Covid-ode by Joyce Bond


A friendly wave across the street to anyone that you might meet
A funny joke to make them smile a phone call every once in a while
Empty buses passing by as I sit here and wonder why
Life for all has suddenly changed, our daily habits rearranged
Endless bulletins on TV, scary statistics for you and me
Real life is like a Sci fi tale, of horror on a massive scale
Doctors and nurses gowned and masked struggle with the endless task
Of saving lives, maintaining breath, exposing themselves to possible death
Ventilators in short supply, without them many folks will die
An elderly priest made the sacrifice, his ventilator saved a young man’s life
On a positive note we now can face the jobs to be done around the place
Spring cleaning, gardening, painting too, no end to the tasks that we can do
The sun is shining, so appreciate that seat in the garden and ruminate
The village is deserted so it’s safe to pop, down the road to our local shop
No pubs or bakery, all shut down, the place resembles a ghost town
From the library came a call, they offer 30 books to all to keep us busy
Choosing them could make you dizzy
I managed 5, they’ll have to do and I could pass some on to you
Worrying thoughts if I sneeze or cough, I take 2 tablets to fob it off
I wake at 6, what can I do I’ll add a few lines to my poem for you
I’ve signed up to sing with Gareth Malone, it’s funny doing it on your own
But thousands of others have joined in too, it’s quite a wonderful thing to do
I have to learn to record my voice via my mobile phone (too much for Joyce)
Then send it in to add to the rest, the result I’m sure will be the best
Did you hear of the shopper who was simply raving because she could only have
1 pack of bacon?
She swore at the staff and threw 1 back, common decency she did lack
Here’s a tip to help you on your way, watch 1 Bulletin only every day
The rest could drive you up the wall, a bit like Brexit I do recall
That’s my lot just for today I’ll add to my poem from day to day


Looking at things in a positive way as we live this strange life day by day
They says its an ill wind that blows no good
But we’re starting to live life the way we should
Families in their gardens laugh and play
Neighbours chat to neighbours across the way
Strangers greet you as they pass you by
In the past they wouldn’t look you in the eye
Phone calls to ask if you’re OK, can we help in any way
We’re all in the same boat do you see
With positive results for you and me
At 8 last night along our street everyone came out to meet outside their doors
To give NHS and carers a round of applause
The British folk when put to the test in times of trouble, bring out their best
But I’m finding it hard to understand the odd things that are in great demand
Toilet rolls!!! what’s that all about? Tins of corned beef are all sold out
Empty shelves never seen before, except maybe during the 2nd World War
Bottles of wine are rationed too, 2 bottles each, that’ll have to do
And have you noticed recently, how many birthdays there seem to be
Everywhere you go you can hear that tune
Especially near the GENTS and LADIES rooms


New rules for the gents at the public loo, urinals are affected too
Regardless of how many there may be, they can use just 1 in 3
If you visit your local superstore observe the markings on the floor
Line up with your trolley and patiently wait, it’s just like the airport security gate!
If supplies of veg should ever get low, let’s do what we did in the 2nd World War
Bring back the allotments, that’s the way, to grow and supply your own 5 a day
We seem to be watching a lot of TV and I think I will write to the BBC
Ancient films in black and white? Come on auntie do the job right!
They’re also showing, for our delight, a post apocalyptic film on Wednesday night
Reading the review you could surely say it is based on what is happening today
Alcohol consumption is on the rise, especially gin, well I’m not surprised
You have to keep your spirits up and there are so many varieties we could sup
Also the different kinds of tea, loads of choice for you and me
The local footpaths are causing frustration, Britain is a dog loving nation
Dogs and joggers just don’t mix, not an easy thing to fix
‘Joggers don’t breathe all over me’ plead the doggy walkers
‘Your heavy breathing as you approach makes me think of stalkers’
A thought has just occurred to me just how long it’s going to be
Until my hair can have a trim, the situation could be grim
A mullet hairdo for the men could make them all feel young again?


In recent years we’ve succumbed to vanity
The amount we spend could be termed insanity
Nails like claws in every hue, not just varnished but stuck with glue
Tattoos and piercings, hair extensions, waxing in places we should not mention
All of these have been put on hold and things will deteriorate as time unfolds
Remember the ancient circus with its acts so shady?
We could see the return of the bearded lady
Slimming World, Weightwatchers too, they’re both on hold so it’s up to you
To count the calories watch your 5 a day, put those chocolate bars away
The scales will return there is no escape, life is not a piece of cake
I walked to the village yesterday, via the churchyard path along the way
My route was beautifully illustrated with children’s drawings, I was fascinated
All sketched in chalk of every hue, birds and butterflies, rainbows too
It put a “Spring” into my step, this is something I will not forget
The birdsong now seems so much more than I have ever heard before
Beautiful sounds around and above, unless it comes from the two Ring Doves
Who wake me up at 6 each day, honestly if I had my way
Their necks I’d ‘ring’ quite cheerfully for constantly disturbing me
Have a ‘cracking’ Easter, enjoy the ‘break’ with Easter eggs and Simnel cake
Be happy and soon we all will see an end to the dreaded COVID


This week I’ve suffered much frustration due to poetic “constipation”
Struggling to find some inspiration to satisfy your expectations
“Relieved” to say I have a notion that this weeks verse is now in “motion”
The ground elder in our garden is getting out of order
It’s time I took some action to tidy up the borders
We have an electric gadget which zaps the garden weeds
Hand weeding is much slower, this thing just moves at speed
Things were going nicely but took a nasty turn
I wasn’t concentrating and I got a nasty burn
My foot looks really horrid but its healing up quite well
And that is not the end of it there’s much more I can tell
I aimed the zapper at the roots to get the best effect
But set fire to the hedge instead and I’m guilty of neglect
For I used the tool for far too long and the plug got overheated
And when I tried to pull it out my efforts were defeated
The extension reel was really hot and the plug was simply wrecked
It had melted in the socket and we could not disconnect
After the smoke had settled and the flames were put out too
A neighbour shouted across the fence “are you having a barbecue?”


The burn on my foot has almost gone, the WEEDATHON still carries on
Despite the lock-down we are travelling free, courtesy of our own TV
We Raced across the World last night and saw some quite amazing sights
We sailed up the Douro, heard wonderful tales from Timothy West and
Prunella Scales
Dining out we have a fabulous time with The Hairy Bikers and also Rick Stein
Brains of Britain we should be too as all the quiz shows we daily view
Pointless, Tipping Point are our daily fare
To apply to Mastermind would we dare
To take our place in the dreaded chair
What would our specialist subjects be?
Drystone walling for him, Name the weeds for me
Pre lockdown we had decided each day to forage the freezer for things hidden
Leftover portions of heaven knows what
As to mark the containers we simply forgot
Loads of stewed apples, rhubarb and leeks
And various soups which would last us all week
Treats for the grand-kids we really should eat,
Chicken nuggets, fish fingers are their favourite treat
Icepops and lollies in every hue
PANIC when both of our tongues turned bright blue
For 3 weeks now we have not been far, in fact we’ve hardly used the car
But tonight (I’m excited as can be) we plan a late trip to Aldi!!!
What should I wear, it’s a pretty big ask
My Marigold gloves and protective mask?
I recently have shot to fame, on the WI ‘blog’ you can find my name
Who knows, when we all are free, it could cost 5 quid to talk to me!!


Summer is certainly on its way, I saw the first swallow yesterday
And although we haven’t ventured far, and hardly ever used the car
We still prefer to keep it clean, but those pesky birds are really mean
They are fed and watered every day, but all our kindness they repay
By perching on the telegraph wires and our car is in the line of fire
It really is an awful sight when crapped on from a very great height
Each Thursday night at 8 we meet with our neighbours along the street
With pans and spoons and whistles too, whatever they can get
I plucked up all my courage and I played my clarinet
Somewhere Over the Rainbow I selected and I’m glad to say no-one objected
So tomorrow, whether they like it or not I’ll be taking the solo spot
“When you walk through a Storm” I will possibly play
But I’ll need to practise it all day
Bob’s hair is growing at a tremendous rate
But it’s all round the edges ‘neath a little bald pate
His sideboards are massive and are needing a trim
So if I can manage to captivate him
I’ll persuade him to come and sit down in the chair
(I confess that I’ve never cut anyone’s hair)
With clippers switched on I’ll approach from the rear
As he can’t see behind him I’ve nothing to fear
Number 1, 2 or 3, I’ll ask, like a professional
He likes the job right in fact he’s quite obsessional
So I think I’ll play safe and just leave it at that
I’ll put away my new clippers and buy him a hat
Having never left the village since lockdown started, along the A6 we departed
The excitement was mounting, what a treat, just like a kid in a shop of sweets
I got my trolley and stood in the queue, I only had to wait a minute or two
Cleaned the handle with a special spray and carefully put the cloth away
Then I was off, I couldn’t wait, like a greyhound at the starting gate
It’s the best day out I’ve had for ages, having been like battery hens in cages
Our freezer will be full, we can dine in style, now I’m coasting down the aisle
I head for the checkout, I’ve had a great time and as I’m standing in the line
My mind is in a complete spin when I realise I have forgotten the flaming GIN


I have cut Bob’s hair, it looks quite good
Much better than I thought it would
The ivy growing in the hedge has really gone berserk
So I thought that I would tackle it, though it would be hard work
I approached the task with gusto using secateurs and shears
The job was quite a challenge, we’d neglected it for years
Whilst crouching in the ‘jungle’ I chopped to left and right
It really was a struggle, and then I lost the fight
A searing pain in my right arm, a sudden flow of blood
A branch had caught my aging skin, it didn’t look too good
I am all patched up, but really cross, to heal it will take some time
Remember when I burned my foot? The good news is that’s fine
I think I will tackle jobs indoors if the weather starts to change
We have a list to choose from, it covers a wide range
The cupboard in the dining room is where we store the drinks
They’ve accumulated over time and it really makes you think
That your tastes change when you are making merry
How long is it since we drank sherry
We have various bottles with not much in, plus a litre of our favourite gin
Whisky, we can’t stand the stuff, some dregs of brandy too
Baileys, Cointreau and Bucks Fizz, to name but just a few
Some of them we will never drink
But I cannot pour them down the sink
Hang on there, I’ve just had a hunch
I’ll mix them up and make some punch
And now we have come to VE Day,
At 11, in silence, we did pay
Respect to those who fought our war
And the church bells rang out as before
Balloons and bunting and flags galore
Tables and chairs outside the door
Meeting neighbours we did not know before
Celebrating together as in days of yore
All determined to win the COVID WAR


Remember last week when I hurt my right arm,
It did not look good and created alarm
At 8am Monday to Morecambe we went to the Walk in Health Centre,
A weird event, the doors were not open, so my consultation
Was through the car window to maintain isolation
And I will be more cautious in future when pruning
My risk aid is in need of a little fine tuning
My arm is now healing I’m so glad to say
And my fears of lockjaw have now gone away
Whilst munching my lunch, I felt a slight crunch,
I looked closer and to my dismay
A piece of my tooth had sadly come loose
To the dentist a visit I’ll pay
Counting foot, arm and tooth, if there’s any truth in the saying bad things come in threes
I should be OK to go on my way, but of course there are no guarantees
The gas and electric bill came yesterday
The amount they were quoting caused lots of dismay
I know I’ve been baking and cooking far more
But honestly we were both shook to the core
It cannot be right, it is EIGHT FIVE SEVEN QUID
We decided it must be a reading we did
So I crawled in the cupboard to check it was right
I needed a mirror and a torch for some light
The relief was amazing when we discovered last time
We had misread the 4 and had entered a 9
You’ll be pleased when I tell you we’re happier today
As we’ve heard that a new bill is now on its way
To identify carriers, in the Telegraph today
The Press are reporting we’ve found a new way
They are going to use sniffer – dogs, that’s the intention
But dogs sniff in places I hardly dare mention
Spaniels and Labs, trained in Bio-detection
Will be stationed in places with high risk of infection
To visit your local is what you are all dreaming
But to “Go for a snifter” takes on a new meaning
As you take those first steps and go through the pub doors
I hope that they don’t say “Get down on all fours”

WEEK 10:

We bought a new vacuum just before this began, our HENRY had seen better days
It has cleaned through the place, which was such a disgrace,
It’s as good as the TV ad says
I thought I’d apply to “How Clean is your House”
That programme with Aggie and Kim
But the sight of those Marigolds trimmed up with fur I can honestly say is quite grim
Whilst watching TV, Bob and I both agree
That the ads are quite simply depressing
Although we’re ‘mature’ we both feel quite sure
That with our poor brains they are messing
We vulnerable people are not finished yet
We’re as sharp as when we first began
We are planning to stay, so please go away, we don’t want a Funeral Plan
Incontinence features in ads quite a bit
They are now selling high fashion briefs
You can run, dance, play tennis far more than before
And they won’t know what is hiding beneath
Erectile dysfunction, what is all that about?
Trapped wind, and severe constipation
Heartburn, verrucas and stiff aching joints
And all kinds of skin irritation
There are cures for them all, you can order online
Don’t suffer in silence my friend
Thank goodness that I can fast forward the ads
Or I know I would go round the bend
With email and facebook, twitter and skype
We can contact our family and friends
How would we have managed before these came about
Now our whole life on IT depends
But I am not conversant with apps and the like
My mobile’s not so – phisticated
The grand children say it’s an old timers phone
And its time that I got it updated.
Remember I mentioned our massive gas bill and I said it had been sorted out
Well, you never could guess but it’s in a worse mess
They are useless, of that there’s no doubt
A revised bill arrived via email on Tuesday, over £900 we should pay
I phoned the Helpline and after some time my worries were quickly allayed

WEEK 11:

I have been shopping online as I’ve plenty of time
And real live shopping is only a dream
I ordered some coffee which comes in small pods
For our Nescafe Coffee machine
We had not long to wait, the delivery was quick
We were out when the Yodel van came
According to a neighbour who saw him at work
His methods were not without blame
He took out the box from the back of his van
And from the end of the drive to our door
He threw it with skill and the parcel in question
Was found upside down on the floor
Fair to say that the outcome turned out OK,
As the contents weren’t fragile that’s true
But this comes as a warning, you just never know
What Yodel delivery men do
Do you have the same trouble as me when you buy
Things in bottles which you pump or you spray
When half full it suddenly ceases to work
What a waste just to throw it away
We have bottles of sun cream with not a lot in
But now, as the weather is hot
We are finally using them up bit by bit
Whether different factors or not
Our veggies were growing at such a fast rate
Bob ‘knows his onions’ you see
But those flourishing rows of succulent leaves
Resembled a heap of debris
We thought it was pigeons, or maybe the slugs
I looked closer in search of a clue
And there on the soil, there was something bright green
They were dollops of urban fox pooh
I am now finding ways to deter the damned fox
I’ve hung CD’s to dazzle his eyes
And we plan to spray vinegar around where he sneaks in
To give him a nasty surprise
I didn’t know foxes liked onions, did you?
Perhaps he’s a foodie fox chap
Having sourced his plump chicken
Bob’s Prize winning onions will go well as a cordon bleu snack
Can I bring up a point to make all of you gasp? at the time when floods ravaged the nation
I jokingly said if we had a dry week, we’d end up with a drought proclamation
Well one night last week I was watching TV and to my amazement I saw
An appeal to save water ‘cos it’s running low, I really was shocked to the core
The millions of gallons of flood H2O have all disappeared down the drain
So instead of enjoying the warm summer sunshine
The Government are praying for rain

WEEK 12:

Our onion crop is safe once more, the vinegar worked a treat
It really is rewarding when a crafty fox you beat
My good friend Jacky caused my sense of humour to be tickled
She asked if we were growing onions ready pickled
Bob, my husband, has a problem concerning his right knee
Before we went in lockdown he had physiotherapy
But this is no longer available so he has suffered quietly
And made sure he did his exercises conscientiously
He’d had enough so fixed a time to visit his GP
Who referred him for an X_Ray at Queen Vic Radiotherapy
A woman, through a locked door, said “we’re closed ‘til July at the earliest””
Bob said as hospital staff go she was undoubtedly the surliest
I met up outdoors yesterday with two of my close mates
We sat on separate benches as the NHS dictates
But I found it hard to hear them and the masks that both were wearing
Made me seriously think that I had a problem with my hearing
We went to Kendal Tuesday and on our journey back
Sizergh Barn was open and they were serving TASTY SNACKS!
Oh! what a treat Oh! what a joy, a delight for Bob and me
We sat outside and enjoyed some lemon drizzle cake and tea
Never has anything tasted so good, it just shows our appreciation
For the simple things forgotten in the lockdown situation
For the first time in nine weeks we met up with the family
The grand-kids and their parents brought some fish and chips for tea
What a treat, we sat outside, spent family time together
But we were only able to do this due to lovely sunny weather
Bob and I are feeling just a little down today
On April 1st it was 55 years since we had our Wedding Day
As a special treat we had booked a cruise along the River Douro
But now we are in lockdown foreign holidays are a No-No
So our trip has been postponed until the 7th of June next year
That’s if we’re spared!!! as the saying goes and we wipe away a tear

WEEK 13:

Now lockdown restrictions have slightly eased and up to six can meet
I am joining three friends from the Gym,  that will be a treat
We usually do Pilates but we can’t do that today
The Lotus position in Happy Mount Park, whatever would folks say?
You may recall I told you we had booked a river cruise
Of course we had to cancel it and that was not good news
On Saturday night we watched TV and were feeling very low
You’ll never guess what came on screen, Jane MacDonald’s Cruising Show
From that moment on we sat transfixed as she sailed the River Douro
And purely by coincidence that’s where we had booked to go
So we journeyed from our armchairs, we did not need to queue
No worries about passports or how much liquid is taboo
And when it came to tasting wine our ‘bar’ wasn’t far away
But I must confess we drank Sauv Blanc and not Mateus Rose
I’m glad to say we have re-booked for the trip next year in June
And as you will appreciate that cannot come too soon
The Newsreader on Radio 2 made a faux pas yesterday
Whilst reading out statistics I distinctly heard him say
Folks returning from abroad must stay in isolation
But instead of 1 week, he said 1 YEAR, that would cause a sensation!!!!
How do you know what day it is, they are all the same to me
My calendar is completely blank, it never used to be
We were such busy people with engagements every day
But now we recognise the days in a most peculiar way
Tuesday is the day when the bins line up the street
Newspapers on Thursday and Saturday have now become a treat
I returned from Morecambe on the bus, but I didn’t wear a mask
“How many passengers did you see “?  I can hear you ask
There was only one other lady and she sat at the back
But the rules re masks are changing, Oh dear!  Alas! Alack!,
We ventured into Lancaster there wasn’t much to see
Only a few shops open and we had heard you could park for free
Not so, the usual parking rates have now been re-instated
Our shopping trip only took half an hour, Boy!  Did we feel frustrated
Shops re-open on Monday,  I bet there’s a stampede
For much needed Retail Therapy but lots of Rules to heed
If you try it on and it doesn’t fit don’t put it on the rack
It has to go into quarantine before it can go back


Fourteen weeks and going strong, well that’s not strictly true
It’s becoming very hard to find exciting things to do
We have met up ‘in the bubble’ with our lovely family
I have enjoyed a cup of coffee with some friends at VVV
We asked my brother and his wife for drinks, which was quite nice
To sit out in the sun with g and t’s and lots of ice
All of a sudden there arose a bit of a to-do
Bob’s folding chair had come adrift he was slowly sinking through
He managed to extract himself much quicker than you think
And the good news is he was not hurt and HE DID NOT SPILL HIS DRINK!!
I was waiting at the bus stop and as I gazed around
I looked inside the shelter and to my surprise I found
Some plants had started growing through the corners of the wall
Grasses, brambles, bracken which was almost two feet tall
And the seat just by the shelter has almost disappeared
Completely overgrown with grass it’s months since it was cleared
We took a trip to Lancaster, well, what more could you ask
My favourite stores were open, Primark and TKMaxx
Primark was fairly quiet, hardly anyone was there
But the queue for TKMaxx went all the way round Market Square
Next we went to M&S, we waited for a while
And our conversation gave the assistant every cause to smile
I pointed out a dress I liked, it was hanging on a rail
I’d bought one which was identical, online and in the sale
Jacky asked ‘where does it come to’ meaning length and nothing more
I replied without hesitation, “It was delivered to my door “
There is one thing I would like to ask, do you have problems with your mask
Mine moves up and down my face, if I don’t make sure it’s correctly placed
And when I have a conversation my glasses steam up with condensation
How very sorry I was to see, Vera Lynn has died at 103
The Forces Sweetheart to fighting men
Her famous song We’ll Meet Again
At last some progress! I read it today, distancing will change to 1 METRE AWAY.
Don’t get excited, I then read page 2, somebody has proof it’s the wrong thing to do
Government and Scientists please get it together
The Nation has now reached the end of its tether


We are travelling a wee bit further, we have hardly used the car
The petrol gauge was showing that it would not take us far
We last topped up in January when the price was pretty high
But a litre now is 99p, we could hardly believe our eyes
We have some lovely walks nearby, we can go straight from our door
Seashore, woodlands and canal, you could not wish for more
The scene is changing every day as few boats are passing through
As you walk along the towpath you get a super view
Of water lilies, yellow flag, moor hens, swans and ducks
Seven cygnets, ducklings too and with a bit of luck
You may glimpse the otter, we saw him with a fish
The gulls were trying madly to pinch his tasty dish
More confusion via Boris, things don’t get any better
Some are flouting rules whilst others follow to the letter
Half a million drove to Bournemouth, don’t you find it sad
The easing of the lockdown has driven people mad
Raves and demonstrations, tons of rubbish left behind
Sometimes it even makes you lose your faith in all mankind
“Facemasks at all times when you travel on the bus”
Not the case on Monday, but I didn’t make a fuss
The information notice had quite simply been ignored
Drivers should be told to point it out as people board
Hand sanitiser bottles have been causing quite a ruction
If stored where it is hot they cause spontaneous combustion!!!
As little girls, so many dreamed of starring on the Screen
But we are all much older, could we now achieve our dream?
Because screens are now in fashion everywhere I’ve been
But only to prevent the spread of ( aaaagh!! ) Covid 19
The anticipation is mounting as we all approach July
The 4th is a Red Letter Day, we know the reason why
The pubs will then re-open, coffee shops and bistros too
I am going to have my hair cut and if lucky, coloured too
Why not take a photo of your hair before and after
And in the years to come look back with tears and roars of laughter
I’ll close this week with a sad revelation, something that will shock the Nation
The Trafford Centre is no more , the news has shocked me to the core
I only went there once a year but confess I almost shed a tear
Where can I go to Christmas shop, it’s not the same when you “click and drop”



I cannot believe the change in the weather, from summer to winter we’ve gone
It was 30 degrees just a few days ago, the central heating has now been switched on
I decided to bake, just for something to do, so I started to search for a tin
It was Christmas the last time I used it, and was buried amongst other things,
I hardly dare tell you, I feel so ashamed, but I hope that it keeps you amused
Laid in the bottom of my Christmas tin was one of Bob’s best outdoor shoes!
I requested a doctor’s appointment, no chance of a time face to face
They asked me to send them a photo, which I did, then I joined in the race
I picked up the phone very early, my first call was just after 8
I was 10th in the queue, but what else could I do, so decided to hang on and wait
I finally spoke to Reception, they said “no appointments this week”
They were apologetic, but ain’t it pathetic, the system has gone up the creek
I invited my friends round for coffee, for a chat whilst we sat in the sun
The flapjack was going down nicely, the fruit cake was perfectly done
But the weather then changed, it was drizzling, I had a plan B just in case
So we all went and sat in our garage, which I must say looks quite a disgrace
But it didn’t disrupt conversation, we put the world right, as you do
And the heat from the old tumble dryer kept us warm for an hour or two
I can hardly contain my excitement, next week I will get my hair done
We can go to the pub for a bar meal, and if we dare, book a break in the sun
They are talking of opening the libraries, you can go to the cinema too
But sadly the theatres are closed to us all, whatever will everyone do
We seriously need relaxation, considering all we’ve been through
The benefits we’d gain are so good for the brain, important for mental health too
I sing in two choirs, I just love it, they say music is good for the soul
But Boris won’t allow us to do it, due to too many folks in the hall
The same thing applies to Pilates, yoga and aerobics too
By the time they decide to re-open I’ll probably be 92
The listings for TV are dreadful, I dislike the wrong message they send
I don’t know about you, but I just want to view a programme that has a nice end
A and E to amuse me? don’t think so, Disasters UK, not for me
Nightmare Neighbours and Filthiest Houses, Evil Online, how bad can it be?
Take me out of myself for an hour, give me romance and glamour galore
I need some escape from reality, take me back to where we were before
And now for some news that will thrill you all
You can’t catch Covid from a cricket ball!!

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