Saturday, 20 June 2020

The Many Phases of Lockdown

It's been over twelve weeks now and I'm ok most of the time but every now and then I feel as if I might be about to unravel. I've passed through many phases of lockdown:

The clearing out cupboards phase: I've found make-up that was over ten years old, empty boxes and odd socks - very odd socks.

The jigsaw phase: That didn't last long. I only have three jigsaws and I've done them so many times the pieces could place themselves. 

Experimenting with new food recipes phase: This might have been more successful if I could have gone to the shops and if the online supermarket hadn't run out of flour and yeast and sugar. Toilet rolls I can almost understand but sugar? Really?

Trialling keep fit videos on YouTube phase: I still have the pain in my shoulder. Fortunately my online supermarket does have a supply of Ibuprofen Gel.

Watching films on Netflix phase: Eyestrain

Reading books on Kindle phase: Eyestrain

Walking round and round the garden phase: Dizziness

The piano and guitar playing phase: Abandoned in deference to my neighbours' sanity.

So what phase comes next? Let's hope it's the return to normal life phase... whatever normal is.

What phases of lockdown have you passed through?

Thursday, 4 June 2020

1950s Leicester - Some Real Characters

I clearly remember the tramp in Lewis's doorway and I've heard of Rum Weather and the other characters that I've mentioned below but I never saw them. If anyone reading this remembers them then do let me know. I've been told they were real characters.

Leicester's post-war kids knew all about tramps,
the demob dropouts with combat-proof medals,
compensation for war battered brains,
like the man with the grubby greatcoat
and wild hair stooped in Lewis’s doorway.

Rum Weather used to stroll round town,
down London Road and across Vicky Park,
clutching his brown cardboard string-tied suitcase,
rattling pennies in his tatty tobacco tin,
calling out, ‘Rum weather’ to anyone who'd listen.

Everyone knew how Scratch Cockshaw got his name.
He’d hang out round the fruit market,
beg a mug of tea, a fag, an apple,
a bacon butty if he was lucky,
squeeze fleas between filthy fingers.

Johnny No Legs was tough as brass shrapnel.
He’d board a bus with a swing of his arm
and go pea picking down at the local farm.
Back in town he’d show off, break neck speed
on his battered go-cart bogey - at least that's what I heard.

They were a part of our world, like the bomb-site
where Dad parked his car when we went up town,
the Welfare orange juice to build our bones
and the siren on the factory down the road
with its practice wail every Wednesday –
just in case.