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Vale of Tears

I’ve just returned from an essentials shop at the local convenience store. With it’s checkouts fitted out with clear plastic tarpaulin, aimed at providing employees a degree of protection from the COVID-19 virus, it manifested notions within me I’d inadvertently wandered onto the kill set in an episode TV drama Dexter.

On reaching the till, the woman serving me asked me to join her in wearing a mask. When I pointed out neither of the other customers in the store had been similarly asked, she pointed out she’d not request aimed at COVID-19 protection. “Quite simply.“, she added, “I just don’t like the look of your face!”

After the jibe, I exited the store vowing if this retail outlet hadn’t have the best stocked wine aisles in the area, I’d never darken it’s door again!!…… Shamefully, when it comes to vino access, I’m utterly devoid of principles!

Of course, that insult didn’t occur; but hey don’t shoot the author. After all, by engaging in artistic licence I’m merely endeavouring to raise levity. An emotion much needed during the prevailing darkness while meandering through this vale of tears.


As I write, my concentration levels are engaged in battle with a fearsome foe. This nemesis emanating from my mum’s new late afternoon penchant for falling asleep while watching TV. This brief slumber habitually producing cacophonous snoring which bears as much aural appeal as listening to an audiobook read by TV presenter Stacey Solomon.

Footnote – Stacey is an enchanting looking lady whose trademark chirpiness can be endearing. That being said, listening to her excitable tones reading a narrative is conspicuous by its absence upon scanning my bucket list.

My mum, when questioned about her nasal klaxon informed me the cacophony was a consequence of currently being affliction with guitar….. I think she meant catarrh!….  If by some chance mater did mean guitar, she needs the bloody thing tuning pronto!!

It’s early Tuesday evening as I endeavour to wax lyrical from my West Yorkshire domain, The dining room French doors are ajar, mitigating against being sat adjacent to a radiator. These deniers of access and exit though won’t be open for long. As Chet Atkins once relayed in refrain, “Baby, it’s cold outside!”……. Sadly, though, in these COVID-19 times where your amour doesn’t co-habit the has to bloody stay out there and freeze!

Witnessing TV footage of how the world is being impacted as coronavirus spreads apace brings with it ever deeper visions of how the globe’s turning into an apocalyptic scenario like any Mad Max movie; or, indeed when Brian Clough took over as Leeds United manager in the film The Damned United.

In Cloughie’s defence, he was far less destructive than the coronavirus, and his arrival didn’t necessitate repeated hand washing and unnecessary hoarding. However, Old Big ‘Ead’s arrival as gaffer at yours truly’s footballing amours, along with the trauma of going through puberty, the catalysts to the annihilation of my life existing in clover. A period I’ll forever remember as utopia in sock tags.



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