It’s lockdown, but we’ve had someone in. He came to remove two radiators and deal with the bizarre (and clearly lethal) electrics in my mum’s old house. The very idea of hosting a stranger caused much excitement.
The word ‘hosting’ suggests something far more involved than it actually was. So read on.
In readiness, we stocked up on extra strong masks. Not the usual namby-pamby blue ones. The Fannings went for five-layer filtering half masks. Mr Fanning invested in three cans of spray antiseptic. Two hours before he was due to arrive, we threw open every window. And let’s not forget it’s February. In the Midlands. And positioned bottles of hand sanitiser randomly throughout the house. We opened each possible cupboard he might need to touch and left interior doors ajar. The dog was bribed with a bone and confined to a bedroom, and I was instructed to stay in my office and not emerge until the coat was declared clear – through a complex system of knocks and code words. (I may have made the last bit up).
Gone too soon
He was here all of ten minutes, wore a mask and gloves, and refused any suggestion of tea. Not that one was on offer. Mr Fanning offered this as a test, to test how lapse he might be with staying Covid-safe. Had he said yes, we would have felt obliged to raze the building to the ground upon his departure.
I’m telling you this because in the (hopefully) near future, I’ll look back on this time and tell myself lockdown wasn’t so bad. I just want to be sure I remember it was.