Posted in Health Issues, Life and Family, Political and Social Issues

Coffee in a Social Bubble

Was thinking about the Scottish Government’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis. I wondered if I was imagining things that we were closely shadowing the UK government’s moves but then going further in every instance… tighter regulations for longer. Just after I was thinking this, the UK Government brought in a new rule that pubs (in England) should close at 10 p.m. Meanwhile in Scotland we have that new rule too, but in addition there is to be no further mingling of private households, though there is a ‘rule of six’ which means we can meet friends from only one other household outdoors or in indoors public spaces (like restaurants). Extended households can continue to mingle indoors, but I have a feeling there are going to be arguments on the ground about what counts as an extended household.

People living alone (or alone with children) or who need care can be part of an extended household with another person or group — their ‘social bubble’. As far as I’m aware, that doesn’t change.

We watched the speeches on TV.

“And though it doesn’t feel like it now,” said Nicola Sturgeon (Scotland’s First Minister), “this virrrus will pass. It won’t last furrever, and one day, hopefully soon, we will be looking back on it, not living through it.”

I’m pretty sure that’s what she said in the speech as I had a fit of the giggles, so when I went to check it just now, was confused to find a slightly different version in other sources. “This pandemic will pass,” they quoted. No, I’m sure she said ‘virus’. The TV captioning said ‘virus’. I’m not sure what happened there.

In the summer it wasn’t hard to have coffee in the garden, but this is a cold country now heading towards winter. The weather is often grey and rainy. Sunny blue-sky days are becoming rarer, though with brisk, soaring autumnal breezes. The whole town has been contemplating coffee in the garden while dark gold leaves fall around and aroma of mushroom rises from the dewy grass. Later still we could have coffee (and muttered conversations about the worse-than-useless local council) in rain and snow. I said I wondered if we could set up a shelter of some kind, though not a tent, as I figured that would defeat the purpose of sitting outside in the slightly-too-fresh air. It turned out that Mum and my sister had already been discussing it — maybe tarpaulin or something draped over a trellis as a makeshift roof? Apparently the local ladies have all had the same idea and are snapping up gazebos, garden tents and chimineas. Doubtless when we shuffle up looking for ours, the shelves will be bare.

“Toady town ladies,” I grumbled. “Oh wait! We’re town ladies too.”

I said lots of us will be wishing we had verandahs in this country, and Mum said verandahs are cold places. At least a verandah would be shelter from the rain, I said. We would need duvets to keep us warm, said Mum, and my sister said she had old duvets we could use.

In the cold weather coming up we could be sitting outdoors wrapped in these duvets, possibly under some kind of trellis roof (if we’re lucky). The cats will absolutely love that. I suggested history books of the future will say, “…and it was then that people started spending a lot more time outdoors.” All for the sake of continued chat and coffee.


I live in the UK with two cats -- Samson and Delilah.

One thought on “Coffee in a Social Bubble

  1. ‘All for the sake of continued chat and coffee’ – absolutely! Now I’m seeing family members from different households huddled inside tents under the stars, wearing fluffy jumpers inside sleeping bags, with cold hands wrapped around a cup of steaming coffee. Sounds good to me! (more restrictions to come in soon in England, and no doubt Scotland – hey ho, here we go :>)

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