In yesterday’s post there was a letter. For one happy moment I thought it was a birthday card. A real one. Made of paper and card. Not one of those online ones or messages on Face Book.

In actual fact it was our letter from Boris – the government health warning we were all expecting.  It felt even more sobering today knowing that poor Boris is in hospital possibly fighting for his life.

This letter from 10 Downing Street does not tell us anything we didn’t already know. I think the government could have better spent the five and a half million pounds (!!!) it is said to have cost on more protective equipment for NHS staff and carers.  The letter also misses a trick. A pretty obvious one. Why wasn’t it written in a number of languages?  After all, until recently, when we went to our GP practice (before it closed its doors) if you signed in you were given the choice of what language you wanted the information to be in. We’re now living in a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural society. Yet the letter from number 10, is a real missed opportunity. Because surely it is all those people who don’t watch the BBC, who don’t listen to radio 4 or read the British press and who CAN’T SPEAK OR UNDERSTAND ENGLISH (hello Nigel Farage!) who need to know and understand what is happening?

It’s fortunate too that the letter was laser printed with Boris’s signature. Because had he truly signed it (am sure many people will think he really did) he might have been passing on the virus to every single household in the country!

Today, when you wash your hands and sing Happy Birthday, can you think of me whose birthday it really is today?  On top of everything else, this evening will also be the start of Passover when Jewish families normally sit down together for the Seder – the traditional Passover service and meal.  At Passover we are meant to eat matza instead of bread. So no birthday sandwiches for me. And cakes and biscuits made with potato flour, almonds and matza meal. So no birthday cake for me.   Was always thus. Even when I was a small child. So, not only being Jewish did I miss out on Christmas presents and Easter eggs at Easter, I also missed out on birthday parties with birthday cake and candles because my birthday invariably fell at Passover.  So, please remember me when you sing Happy Birthday today – and I promise to remember you when it’s your birthday.

Tonight our Passover Seder will be almost just as usual except it will be on Zoom, hosted by our marvellous daughter Hannah and our son-in-law Mark. We will get to see our grandchildren and other family members. Traditionally at Passover we ask, “Why is this night different from all other nights?” Answers on a postcard please. Or, by all means, comment below.

Yesterday I said I would be recommending some web sites and blogs I’ve discovered that you might enjoy.

First of all, do check out Tessa Fineman, Piano Lady on YouTube for your daily dose of laughter. Tessa puts her own lyrics to well known songs – and they’re all about coping with life today. She is always cheerful and her music will make you smile: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OewyS_igWjc

Hannah Ross (clearly no nepotism here) : http://hannahcity.blog/2020/04/07/were-in-designated-survivor-territory-what-next/

Mel Stein (hello Mel) Mel’s Meanderings: https://melstein13.wixsite.com/melsmeanderings

Sam Stein (age 11):  http://www.stuckindoors.net

This one is the Camden virtual choir (all in self-isolation) singing True Colours.

Only this week we learned about the incredible child prodigy – Alma Deutscher from Bastingstoke England. Here’s an early interview with her.

You can follow her amazing performances on piano and violin on YouTube.



Here’s Rufus Wainwright with a crowd of 1500 people singing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.

I’ve also found this video of Boris Johnson on YouTube showing us all how to wash our hands. If that was how Boris washed his hands then I’m not surprised that he sadly became so ill. I washed my hands more thoroughly than that before we had ever heard of Corona Virus!


Wash your hands! Stay well. Stay home. Stay safe. See you tomorrow with an another instalment from Andrea’s exciting life.

© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems