• neil

Day 32 (18 April): Don't shout it from the rooftops but...

Confinement is clearly very hard if your income is interrupted, if you are living in a small apartment or if you are alone and suffering from a lack of love and company.

But for those with a salary or pension and who aren’t confined in 20 m2 it is far from being all bad. Sure, there was a serious dip around Day 7 when it crossed your mind to contact an online lawyer and draft a divorce contract. You weren't precisely "at daggers drawn" but ....time and stress could be saved by doing this while you were still talking to each other. And perhaps your partner could take the kids. Luckily you didn't go anywhere with that because things seem to be looking up!

You have found that, all in all, you belong to that fairly large proportion of people who, without shouting it from the rooftops, are quietly hoping it will go on a bit longer.

After all, so many of us are wage slaves in jobs which give us no particular satisfaction but where we have to pretend to be over-the-moon to be there each working day. Right now, if you feature in this demographic, you are savouring the luxury of not being woken by the alarm at some god-forsaken hour to again put on shirt and tie and boring shoes; to be stuck in traffic with a piece of toast and the promise of toadying to a talentless, half-wit psychopath in a concrete bunker with the eventual recompense of seeing the kids for half an hour before they go to bed - when you are too tired and irritable to play with them.

Yes! This is a bright new world!

You have spent time in the garden, played board games you had forgotten you ever bought, made a kite and crashed it, trodden barefoot on umpteen pieces of Lego and taught the kids useful new vocabulary.

You now know the names of your neighbours and the people over the road and you have actually begun talking with them. They really are rather nice! And you have done all the things you always meant to get round to.

Except of course, you haven’t yet quite got round to any of them have you? That’s fair enough. You had to acclimatise to the new life style. Unfortunately, this morning you found the list you made at the beginning of this business. Yes, you did a bit of gardening but no you didn’t:

  • repair the oven clock and program the microwave clock

  • put some order in the three kilos of papers at the bottom of the big box labelled ‘Admin’

  • put the anti-virus programme and firewall on your partner’s pc

  • get rid of the tangle of power cables and transformers which you bought with God knows what devices

  • sort through the junk in the attic (is that Great Aunt Jane in the urn?)

  • get rid of the foreign notes in your bedside drawer (total value € 1.7 euros) which you know you will never cash in, but it just seems wrong to bin them.

However, in your defence, on the positive side of your mental accounts, you have completed your fifth yoga lesson and discovered you are enjoying it - and you impressed the hell out of the kids with your musical skills on the recorder (found in the attic just behind Jane) which you hadn’t used since Miss Needham’s infant school class.

It occurs to you that with just a few more weeks confinement you can not only sort out the backlog - you can actually get ahead of the game:

  • You can order Christmas cards online and write, stamp and address them before June! The Christmas 2020 cards at the very least.

  • You can completely eliminate the traditional stress and panic by packing your holiday suitcases and having them ready in the hallway

  • You can book a 15 day Caribbean cruise. Many a pleasant evening can be spent planning what to do with the money P&0 will pay you to go on it.

And the longer it goes on the more money you are saving. No outings to restaurants; no cinemas, pubs, fuel or other car bills; no cleaning lady, no tennis and music lessons for the kids; no make-up (or is that just me?), no soap (that’s just you) , and no new clothes. In fact, apart from seven pairs of shoes from Zalando and those weird and wonderful veggie seeds from Amazon, you haven’t used your credit card once. You are putting fifty per cent of your disposable income into the bank.

All in all it will suit you quite well if confinement goes on for a few more weeks.

Take good care and reach out to somebody who needs it.



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