Wheaton’s Way

The descent into madness

Here we are, now officially in lockdown mode. Those of us who are not exactly gourmet chefs are beginning to discover that creating a meal from olives and jam is more difficult than one might think. Thank goodness, therefore, restaurants are still being allowed to deliver.

I’ve never been great at supermarket shopping at the best of times. For starters, I always go when I’m hungry, which anyone will tell you is a bad idea. The cart ends up full of cravings that have a shelf life of approximately two days and a nutritional index of about five. I’ve actually found myself at the register with four bags of potato chips, lying about the reason I need them to complete strangers, who didn’t ask and gave no indication of wanting to engage in conversation in the first place. I think they call that a guilty conscience.

I also fall down in the shopping-list category. While sensible people look at their stock at home to see which items are dwindling and then plan their meals for the week, I just head down the aisles relying on my memory to guide me as to what I’m sure we’re short on. Unrelated question: who would like four jars of mayonnaise?

As more (warranted) restrictions have been put in place by the government, businesses have had to temporarily close their doors, including spas and salons. As someone noted on Facebook, this is the time of the Great Equaliser. I have never been good about upkeep in the form of mani/pedis, hair cutting/colouring and other treatments to help someone look their best, and now my misery will love the company as others resort to home remedies.

My hair colour is a prime example of a L’Oreal box job, with patches of grey behind the ears and split ends aplenty. I used to constantly wash my face with hand soap and wondered why my skin felt like that of an old yam. Don’t worry, I’ve graduated to something by Oil of Olay but I’m still not moisturising as I should.

Jo Cowin, owner of Utopia Hair, is my complete opposite. She is always impeccably turned out with abs as tight as a made-up army bed and vibrant glossy locks. I don’t think even the Apocalypse could make a dent where she is concerned.

Let’s remember that it was much worse after Hurricane Ivan. We were all showering with buckets of water and manicures went the way of Scarlett O’Hara’s family trying to work the land of Tara after the Civil War. Unfortunately, I can’t make a dress out of the drapes in my house because a) I have absolutely no sewing skills to speak of; and b) I have no drapes – only blinds – on the windows. I think the one person who could pull off an outfit made of blinds is Lady Gaga.

Do I appear to be babbling? That’s apparently what staying at home can do. For those of you who have ever been caught in a conversation with me, you’ll recognise the pattern above, as I jump from one subject to the next like the Mario Bros.

Know what? When I wasn’t forced to stay in my house, I had absolutely no interest in walking on the beach, or along the pavement, or anywhere outdoors. Pathetic, really, but it’s like everything else in life – when you know it’s there all the time, you think you can go whenever you want but you never do. It’s just the comfort of knowing you could.

On Wednesday, when the 24-hour curfew was announced, I suddenly had the urge to feel the sand between my toes. I would go for a walk on the beach and breathe in the salt air before the 7 o’clock hour. Yes, yes! Then I realised I hadn’t yet watched the season finale of ‘Avenue 5’ (fantastic Armando Iannucci series on HBO). Meh … the walk can wait until Saturday.


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