taken away his appreciation of colour.

New moves afoot with Shona taking up a slot tomorrow as we move into week two. I am hoping for more volunteers. Patrick keeps asking me why I put everything on facebook in this diary. It is very simple. This is our paper record of frightening times and how as a choir we kept strong, supported each other, fought the fight against an invisible foe and laughed. Facebook will move on, but this is anchored in print on paper. Another thought for you to digest is that I do think it is time to show others our coping mechanisms and to do this we need to reach a wider audience. I have left this idea with our committee and they will be coming to you to get your opinion. We will be able to redact any names or messages. I feel that it may involve a spreadsheet. (and this is why we are publishing our diary here on our blog for everyone to see).

Love to you all on this gloriously sunny day. Off to listen to the results of Boris and the COBR meeting.


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