Three weeks ago, before we all disappeared down our respective bunny holes, I rarely received silly jokes and videos online. If I’m honest, an old chum kept chugging them out and filling my in-box with all sorts of sillies to the extent that I’d just delete them on arrival.
And so how odd it is to be inundated with jokes, silly songs, skits, and crazy dances online – often the same ones endlessly repeated - and yet not lose my rag. Why is that? I’ve thought about it long and hard, after all, we have plenty of time for that, and have decided that it comes under the umbrella of humanity. Suddenly, we are on the virtual front line together and we need to laugh, support and comfort. I don’t wince when I get the same funny video sent to me five times, instead I just send a smiley face symbol or a thumbs up because we’re all in the virtual trench together. We need solidarity, kindness and humour like never before. There ain’t no room for irritation or froideur.
When American singer Chris Mann posted his ingenious song, My Corona, online there were millions of likes and follows and boy, did he deserve it. The timing of his comical oeuvre about loo rolls and hand sanitser, was masterly. Since then, a rash of lame and poor imitations have hit the social media circuits, mostly excruciatingly badly sung, but somehow, we have applauded them too because, let’s face it, they’re doing their best to make us smile.
So, this is a time, rather like Christmas, to let things roll over us, to cast aside criticism, to laugh about things that frankly aren’t awfully funny, but are bouncing along on that big bandwagon called humanity. Let’s keep the show rolling while we can and fill our feeds with fun and happiness. Heaven knows, we need it more than soap and water.
I’m not sure what the incredible 101year-old pensioner in Rimini is made of but it must be sterner stuff. Born in 1919, and having survived the Spanish Flu pandemic that wiped out 50 million people, this trooper caught Covid-19, and lived to see another day. When this hero left his local Italian hospital to return home to his family, the mayor of his town opined that he had given hope to millions. I’d say!
Taking life at a gallop
Well, while we’re all in lockdown, life goes on in our merry orchard. Every day there are hens, ducks, peacocks and community cats to be fed and the garden and trees need tending. Every day in my neighbour’s field I’m accustomed to seeing Peblito, a beautiful dappled horse. We have a little routine where I bring him a daily treat, usually a carrot or apple. Sadly, now he too is in lockdown and only gets a quick gallop early morning before being put in his stable. This fills me with sadness as I don’t see him so often and I miss our conversations.
All the same, the other day I woke early and heard the thundering hooves of Peblito nearby. I raced downstairs and called to him and with ears pricked back, he hurtled over to the dividing stone wall. Like a mad woman, I climbed up in my wellies and nightdress and delivered him a welcome carrot. All was well until the farmer waved across and gave me a concerned look, clocking my bizarre attire. That’ll be around my neighbourhood quicker than wildfire but it’s all good. Being a writer gets you a ticket to madness no one else can acquire. Sometimes, my Majorcan neighbours laugh about something I’ve done, adding, ‘Ah, but you ARE a writer..’ It really is the winning golden ticket from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Cheeky Pine Martens
Meanwhile, there is trouble at mill. The other day, while checking my hens’ nesting boxes in the corral, I happened upon a sleepy pine marten, curled up in the hay. We both screamed at one another in shock before he bolted for the door of the shed and disappeared. Luckily, my hens are safe but I fear he and his chums may return. They are absolutely gorgeous creatures and if one’s lucky enough to see one, the pelt is glossy and brown and the tail big and bushy. They have big dark eyes and a beige bib. Who could resist such a charmer? The only problem is that they also have lethal claws that can rip a hen or bird apart in seconds. Some years ago, a naughty marten killed a good few of our flock, so this time we are taking no chances. If our troublesome little chum returns, he will be sent packing and not allowed anywhere near our hens. I’d like to invite him in for tea to hear about about the swashbuckling adventures of a pine marten but the risk, I’m afraid, is just too great.
A lot of my employed or retired chums are quite enjoying this period of calm and treating it as a holiday, but I’ve never been busier, in truth. I’m in the midst of writing my new crime novel and have a fair amount of writing assignments so no peace for the wicked. Do I feel a stab of envy when I see chums sunbathing out on their patios or watching copious Netflix, well yes, a bit. On the other hand, I need to earn a living and as a freelancer, I’m grateful to be ably employed at present. Besides, it keeps me off the streets.
Anna Nicholas’s first Majorca based crime novel, The Devil’s Horn, is out now. It’s available at all good bookshops & via amazon.