Social Distancing

Day 3

It is Saturday, apparently: it is already getting hard to tell the days apart. Maybe, hopefully, we get spared the daily Boris bluster on Saturdays? Although he can be quite amusing. Yesterday he defined going to the pub as ‘an ancient, unalienable right of free-born British people’. Funny, I do not recall seeing that right in any of the international statements of human rights, nor even in the Magna Carta. And what about those British people still apparently labouring under the yoke of slavery? Are they not allowed a swift one or a drop of the cratur to temper their miserable existence?

Saturday, so. That does away with both the shower conundrum and the dressing gown enigma. Since moving to the country, I have been introduced to the refreshing concept of ‘clean dirt’. Maybe because they are surrounded by so much real – and dangerous – dirt (slurry, slurry and slurry, in that order), the natives have a fairly relaxed attitude to things like cobwebs and dust that send some city-dwellers into a frenzy of cleaning. Never take a picture off a wall in a country house: while the amorphous, grey mass sticking to the wall behind it could, at a stretch, be a class of abstract art, the bean an tí does actually get a bit embarrassed if you expose it, especially if she is your mother-in-law and already wary of your sophisticated, city-slicker ways and notions.

This notion of ‘clean dirt’ extends too to the human person. Apparently, you can ‘wash yourself too much’, and, especially if you have not been playing in enough ‘clean dirt’ during your childhood, further deplete your body’s natural resistance and immune system. I am more than game to go along with these notions as they mean I have no hoovering duties to speak of, and dusting is becoming a quaint tradition practised in that different country called The Past. In an attempt to integrate myself with the locals, therefore, a Saturday shower would be an act of rebellion and make me stand out, and for the sake of community relations, I am willing to forego the daily ablution.

As for getting dressed, you can only find my house if you get lost, so there is no real point in putting on any other attire than the tatty bathrobe as I am 99.7% certain there will be no visitors to deal with today. Sure I would only be taking the clothes off again in about 15.2 hours, so what’s the point? And, as there are no shops or pubs or gyms to go out to, clothes would seem to be an extravagance too far.

I will wash my hands though.