With toilet rolls now back on our supermarket shelves and the long arm of the law no longer necessary to keep us in strict queuing order, talk of food rationing has perhaps slipped from our after-dinner conversations but, with a long-term and underlying fear of fragile supply chains, how long before it returns?
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What was the first song you ever learned? It could have been ‘Bah-Bah Black Sheep’, perhaps for the urbanites ‘London Bridge is Falling Down’ and were the climate-change-aware millennials throwing themselves under ‘The Wheels on the Bus’? Whichever it was, there’s a strong chance ‘Ring-a-Ring o’ Roses’ is up there with the best of them. The tune, like all great rhymes, is maddeningly catchy and stays with you for life.
Don’t laugh but I’ve been reading a lot of Jack Reacher of late. I’m now on my fourth of the lockdown and can confirm that Tripwire is up there with the best. Unsurprisingly, neither I nor any of my pals are Reacher-like in any physical sense but there are similarities. My friends are, in the main, funny, witty, super-smart and great fun to be around, and in the absence of meeting up for a pint, a squash match, cycle or swim, pulp-fiction’s Jack Reacher in self isolation is doing it for me.
The scenes in airports across the whole of Europe this weekend, with eager holidaymakers, frazzled families, drunken stag & hen parties, and weary businessmen queuing for hours to pass through security, into the departure lounge and then up, up, up and away, were utterly dispiriting. Or they would’ve been had the hundreds of thousands travelled as normally they would.
Once upon a time there was a far-sighted entrepreneur who, whilst waiting for his solar-powered floating leaf-catcher and light-attracted portable clothes drier to hit-the-big-time, decided to generate a bit of welcome cash on-the-side by renting out his spare bedroom. Boom! That light bulb moment was eventually to morph into the behemoth Airbnb and subsequently make a billionaire of its founder, Brian Chesky.
Whilst you’re all aware of the fact that I’m no great fan of Bumble Boris I certainly don’t wish him any ill and genuinely hope he doesn’t suffer the same fate as that of his all-time favourite classical hero, Pericles, an aristocratic Athenian with an equally quixotic private life, who perished when Greece was overwhelmed by plague, killing over 100,000 people in Athens alone.
Before placing himself in an enforced lockdown, our Prime Minister never tired of telling us ‘we are where we are’ but exactly where is that? From where I’m slouching that’s a world where there’s never been such a gulf between truth and lies and where the need for clarity has never been greater. Straight-talking is the doctor’s order of the day but Boris Johnson’s continued inability to do so makes him an accomplice to the worst of scenarios.
Several of you quite rightly thought I was being a tad facetious in my last post when referring to the end of the world coming about not by exposure to coronavirus but by an asteroid collision, but not so fast Mr Bond, not so fast. As it transpires, the earth is truly under constant bombardment from outer space.
So, as we’re all off to hell in a supermarket trolley I thought I’d provide some solace with the knowledge that humanity is already sowing the seeds for its future regeneration. On the desolate, frozen island of Svalbard, midway between mainland Norway and the North Pole, is the Global Seed Vault.
What we undoubtedly need to lift our spirits in these coronavirus-riven days is a Royal baby. Which is why it’s such a disappointment that the self-appointed King of the World’s ‘First Girlfriend’ Carrie Symonds’ Instagram announcement that she and the Prime Minister have “a baby hatching early summer” has been greeted with deafening apathy.