Since my last report we’ve had some adventures but I need to caution you against getting too excited.  Nowadays our adventures have a small (very small) a.

Take ants for example.  We’ve had a couple of invasions, one in the kitchen and one in a corner of the spare bedroom. The apparent entry points (I say apparent because their exact location remains a mystery) are a good few metres apart so it is unclear whether the armies of ants are acting independently or are under some sort of centralised command.  Their objective is also unclear.  They confine themselves to a relatively small amount of territory (just the windowsill in the kitchen for example) and rush around apparently purposefully, but to what end?  I have spent some time over the last couple of days repelling the attacks by squirting them with a mixture of vinegar and Fairy liquid and occasionally dousing them with boiling water.  They don’t seem to like vinegar but, whilst clearly discouraged, struggle on manfully.  The boiling water stops the ants that are visible dead (literally) in their tracks,  though presumably the ants waiting further back in the queue escape unscathed.  There is no sign of ants snaking up the outside walls but I’ve worked out why: the cunning things have established their headquarters underneath the terrace decking.  Anyway, I’m happy to report that this morning there are far fewer ants. Perhaps word has been passed back along the line that continuing the attacks is futile, a suicide mission.

Getting rid of black bin liners full of rubbish is  another adventure with a small a. This involves a potentially perilous journey in the lift down to the ground floor. This is perilous, not because I’m likely to be stuck in the lift (though I suppose that could happen), but because I have to assume the lift buttons are teeming with the invisible virus.  I therefore operate the lift with my elbows and ditto the button that opens the front door to the building once I get down there.  However, the really dodgy bit is entering the code into the barrel lock on the door to the bin store.  In the good old days BC, the main hazard was remembering the blasted number and asking people who had stopped for a smoke to step aside.  Now I twiddle the numbers convinced they are an ideal hiding place for the dreaded virus. Of course this is absurd because the virus is so small that, unlike the ants, it doesn’t need to hide anywhere. I read somewhere that if the virus was the size of a pound coin, a human cell would be the size of a Boeing 747.  My wife, rummaging in the back of a cupboard, has produced some disposable gloves.  I have large hands but I can just about wriggle my fingers into them without the gloves splitting.  This, in case you haven’t worked it out, is great news.  It means I won’t be reporting on rubbish disposal again.

For twenty minutes each day I sit outside on a bench in the sun meditating.  I learnt to meditate years ago when I spotted an advertisement in the local paper offering free lessons in  Transcendental Meditation.  I was given a mantra to focus on that, I was assured, was unique to me and told I must never ever divulge it to anyone.  I have always assumed, cynically, that was because everyone was given the same mantra.  However, I’ve been obedient and never checked this out.  The other day my wife asked me if I found that meditating made a difference. I said I didn’t know because I wasn’t a control group and had no way of knowing what I’d feel like if I didn’t meditate.  Pity really.  It set me thinking that if half of me could meditate (never mind which half!) while the other half did something else, ranted and raved about something, the government’s daily press briefings for example, I’d be in a position to compare and contrast.  Just think how useful it would be if we all had two halves. One half could catch Covid-19 while the other half developed immunity. Brilliant too for trialling vaccines: one half gets the vaccine while the other half gets a placebo.  We could even test out President Trump’s suggestion by injecting bleach into one half and, say, gin and tonic into the other.

Every day a hawk soars effortlessly over us causing widespread panic amongst the pigeons.  There must be a feisty blackbird nesting somewhere nearby because the brave thing, though much smaller, takes to the air and buzzes the hawk.  The hawk, used to getting its own way, takes umbrage and ducks and dives but it’s always back the next day on pigeon patrol. Small things like this enrich our day

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