When things go wrong



I have had it at last. I did not think that it would ever happen to me. After all this time I thought I was immune. It is of course, what we have been dreading. But it did not seem a big thing at first.

I had a bit of a cold or so I thought, but I took the test kit out all the same. I have done this so many times over the last few years it was hardly a big event.

‘Place four drops onto the specimen well (S) on the test cassette.’ I had hardly any need to read the instructions I knew them so well. But then the unthinkable happened, two lines appeared.

“I think I have Covid,’ I said flatly. Too quietly as it turned out because Mr T went through to the lounge and switched on the TV with a box of chocolates on his lap.

I suppose we were in shock and could not take it in. Of course, Mr T tested positive in a few days and here we have been. I rang 119 but it seemed to have closed for the evening then I tried 111.

‘If you are calling from England, please press 1…’ Here we go again pressing numbers and not getting anywhere. But I was wrong I did get a person who took me through a questionnaire and I had some help.

Then another thing went wrong (doesn’t it always?) we had a notice to say that we must not use our tap water. There was a delivery of bottled water to our doorstep. We even had to wash our dishes in bottled water and that had to be heated first. How on earth did my parents manage? I can remember the green wooden pump in our yard which brought water for drinking. Our cold tap in the wash house used rainwater which was for clothes and washing up. I suppose we take our facilities for granted these days.

Here, the bottled water kept on coming even in the night. Once I came across a man with a head torch delivering packs of water in the dark. It was all very disconcerting but there was one reassuring noise of normality. Suddenly here was the owl which I heard hooting from our ash tree. The seasonal rhythm of the garden goes on regardless.

And of course, eventually our water returned safely and we had a message that all was now well. I am left reflecting on our luck that when the service was cut, we had back up supplies delivered which is more than can be said in some parts of the world.

(Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star)

What a shock after all these years to see two lines. I could hardly believe it!


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