Venturing Out, Volunteering and Neighbours

26th March 2020

Whilst I have food in for a good few days and have plans to make carby things like flatbread, naan bread, and cakes I realised that the additional ingredients such as butter and natural yoghurt (naan bread) were in rather short supply (or absent) from my house. The last of the sliced bread was consumed this morning and the milk won’t last too much longer.

Venturing to the Shop

I spent a long time early this morning trying to find any food delivery option that I could actually book. Even a slot two or three weeks in advance would give some comfort. However, all the supermarkets were completely full for either delivery or click and collect options, and meal/ingredient box companies are not taking new customers. I even gave Harrods a crack but didn’t think fancy chocolate-coated-almonds-in-champagne-and-quince-jelly (or something like that) were high on my priority list right now.

The thought of going out is scary. Being a single dad, with three children to look after, the thought of getting seriously ill is really worrying. However, I decided to venture out early, at about 7.30 am, to the local co-op to get an idea of what was available. If there was a queue or it looked busy then I wouldn’t go in. Luckily it seemed basically empty.

I hand-sanitised before going in. There was one other scarf-faced lady in the shop and 4 staff members, one of whom was also scarfed. They were all wearing gloves. I was thankful that both bread and milk were just being placed on to the shelves – I had timed the visit just right. Not wanting to take too many things, when we all need a fair share, I took one loaf and one bottle of milk. I also grabbed a baguette for lunch, unsalted butter, marmite (yes!), natural yoghurt, crisps, and some pizzas which would make an easy dinner for the boys one evening whilst I slowly make my way through the massive beef stew that I made the other night.

The lady at the counter said it felt like a more normal day, aside from the covered faces and the gloves in full view, as they had a proper delivery of milk for the first time. However, it did feel odd and slightly wrong going out but, if we still want food and there are no deliveries, what choice do we have?

I washed my hands thoroughly when I got home.


Whilst checking the latest news bulletin this morning I heard about the large number of volunteers that have…er…volunteered to assist the NHS. Obviously I have three boys to look after so I can’t go anywhere, but I did hear that they also need people to call isolated folk to chat and make sure that others are ok. I think it is useful for both the caller and callee to have communications with the outside world and to do something useful for others whilst stuck in the house would be good for the spirit.

So I have volunteered. I completed the form at and will wait to see what happens next. I have a recently issued enhanced DBS, which they ask for (if you have one) on the registration form, and I believe that this might help make things easier for them to process your application and speed up the time taken to utilising you.


This situation of being apart has had the effect of bringing people together. Phone numbers of neighbours have been exchanged, for the first time in the many years we have lived here, and conversations started.

People are co-ordinating to get things from the shops, or from online retailers and generally coming together. I am sure this will strengthen as the days and weeks go on. After speaking to the neighbours over the fence, they offered to get me some things from the butcher’s shop, so I hope for some chicken and sausages later. I think we might all start knowing each other’s bank account numbers pretty soon.

I can imagine a really fun street party when all this is over.

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