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Sunday 5th April 2020


The queue to the supermarket was much longer this week, but aside from flour and a limited choice in some areas (inexplicably no sunflower oil) things were well stocked. I was shopping for us and for my locked-down in-laws and was only allowed the small trolley, which made things slightly tricky, but I got out alive and hopefully virus free.
Our tiny garden is actually a bit of a boon, as the kids are now old enough that you can let them run wild whilst doing stuff in the kitchen. Well pretty much. I didn’t spot that Ernie had turned the tap on the water butt and turned a tiny patch of our small lawn into a big muddy puddle. But I got to play tag and hide and seek and the kids had fun. They are cooperating and playing together much better than before. It’s especially lovely for my son, who I think missed Phoebe when she was at school, but now gets to be with her most of the day. She’s a good influence on him, though of course they have their scraps, and now he will occasionally sit still for 30 minutes whilst he builds stuff with blocks and then makes up little scenarios and conversations with his toys.
Also, as discussed quite a bit, it’s good for me to be spending so much time with them. I have always been quite hands-on, but we have had plenty of help in the week before. The family is bonding through all this. I know not all families will be as lucky and that for some this could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. And I am also aware that another couple of months might strain the bonds that we are creating now.
There is the creeping terror of the virus entering the house, of course and the knowledge that no one is truly safe. And that of everyone in the house I am the least safe. Boris Johnson is clearly struggling and he has the world and all its best doctors at his fingertips and if you allow to think of what could happen to those around you and yourself it is hard to sleep at night. Or it would be if you weren’t so exhausted from the childcare and boozing. 
I was sad to see that Lord Bath had succumbed to the virus. He was a proper English eccentric and always fun to read about his art and antics. I had thought he was ostensibly my boss when I worked at Cheddar Caves (though think this might not actually have been the case) but there was a character in my caves sitcom who was heavily based on him, who I wanted to be played by Tom Baker. Tom wouldn’t be up for it now, even in the unlikely event that that ever got the green light, but in a way it’s so easy to imagine him doing it that he doesn’t even need to do it.
I really liked the crazy artworks that Lord Bath sprawled all over his walls and even his staircase of portraits of his wifelets had something going for it, if only that it was a less grotty (or more grotty) example of the lists of conquests that I suspect many people keep. He seemed like an interesting if randy guy and I am sad that he has gone.
Buckle up - the sadness and mourning is just going to get worse.

On Wednesday (probably at 8pm but time TBC) I am doing a live-streamed RHLSTP at with the wonderful Adam Buxton. You’ll be able to watch the video for a few weeks after and we will release it as an audio and video podcast in the usual channels once our store of saved ones is exhausted. We will be making this a weekly fixture. So please follow me on Twitch and subscribe if you can, ideally using Amazon Prime so it costs you nowt.  Here's how.
Had a fun game of Football Manager whilst drinking beer tonight. I will be doing that every now and again, but it’s a good one to watch if you are missing top class sport or just want to interact. Snooker and stone clearing have too much going on for me to be able to read most of the comments (though people are having fun chatting amongst themselves). I will be doing this post-snooker most nights and might pop up occasionally - if you follow me and turn on notifications you should get warnings when I am live.

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