‘No man is an island …’. Absolutely but, were John Donne writing now, he would do so like this: ‘NO MAN IS AN ISLAND …’. Perhaps, then, the person who has been drilling and hammering across the way, from first thing this morning, would understand! What is it with this fixation for DIY? Rhetorical question, of course, but it does pertain to certain people and those who have a warped sense of humour, at that. The type who use an electric chainsaw or a pneumatic drill at 7.32am and then call it a day at 9! (I was going to write – and then go for their chip butty at 9 but that is uncalled for!) Suffice to say, these people of the trousers with multiple pockets type appear to give no thought to their fellow man; have, seemingly, no concept of neighbours devoid of any interest whatsoever in their expertise, or urgent necessity for a new unit of any sort!
Fickle, as ever, I recall I added a DIY expert to my coveted list of friends in another life, recently. One cannot underestimate the value of someone who is in possession of a tool kit – preferably a tool belt – and knows a spanner from a hammer! Invaluable to have the number of said person but preferable to live some distance from them. In my experience, they tend, also, to have a penchant for motorbikes and old cars. So, definitely add to contacts but …
Talking of cars and DIY, what can I say about those who, robotically, polish their cars every week; more specifically, every Sunday? So much! Sadly, our previous home was opposite a house which must have been built on an Indian graveyard. Isn’t that the saying? Probably not but, suffice, to say, it was a bad house! Once the home of a retired headmaster, Norman – he of the teeth fame (search bar!) – sadly, we lost him in 2000 and the family who bought the house? Well, you might have seen them on Crimewatch! I exaggerate? Only slightly. Neighbours! Give me Paul Robinson any day …
DIY Dave we called him. The Crimewatch family fell apart and their protégés moved in. DIY Dave, we fathomed, had won the lottery and thought he was in heaven. Refusing any outstretched hand of friendship, they were going to have nothing to do with anybody. An attitude which has, sadly, become commonplace today, they wanted nobody to know their business … so we surmised their backstory! He had, obviously, been a construction labourer. He had the boots and every piece of DIY equipment known to man: the ladders, the chainsaw, the power hose, the power drill; he could lay floorboards and polish cars. The complete package! Their cars were all-important status symbols; their egos. She would come out, with a tissue, and wipe away any spec of dust. My point? People. All different. Each to his own, of course, but, for me, this morning only served to confirm that it is time to move on. No man is an island? More and more, I wish I was – an island, not a man!
Another glorious day, I walked into town late afternoon. The view of the sea and the town’s iconic skyline could not have been more perfect but I realised, too late, that I hadn’t stopped to take a photograph. It is something I rarely do now. No point. My phone just doesn’t capture it. The proud owner of a superb Canon camera, I am ashamed to say that I rarely take it with me and, thus, I have missed so many opportunities to capture moments in time. In the same way a paper socialist, publicly, abhors capitalism whilst, privately, subscribing to it, I, constantly, malign technology yet succumb to its dominance. Nothing worse than a hypocrite.
While walking the three plus miles into town – with views to die for – I was ever aware of those passing me, whether on foot, bike or in car. Most waved in acknowledgement but, latterly, I passed a mother and daughter on foot. Determined not to say ‘Hello’, they looked away and engaged in conversation. Not having it, I, loudly, said ‘Hello!’. Both were mortified while, at the same time, obviously, thinking I was a complete nutcase. No matter. All, soon, became clear. I heard the daughter saying to her mother , ‘Well, we’ve only got a week to wait before we are allowed to meet up with someone from another household.’ Can’t help thinking that if Nicola had said they were allowed to say ‘Hello’ to passing strangers, my day might have gone completely differently!
Should I end there? On a high? Nicola has spoken today. She has outlined her four-part strategy for release. All hail, Nicola! Those of us who prefer to use their brain are unaffected. As for Boris? I saw footage of him rushing off for Prime Minister’s Question Time, yesterday, and his appearance was dishevelled beyond … Boris! Seemingly wearing mis-matching jacket and trousers, his hair made mine look tame! No roots, it is true, but a timely reminder that life is stressful – for everyone.
‘Yesterday is not ours to recover but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.’ Lyndon B. Johnson.
This is Trish, signing off.