I can think of several moments in the last decade or so that remind me of life’s infinite potential for awesomeness; moments which still make me squeal spastically with glee whenever I think of them: James Bond escorting the queen to the olympic opening ceremony in 2012; Stephen Hawking singing the galaxy song in 2014. There are many more such moments – points in time so ridiculously cool that it goes beyond words, yet remind me of the sheer potential of existence. And yet, recently, it just seems to me that the last such event was a long time ago, and that we can all do with another one right about now. Everyone seems so subdued and frightened, told to huddle in our homes as if awaiting some awful apocalypse. I’m sorry to say it, but these days life just feels a lot less cool. We all have cool memories to fall back on, but right now they just seem rather distant. It is high time something awesome happened again, not just to cheer me up, but the whole world.
This is just to wish my mum a happy mother’s day. Truth be told, these aren’t the most pleasant times, for me or anyone else. These days, things just seem to get more depressing with every news bulletin. Yet at least I know I have my mum (and dad) to talk to at the other end of a webchat. She has always managed to keep me on the right path, preventing me from straying too far into stupidity. I’m bloody glad I have both my parents, and that I can count on their wisdom at least every Sunday morning.
It’s a lovely sunny day here so I just got back from a short walk. I’m supposed to be self-isolating, so I can’t go anywhere with too many people (I’m already missing my rolls around Stratford) so I took myself over to Kidbrooke. I’ve found a lovely circular route there and back which goes through two quite outstanding parks. One, Sutcliffe Park, is fairly new, but is astonishingly beautiful: the river Quaggy runs through it, and there are nice little accessible paths running beside and over it. The sight of the pleasant little stream flowing through the park is incredibly evocative. At one point it flows through a bit of woody marshland bridged by well-made causeways, so, walking along them you can almost forget you’re in a city.
Just over the road from Sutcliffe Park is another new little park. I think in has only just been built as the buildings close to it are all very new. The river runs through that too, although it is slightly more developed and clearly more intended for children. There is a beautiful little waterfall I could sit next to for hours. It’s an astonishing little place which I would really like to show Lyn and my Parents when it’s possible and safe to do so again. It’s a wonderfully relaxing corner of the metropolis. From there, I can just follow the footpaths back to Eltham, once again remarking to myself what an incredible city London is.
It’s slightly random I admit, but this little video of the guys up at the NMC doing a Superman dance – possibly aimed at reminding everyone to wash their hands – made me smile. I particularly like how they achieved the flying effect.
Yesterday I made the calamitous mistake of going up to my local medical centre and asking them to test if I had coronavirus. My PA Alistair was concerned that I had a very slight cough recently, so I thought it would be a good idea to go check it out, just to put his mind at ease. Once this new virus had been ruled out, I reasoned, my life could continue as usual. However, it was then that my plan backfired badly: upon getting to the medical centre and explaining the situation, I was told to go straight home and self isolate. They didn’t even test me.
So now here I am, stuck at home, with only the internet for company. My usual daily wanderings have been ruled out for a week at least. I have no idea how I’ll cope, but at least I have the solace that about half the world is in the same position. What a mess we’ve all found ourselves in.
Everything has gone so crazy and become so farcical that flagging this video history of toilet paper up is strangely apt. Bog roll is now such a crucial, valuable, even politically sensitive commodity that Youtubers are now making videos about it. It may be my birthday, but I have to wonder: Can things get any more bizarre?
I’m not sure everyone will be able to see this as it’s on Facebook, but I just came across this Scientists For The EU video which completely destroys the assumption I made in my previous entry about herd immunity. I thought I was being cool and clever in advising everyone to chill out about this bug: if some people got it, I thought, wouldn’t we build up the usual communal resistance? The chap in the video, however, explains why that logic is flawed, and why this new virus is so dangerous. It’s becoming clearer and clearer that I was wrong to dismiss it: I might be fine, but not everyone in society is as fit and healthy as I am. In all seriousness, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that this virus isn’t something to joke about.