Pandemic Pondering#18

How will this period in our world history be viewed ? There will be retrospective judgement on decisions made by governments and individuals. We will all lose some links and forge others.

Whilst we are in it it feels like a huge pause in life. Within this huge pause , I took a little pause this week. I’m not entirely sure why. Like many of us I have some very serious concerns about friends and the future. I’m struggling with my lack of personal freedom and by the restrictions placed on us all for the common good.

My world has become so small and yet I can still fill every waking moment with something. Good books, dog walking , cleaning, painting both creative and domestic , uninterrupted conversations, gardening. Thoughts

My head is full of the positive things I’m experiencing , but my political thoughts also get ample time to rant . People who have been lovely get fully celebrated and mentally showered with gratitude.But oh my goodness if someone pisses me off, the things my head creates for their retribution is not pretty.

So I’ve had a pause, I’ve had a good old think and am hugely grateful to be where I am.

What’s the toilet roll story ?

I’ve had some loo roll thinking time.

Back on Pandemic Pondering #1 Day, @theoldmortuary was running out of loo roll. It was the height of panic buying and bulk purchasing in British shops. There are only going to be two of us here for quite a while but the only amount of loo rolls we could buy, locally, was a massive 36 roll pack. That just seemed a bit stupid and put me in the same league of idiocy as all the fools overbuying products for their homes. We had enough for the week so the problem was not critical. Decades earlier my grandparents used to cut up The Daily Mail and the Daily Express for bum wiping , the only useful thing for those publications and quite a lot of British newspapers so I already knew there were other options.

Then luxury caught up with me. 4 roll packs of toilet paper were available. I had the option of only peach coloured loo roll impregnated with either Shea Butter or Aloe Vera. Caution was thrown to the wind and one pack of each found their way to @theoldmortuary.

There are many problems with this. I am a woman of life-long use of bog standard white toilet roll.

My first experience of turning around after a wee was shocking, peach loo paper combined with very standard straw coloured wee, gives the appearance of something very wrong in the urinary department!

How did anybody cope in the seventies with gaudy porcelain toilets and brightly coloured toilet paper. The reason I’m a white loo roll woman is because my mum thought coloured toilet roll was common.Her views were the same on toothpaste. She saw nothing wrong with one bathroom in Avocado Green and the other in Tropical Turquoise while the outside loo was Sunshine Yellow. Nothing common about our sanitary ware as long as the toilet paper was white and the torn edge hung down the back. These are rules I can abide by.

Sadly my mum was already deceased when moisturised toilet paper became a thing. I don’t know what her opinion would be. I can guess though. When did moisturised toilet roll become a thing?


Toilet paper is for dabbing dampness after a wee, why would my lady garden or your boy bits need moisturising at this point, or indeed any point?

Secondly it’s for clearing up after a poo. A slippery, slithery,at times,sticky activity, what possible benefit does extra moisturiser bring to this particular party. None. What you need is a little tooth or traction on the surface of your loo paper to get the job done.

Now clearly two different moisturisers must have different qualities. My bog standard butt, trained only on white bog standard loo roll , discerned no difference whatsoever. The introduction of moisturised papers to my sanitary areas brought no benefit . No increase in walking speed as my buttocks slid silkily over each other, no astounded looks from passers-by as I exuded Aloe Vera or Shea Butter enhanced side steps whilst maintaining social distance . No delicate fragrance eminating from my jeans hinting at a subtly moisturised buttock cleft

Something tells me , and it may be too much time has been spent thinking about this, that fancy toilet paper is just a crock of sh**e

I leave you with Standard White, as perfect as it gets.

Continue reading “Pandemic Pondering#18”

Pandemic Pondering #15

Pondering the poor Pangolin.Being a small bookworm took me to some interesting books and introduced me to unusual creatures The Pangolin was a creature I felt an affinity with whenever one appeared in the books I was reading. At other times I sought them out in Zoos and wildlife parks, thrilled by their ability to lick up ants Their tongue is longer than their whole body and is kept in a pouch by one hip. Pangolins might have remained in a quiet recess in my brain had the current Pandemic not put them very squarely in the frame through no fault of their own. Their scales are prized in Chinese medicine and their flesh is prized as a delicacy, increasingly they are farmed and this unregulated trade puts them in unnatural close proximity to Bats believed to be the original species host of Coronovirus. I’m
Katherine Rundell has written this uncomfortable account of Pangolin reality.
The awkward path of Coronovirus from Bat to Human via the Pangolin in wet Markets in China will be the stuff of much research in the future.
For today I just wanted to sketch my childhood friend, the Pangolin.

As luck would have it, I had a curious wedding garment that I photographed in Greece in my image file . It was just what I needed to give this little chap some bling.

Pandemic Ponderings #5

Hannah the other human @theoldmortuary has succumbed to a virus, not The Virus.

It would not be an exaggeration to say our house is always handwash central and we’ve only become more obsessed in the last few weeks.

But we have a VV, a toddler who shares everything with her Nanna and Nonna and clearly sneaked this one in under the new regime.It’s like being given cheap sliced bread when you were anticipating artisanal sourdough.

Hugo and Lola are putting in the hours caring in their usual cuddle style. Historically one of their other mother’s has been inclined towards the occasional hangover or broken heart. Hugo in particular has a whole repertoir of tired and emotional cuddles that involve him wrapping himself theatrically around the affected person. Lola is more practical and curls around chilly feet.

The messages they leave for their doggy friends probably reflect their disappointment in us for not catching the famous one.

I’ve never particularly envied them their news gathering system of sniffing recently delivered piss but it works no matter what the disaster. The same cannot be said for our current increasing reliance on techy solutions to this pandemic. I am only one phone charge away from near total isolation at the moment.

Pandemic Ponderings #4

Zooming and WhatsApp has filled my day as I’m sure it has or will for many people during these early pandemic days.Setting up new forms of communication for groups that until this week simply got together is vital to keep us socially and culturally connected. Whatsapp has been part of my portfolio of communication for a while , I’ve settled on that platform for a small 10 person book club.

Zoom is something I’ve only used once for an art course. I wasn’t so sure about it then. It worked much better today for an artist and makers organisation, we were all pretty much video conferencing virgins and once contact was established everyone seemed to relax into it.

Away from my device I’ve had a lovely long dog walk, once again dressed as the Lone Ranger.

My walk was pretty slow as Hugo and Lola needed to read the doggy news that they all constantly leave for each other. I took their sniffing/peeing stops as a cue to find something interesting to photograph .

The last one must mean something to someone, it’s clearly important as it’s been highlighted but to the uninitiated( me) it means nothing. The others of course signify the arrival of spring and need only innate knowledge to decode. I am very grateful that in the Northern Hemisphere this pandemic is hitting us in the natural world’s most optomistic season.

Pandemic Pondering #3

Thankfully, today, the dreadful earache is much less dreadful. Grapefruit calls me for breakfast. Easy peel tangerines for other parts of the day.

Citrus fruits of all sorts in their awkward sticky, juicy, fleshy wholeness are my favourite fruits. I wonder if I’ve been craving them for the last couple of days because Mr Virus was hanging around. It helps massively that Lidl are selling grapefruit for 29p and no-one, except perhaps me, would ever consider panic buying or hoarding grapefruits.

Social isolation stops me being that person, but long before Coronovirus or its evil twin Brexit were gripping Britain I had squirreled away some tins of grapefruit.

Curiously me and grapefruit go back a long way. My parents thought that half a grapefruit served with its own special spoon was exactly the sort of breakfast to serve to their small child. It could be followed by another eye wateringly sharp citrus burst of Lime marmalade.

I wonder if my love of citrus is genetic, my father could never choose anything different if a lemon flavoured desert appeared on a menu. As he got older, about where I am now, he drove my mother mad with his lemon obsession. Even Christmas cake got the citrus treatment as he squeezed half a bottle of Jif concentrated lemon juice into the royal icing mixture.

Pondering is a funny old business. It was only while I was writing this that I remembered that mornings were always started with PLJ and hot water. I can’t have given that a moment’s thought for 40 years. I think it was a seventies thing but I’m not really sure.

Onwards into day 2 of isolation.