Were I the agent to Paul Hardcastle, I’d be strongly suggesting he dust off his 1985 hit and quickly re-write the lyrics to make them applicable to Covid-19.  While I was, conveniently, 19 in 1985 I have yet to be approached by Mr H to act as his representation but I do look likely to have quite a lot of time on my hands in the weeks ahead, so could prepare updated words on a no-sale no-fee basis.

With all this extra time, I rather fear that you dear, reader, are going to be finding a lot of new content appearing on GofaDM in the coming weeks.  Since less-and-less will be happening in my life (or so I assume), I suspect this additional text will largely serve to document the departure of the last remaining shreds of my sanity and my descent into madness (but who doesn’t love a bit of ska?).

Already, the pandemic has highlighted that the whole elaborate scaffold of measures I have constructed over the last decade or so to maintain some semblance of viable mental health does have a single point of failure.  A mere fragment of DNA in a lipid shell seems to be enough to finish off all live culture (though, at time of writing, yoghurt is still available), spending time being stupid with friends in pubs (and, occasionally other places) and going to the gym to hang upside-down.  This clearly indicates inadequate stress-testing of the scaffold and scapegoats are being urgently sought.

I am in the fortunate position that I have mostly worked from home for the past many years.  I have had to travel regularly across the Irish Sea for the last few years, but meetings are now all handled remotely (just as well given the loss of FlyBe and the absence of convenient flights).  My income should also be unaffected by the pandemic which contrasts sharply with most of my friends who work in the arts, peripatetic teaching and the hospitality industry.  It is not just the people that are in trouble but the venues, bars and restaurants where they perform and/or work (possibly an artificial distinction) which are under extreme financial pressure – and it is these places that form the basis of so many of the communities of which I am lucky enough to be a tiny part.

In theory, with fewer options to go out in the evening, I should be catching up on some much needed sleep: if not the full three months medically-induced coma I have been asking for.  However, I have been sleeping very badly which I would like to attribute to anxiety about the people and institutions I love but I would have to admit that my attempts to keep favourite pubs going single-handed may be a contributory factor.  I think this lack of sleep and more general heightened anxiety (mostly not about me, who I’ve largely had enough of by now) are probably behind the inanition that has plagued me all week: I seem to have been incapable of knuckling down and doing much of anything.  More strangely, on both of the last two mornings I have caught myself weeping for no reason around breakfast time (nothing to do with the quality of my porridge-making!).

So, I have decided that I need to do something about it and move on: I would describe unexplained morning tears as a wake-up call if it did not display a frankly Trumpian degree of insensitivity to my continuing insomnia.  I’ll admit writing some nonsense on the internet would not be everyone’s idea of taking a pro-active approach to improving their mental health but we all have to find our own way…

With this post out of  the way, I have some much deferred life admin to be getting on with.  Then, I am fully planning to be able to start a career as both concert pianist and blues guitarist by the time this virus has run its course: I just need to summon up the gumption to start practising and organise some remote lessons (either that or raid YouTube for likely characters sharing their skills).  It could even, finally, be time to write that long promised (and never delivered) sestina.

Added to all this, I have quite the backlog of unwatched television and films from recent months and a decent number of books just crying out to be read (they sound truly piteous).  I really don’t have time to faff around worrying and doing nothing.  I even acquired a Dungeons and Dragons Starter Set a week ago, so I should probably be building my own dungeon and/or dragon by now: not sure if I really understand the game as yet…

Plus, I have plans to try and replicate the “holding a stupid conversation with friends in the pub” concept using teleconferencing technology and take-out beer.  So, I’m afraid I haven’t got time to sit around here typing at you there’s just too much to do…

3 thoughts on “N-n-n-n-nineteen

  1. Semibreve says:

    As I answered the door to Postie this morning, he held out a parcel at arm’s length. I reached at full extension to take said package. I wonder if, should this carry on, we will evolve into something with much longer arms. But which is probably quite incapable of drinking coffee.

      • Semibreve says:

        He’s the bafflement of Scotland Yard, the Flying Squad’s despair, for when the crime’s discovered… Spicer’s not there!

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