The Coronavirus Diaries, 6th January 2023, Socks Ain’t What They Used to Be

I really I would know someone who makes sock puppets. I have quite a few pairs of socks. Some are in better repair than others. I am trying to wear the ones which are either older or which I like less rather than shove them to the back of the drawer and wear the ones I prefer. Chief among my targeted socks are some black ones, five pairs actually, all bought together. I like black socks, and these are cotton, and initially very comfortable. However these are socks which are fine in some shoes, but in others, and always in slippers, slide down to bunch around my toes. When I was little we used to say this was our socks going to sleep. I don’t know if anyone understands that phrase today. These socks don’t just go to sleep, they hibernate. I was looking at one pair I had worn and washed to see if there was any sign of them wearing out. Maybe. But it was another sock, one from one of my newer pairs, and indeed a favourite pair, that has developed a hole. I was shocked. Darning socks is a skill I never learned. I mend them badly. I have some socks which are literally years old, undarned and still going strong. The socks I buy now seem to have a very short life, unless I actually want them to wear out.

Yesterday evening we had a neighbourly game of Cluedo. Just four of us. Andrew, Marcelo (who hardly swore at all), Celia and me. The Lovely Lola was also present but didn’t play, though Marcelo drew her chair up to the table. We ate lots of nibbles, Marcelo had mulled some wine and then we shred a bottle of red. It was fun. I have had a very restful, quiet weekend. Just what I needed. On Friday evening I met Cynthia, and that is when my alcohol abstinence ended. We were in a pub near Brough which was comfortably populated but not heaving. At first conversation was easy, but the pub filled up a bit, some of our fellow customers were evidently more serious drinkers than we were and the volume grew. So not a late night, a good one.

I did a jigsaw that Charlie had passed onto me. One piece missing, unless it turns up under the sofa. I do like the way doing a jigsaw allows me to switch off, though while I was doing it yesterday I was listening to Empireland by Sathnam Sanghera. I have found that if I listen to something while doing something else, what I am listening to becomes somehow part of the fabric of the other task. This came home to me with some force yesterday when I had a break from doing the jigsaw, and when I returned to it found myself regarding the picture of one of the people in the scene with distaste. It was part of the jigsaw I had been doing just before my break, and I had been listening to some particularly unpleasant racist views expressed by politicians some years ago. The picture of the woman I had been piecing together as I listened had become strongly associated in my mind with these views, and although it’s ridiculous, I am still rather averse to her. There are quite a few people in the picture. It’s a scene of a canal on a sunny day. There are three narrow boats and several people watching from the towpath and others from a nearby bridge. A man with his back to the viewer appears to be looking down at something. I assumed he was reading a newspaper. There’s a collie waving its tail. No one in the scene is black. Yet we live in a multicultural society, and before anyone says well that’s only recent, no it’s not. But people of colour are routinely excluded from pictures like this. I was giving a book about science to a young black neighbour. I looked through it and realised there was only one very small illustration of anyone who looked like him. I gave him something else and wrote to the publisher to express my concerns. To give them their due, they replied saying it was something they were working on for future editions. Yet I had a black friend when I was a child. There were children of colour even in Surrey villages then, so why has it taken so long for those children to see themselves represented in books? In M&S there are T shirts for boys with illustrations of dinosaurs. The T shirts for girls have illustrations of unicorns. It’s a fairly unsubtle form of programming.

Tomorrow I shall resume my to do list, and on Tuesday I am working all day. I have hardly coughed at all today, and my nose blowing is reassuringly normal. The cough may not have taken flight just yet, but it’s at the departure gate and take off can’t be long away.

Does anyone here make sock puppets? Asking for a friend.


3 thoughts on “The Coronavirus Diaries, 6th January 2023, Socks Ain’t What They Used to Be

  1. I love the phrase about socks going to sleep…so descriptive! Do you recall an American ventriloquist comedienne called Shari Lewis…? She had sock puppets the best one was called Lamb Chop a sheep! There was also Charlie the horse and Hush Puppy, it was in UK TV back in the late 60’s/70’s.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.