The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire)

The Flying Pigs

Three weeks without a manicure and not so much as a grumble – I salute you all!

- Davinia Smythe-Barratt, ordinary mum

This whole coronaviru­s situation is getting pretty scary for we Ordinary Mums. One minute we’re blithely going about our business, touching our faces and shaking hands with the au pair (Snezana, she’s Bulgarian, she’s marvellous), then the next it’s surgical masks, elbow bumps and stockpilin­g toilet roll and quinoa! I just know all my fellow Ordinary Mums out there are, like me, grinning and bearing it. Three weeks without a manicure and not so much as a grumble. I salute you all!

Of course, not everyone is quite so willing to put the nation’s needs before their own.

Just yesterday, when I was driving Emmeline to the stables to feed and groom her pony, Maximus (an essential journey, under the category of “supporting the vulnerable” – the poor animal has ADHD), I spotted one chancer on his way out of the local shop.

This is a time when community spirit is vital, so I pulled over the Disco and gave him some free advice.

“Hoi,” I shouted. “I saw you putting your bin out this morning – you shouldn’t be out again! Stay indoors, you selfish man!”

I know he was grateful for the friendly reminder because he waved me off with a

“V for victory” salute. It was charming, but unnecessar­y. I’m not a hero, I was just doing my bit.

People wonder how I manage to cope so well with the isolation, but the secret is simply to keep oneself busy. First thing in the morning I take my usual constituti­onal with Casper, our Japanese akita, he needs three walks a day (and three decent-sized carrier bags, if you know what I mean).

Mid-morning I go with my son Fidel to his fencing lesson. Essential? Yes. Fidel needs his exercise – if it wasn’t for fencing the only time he’d move would be to change the disc in his Xbox. Safe? Absolutely. Both he and his instructor, Laszlo, wear masks throughout.

Then of course I had to ferry Emms to the stables, and finally I did my essential food shopping.

Yes, it would be great if I could tie that in with an earlier journey, but sadly that just isn’t possible, because now that Waitrose have stopped taking orders for delivery it’s an 80-mile round trip to Stirling.

A long way to go for aromatic blueberrie­s and Leckford Estate button mushrooms, yes, but needs must in these unpreceden­ted times.

But it’s when I’m out on these vital journeys that I see the true problem the UK faces during this pandemic.

There are still some selfish people walking or driving around as if they hadn’t a care in the world.

Come on folks, we’re all in this together! Tanya Souter, lifestyle guru

I da ken aboot youse, but I’m trying tae mak the best oot o’ this strange new lifestyle we’re a’ leading.

Like wir government, I didnae predict a lot o’ recent events. I didnae think we’d find wirsels in lockdoon. I didnae think my twa wid end up genuinely “hame schooled”, after a’ that times I telt their heedie they a’ready were fan they were getting chased up for skiving.

And I certainly didnae think we’d a’ be sitting here a’ sweaty wi aching limbs.

Dinna fash, we’ve nae caught nithin, it’s jist my kids hiv been making me dae their daily workoot wi’ YouTube fitness sensation Joe Wicks.

Noo, dinna get me wrang, I’m pleased tae see he’s still going strong efter a’ they years in EastEnders, and a lot better-looking than I mind him being, but oh me, he’s knackering!

Ye can call him a selfless saviour o’ children’s housebound fitness if ye wint, but I prefer tae think of him as a fanciable sadist. As if the mannie fae 50 Shades o’ Grey hid traded his helicopter for a pair o’ Reeboks.

Plus, there’s something nae richt aboot the tiny grey living room far he diz a’ his exertions – it’s far too clean an tidy. How are his twa kids nae running aboot causing chaos and smearing jam on the wa’s?

But I s’pose on balance it’s good tae hae some

Wi’ Primark, Next and Sports Direct bringing doon the shutters, it’s hard for a shoplifter tae mak ends meet

sort o’ routine or distractio­n files yer stuck at hame, cos it’s a tricky business, this.

Just sticking tae the official rules is nae easy.

I mean, fit exercise is allowed onywye? Yer allowed tae ging oot for a walk, but foo far can ye ging afore yer permissibl­e exercise turns intae non-essential travel?

If I see a policeman coming towards me, div I stert running tae prove I’m daein my daily exercise, or wid that nae mak things worse?

Folk are feeling the pinch a’ready.

My pal Big Sonya is facing a significan­t downturn. Wi’ the likes o’ Primark, Next and Sports Direct bringing doon the shutters, it’s hard for a shoplifter tae mak ends meet.

A’ my self-employed pals are struggling an a’. It’s good o’ the government tae say they’ll stump up for 80% o’ their profits – but they’re nae daft, are they?

It’s 80% o’ fit ye’ve pit through the books! The slater fa bides up the stair fae me dis ’at mony homers he’ll hae tae gi’e Rishi Sunak money!

 ??  ?? A’ my self-employed pals are struggling an a’. It’s good o’ the government tae say they’ll stump up for 80% o’ their profits – but they’re nae daft, are they? It’s 80% o’ fit ye’ve pit through the books!
A’ my self-employed pals are struggling an a’. It’s good o’ the government tae say they’ll stump up for 80% o’ their profits – but they’re nae daft, are they? It’s 80% o’ fit ye’ve pit through the books!
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