Scene – A West Yorkshire detached house in West Yorkshire village. Like the majority of his global kin, a middle-aged man lives under house arrest in a cunning COVID-19 avoidance strategy. His neurosis so elevated he resolves not to exit his home until there’s a cure for the potentially fatal pathogen, or unless his local store introduces a ‘3 for 2 offer’ on marmite.

Even when inside his home, his overly cautious nature leads to a harebrained approach of isolating further by hiding in his mother’s under stairs cupboard. His long suffering septuagenerian mater happy at acquiring space as a consequence of this neurotic behaviour. However remains bemused about the appearance of an under stairs cupboard’s, which she’s fairly sure wasn’t there last week.

Within the darkness of the cupboard, the middle-age man (who for anonymity purposes I’ll call Gary Strachan) concentrates his mind with his two loves, writing and gardening….. Well to be more accurate, with his mum barring him bringing the rhododendrons inside, writing!

Strachan’s literary content predominantly questionable journals of whimsy. Chronicles such as ‘It’s Dark In Here’ and ‘Eating A Cheese Sandwich In Unlit Cupboards Is A Ball Ache!’. Fictional tales about sacrificing sunlight, or indeed any light, to save the lives of him and others. The latter tome disclosing the logistical challenges of troughing grated cheddar in the pitch black.


When Gary does leave the sanctuary of the cramped conditions under stairs, after brushing grated cheese from his jumper and jeans, he’ll head to the toilet and/or fridge to test a theory white wine can protect you from contracting COVID-19.

As he hasn’t yet picked up the virus, Strachan posits his theory for coronavirus protection by grape fermentation may have some basis in fact. He states, though, there a need to undertake further research before releasing his findings…… Hopefully, the published research paper will take into account he’s unlikely to contract the pathogen whilst idiotically under stair cupboard in situ.

While her middle-aged, and oldest, offspring idiosyncratically seeks sanctuary in her newly appeared cupboard, the mother (who for the purposes of anonymity I’ll bestow the title Maggie Strachan) spends her time watching TV. Along with pondering why of late her living room carpet is constantly covered in grated cheddar.

Maggie, despairing of her son’s overly cautious approach to minimising his risk of contracting COVID-19, is beginning to find exchanging conversation via a cupboard door emotionally wearing. Her age related hearing issues making understanding Gary’s muffled waffling a particular challenge…… Although, she might argue that’s still the case even when she possesses full aural awareness of what he’s saying.

Only time will tell whether Strachan the younger carries out his threat not to exit his home until there’s a cure for the potentially fatal pathogen, or his local store introduces a ‘3 for 2 offer’ on marmite.

However, his mum’s patience is running thin. Confiding this cupboard based stunt, which necessitates having to iron his back straight after he’s kipped a night in the storage area, has led her to the cusp of washing her hands of him……. Or, at least she would if “I could find a store with any bleeding hand sanitiser in stock!”