The Coronavirus Diaries, 10th September 2020

Like many people I should have liked to see Keir Starmer demolish Johnson at PMQs yesterday over the EU Withdrawal Agreement fiasco. But I think John Crace is right and Starmer was correct in sticking to the Coronavirus fiasco instead. Read what he has to say here. Fiascos are officially now what the government does best, it is world beating in this area, and if Armando Iannucci or Andy Hamilton had written all this as a satirical programme for television I should be laughing my socks off (or laughing them on perhaps, as we are still at the barefoot part of the year). Unfortunately the government is supposed to be governing, and, call me naive if you like, some honesty, compassion and integrity would really not go amiss.

On to other things, by which I mean chips. I have eaten chips (fries to you across the pond) twice this week, both times in the company of neighbours. We are becoming Chip Eaters. I don’t think I could manage any more for a while, but there is something very satisfying about eating chips out of paper sitting outside in the garden. Mark seemed to enjoy it particularly. He remarked several times that it was an age since he’d had chips. He asked where I had bought them. That tickled Celia as the chip shop is right beside the bus stop and Mark takes the bus regularly. Surely he must have noticed it?

A further chip related conversation with B&J, also part of the chip eating group, ended with a vague plan to get chips from the chippy near Camberwell New road, and bring them back in insulated bags. Some may even have fish with their chips. Cynthia had seen us from her windows and seemed positive about chips too.

Hartley very much enjoyed having company in the garden and took a bit of a shine to Janet. Reinhild tried to tempt him with a chip, but unsurprisingly he wasn’t keen. Romeo was about when we first met up, but left us, and a fox turned up later. I was thinking it was the same fox as Saturday night, but now I have changed my mind. It behaved very differently. Saturday’s fox hovered near us, though carefully out of reach, and was clearly interested in what we were doing. Last night’s fox barely acknowledged us. It was neither bothered by us nor interested in us.

There are so many young foxes about this year. I have never seen so many. All look pretty healthy. My theory is that they have survived due to lockdown. Urban foxes have a pretty short lifespan. Most get killed in traffic accidents before they are two years old. Orphaned cubs don’t stand much of a chance. But this year here was little traffic when these cubs were born, and their parents probably survived. They may have had healthier diet too as many fast food places were closed. People discard their kebabs and burgers, bits of pizza and goodness knows what, and the foxes pick these scraps up, bring them to places like our garden and eat them, in their turn discarding the wrappers and environmentally unfriendly polystyrene boxes, plastic forks and torn sauce sachets.

Unlike some people I don’t mind the foxes. Yes they are noisy at times, and they can be destructive as they dig for earth worms and rats. I thought they were trying to create a mantrap in our garden at one point. I am amused by the things they find to play with, things again brought into our garden. Shoes are favourite toys, as are footballs. I dislike the litter, but that is down to the carelessness of humans. I rather admire the way foxes have adapted. We have taken their country habitat and made them unwelcome there, so they have found food sources in towns. There’s even a fox in the middle of Westminster who is called the Downing Street fox as he is seen running by Number 10 fairly frequently. I have a great deal more respect for that fox than I do for Boris Johnson.

Stay safe. Keep well. Be kind.

2 thoughts on “The Coronavirus Diaries, 10th September 2020

  1. English is my second language after American so I understand “chips” but is a “chippy” always a dedicated fish and chips sort of affair or is it any local shop that sells take away food and chips? Is a vat of hot oil the definition of a chippy?
    Your get together in the garden sounds so lovely. I’m very happy for all of you to have had a good time together at last.

    • The chippy is where you buy fish and chips, or more and more now, kebabs and chips. Our chips came from The Best Kebab.
      It is also the term used for carpenters on building sites.
      Our times together are about to be curtailed to gatherings of six or less. This does not apply to numbers allowed into cafés, pubs etc. There will be much rule breaking in limited and specific ways.

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