Time was when a bubble was something I used to blow, through soapy hands, to entertain first my children and later my grandchildren at bath time. I used to be pretty good at blowing bubbles, though I say so myself as shouldn’t
(as my dear mum would doubtless chide me.) Fans of West Ham Football Club still like to sing about blowing bubbles - I am sure they have my kind of bubbles in mind.
a bubble is something completely different. It has even become a verb, would you believe, as in “I have bubbled up with...” It has also become A Person, in my case the Youngest of the Darling Daughters who arrived on my doorstep a few days ago
to rescue me from the depths of despair. No, there wasn’t a soapy hand to be seen...
Social bubbles are allowed, under current government guidelines, so
that people living alone can have some support from a chosen source to save them from loneliness. In the original guidance, only people living on their own could choose to bubble with someone (see, I have already fallen into the new jargon of our age) but
more recently this has been extended to those like me who live with and care for a disabled person. My daughter and I bubbled immediately.
What we weren’t
so sure about was whether she was allowed to travel from her home to mine in order to, well, bubble. The guidance suggested local was best but didn’t rule out the need to travel. Bubbling was considered, we were furthermore informed by Matt the Hancock,
“sacrosanct” so unlikely to be changed any time soon. “I’m coming!” declared my daughter - though she did decide not to attract attention to herself by travelling via the motorways. The thought of being stopped by a Covid Marshall
and requested to explain herself didn’t appeal. My daughter, like me, is extremely law-abiding...
I did need her company so much. With Mr B now in a nursing
home, gaining the strength he will need to come home, I was feeling desperately lonely - and there are few people quite like the Youngest of the Darling Daughters for dispelling gloom and doom.
For starters, there was the ongoing competition as to which of us could walk the most steps per day, as recorded by our Fitbits. Mine, you may recall, is called Fergie, my daughter hasn’t named hers which seems a quite
glaring oversight in my opinion. The main issue was that, because my ageing legs take smaller steps than her younger ones, I managed to record a few hundred more steps, despite the fact that we actually went everywhere together. This was a matter of some concern
to the Y of the DD. She was even more concerned when I set out on Sunday to walk to church and back, leaving her at home for some quiet time with her laptop. Reasoning that this would give me a quite unfair head start on the day, she was outside the church
waiting for me when I emerged. It’s not easy to pull a fast one (or even, at the speed I walk these days, a slow one) over my youngest daughter.
hours talking; Mr B, had he been here, would have mourned that our jaws would not rust. We watched a different film every evening, never once arguing about each other’s choices. We took long walks along the sea-front every day, after hand-delivering
my daily letter to Mr B. My daughter took photos of me and socially distanced selfies of the two of us. I look exactly like a garden gnome in all of them but the sea-scape is absolutely spectacular. We joined her Rock Choir on YouTube and laughed together
at my unsuccessful attempts to get my tongue around a warm-up tongue twister which went something like: “Chicken tikka, chicken tikka, chicken tikka starter (repeat twice) naan and pilau rice!” Please do try it for yourself - there is a slightly
longer version, involving mango chutney and a pint of lager but I don’t want to tie your tongues up too much, too quickly.
We did have some serious conversations
too. One of them was about the fact that we all have our own People in our lives, those who matter most to us. Everybody needs their own Person or Persons to feel whole. The Youngest of the Darling Daughters, in answering my distress call, had to leave three
of her People at home without her - and I love her for it.
“But you’re my Person, too!” she was quick to tell me.
Lucky, lucky me.