Clearly the advice to “Stay Home” wasn’t working because a couple of the key players couldn’t understand what it meant.

Seems they thought telling us to ‘stay alert’ would do just as well.

Now the floodgates have opened. Rather than a gradual easing of restrictions, all of a sudden anything goes. And yet only now are we quarantining people who enter the UK. It baffles me why this wasn’t done at the start.  The same for contact tracing. Why didn’t we do this when it was first mooted in March?

Thousands of people (Covidiots as one paper referred to them) have taken Dominic Cumming’s Barnard Castle eye sight check as their excuse to flock to the seaside and beauty spots. In Cassiobury Park, Watford (normally an oasis of calm, peace and beauty) the huge amount of litter left has been shocking. Debris from food packaging, bottles, used condoms, needles – even human excrement. Plus the remains of a bonfire. Must have been some party.

And of course we’re all allowed to shop now. Except who wants to? What’s the point in shopping for clothes if you can’t touch the fabric or try them on.  You might as well continue to buy clothes online.  And while we’re have no social gatherings of significance, no celebrations, no holidays – what do we need new clothes for? Unless you’re returning to work, who out there is going to notice what you’re wearing? Right now, with this fine weather we’re enjoying, most people are slopping round the house in shorts and a tee shirt. With the exception of Zoom meetings and conferences, who bothers to dress?  And, even then, it’s probably only from the waist up.

You would think that lockdown would have made people less vain not more. Yet the greatest desire of almost every woman I know – once she has hugged her nearest and dearest – is to get up close and personal with her hairdresser. I can empathise with that. On the other hand, I have been astonished by articles in the press suggesting clothes we might like to buy – at prices I would only spend if I needed a mother of the bride outfit.

A former editor of Vogue is finding it really hard doing without her monthly Botox. (“What do I miss now? The tweakments that keep me looking young.” Times, 16/5/20)   She writes that she has enjoyed “a tweak, a snip, a tug” since her early thirties when she first had Botox. And she’s only in her 50s now! Twice a year there have been injections to make her skin glow. Wouldn’t a few minutes of horizontal jogging have had the same beneficial effect without the expense?

Here’s my free beauty tip. Always splash your face with cold water after you’ve washed it. I had this advice from my late grandmother when I was still a teenager. She had the most incredible soft, unlined skin right up until she died in her 80s. (See photo below.) Her other beauty advice was not to wear any make-up. Not advice every woman would want to follow but it certainly worked for her.

For the benefit of my readers I am wearing Jigsaw’s £130 cream cardi, Sandro’s gold leather trousers (reduced to £405.30 from £579) and Swedish clogs “reassuringly expensive at £160 … something to keep you awake during Zoom calls.” (Times Fashion, 20/5/20)

I joke. I am typing this still wearing my nightie.

See you tomorrow.



© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems



4 thoughts on “ARE YOU STAYING ALERT?

  1. Hi Andrea, such a lovely photo of your late grandmother. I was given the same advice from my Mother when I was a teenager. Always splash your face and neck with cold water after cleansing.

    Thank goodness you weren’t wearing the gold trousers! As for the Swedish clogs, no comment!

    Hope all is well.

    Irene X


  2. Dear Andrea – I was getting worried about you wearing such expensive gold leather trousers, but thought that perhaps your taste was more exotic than I had thought! What a relief to read that you were not dressed like that !

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Andrea
    I heard the same about Cassiobury – ‘as if there had been a nuclear attack’ was how he put it. What goes on in these people’s heads? Obviously, not very much. Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

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