Thanks to the accursed virus, fans had to be thrown out of today’s night session at the Australian Open in the middle of the 4th set of Djokovic v Fritz, before the clock struck midnight. It was like a very strange version of Cinderella. Also, the River Thames has frozen over for the first time in 60 years, the Austrian Tyrol is now the worst coronavirus hotspot in Central Europe, United’s match at Real Sociedad of San Sebastian has been moved to Turin, and we’ve been promised a new Downton Abbey film as long as everyone gets vaccinated. I’d love to think that all anti-vaxxers are keen Downton Abbey fans and that this will make them see the error of their ways, but sadly I fear not: however, hey, it’s worth a try. These are very strange times. I’m just waiting for someone to tell me that they’ve seen a weird light in the sky and that their neighbour’s cow’s given birth to a three-headed calf.
Meanwhile, my life has become so predictable that I’m starting to feel like one of the Ena Sharples gang in the early days of Coronation Street, always sitting in the snug of the Rovers and never drinking anything other than milk stout. Except that the pubs are closed. Further to last week’s scone trauma, when the cafe had run out of scones by 11am, I decided that I would go and get a scone today, to be eaten tomorrow, to get round the problem of the Australian Open committee having inconsiderately given Rafa and Cam the second night match with absolutely no thought as to when I was going to go and get my scone without the worry of the cafe having run out of them again.
So I went in, and, because the guy knows that, since the start of Lockdown III, I always go in on a Saturday morning, he asked if I’d be coming in tomorrow, and said that, if so, he could always put a scone on one side for me. So I explained that I wouldn’t be coming in tomorrow because I didn’t know what time the tennis would finish. I’m not sure what’s more weird, the fact that the scone trauma had such an impact on the guy that he offered to put a scone aside (bless) or the fact that I saw fit to explain in a café that I couldn’t leave the house during Rafa’s match.
On top of that, because everyone seems to go for their walk in the park at the same time every day, and I was a bit later than usual due to the tennis, I passed someone I barely know and they said “Ooh, you’re late today”.
My life has never been very exciting, but I have my moments. The house is full of pictures of me at Machu Picchu, the Taj Mahal, the Kremlin, the Pyramids, Tiananmen Square, the Venice Carnival, etc. Now, people notice if I’m walking to the local park a few minutes later than usual. I’ve even started going to the same checkout every time I go to Tesco, because it’s usually staffed by a very smiley lady who always chats away and cheers me up!
In case anyone’s reading this, just to clarify the points above 🙂 :
- For five wonderful days, fans have been allowed into the Australian Open. It’s been wonderful hearing the noise of a real crowd again. But, sadly, there have been some cases of the virus in Melbourne, and so the state of Victoria has been put into lockdown for a week. Everyone was supposed to be home at midnight, so the crowd had to be thrown out in the middle of the match. It was very strange. This wretched bloody virus. But thank you to the authorities for allowing the tournament to continue.
- Due to travel restrictions, English football clubs cannot travel to Spain, Germany or Portugal for the next round of Champions League/Europa League matches, and Portuguese clubs cannot travel to England. So United’s match in Spain (the Spanish Basque country) has been moved to Italy, Arsenal’s match in Portugal has been moved to Italy, Arsenal’s home match against a Portuguese club has been moved to Greece, Liverpool and city’s matches in Germany have been moved to Hungary, and Chelsea’s match in Spain has been moved to Romania. Everyone with that? Good.
- Hugh Bonneville has said that there’ll be a second Downton Abbey film once everyone who’s been offered a vaccination has had a vaccination.
- Tyrol (excluding East Tyrol, which is geographically separate), which has played an important role in my life as the setting for the early Chalet School books, has sadly been hit by an outbreak of the South African variant of the virus. No-one’s allowed out of the province unless they’ve had a negative virus test within the last 48 hours, and no-one’s allowed to cross from Tyrol into Germany at all.
The world is upside down. That’s also a bad pun to do with the Australian Open.
If anyone’s actually read all that, thank you. Writing is helping me to cling on to what bit of sanity I’ve got left 🙂 . Stay safe x .