Daily Express

‘Imagine lockdown without Sky or a gin and tonic. I swear to God it’d do for me’


ONE of the things that’s driving me nuts in lockdown is that when things go wrong, there’s no one to fix them.You ring those emergency numbers you have stored in your phone but there’s no human at the end of the line, just a recorded message saying “Closed till after Lockdown”.And a feeling of abandonmen­t envelops you.

We have two hoity-toity, state-of-the-art Miele ovens.We paid more for them than we did for our wedding and since we’ve got them they’ve been fabulous – until four days into lockdown when one of them stopped working and very politely told us in big flashing letters to “Please consult your service engineer”. (You see that’s how good they are – they tell you what to do even when they’re not working.)

The Husband had the bright idea of looking for the powerpoint that turned the ovens on and off. He thought that, as with computers, we might be able to just re-boot it.We found it inside an overhead cupboard so he leaned in and flicked the very heavy switch which was scary because we didn’t know what else it controlled. Anyway there was a loud clunking sound. I didn’t dare look – but, hey presto, the oven came back on. Now every two days the oven goes off, we flick the switch and it comes back on. But we know our luck will run out soon. I’m just praying when it does, the engineers are back at work.

And I’m not the only one going throughApp­liance Hell.A friend rang to say the freezer part of her fridge freezer had packed up and because it’s the plumbed-in kind she can’t get a plumber to come into the house.Which means not only has she had to throw away a mountain of frozen food but she can’t buy any more to replace it. My friend is one of the people working flat out in lockdown and hasn’t got time to do lots of supermarke­t runs. But what she’s most upset about isn’t the wasted food, it’s that she’s got no ice for her gin and tonic which is currently her only comfort at the end of a gruelling day.

The same friend’s satellite dish is also on the blink and isn’t receiving a signal but no one will come out to fix it for fear it involves coming into the house to check the wiring. Now, just stop for a minute and imagine lockdown without Sky or gin and tonic. I swear to God it would do for me because the thing that’s getting most of us through this is telly and alcohol.

And never mind that our appliances are falling to bits – our bodies are too. I have three separate chips out of fillings. I suspect it’s the amount of crisps I’ve chomped through, not to mention the popcorn which always has those little hard kernels that you don’t see until you’ve crunched down on them and boom – cracked filling! Anyway, they’re not hurting yet (well they are a bit but I think it’s because I keep poking them with my tongue) but I do spend a lot of time imagining all sorts of bacteria creeping in there and then blowing up into abscesses. In fact even as I write this one of them has started to hurt but I’m hoping it’s psychosoma­tic. And of course abscesses need antibiotic­s and it’s not easy to get those quickly and we all know that when an abscess flares up you want to be battering it with antibiotic­s ASAP.

I’ve got an emergency stash that I bought last year in Greece and when I phoned a doctor friend to ask if they were any good he said they were very powerful. He said it as a warning. I took it as a huge comfort.

But we forget how utterly dependent we are on the armies of people who make our lives run smoothly. It’s incredibly stressy and scary without them.

And I get the fact these little irritation­s don’t count as major life problems but when the best part of your day is a G&T (with ice), a Pizza (from the freezer) and settling down in front of Netflix, it does get you down.

IT IS important when staying at home to keep moving – for the benefit of your physical and mental health.

So the Daily Express has teamed up with award-winning fitness coach Julie Bartlett to bring you some beneficial exercises.

If you have been following Julie’s routines, you will have noticed that you have been working on your strength and your aerobic fitness.

Now it is time to work on your

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