The New Abnormal

Well, my car is fixed. It’s been an ornament for a month because of a broken transmission cable. The local dealerships have taken over three weeks (it took me a week to find where they were hiding) to source a cable and it’s still not here. I got one from the United Arab Emirates in less than a week, through eBay. I’m going to buy the dealer cable too. It’s an impossible part to find in the UK and it’s absolutely essential. If I still have it when I finally change the car I can put it up for sale and I bet I’ll make a profit.

It’ll take a while to get used to the repair. The gear shift is much easier to move now. I suppose fifteen years of gradually accumulated crap in the cable sleeve would account for that, and is probably also what caused it to break.

The dealership called me about the cable, and about making arrangements for me to safely pick it up. They are 50 miles away and it’s a transmission cable. Surely they would realise that needing that part means the car is immobilised? No bus service out here either. Nearest bus stop is just over two miles and the buses go in the wrong direction. The nearest railway station is 15 miles. No car, no going anywhere. Unless you want to walk along a narrow country road used by maniacs as a race track.

The racers have been even worse during lockdown since they think the road is empty. They are idiots. On this road it is not unusual to round a corner and find a couple of deer standing in the middle of the road. Hitting one of those at speed will not end well for either the deer or the driver.

We once saw a family of pine martens crossing the road. Deer are pretty frequently seen here – there was once one munching a bush in the garden. Add in the old fencing around the sheep and cow fields, resulting in frequent escapes, and you really do need to be pretty cautious on this road.

Anyway. I am once again mobile. Not that there’s much point with pretty much everything still closed anyway. At least I can go to Local Shop for essentials and if I really really have to, visit Tesco. Although we have managed to book weekly delivery slots with Asda so far and we’re getting used to not bothering with going to shops at all. We can’t both go anyway, and CStM doesn’t drive so it would be me shopping unsupervised and you know what’s going to happen if Aldi have a power tool event and Tesco have cut price malt whisky…

Really, there have been few effects of lockdown here. The big ones are not being able to shop together, not being able to get the part for the car and not visiting son, daughter or granddaughter. Aside from those, nothing really changed. We are naturally miserable antisocial fuckers.

The worst part of the car saga was that I have three petrol mowers, one of which is a ride-on, and almost no petrol for them. I had an ornamental car with a full tank of petrol and no safe way to get any out. And no way to go anywhere to fill my petrol cans. So the grass has run wild for a month and is now at scythe height. No way the mower will cope with it. I’m going to be partying like it’s 1699 again, with a three foot razor blade on a stick.

It also pissed me off that petrol became cheap during the time when I couldn’t get any and is creeping back up now I’m mobile again. I have come to expect that sort of thing.

So, things can get back to normalish now. With the month-long wait for the car repair and all the other stuff that has gone wrong this year it’s been hard to concentrate on anything. I have a Leg Iron Books mug to send out from a competition weeks ago and this year’s plan to clear out a lot of stuff through eBay can finally begin. I can concentrate on editing Wandra Nomad’s book, work on Gastradamus’s and continue Panoptica. Better hurry up, it’s coming true.

There is a lot of talk of a New Normal which will be anything but. I have seen people posting Outrage! because a business requires them to wear masks while shopping there. Well. I fully support the right of a Christian baker to refuse to make a gay wedding cake, and this is no different. If a business decides to impose any rule, including the wearing of a mask on their premises, you have two choices. 1. Wear a mask. I have some delightful ones, and recently acquired a plague doctor mask. Or, 2. Don’t go there. It’s not complicated.

Businesses can decide the rules that apply on their premises, within the law. They cannot state that stabbing people is acceptable but they can make reasonable rules. I admit to a chuckle when I see any business of any kind state they have a ‘no smoking policy’. No you don’t. You are not allowed to decide that, it has been decided for you.

There have been many bemoaning the closure of hairdressers. I don’t care, I had a damn good shearing at the beginning of March so I would look less Morlock at my dad’s funeral. I’ll be thinking about another one when people start calling me Gandalf again or when it starts to feel heavy. There are far bigger things to worry about than appearances, but these days it seems appearances are very important to far too many people. Even if they are not allowed to go out and be seen.

Well, best get to the end of this pointless ramble. There is going to be a ‘new normal’ and well, you’re not going to like it. Even those of you who have actively supported it. You’re going to emerge blinking into the light after this lockdown ends and you’ll think it’s over but around October there’ll be another one. Every flu season, every year, forever, until lockdown becomes your normal way of life. Sorry kids, but your future is shit. Don’t worry about me and the other oldies, we won’t be around to experience it and we won’t be there to tell you how to stop it – not that you’re listening now anyway.

The New Normal is best shown in the video in the previous post. It shows something very close to what 10538 saw on his screens.

You could stop it, young people, but you won’t. You don’t want to.

And when you do, it’ll be too late.

9 thoughts on “The New Abnormal

  1. Hairdressers: My warning is – “you’re looking like Martin . . .” Martin is the memsahib’s ex so that’s a meaningful comment. However, just to make you jealous, my daughter is a highly qualified hairdresser so I get the expertise free!

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    • Have you noticed that the politicians at the daily briefings always look as if they’re just been to the barbers?? WTH are they getting it done?

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  2. When they sit down and look at how much this lockdown has cost, I very much doubt there will be another. It’s not just the cost of the handouts (one reason why so many seem to support/enjoy it), what’s left of economies will be very much smaller.

    And what Sturgeon really wants (a vaccine) will delay the rest of the UK from existing – and all for political point scoring. Exempting 16 and 17 year old’s from fines for breaking lockdown is utter insanity seeing as the worst offenders are them.

    Another really irritating thing is they make no distinction between those who died of Covid an those who died with Covid. Result is a gross exaggeration of it’s killing powers.

    Big ticket items like planes, cars, motorbikes and such have fallen off a cliff and they’re talking 5 to 10 years to recover. Even the WHO has come to its senses, quoting Sweden as the way forward.

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    • Sturgeon doesn’t give a damn about a vaccine. She’s using this as an excuse to whip up anti-English hate among the cult so she can make her case for independence. The thing is, we have now seen just what an independent Scotland would be like – it’ll soon turn into North Korea with that lot in charge.

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  3. Good for you getting your car fixed, don’t suppose your dealer offered to have it despatched to you?
    That Chinese kids video was really horrible they didn’t even seem weirded out by it.
    Yes the people are emerging into the sunlight but not in what used to be the rush hour; roads busier but mostly lorries and White Van Man. The private cars come out mid-morning doing whatever, occupants being ‘too terrified of covid’ to go to work.
    Likewise my new normal will be same as the old normal. Get home, switch the phones off (no landline, intercom disabled, no telly). Happy in my own company until I emerge for work in the early hours.

    Well f*ck me sideways I just heard an icecream vans sirens and it’s just pulled up and I can hear kiddies voices.

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    • The car was stuck outside the house. I had to call in a mobile mechanic who jury rigged it so he could get it back to his place to fit the new cable.
      The dealership still hasn’t come through with a new cable, the UAE company got theirs here in under a week (and at about half the price!). I’m still going to get the other cable, as a spare.

      Kids aren’t weirded out by gadgets. It’s a fun toy to them. They don’t see where it’s heading.

      There’s an increase in traffic on the road here too, but it’s mostly tractors. Have to make the best of a spell of fine weather while it lasts!

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