How have you been spending your time?

106 days and still counting.

The big excitement for me last week was a visit to the dentist. I say big excitement but I actually felt incredibly nervous. Not because I was going to the dentist, though that’s not normally my idea of fun, but because it would be my first time going anywhere – other than for walks and the occasional socially distanced meeting in someone’s garden.

Those of you who have been following my blog will remember that I lost a filling pretty early on in lockdown. Until recently I have been coping with the kind of dental putty you can buy over the counter – I obtained mine online. It worked to some extent but never lasted very long. Without boring you with the detail it got to the point where a visit to the dentist was going to be a matter of necessity. I made the appointment with great trepidation but they assured me that it would be safer than a visit to a supermarket. Since I have not visited a supermarket since the start of lockdown that comparison was pretty meaningless for me.

I took the first appointment of the day thinking that it would be less risky being the first patient. I was asked some health related questions, my temperature was taken and I was given a mask (my first!) to wear. There were only four chairs in the waiting room – one in each corner.

My dentist is lovely. At least I assume it was my usual dentist because, what with her mask and her visor, I could only see her eyes. She explained that there would be no drilling as that’s still not allowed and that I would be given a temporary filling – not that unlike the ones I have been giving myself! But boy did she get close to me. It felt quite scary and threatening after 106 days in captivity to have someone’s face so close to mine. The only person who has been able to get that close to me is OH (other half). And there were TWO of them because there’s also the dental nurse hovering over me as well. Anyhow, I survived. That was four days ago and I haven’t got ill yet so I think – temporary filling aside – that I’m going to be OK. I just hope this temporary filling lasts as I don’t plan to return any time soon.

The last few months have made us all so wary of other human beings. The way we swerve away from other people, jump to one side and turn our backs on them. It’s such unnatural behaviour.

And now the pubs are open. Someone said on the radio today as if they had made a great discovery – drunk people don’t keep to social distancing. Well, there’s a surprise.

So, aside from visiting the dentist and the pub, how have you been spending your time? Many of us have been escaping into our hobbies, reading more or watching more TV. I’ve heard people say that they haven’t wanted to watch anything that’s going to make them feel miserable. Nowadays what they choose to view has to be upbeat or just pure escapism.

Before lockdown OH (other half) and I watched very little TV and now – like many other people I suspect – we watch nearly every evening.

Recently, I inadvertently found I had signed up to Amazon Prime (has this happened to you?) and we’re using our 30 days free trial to watch The Amazing Mrs Maisel – an American comedy about a female stand-up comic set in the 1950s. Discussing it with our daughter via WhatsApp afterwards I was surprised to discover that she had thought that the comedien Lenny Bruce was an invented character! It came as a complete shock to her to know that he had really existed. I was in my late teens when he died but I still remember the furore at the time – in the same way as I do when Marilyn Monroe died in 1962. I was on a French exchange at the time. My French penfriend’s dad was elderly and prudish – though that didn’t stop him trying to play footsie with me under their dining table or accidentally coming into my room when I was getting undressed. This dirty old man thrust the newspaper of the day into my face and told me that Marilyn Monroe was a whore and deserved all she got. The fact that she wore lipstick settled the matter as far as he was concerned.

OH and I also invested in Netflix at the start of lockdown. Not that it’s a big investment. And we feel we already have had terrific value for money. We had been watching The Crown whenever we babysat for our grandchildren in the pre-covid days and wanted to see the last few episodes. Having Netflix has opened up a whole new world to us. The first thing we watched was Unorthodox. By now I imagine everyone will have seen it. But, if you haven’t, I urge you to do so. I am now reading the book. Like my blogger friend Mel I also originally accidentally ordered the version in German – a bit like Amazon Prime it’s easily done! We have also loved watching Shtisel and I can’t wait for the start of the next series.

A couple of weeks ago OH and I did something really decadent. We watched TV during the day! We were so hooked on the series Hidden that we couldn’t wait to see what happened next so we binge watched it over a few days. My excuse was that I didn’t want to watch it late at night as then I wouldn’t have been able to sleep! Other series I can recommend are The Stranger and The Nest. What have you been watching and what do you recommend?

We’ve also caught up with some theatre we missed. We watched the National Theatre’s production of Small Island which we thoroughly enjoyed. Before Covid OH and I were regular theatre goers. We visited the theatre far more frequently than we did the cinema. It will be tragic if we lose our theatres. Relieved to hear of Rishi Sunak’s announcement today that the government is “introducing a £1.57 billion rescue package to help cultural, arts and heritage institutions weather the impact of coronavirus.” That money isn’t only intended for theatres so it will be interesting to see the final details once they have been disclosed.

OH and I have now been in lockdown for 106 days. Well, it’s semi lockdown now as we have been going for walks and entertaining (and I use that word loosely) friends in our garden for some while. Now the weather has become cooler and more blustery – wet even – it’s hard to get excited about sitting in one’s garden (or someone else’s) with umbrellas on standby. It was easier back in May when the weather was so good.

Lockdown has been tough for all those singles out there. There was an interesting and amusing piece in the Weekend supplement of Saturday’s Times. A divorced woman of 46 had begun dating again and was using apps to meet the opposite sex. A man she was quite liking online then texted her a photo of his genitals. Did he imagine this would endear him to her? Sorry to disappoint my male readers but most women are not turned on by photos of the male appendage – the opposite in fact. So astonished was the writer that she showed the picture he had sent her to her mother. Her mother did not realise or recognise what she was seeing and thought it was a picture of someone’s foot. Makes you wonder how she ever became a mother in the first place!

Thanks for reading. See you again soon.
© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems

One thought on “How have you been spending your time?

  1. I have watched less TV, almost none, The Sewing Bee, The Cairngorms and some of Springwatch. OH never watches much. Its usually the case when Summer arrives but this year more so because of the online art course. I did see Cats the evening it was streamed on Youtube and some some regular live music on Facebook.
    I hope the filling stays put.


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