‘Lockdown Words’ by Oliver Cross

“THE three-day week happened between January and March, 1974, as I’ve just found out from Google, although I was 24 at the time and should have been able to remember it without consulting something that hadn’t yet been invented.

But things that seemed tremendously memorable at the time can fade. I could remember that the three-day week was daily described as unprecedented and historic and that it had something to do with the price of oil, the wages of miners and Mr Heath and Mr Wilson.

The only image that has stayed with me, though, is of an impromptu visit to a pub in Liverpool. There was a power cut that night and the pub was running entirely on candlelight and pre-electronic tills (the introduction of electronic tills having been followed a few weeks later by the introduction of  Google  – or so it seems  when you get to my age).

The pub was heaving with Liverpudlians loudly displaying their sadly   unquenchable spirit under difficult circumstances, as is their wont. It was a kind of Jimmy Tarbuck Hell and I think the trauma of it may have caused me to confuse the Three-day Week with the Winter of Discontent (1978-9), or some other event which we thought would change our lives for ever, although we’ve since forgotten exactly why.

It would be good if we could, a few decades hence, absorb the coronavirus crisis  into that list of things we can look back on with equanimity, which is to say  a laugh or a shrug.

But this, with  a few exceptions – football on the  Somme, the Blitz Spirit or Guy Fawkes Night  for example –  this isn’t appropriate when it involves the deaths of many people, particularly you or me.

I  TALKED a few days ago about my glum and paranoid  cat Kitty, who has now become the only cat on the block not alarmed by some suggestions that cats should be put in lockdown as a coronavirus precaution.

Kitty only ventures outside as a result of being thrown through the back door or because we are enjoying the garden sunshine and she wants to check we’re not plotting something behind her back.

Even then, she doesn’t get too close, having decided unilaterally that a safe distance between herself and other life forms is roughly 2 meters, or 6.561 feet.”

Oliver Cross, Caring Together member kindly sharing a little more with us all.