Mr B and I were struggling all weekend. The isolation! Having nobody to listen to except each other! The world has shrinking in size, before our very eyes! Mr B was particularly upset at losing contact with one of his
Very Best Beloved. He was lost without it.
What did you say? It’s the corona virus and we are all in it together? My friends, we are not talking about a
vicious virus striding across our green and pleasant land - we are talking about the unfortunate demise of our Sky remote control....
Disaster struck early on
Saturday morning when Mr B, as is his wont, beseeched me to turn on the TV so that he could watch the news and get himself properly prepared for Saturday Morning Kitchen, his weekend programme of choice. I switched on the TV, pointed the remote control at
the screen and waited for signs of life. Nothing. The screen stayed blank. I fiddled about for a while with the various buttons on the remote and tried turning the TV on and off a few times. Mr B added a few choice exclamations which didn’t do
a great deal to move things along. I decided that the batteries in the remote control must need changing and trotted off into the kitchen to tip the contents out of every drawer which might possibly hold a few AAA batteries. So many different sized batteries
I found but not a single AAA. Mr B tells me that when he was in charge of All Things Household we never, ever ran out of anything so potentially important.
up a few distress flares and two Knights in Shining Armour answered the call. Matt Next Door left two batteries on our doorstep while Ever Ready Ian went down to the hardware shop and bought me a packet. My gratitude knew no bounds. Unfortunately, despite
changing the batteries, the remote control still refused to play the game. I had to accept that it was, in a manner of speaking, kaput.
Given Mr B’s habit
of dropping the instrument on the floor so that its innards burst out all over the room, such that I have had to use a large elastic band to hold it together, it isn’t so surprising really that it has decided to give up the ghost. Bolstered by some encouraging
words of advice from My Boy, I prepared to do battle with Sky...
It took me what seemed like most of the morning but eventually all was sorted and a lovely fella
at Sky promised me that a new remote control was, even as we were speaking, winging its way to us by express courier. Except that, even with a fair wind, it wouldn’t arrive until Monday...
As I said, right at the start, it has been a struggle. I have set up BBC IPlayer and ITVhub on the IPad and positioned it on a dining room chair, trying to achieve a balance between the appropriate social distance. When, usually
at the most inconvenient moment, the IPad demands to be charged (it is very demanding for something so small) we have resorted to the DVD player. So far we have watched Made in Dagenham, The Jazz Singer, two of the Bourne Trilogy, Electric Dreams and the film
of grandkids Jack and Hazel in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat from five years ago. Oh, yes, and - appropriately enough - Brassed Off. We are turning into Millennials in our sudden attraction to the box set.
It’s Monday now and the express courier still hasn’t arrived with a new remote control. Every time there is a knock at the door, Mr B gets all excited. Every time he is disappointed.
Then, around midday, a summons from the door - an extremely large, flat parcel has been delivered. “Is that the remote?” Mr B wants to know. I study the parcel,
in all its flatness, and say it seems unlikely. What on earth can it be, I wonder?
Out of the package, a flat board emerges. I wonder if somebody has sent us a
new whiteboard. Then I turn the board over to find a wonderful montage, picturing every member of our family, each holding a different hand-made card spelling out the following message: “ We all love you so very much. We may be forced apart but you’re
always in our hearts.” Yes, indeed, I weep.
Life in Splendid Isolation isn’t much fun and, oh, how I miss my Nearest and Dearest! Now here they all
are, smiling out at me, with all the promise of better days ahead. Once I’ve wiped away the tears, I feel so much happier, so well loved, so blessed in my lovely family.
Who somehow now seem so much closer, so much less, well, remote....