The Coronavirus Diaries, 25th-26th July 2020

It was a late night and I didn’t post yesterday. The plan had been to have socially distanced cocktails outside but it rained, so it turned into socially distanced cocktails via Zoom. And it went on until midnight. Fortunately there were snacks as well as cocktails so hangovers were averted. The rest of the day had been shopping, cooking, reading a hard copy of The Guardian for the first time in weeks, playing with MasterB. I found a bouncy ball he used to love, and he enjoyed it very much, though today he seems to have lost interest in it.

I made the chickpea scramble and it has shot to a high place in my favourite quick and easy and very tasty light meals. I liked it so much I had it for lunch again today. Yesterday I had it with spinach, today with spring greens. Both were good, but the spinach was a better meal.

Before we separated last night someone, I think it was B, suggested chips in the garden this evening. We did it. The thought of those chips kept me going through the afternoon. But first there was a little event to say thank-you to the staff of our local M&S. The plan is to have several events to thank essential workers in the neighbourhood. This was the first one. Initially it seemed to be doomed to failure, as no sooner had the staff arrived to loud applause in the community garden than it began to rain. I was not the only attendee to return home for a waterproof. But the weather, after that reminder as to its importance, was kind. There were speeches and presentations, more applause, wine and cakes. The CEO of M&S sent a message. He had got the wrong idea and referred to the gathering as a tea party. When his words were read aloud we all looked at each other, our wine glasses in our hands, in some surprise, then amusement. I have been to lots of different branches of M&S down the years, and hand on heart, can say I have never been in one to rival the one on 311 Walworth Road. It’s small and there has been an M&S on the Walworth Road for over a century, so don’t get the idea it’s one of the new M&S Food shops or whatever. It doesn’t have extensive stock, but it serves a wide demographic and has the character of a corner shop, not something that is part of a large chain. The staff know customers by name, we chat, share tips and information about all manner of things. It is really at the heart of our community.

It was all rather lovely, even moving. An irony of lockdown is that is what it has taken for an event like this to be held. Yes, the staff have been stalwart, but they always are. Day in day out they are there, year after year. I have literally grown up with some of them. Perhaps Covid 19 will encourage us to thank people doing essential jobs more often in future.

Stay safe. Keep well. Be kind.


4 thoughts on “The Coronavirus Diaries, 25th-26th July 2020

  1. Missed yesterday’s diary but today’s more than makes up! Your M&S sounds like a real little oasis of decency and friendliness – long may it prosper!

    • Thank-you Graham. It is a very friendly shop, particularly the staff in the food hall. So many shops that are part of chains are anonymous, this one definitely isn’t. I am getting concerned about the number of staff developing problems with their legs though. Sophie has had her ligaments fixed now and is in big boot; Angie has sciatica; another has continuing problems with her knee…

  2. You are living in a very big city but your neighbourhood sounds like a warm village where you know and are affectionate to each other. It seems so soothing and welcoming to me…!

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