Monday, 30 March 2020

Walk with me (2 metres apart...)

How are you? 

It’s an up and down kind of time, isn’t it - thinking/worrying about stuff, people and livelihoods, trying not to overdose on the news, checking on friends, feeling indebted to all those keeping things going.  Then needing to give yourself some breaks, get lost in levity and little bits of normality and trivia wherever possible.  I think that’s just going to be a pattern for a while now.

So, like an obedient dog I took my daily walk yesterday and gave myself time to think some silly thoughts.   My walk incorporated a stop at the shop to buy some essentials – only a short list but a bottle of wine included, essential surely.   It was colder than I expected and every step felt like I was waging war against that northerly wind, one of those that’s so icy and strong it seemed to lock my features into what I can only imagine was a horrifying grimace. 

It was an interesting study in behaviour, though, and I guess many are experiencing this on our eerily quiet streets:  that each time another person came towards me on the pavement or path, one of us would actually stop, pull in and give way to let the other walk by at a safe distance. I realised it was exactly as if we were each driving an imaginary car (mine’s an E-type Jag then please, may as well go for the full fantasy).  Just like motoring down a narrow lane and using a passing place, with a little wave of the hand to say thank you. Maybe we should all start wearing miniature headlights on our coats that we could flash at each other, just to save any confusion, especially if it gets foggy.

Making the most of my outdoor exercise allowance I took a diversion along my favourite lane, noticing a pile of plucked feathers in the grass verge signifying a recent sparrowhawk attack (either that or someone really has got desperate on finding empty shelves in Tesco).   I could hear a chiffchaff in the tall lime trees, it’s a lovely sign of Spring.  If you don’t know already it’s very easy to identify the call of a chiffchaff.  It goes chiff chaff, chiff chaff…   And there were already newborn lambs in the field, all wobbly black legs and curious faces.  I know I'm lucky, things feel more normal when you’re surrounded by nature.

A chiffchaff
Most chiffchaffs migrate to warmer climates for the Winter
and return here to breed in Spring and Summer.

I found myself thinking (this is the silly, trivial thinking) about how, when this is over, we might all come out of it looking like something from the ‘70s.  It’s the haircuts I started with – are we all letting it grow wild, or risking a dodgy home trim from an unqualified family member?  The last time I properly cut anyone’s hair was in the '70s....  and that was a doll's...  (If only I'd realised her long glossy locks actually originated from just a handful of broadly spaced plugs! I was so mortified in case my mum found out what I'd done that I hid her in a box for a year).  Will pudding basins and comb-overs become fashionable again?  

What about teeth?  Perhaps classic vintage ivory will make a comeback, now there are no professional whitening services open for those who like their gnashers to glow like ultraviolet light.  Botox-addicts may learn to embrace their wrinkles and the lips of many female celebrities may finally return to normal human size; body hair will flourish again at last in the comfort of its own home.

And we’ll wear down the heels and soles on our footwear so much through all this daily walking that, with no heel bars open, we’ll decide to revert to longer-lasting platform shoes and boots…   

I finished my walk and as my frozen face thawed out and my hands lathered up the soap, I allowed myself a little (20-second) escapist reverie – a vivid image of a whole new world of very hairy, yellow-toothed, wrinkly, 1970s-throwback, platform-boot-wearing cave-dwellers emerging blinking into the light.  We'll all have terribly chapped hands too.  

Then I listened to this!

The Temptations: I Can't Get Next To You

Take care x


  1. Cut my hair yesterday. Still, when you have as little of it as me, and have clippers to hand, it's not a problem.

    1. Sounds nice and simple! I've been thinking that now's the chance for people to try creative clipping too - some stripes or squirls, hearts or stars, or just shave one side off, what do you reckon? Hair topiary could be the future!

    2. Not with my amount of hair!

    3. Then perhaps now is the time to revive the wearing of hats! What would yours be?

    4. I have only ever found one hat that fits me well. It is an old, faded and somewhat battered tan baseball cap with a stitched seagull motif on the front. It is in a sorry it suits me well.

    5. I am sure it is also easy, comfortable, warm and distinguished!
      I also feel a possible hat-themed blog post coming on.

    6. (T)hat's Lockdown!

      You can have that title... :)

  2. Ah C, I needed this distraction. You are so right about the social distancing when out walking - The British are known for their queuing etiquette but overnight we have adapted to sidestepping into the imaginary passing place. We've had our walk for today and met very few people which bothers me a bit - A fair few thousand people must live in the catchment area but only a handful out exercising. I know we can't all be out at the same time but it seems many are not going out at all which will cause other issues.

    As for the 70s throwback pics, yes, was just thinking that many chaps will see their girlfriends in a whole new light. Not important in the grand scheme of things but am suspecting I will find out what colour my hair really is nowadays as not ever left it "untreated" long enough to find out before. Mr WIAA was entrusted with cutting my fringe at the weekend though and did a fine job. Bet you're glad that you made the move to au naturel recently - Really suits you.

    I finally have a need for all those tubes of hand cream that came in toiletry gift sets over the years but never got round to using. Even the Lily of the Valley and Old English Rose ones - Presents from my little mum, who even if all goes well, I suspect may not even remember who I am in 12 weeks time.

    Keep up the blogging - Your writing is always spot on.

    1. Thanks Alyson, yes it's so weird with the streets and paths being so quiet. I'd expected to see a few more walkers/cyclists too, more like it is at weekends in normal circumstances.

      Good for Mr WIAA's hairdcutting skills, sounds good! I think I'll just have to let mine grow for a bit (although I like having it really short) and not worrying about grey is very liberating, I have no doubt it would suit you (should you have any too)! (And thanks for your kind words). I wonder if a lot of women will start to adopt a more natural look generally and appreciate just how low maintenance it is after this?!

      Sales of hand creams are probably rocketing - glad you can finally put those toiletry gift sets to use. Thinking of you and your mum in this situation, it's a long time, and I know it must be hard.

      Talking of parents, I decided to 'phone my dad at the weekend and was really glad I did. He's 91... doing okay...I was relieved. Just putting aside all the issues and frustrations and concentrating on the here and now. Funny how it took something like this.

      Will also try to keep on blogging - as must you!

    2. Forgot to mention the song earlier - Was thinking myself that of all the genres, what we need most at the moment is a bit of soul, and that was a great choice (in more ways than one).

      As for the hair, I have a feeling it will be nigh impossible to get an appointment for ages after this (like a grocery delivery slot) and if social distancing is still in place for some time we may all have to go au naturel as our mothers & grandmothers did (although they were the shampoo and set generation).

      Glad you made contact with your dad. Just read Bug Woman London's last post and it makes for emotional reading.

    3. Yes, soul seems to be particularly uplifting at the moment.
      Perhaps we'll see the return of the blue rinse? It used to be such a cliché, but when I think about it now the so-called 'blue rinse brigade' were at least trying to do something different with their hair, and it was really quite punky! Remenber when you used to see little old ladies with that really vivid blue/purple hair?! Our generation can just skip the curlers...

      I read lovely BW's last post too - agreed.

  3. I try and walk at least three miles every day.
    3 miles, 2 metres, 1 heavy heart.

    1. There is surely a song in there somewhere John.

  4. The last thing I did before lockdown was visit the barber. Unfortunately my hair grows very fast so I'm dreading how it will look in 6 weeks. My brother in law lives in Australia and although they're under similar restrictions, the hairdressers remain open. If only there were any flights...

    I couldn't help but be reminded of Half Man Half Biscuit by your comments about stepping aside to let people pass...

    Some people don’t know how to walk on the pavement these days
    Well it’s not that difficult, there’s hardly a whole host of ways
    Here they come, love’s young dream, arm in arm, approaching me
    Now, I’m not looking for your smile
    I’m just asking for some single file
    But it’s not forthcoming so I have to assume
    That this narrow path belongs to you
    And therefore you must be
    The Duke of Westminster and his good lady wife
    So, I tell you what, I’ll just walk in the road
    How about I just walk in the road?
    You stay as you are, and I’ll just walk in the road

    1. I always used to think when online shopping started taking off and high street stores couldn't compete with it, well at least all these services that can't be done virtually, such as hairdressers, will survive....

      That HMHB lyric/song is brilliant. Thanks.

  5. Reaching the point where I need a haircut. We have clippers but I'm reluctant to do it. That 70s look isn't really what I'm after either though.

    1. Tricky choice for many men at the moment I imagine. That '70s look is an acquired taste but maybe it'll come back... Hmm!


Please come in, the door is open

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...