You have to bear in mind that I've already lived alone for 21 years, 7 months, and... 6 days and, because I work from home at least four days a week (and have done so for the past eleven years), I've often gone a week without speaking to anyone, except perhaps the postman if he's knocked on the door, so you might think that Lockdown would be plain sailing for me, but it's totally stripped me of my normal coping strategies, which are a) to go out shopping and b) to tell myself, "Never mind, on x, I'll be meeting y and we'll be doing z," which always helps, even when x is a really long way in the future.
I am so relieved that my mum and dad -- especially my mum, who had an Olympic gold medal in worrying -- aren't having to go through this. (To be honest, I think the only answer would have been to move in with them).
Thinking about it, though, I've spent my entire life preparing for a zombie apocalypse.
As of this morning, I have 31 rolls of toilet paper (which is a good 15 fewer than I would normally have, but I've been valiantly fighting the need to get my stocks back up to the proper level); I have enough toothpaste and mouthwash to last several months and enough soap for a year; I have 14 bottles of water (plus quite a lot of San Pellegrino) and about 10 bottles of vodka (but I never drink alcohol on my own); I have a freezer full of veggie 'meat' and, bizarrely, several packets of frozen peas; and this is an up-to-date inventory of my cans collection:
It's hereditary. My grandad had a storage pit under the floor of his lean-to, filled with cans of food and bottles of pop, ready for World War III. When my dad passed away, we found -- amongst other things -- 15 bottles of washing up liquid stacked neatly in the utility room, and five bags of Fox's Glacier fruits hidden in his sock drawer. (He was diabetic).
On Sunday, I put on several pairs of big girl's pants and went shopping for the first time since the Lockdown. (The pants were needed because I always get mega stressed when there are New Rules to follow). I timed things so that I arrived at Asda about 10 mins before they opened and, although the queue was long, I only had to wait a further 10 mins to get in (though when I came out there was no queue at all!). I got all the essentials -- just one pack of toilet paper, a few veg, a make-do present for my niece's birthday...
Somewhere between leaving the shop and unpacking the car, I managed to lose the wrapping paper...
...and enough chocolate and crisps to last a sane person for, well, I was going to say a month but maybe I should say six months, and me for about two weeks. If I'm really careful.
Now I'm worried that a psycho with a barbed wire-covered baseball bat will send his followers to take my chocolate from me.
Something I did buy in a panic just before the Lockdown is Pinky and Perky:
I was intending to call them Marcello and Rodolpho, my go-to names for fishes, but they don't look remotely Italian. Perky's the one with the fancier tail, naturally.
I've had tropical fish for years but they're so fragile, and when kazzy_cee mentioned that she was getting some goldfish I thought, "What a good idea!" So my brother and I cleaned out the tank, I bought some new plastic plants and toys, and I set it all up, meaning to leave it empty for three weeks or so to mature, but when it became clear, after only two weeks, that shops were going to be closing, I couldn't face the prospect of months with an empty tank, so I jumped in the car and went to the local garden centre. The woman didn't want to sell me two goldfish, because, she said, you need 50 litres of water per fish. I didn't point out that they had about twenty fish in a 75 litre tank; I pointed out that the fish were currently very small, then I put my hand on my heart and swore that when they've doubled in size I will buy them a bigger tank, and she relented.
Pinky and Perky seem to have settled in nicely.
And I've always wanted a bigger tank, anyway.
I've also wanted an iPhone for ages. Every year, the company I work for sells off its old iPhones, usually on a first come-first served basis (so, of course, I always miss out) but this year by lottery so, of course, I missed out. Again. Even though it was on my birthday. Of course.
After a bit of upsetness, I thought, "I'm just going to buy a new one!"
So now I can take pictures with my wonderful iPhone 6S. It's an old model -- actually older than the ones they were selling off at work -- but it's a new phone, from Argos, and I love it to bits for its camera and camera apps, though I haven't yet got round to getting a SIM card for it.
I took it to Vancouver in February (which seems like a lifetime ago now), so expect to be bombarded over the next week or so with pictures of Vancouver, the Vancouver Canucks, and experiments with various photography apps :-)
The Flight Out...
I always pay extra for a window seat on the flight out because, if the weather conditions are good, the view is spectacular, and this year my iPhone did a pretty good job of capturing it -- the software that realises you're looking through the glass and want to photograph what you're seeing is amazing!
Two and a half hours into the flight and (according to my iPhone), we're flying over Norðurþing on the west coast of Iceland:
Iceland! One day, I must visit it properly.
Another two hours, and we're somewhere so remote, Apple doesn't even know its name, but I think it's somewhere in Greenland:
Sometimes -- maybe when we take a more northerly route -- the sky turns a pale lilac. This time it stayed deep blue, but we could still see the moon:
Apparently, the Inuit don't have fifty words for snow. They have qanik, which means 'snow in the air', and aput, which means 'snow on the ground', plus -- according to the same book! -- they have words like nutaryug (meaning 'new stuff') and muruaneq (meaning 'stuff you always sink into'), which are not related to the word 'snow' but are used to describe it. In fact, they seem have about the same number of words for snow and snow-related weather as we do, which, given all the different types of snow you can see from the air, is really hard to believe!
Seven hours in, and we're passing this isolated town -- I think the cross-shape must be an airport:
Another half-hour, and we seem to be heading back towards civilisation, assuming that the chequerboard bits are fields:
According to Apple, this is Clear Hills County, Alberta:
And Peace River in Northern Sunrise County, Alberta:
At last, liquid water! I think we're more or less on the border between Alberta and British Columbia, and I think the grey mouldy-looking stuff is trees.
Now we've reached the ocean, and we're turning to make our approach into Vancouver. Beneath us is Bowen Island Ecological Reserve, and I chose this picture for the little ship with its impressive wake:
You can also see my flowered top ;-)
Our first glimpse of Vancouver but, sod's law, it's the wrong bit -- normally, we come in from further north, and fly over Downtown, where I'll be staying.
Here's the shadow of the plane as we're coming in to land:
And, about an hour and a half after landing, this is the view from my bedroom window :-)