Mavis, Alex and Coronavirus

grayscale photography man and woman walking
Home Photo by Máximo on

Alex: (Looking out of front window)
Bloody isolation! I used to be able to get out for a quick pint down The Old Bull and Bush before – now it’s closed she’s got me trapped in all day. If I sit down for more than a minute she’s at me.
 ‘Mr Motivator’s on Alex,’ she yells. “Come on, you need to keep fit. He’ll get that belly of yours sorted.”
Keep fit! What for? So I can listen to ‘er naggin’ from mornin’ till night? Er never bothered with Keep Fit before, so why now all of a sudden? She’s been watchin’ all them people walkin’ past in their tee shirts and joggers – brand new, arrived from Amazon yesterday – it’s like a bloody fashion show out there it is… with their poor old husband’s trailing behind ‘um.

Mavis: (Washing up in kitchen)
He needs more to do, not just to sit in his armchair watching Peers Morgan on television. They’d get on well together those two – opinionated pair. I catch him sometimes lookin’ out the window, watchin’ them walkin’ past. I saw ‘im wave a ‘er from number thirty yesterday – he thought I hadn’t noticed. Right mess she looked too, in a shocking pink track suit. How old does she think she is?

It’s Thursday – ‘er highlight of the week. Eight o’clock she’ll be shoutin’ for me to go outside and clap for NHS. Apparently no one thinks you care if you don’t go out and clap. Well I can clap from me armchair thanks – and I bet I’m more sincere than those what just go out for a good  old gossip- with their faces made up to the nines because they’re appearin’ in public. It’ll take ‘er half an hour to do ‘er hair!

I noticed ‘er next door had cut ‘er ‘air and put a colour on. Never mind, it’s not ‘er fault if that’s the only colour she could get. Our Milly says they show these You Tube videos on how to cut ‘air – I’ll have to tell ‘er. I offered to have a go at cuttin’ Alex’s ‘air but he won’t let me. I think he’s relivin’ his youth again – he’s stopped shavin’ too, designer stubble he calls it – bloody mess if you ask me.

She won’t even leave me alone in the greenhouse. I tried to have a crafty fag in there yesterday and next I see ‘er comin’ down the path. Had to stub it out in a pot of geraniums I’d just planted. ‘Funny smell in here’, she said. ‘It’s that new compost’, I replied. What a waste of a fag.

I know he tries to have a crafty cigarette behind me back. I follow ‘im and try to time it that he’s just lit up and has to stub it out. He won’t be able to buy any more without me knowing now he doesn’t have an excuse to go to the pub. We’re over seventy you see, in the danger zone, they say we must stay home ‘cause we’re vulnerable. It’ll be a good chance for him to try and give up. He says he already has – but I know different.

She’s painting rainbows now to stick on the front windows – says everyone’s doin’ it. I won’t be able to see outside soon.

Our Milly’s going to WhatsApp us tonight. It’s lovely to see ‘er and what’s-his-name for a nice family chat. The kid’s don’t stay on long though – usually keen to get back to their on-line friends. What they find to talk about is beyond me. It’s lovely seeing them though. It usually ends up being just me and our Milly havin’ a chin-wag.

Oh heck! We’ve got another of those bloody WhatsApp calls from our Milly tonight! It’s usually just Mavis and our Milly what does the talking. I get sick of hearing about Coronavirus, that’s all they have to talk about.
Ruby Robotham has usually gone past by now, she’s late today. Oh, there’s George from Corner Shop trailing after his wife, Norma. Got ‘im on a lead she has. He should put his foot down like me.

‘Come on Alex its eleven o’clock, time to get your walkers on or we’ll be late. We don’t want neighbour’s to think we’ve had a lie-in, now do we?

Lie in. I should be so lucky! I think this virus was invented so women got us where they want us – right under their thumbs.
Oh, here’s ‘er from number thirty goin’ past – eh, she looks a bit of alright today.
‘Alright Mavis, I’m ready!’


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