Pandemic diary 38: A guest post and a mystery solved

We finished the Cold War Steve 'Harold' jigsaw last Sunday but a middle piece was missing!

A few posts back I asked if anyone wanted to do a guest post and one of my oldest friends from back in school days said yes. Since it is a Thursday and Tracey has written about her Thursdays under lockdown and because something related and exciting happened tonight (another Thursday), today (Thursday) is the day to post this…

A hot news update from Hall Green

Tracey: When Fiona asked on FB if she should keep writing her daily pandemic diary – my reply was ‘Keep it up please 🙂’ as basically I am very nosey and enjoy hearing about the minutiae of other people’s lives. My daughter says having a chat with me (or my mom) ['mom' is Brummie for 'mummy' international readers! – ed.] is sometimes like being interviewed!

Anyway, I was thrilled to be invited to make a guest contribution. I’m glad she asked today – Thursday is when it all happens at the moment in our household. 

It’s shopping day, bin day and the 8pm clap. All the above are self explanatory but as it was shopping day I had to drop my parents stuff to them as they aren’t allowed out. They live in Stirchley so I sometimes use this trip to drop some newspapers to Fiona and Pete for the bunny. 

We had a socially distanced chat for five minutes in the road and the subject of 'the missing jigsaw piece' came up. [Here it is – ed.]


I have confidently advised her that according to Principle 10 of Professor Solomon’s 'How to Find Lost Things', most items are found within 18 inches of where they should be, or ‘the Eureka Zone’. 

I am looking forward to tomorrow’s diary when I fully expect the missing piece to have been found. 

Well, Tracey…

Your wish has been granted, albeit a whole week later. For tonight we tore apart the living room, shone phone torches down floorboards and checked the vacuum cleaner bag… and, lo and behold, there it was under the sofa cushions where we had already looked. (Don't look at the toast crumbs.)

I'm afraid Professor Solomon was wrong in this case as it was about 8ft away from where I thought it was. But it was definitely a EUREKA! moment.

And then there was a ceremonial entering of the final piece together as a couple, which is ironic as we nearly divorced over who was hogging the jigsaw last week.

And here it is: John Shuttleworth's keyboard, leather jacket and bit of red polo neck. Dion Dublin is not impressed.

Now we can finally dismantle it. Except for the blue sky – that can go in whole!

And thank you Tracey for the guest post. Another secret reader has also sent in her 'lockdown life' post to be published next week. Ping me if you want to have a guest slot on here, too.


Today I am thankful for our 8pm clap – it's become a regular thing to do the clap for key workers (and really mean it!) for a few minutes.

But then the garage DJ on Cartland Rd fires up his three or four tunes and we go and have a clap and a dance on their road, too. And that one is more for us, to feel a connection to our neighbours and to lift the spirits.

The kids get a blast of baby shark (do do do do do do ). The NHS blood vans and ambulances and nurses in cars get extra claps and cheers and honks. And I get the BeeGees and Neil Diamond for a bit of a sad boogie in the middle of the road.

Commission/hire me: fiona [at]

One thought on “Pandemic diary 38: A guest post and a mystery solved”

  1. Our clap was really subdued last night as the drums from up the road weren't out. I do like to wave at the neighbours, though.

    I would be up for doing a guest post. I feel like one of the only workers whose WORK hasn't been affected by the crisis, and could maybe do with mulling over that in words. Just let me know and no probs if it's a no!

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