Pandemic diary 37: The £10 on the chest of drawers

Meet the Guardian of the Birthday Cash

Usually I have a hot bath before I write these posts and some thought bubbles up about another day in lockdown, something frustrating or funny or mundane or absent or terrifying or prosaic or inspiring.

Today, the thing that stands out is the £10 sitting on the chest of drawers in the bedroom. It's been there since early February, a kind bit of birthday money from a friend. There it is. Day in, day out. With an Australian wood carving of a lizard sitting on top of it to stop it flying away. The money is actually dusty.

The fact that it is still there after two-and-a-half months tells a story.

Initially I was saving it to maybe buy a little treat – maybe a t-shirt from TKMaxx or a takeaway Dilkhush. I like to turn birthday money into something tangible.

Then came the lockdown.

There's nothing to save for (in cash) and nothing to spend it on locally. The tenner is starting to take on untouchable, symbolic status like it represents something from the old world that can't be used in the new.

Anyway, it made me feel quite poignant.

In other tenner news

Today I bunged Fat Fluffs rabbit rescue a tenner as they have had six defenceless rabbits dumped by roadside and in fields by their owners. Each of these will cost money in healthcare, neutering and running costs. Perhaps that's why they were abandoned. The GofundMe fundraiser is open a few more days.

Meanwhile, a potato farmer in north Birmingham is about to see his potato crop go to waste after losing a supplier contract. A community group has set up a plan to save the spuds: pay £10 for 10kg of potatoes. You receive 2kg for yourself and the other 8kg of the spuds will be donated to people in need in the city.

Just two examples of where a digital tenner might go at the moment. There are many good causes right now.


Today I am thankful for connections and the myriad little things that people have done to make me feel inadvertently better about life in the past day or so:

  • for sister and great nephew waving at me working
  • for an invitation to the allotment
  • for an invitation to have a phone call
  • for a texted photo of a New Zealand pineapple sage in response to my water your roses post
  • for a friend watching and discussing Doctors on my recommendation
  • for a text check to say that my 'Great tits' blog post was well played and had inspired some writing – which has now landed here!
  • for a forwarded email from Pete with a funny in it.

People are what make the world go around and get me outside of my own head. That and walking. Walking solves everything.

And writing, of course, writing.

Commission/hire me: fiona [at]

8 thoughts on “Pandemic diary 37: The £10 on the chest of drawers”

  1. The theme of ‘what has changed / what will change’ post-lockdown is fascinating, isn’t it?

    And am only just beginning to appreciate the vast differences in how people are experiencing lockdown.

    My 3yo grandson asked me today to recall what was the daily routine pre-lockdown. We went through the leaving/returning times for various family members, daily routines, and his own nursery routine. He reacted like it was 6 years ago, not 6 weeks. Timelines are so different for children!

    Can I borrow a tenner until payday then?

  2. Meant to tell you I also loved the Great tits post! I've been watching a bluetit nestbox cam – due to hatch any day. Also in related bird news, it's dawn chorus day on Sunday 3rd – fancy getting up before dawn and just… listening? I quite fancy walking to Cotteridge Park or somewhere equally woody and close for it.

    Lovely to see you yesterday thanks for accepting my invitation!

  3. I've had a fiver folded into my phone case from before lockdown – it's to get something with if I get stuck out running. Used to carry my cash card too to get the bus with in emergencies, but now I just make sure I don't go far enough away I'd need to get a bus back!

  4. Aw it would feel like 6 years to him. I was thinking of the younger children out clapping tonight and how they have no context for all of this and probably just think people are being nice.

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