THE MUSIC MAKER
We are, of course, so lucky to have the technology available to allow us to maintain contact with family and friends during these seemingly endless days of isolation. Nonetheless, there are only so many conversations you can have with your best friend about the colour of his wallpaper or what he's going to have for tea without wanting to beat yourself about the head with your mobile phone. As an alternative, you can log on to Facebook to watch some cats falling over or read a few vacuous motivational phrases but after approximately one minute of that, it only makes you want to know more about your mate's living room colour scheme and whether he's got any eggs and chips left over from yesterday.
No, the fact of the matter is that being stuck at home, no matter how justified the cause, is mind numbing. Once or twice as a youngster, I pretended to be a bit peaky because I didn't fancy going to school. This always seemed like a marvellous ruse at the time, until about 11 o'clock that is, when lying in bed with a thermometer in my mouth, pretending to groan, became far a more unpleasant experience than trigonometry with Mr Ryan. Inevitably the following day, I'd be back to the classroom like an over-excited whippet.
Anyway, back to the present. Whatever are we to do to keep the ennui at bay? Well , you could try what I did - learning a new skill. So, I bought a frying pan, some bacon and some eggs. What could possibly go wrong? Well, the thing about new frying pans is that they have stickers and cardboard all over them, with a particularly sneaky example of the genre on the base of the pan. In my haste to explore my culinary capabilities, I inevitably forgot about that little blighter. Cue smoke bellowing from under the pan, the pungent aroma of molten plastic and the by now inedible victuals being scraped into the rubbish bin. I had a banana instead.
Not to worry. What about reading one of those books you've always meant to but never managed, or tried and didn't like? Right, For Whom The Bell Tolls it is, because everyone loves Hemingway. Except me. After ten tortuous pages, I remembered why I'd vowed never to let his overrated prose darken my door again and would have consigned the book to the same fate as the bacon and eggs except that it looks good on a shelf. Unread.
This always happens when attempting to fill the empty hours; I start with the best of intentions and then end up where I always do - binge-watching Frasier.