22nd April 2020 – Today was a good day.

So as Ice Cube would say “Today was a good day” (great track, parental advisory recommended – and don’t take it literally; I didn’t get a “beep from Kim” and no “fools have ever tried to blast me”).

On paper, I have to admit it looked like a little bit of a mare of a day with loads of sucky things that were made even more sucky due to COVID-19. I started the day not knowing if my son was going to make it over to me this weekend and I had to sort out a banking mess that had come up as a result of a holiday refund I got due to COVI…. I am getting bored of even writing the name of the fecker down.

I also knew that at some point during the morning my neighbour upstairs (I live in the semi-penthouse – e.g. middle flat in the block … semi-Penthouse sounds better) would begin her daily work out, in her living room, right above my workspace, on her wooden floors, doing squat thrusts and bunny hops, repeatedly, for an hour and a half, right in the middle of the peak of remote meetings because she refuses to work out anywhere else!

I had also made the mistake of looking at the BBC news as I woke from my slumber and read the article about 25 experts writing to the government questioning the difference between it’s (sic. the government’s) advice of 7 days isolation versus the WHO’s (the health organisation – not Roger Daltrey) advice of 14 days.

This didn’t annoy me from the perspective of questioning the advice – but more about how all of these experts are happy to question the government in the media which is then read by the public who by and large are trying to do as they are told. It really doesn’t help when you read conflicting advice to what you are being told.

It kind of makes you question what to believe; which at a time like this is not helpful for anyone. I just wish that the media would be more considerate and medical “experts” would perhaps use more subtle means to communicate their disagreement.

So, how did such a potential bad day end up so cool?

In Spite of Butlins managing to refund my holiday (long story on how I ended up booking my holiday with them) to two different locations (which, technically I get – but common sense wise it boiled my piss) – I managed to have a rather awesome and pain free conversation with my credit card provider. I actually remembered my pass phrase (after not having used it in about 10 years) and within 4 minutes the advisor managed to change my mobile number on my account to my current number and send the over payment to my current account.

I was well chuffed with this as even at the best of times my experience of calling banks and the like is not painless – but even in the middle of this crisis with call centres operating with reduced resources my credit provider took my call quickly and had me on my way happy in minutes. Deffo improved my mood!

10:45 am rolled around and sure enough the female Mrs Motivator kicked off with her work out of doom as she has every day – twice a day for the last six weeks. Now don’t get me wrong – my issue has never been anyone working out – but the principle of consideration for others. I live in a flat with thin ceilings. I can hear pretty much everything that goes on in her flat and one assume she can hear what goes on in mine.

To add to this she has wooden flooring.

There is a certain amount of understanding between us flat dwellers that there will be some noise leakage and you get used to it – if you don’t you shouldn’t live in a flat.

What you don’t get used to is twice a day for 90 minutes someone running the marathon on the spot whilst chucking around a medicine ball right above your head all on hardwood flooring – which, it has to be said I have found is the best sound amplifier in existence.

My neighbour has every right to work out, but I have not figured out why she does it in her living room – especially as she knows that I am home and working when there are options to safely do it outside. I have tried to persevere with it, playing music and wearing headphones – but – it hasn’t worked.

So I decided to send her a very polite What’s App and just ask if there was something she could do to minimise the noise. I felt like a right bastard and I had visions in my head of me being Paul Whitehouse’s “I am a nosey neighbour” from Harry Enfield and Chums (see below) but I guess it is often to ask someone straight out if there’s a problem before it escalates.

I am a nosey neighbour …

I was expecting in these times a disgruntled response, but to be absolutely fair she was great and will move her workout routine to the hallway. I am not totally convinced that is going to help due to the way the flats are constructed – but hey it’s only fair that I give her a chance and she was gracious. Mood improves another level again for the Grogie!

Next on my list of unexpected “cheer-up-athon” (new word, yay me!) was a message from my other half. She had received a little gift that I had sent her in the post. It’s was soppy and me mentioning it is very mushy – but none the less I didn’t expect it to be with her until Friday and she sent me a lovely message that made me smile.

What really cheered me up is that what I sent her was in response to a small gift (below) she sent me last week that basically said “I am thinking of you” and I was chuffed that we now had something we could both look at an know the other might be far away physically – but close by in thought.

My little pocket hug!

Triple points cheer up move!

Next, was perhaps the best part of the day.

I haven’t seen my lad in about 12 weeks – all related to various scenarios that COVID-19 has thrown at him and I. The summary is due to a mix of isolation for his benefit and mine (his mum is a critical worker like me who had been going into the office slightly longer than I had been) until our mutual isolation periods has expired combined with the normal pattern of him staying with me it all ended up at 12 weeks.

However, he will be with me this weekend! I cannot wait, so bloody chuffed – or – as Borat would say “That’s nice“.

That’s nice!!!!

Work proceeded without any major incident and consisted of mainly budget postmortems from the end of the last financial year (I remember when I got into IT because of the technology), but had a few Microsoft teams meeting with colleagues that were productive and jovial which always brightens up the day no end.

Topped the day off with a required trip to the local supermarket (currently what I call the COVID run). This is usually the point of any day where I feel the most angst (probably like many others) as it the time where I am aware that’s most risk to possibly contracting the virus. I do try and limit the trips that I make – but living on my own there is a fine line between buying too much so it spoils versus getting too little.

There is also an overall limit that I can actually carry to and from the shop – so, there is generally the inevitability that I forget something which results in a trek out every other day.

My experiences of shopping have been variable. Generally critical supplies in my local store are plentiful and the staff are excellent. There is a system of movement that once you have gotten used to makes sense and if everyone follows the rules generally means you can be in and out in about 10 mins – and that’s for a reasonably sized shop.

However “if everyone follows the rules” is usually the problem.

I cannot understand why people have such a problem with the 2 meter social distancing rule, why they cannot follow very clearly marked arrows on the floor, why the older generation (sorry, this is just my experience) just don’t understand that it is not acceptable to come up behind you and reach over your shoulder to turn a jar several times of a shelf whilst coughing and spluttering into a well used hanky (honestly this happened to me) and then not even put it in their trolley (the jar – not – the hanky).

However on this day I managed to get into the store which was pretty much empty and was out. in seven minutes with everything that I needed.

For some reason – today was a good day.

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