Thankfully, thus far I’ve had no requirement to self-isolate in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. A situation I’m relieved about for several reasons, the most predominant being I’ve absolutely no idea whether to embrace hermitism at my West Yorkshire home, or the planet I oft inhabit whilst embarking on these chronicles.

Presently, on the contrary to sitting in solitude in one of my sanctuaries, I’ve arrived at Friday tea-time having undergone a week spent frequently in the company of the mob. My nose-snubs at the COVID-19 pathogen undertaken while journaling my prose in a shopping centre, along with a trio of instances in the midst of supermarket shoppers, undertaking voluntary duties.

During these interactions amongst the throng, with exception to visions of toilet roll panic buying, occasional sights of surgically masked shoppers and exposure to an underlying redolence of hand sanitiser, it’s appeared to me these venues have more or less been business as usual.

However, with European sport being more or less cancelled for a trinity of weeks, along with daily increases in coronavirus cases diagnosed and, in some cases, subsequent fatalities, it clearly isn’t business as usual.

As a middle-aged man who’s last year suffered both a heart attack and a white blood cell decimating gastric bleed, increasing my risk of fatality should I contract the virus, perhaps recklessly flirting with the risk of COVID-19 is a foolhardy approach.


This lunchtime I undertook my third collection within Leeds supermarkets in five days, aiming to raise funds for an end of life charity’s March campaign. Two hours stood in yellow tabard, recompensing magnanimous benefactors with daffodil campaign badges as a token of the organisations gratitude for their donations.

It’s always heartwarming to see these individuals, despite not residing in the most affluent of our metropolis’ suburban domains, contribute equally enthusiastically towards end of life nursing provision as some with greater fiscal wherewithal.

Later this afternoon, I managed to get some early spring gardening done. This horticultural maintenance involved trimming the back lawn, removing 2019’s moribund shrub stems/flowers, along with the weeding and double digging of bulb sprouting jardin borders.

Former Ultravox frontman Midge Ure once allegedly posited “Do the hard horticultural yards in early spring and you’ll reap the benefits with border colour and ease of garden maintenance for the rest of the year.”

The co-founder of Band Aid with Bob Geldof, and 1985’s Live Aid, going on to express:-

“We walked in the cold air
Freezing breath on a window pane
Lying and waiting
A man in the dark in a picture frame
So mystic and soulful
A voice reaching out in a piercing cry
It stays with you until
The feeling has gone, only you and I
It means nothing to me
This means nothing to me
Oh, Vienna……”

The above first verse lyrics from Ure and his band’s biggest hit Vienna has nothing at all to do with this narrative. Their inclusion merely borne from the fact it’s now 8.45pm and, for the first time I can remember on this literary journey, I’m struggling to achieve the minimum 500 word threshold set for my daily penmanship output.