Tag Archives: Covid 19

Good News, Bad News

Is it too obvious to say that we all want good news in these days of Covid- Control disrupting, disturbing and destroying the very centre of all our lives? Good news has been in such short supply of late.

More than a year into the Helter- Skelter slippery slide that is lockdown, lock in, lock up we crave good news like a pint of real ale at the pub. The pint of real ale at the pub is, of course, not mine but Mr Carmichael’s. He has, I believe, plans afoot for lockdown lite next week. Me? I’ll take anything (not whiskey – another story altogether) as long as its WITH girlfriends and NOT in my house or garden. I have seen enough of Casa Carmichael and the green, green grass of home these past twelve months. Yes Sir, yes Madam, yes indeedy.

Some good news is that 33 million people (including YT) in the UK have had their first dose of vaccine. More than five million have had both doses. The take up is high and transmission, infection, hospitalisation and death are all going down apace. In this kingdom at least. Let’s not cast a hairy eyeball at Mr Bolsonaro, Copacabana way.

Some bad news is that Mrs Carmichael is finding it terribly hard to maintain standards. They are slipping. Oh my! Such slippage in Yours Truely’s play pen. Honestly, I’m struggling to know where to begin.

Shall I begin?

Last week I found the need to google ‘what day is it?’. In my previous normal, real lIfe, pre Covid, I have had to check the date de temps en temp. I’ll lay money Dear Reader, that you have too. Never, ever have I not known or been unable to muster brain cells and synapses to know, or rapidly remember, what DAY of the week it is. I asked Lyle, my cockapoo, but he was unhelpful.

Lyle being unhelpful (mrscarmichael)

It was important I knew the day of the week because, pandemic panic has found me, for the second time, taking up a foreign language. Spanish. Again. I have been judiciously wedged into an Intermediate class. This is a stretch. GCSE Spanish mumble or fifteen long years ago is not cutting the mustard. I am mastering the art of silence. Silent Spanish. I struggle with the Spanish AND the silence.

Studying Spanish is a good thing for many reasons but not a good thing when you don’t know if your zoom lesson is starting in five minutes, tomorrow or could it potentially, have been yesterday? Gracias Google.

Good news – It WAS Tuesday.

Good news – the class was running late.

Good news – I had two minutes to do my week’s homework.

Bad news – it was the subjunctive. The list of things I do not know about the Spanish Language grows, like Brazilian Covid, (thank you Mr Bolsonaro) exponentially.

And like the Brazilian variant, I, in my Covid free castle, have become expert at growing other things. The growth includes but isn’t restricted to, toenails, eyebrows and bikini line. I am not proud of the results.

Photo deleted.

I also have become somewhat expert at making wrinkles appear on my face. This is not a talent I want to embrace moving forward. Obviously. Few are yet to see these new additions to my physog but this is all about to change as lockdown eases and my wrinkles and I don glad rags to paint the town red or as red as we can in a socially distanced, covidly- tested brave new world. I am told silk pillow cases may help.

Please be kind. If necessary, pretend to recognise me. I probably won’t be able to see you anyway. Did I mention my eyesight?

I have found a recent talent for dying clothes. Unintentionally. Knickers in particular.

almost looks professional (mrscarmichael)

White to sylvan green in one hot wash. These were an accidentally muted success. Not so much others, now in landfill.

Yesterday I drove to Surrey to visit my friend, Kate in her back garden. Although we both have raging colds now due to sub zero temperatures outside, it was wonderful to see her after eighteen months apart (thank you corona virus), one missed holiday together and two Yule’s without a glass or five of celebratory champers. Dressed for the Artic, I collected my 2019 Christmas present.

too excited (or frozen) to speak (Kate’s camera)

And got stuck in a two hour traffic jam on the M25.

A two hour delay in stop- start, five lane traffic must herald a return to normality. Oh joy, oh bliss. Please let it be true.

It must be true because my, every evening for fourteen months, harem pants now sport a semi sheer crotch and very baggy knees. I have tried to buy another pair. They have been discontinued. And so I have decided, in a moment of cautious optimism, that the disintegration of these Carmichael Covid-Comfys MUST prophesy the beginning of the end of the blue blistering bad news we have been boiled in for ever and a day.

This morning, with Covid brain and woefully slipped standards, I put my yoga pants on back to front #plank #forthesecondtime #ouch

Good News for Yours Truely, cannot come a moment too soon.

COVID: Variations on a Theme

Here we all are coming up to 2021 and I find myself looking forward to 2022. 

But, it must be said, with the hope that 2021 could be something still. Still in a good way that is. The last thing I want to do is wish me, my family’s or my friends’ lives away. That is not the plan but right now it’s a tad hard not to make use of the one time teleport option I won at a, ’this is not a Doctor Who’ party many moons and a world away from where I am now.

Today or tomorrow or maybe New Year’s Eve, because Boris Johnson likes high day and holiday announcements (see Brexit agreement), the Astra Zeneca vaccine may be approved here in the UK. We have 100 million doses reserved for us. That’s 50 million people and they way I figure it, I’ll be in that 50 million. And I’ll be having the jab. Yes Sir, yes M’am, yes indeedy. So will Mr Carmichael. So will Carmichael offspring various as and when they get offered the dregs sometime this decade.

 Let’s hope it works.

Let’s hope it and all the other vaccines that are being developed, approved and injected into arms, before approval (yes Mr Putin although I noticed you didn’t have it on your doctor’s advice) and after approval, work too. It’s important they do. It’s important because right now, right here, it feels as if we are under attack. It feels different to the beginning; to the COVID launch; to March. Do you remember March? More importantly, do you remember pre March when we were just living our lives? Ha!

Right now, with COVID-19 and the two variant strains that we and South Africa have managed to breast feed, burp and nurture so well we, here in the UK, had 41,000 COVID cases registered yesterday. That’s 41,000 and that does not include people in hospital or care homes I believe. There are probably quite a few cases in these two types of establishment, don’t you think? The day before yesterday it was around 35,000. 35,000 which is a huge number of new cases but now doesn’t seem so huge because yesterday it was 41,000. 41,000 is huge but won’t seem so massive tomorrow I bet. Tomorrow, we’ll be wishing the number of new cases (that exclude care homes and hospitals) was 41,000. That’s my prediction. For what it’s worth. 

Most of these cases are in the South East of England. And the majority of these cases are the new mutant (just look into my eyes and I’ll give you COVID) strain. The South East of England is where I live. These things, put together are worrying. Very worrying indeed.

What is also worrying is that it’s got personal. I now know people suffering with COVID. I know many, many people isolating because they’ve been in contact with someone for more than fifteen minutes who has tested positive. These people, and this  includes Daughter Number Two who could not spend Christmas Day with us her family, are watching, on their smart phones, a ‘days left to go’ bullseye count down to their release.

 On release, they will be allowed to do very little. We, in the South East are in the newly imagined Tier 4 which is, in all but name, Lockdown. So, they will be able to go for a walk, buy a takeaway coffee, play golf or tennis at Queens and catch mutant COVID because they looked, for a nanosecond, into someone’s virused eye. Their phone will beep and they’ll be back in isolation. Or, of course, they may get sick. I may get sick. Did I mention I now know, and know of, many poorly people?

This is no way to live.

The government’s aim (yes you Matt Hancock of the foreskin pink ties) and you Boris Johnson (on recess but not in the Caribbean on a freebee this year) is to vaccinate one million people a week over the next Lockdown. 

“What?” You scream. “We’re not in a Lockdown. We can still go to the non essential shops and buy shit, we can mingle in houses and we can look people in the eye over a pint in the pub. We’re not in Tier 4. We’re the lucky ones.”

From all those in Tier 4 to all those not. Didn’t you see the boats, trains and stations the night our ‘leader’ and his pink oppo invented Tier 4? Those transporters were headed with eyes steely trained on you, traditional COVID carriers, to all parts not South East for Christmas. I fear you will bypass Tier 4 in the blink of a cough. And we, the already theres, will smile and say, “NOW, we’re all in it together.”

But back to the vaccination roll out. SAGE or some other acronym have warned today that unless you, the small g, government, pull your needles out and do two million a week we’re heading, without passing Go, straight into a third wave. You probably don’t know this Mr Johnson. It hasn’t come out in tomorrow’s paper yet. Buy a copy, why don’t you?

I’m a New Zealander. How many of you knew that? What I would give to be there now. A month ago, with fewer than 5000 cases a day, I could have gone, been popped into monitored isolation for a fortnight ( who’s kidding who? I’m as good as in it now and for the foreseeable just without the monitoring) and right now be as free as a bird with good eyesight, hugging people, going to friends’ homes, eating out, feeling safe and have Jacinda Ardern watching over me while I sleep COVID free. But no, now, not wanted anywhere in the world, I’m here in COVID Cactus Town and I can tell you, it’s one shit place to be.

Did I mention we had 41,000 new COVID cases yesterday in the UK? How many will it be today? Come on, roll up, place your bets.

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Yesterday I cut my fringe. This was a first time thing. I have achieved my advanced age never having felt the need to take to my own locks with sharp utensils. Others, better qualified (indeed qualified for I am not) coiff me on a regular and pleasurable basis. I’ve always considered it a treat. I now know it to be a necessity.

I pray that taking to my crowning glory with scissors bought to trim my cockapoo’s eyelashes (another story entirely) was a last time thing. But in this time of Covid, needs must and I did. In the process I made a couple of schoolgirl errors. Followers, I did not do a very good job.

Actually I’ve just been overgenerous. It’s a habit and in this Corona induced solipsistic state I find myself (I’m sure I’m not alone) I must find the willpower to cease and desist at being kind and generous to Yours Truly simply because I’ve managed to get through another day, week, month and it’s now wine time. Wine, I hasten to add is NOT being kind. It is, like hairdressers, a necessity. One is out of bounds. The other fills the thirsty void.

But back to my hair. The fringe alone demonstrates, with devastating ease and sublime efficacy at least four results best avoided when attempting to allow oneself to be able to see without having to part a waterfall of darkening roots.

Gurl’s got this one cracked (mrscarmichael)

My mother used to have a weekly blow-dry. We fondly referred to it as a helicopter haircut so heavy in hand was the artiste with the hairspray, Mum could, Regan-Like, spin her hair without her head moving. She was not alone. Although I like hairspray I do not heavy hand it. Now however I would love a helicopter haircut. Or any haircut done by someone else. Someone with qualifications.

Mr Carmichael, after seeing my good work on Lyle, the cockapoo with the eyelashes, suggested I give him a much needed trim with the boy’s clippers. What could go wrong? Of course my husband was focusing on the equipment and the fact they were designed for dogs. They’re the only ones we have in Casa Carmichael which answered one question leaving the begging question unanswered – my aptitude and talent, or lack thereof. Now that the love o’ my life thinks I resemble a demented three year old with bad wrinkles (and an attitude) he’s opted for a silver-locked Tarzan effect from which he cannot be budged. I don’t blame him. He’s made the right choice.

Who knew that:

1) hairdressers cut your fringe at the end of the haircut when your hair is dry? Well, I did but I must have forgotten.

2) hairdressers take a little off at a time with a feathering motion and section the fringe from the surrounding hair? Me again but it slipped my mind.

3) hairdressers don’t curl a wet and what might prove to be very short fringe because that will make it look worse (if that were possible)? I didn’t know this having never had a fringe cut from Hell at the hairdressers.

My god my fringe looks terrible. And what about the rest of my hair?

I have never been ably to blow-dry my hair. It’s just a fact. I’m shit at it. Which is why I don’t do it. But now I must. I wash my hair as infrequently as possible and have moved, with alacrity, through the stages of mourning for my once coiffed bonce. I would be lying to say I don’t care but in some ways I actually don’t care. That much. I’m no longer riding pillion in a convertible Bentley, nor dining in Pall Mall. Certainly pretending to be a happy housewife is out the proverbial window along with the baby’s bathwater.

Now I’m just getting through. Like everyone else. And trying to stay well and safe while not looking in mirrors.

My roots are coming through apace and I have been sent these by my colourist……..

Thoughts?