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22 May

Coronavirus Diary with OV Jeremy Thompson: Entry 9

Following on from last week, here is the beginning of the next entry in OV Jeremy Thompson (S 61-65)’s Virus Diaries for Sky News…

Monday 11 MayOV Jeremy Thompson

We’ve seen the government’s roadmap. We ask friends for their assessment. Overall they say a lot of routes remain closed, it doesn’t appear to be very well signposted and it’s still going nowhere very fast.

So what about our own self-isolation satnav. As before, it guides us to the outer walls of our apartment, the local parks, paths and streets.

Now we can add routes to the golf course, tennis courts, garden centres and possibly meets with other households in “bubbles”, preferably outside, as long as we all wear masks.

So two steps forward, one step back. Maybe I should ask our cleaner to learn hairdressing. That would kill two bugs with one stone.

Just in case you are thinking of going back to work, you may recall that old slogan “Go to work on an egg”? It goes back 60 years to a campaign by the Egg Marketing Board to build up sales.

Every eggshell was stamped with a lion. Right now it should be re-branded “Stay at home on an egg”.

Apparently the great British eggy brekkie is booming in lockdown. One small problem – there’s now an egg shortage because, believe it or not, hens are having their very own virus crisis – an outbreak of avian flu. What an irony.

It’s interesting how food has become one of the joys of isolation.

As an animated Wallace once said to Gromit: “I love a bit of Wensleydale.” And the other day we found a wonderful Wensleydale at our local cheese shop.

It even had a name – Richard III Wensleydale, royally made by Suzanne Stirke at her Fortmayne dairy farm at Bedale in North Yorkshire.

A proper provenance. It took us right back to happy days spent walking the Dales, eating cheese and supping pints. On my big weekly walk, I stop for a takeaway coffee at an Italian in Twickenham.

The restaurant itself is dark and closed. I sympathise with the owner over the lack of business.

Charmingly she waves her hand and declares: “It’s not about the money. It’s about the quality of life. And we’re alive. The sky is blue, the air is clean. The kids are fine. And now I’m home every evening to cook them good Italian food. That’s all that matters.”

Good for her.