No Gammon home

“Get your stuff packed kids. We’re going back home.”

“What about Dad?”

“He’s sent me another letter and this one says he’ll be staying down at the potato farm for now – well for at least the next couple of months.”

“I didn’t know he’d written to you Mum. I didn’t know that he could write.”

“That’s enough! It was a lovely letter and it reminded me of the man that I married, long before you two turned up.”

“Okay. What does he say? Leave the lovey-dovey bits out though.”

“He says that he and his mate Turkey are in the nice sheds now. A couple of the others went home for the weekend, met up with some mates who’ve just come back from a break in Marbella, and now they’re showing signs of this coronavirus thing. They’ve been put into isolation in the old sheds as a consequence. Dad says that they’ve all been asked not to go home at weekends in case anyone else brings the virus back, and he feels that it would be better for the three of us to be back in our own house.”

“Yay! No school either!”

“I know. You two can finish school today, no bunking off early. I’ve got the day off from the supermarket and your Auntie Sue and I are going over to the house to give it a good clean. Dad says it might be a bit messy.”

“A bit! I bet Dad ate and drank everything in the house.”

“That’s not a problem. My boss lets us buy stuff from work provided that we don’t stockpile. Of course, you can always take the last day off school and help me with the cleaning if you’d prefer?”

“No thanks. Looking forward to being back in our own house but I’d rather go in and see what everyone else at school is doing.”

“Will Dad come back to live with us Mum?”

“There was a time when I’d have said no, but now…I think this potato picking has done him the world of good. He says he’s lost weight, is a lot fitter, and has had time to have a long think about the things that were bothering him when we left.”

“So things will go back to normal then?”

“What’s normal? Nobody knows what’s going to happen with this virus. They say that some people will die from it, and others may die because they can’t get food and drink now that the shops are running out.”

“How come your shop has plenty of stuff then?”

“My boss has been through this sort of thing before in the country that he comes from. He puts out so much produce in the shop at a time, stops people taking more than their fair share and opens up early for elderly people, NHS staff and carers. The kind of people who stockpile aren’t welcome there and they know it now.”

“Why do people stockpile? Even if you self-isolate it’s only supposed to be for two weeks but all the stuff on the news shows people with shopping trolleys piled high with loo rolls and pasta.”

“Fear. Greed. Ignorance. All three perhaps?”

“I hope Dad does come back. I hope the virus doesn’t get him.”

“He says that he spends a lot of time outside picking those potatoes, and the blokes that are in isolation weren’t friends of his anyway. I hope that none of us gets it. Talking of which, when did you last wash your hands?”

“I’ll do it now.”

“Me too. I’m glad they’d sold out of our usual liquid soap though. That Pink Gin Fizz hand wash smells much better.”

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