Self-isolation – 4

How you cope with this lockdown probably depends very much on your starting point. The media are full of suggestions of how to use the time positively – everything from taking up a new hobby to learning another language are amongst the ideas I’ve seen. There have been images of talented families singing together and of lithe young men and women suggesting exercises to keep you fit while you are stuck at home. If, like me, you are lucky enough to live in a house with a garden there is at least the opportunity to get some fresh air and feel closer to nature. Downward dog in the middle of the lawn is optional.

What if your starting point is somewhat less positive? Illness? Bereavement? Loss of employment? Poverty? In such cases, lockdown must seem like the final crushing blow. If you can access them, you are likely to rage at the cheery Covid jokes being passed around the internet, or the plucky messages to pull together. Such things must appear like the equivalent of telling a depressive to snap out of it.

These are testing times for all of us, not least the health and social care professionals treating patients and tackling the consequences of the virus head on.

Yesterday some of us from the Deeside Stroke Group began the week with a Zoom exercise session led by our excellent physiotherapist. We are going to try and keep this going weekly until we are able to exercise again together in the flesh. We range in age and also range wildly in physical ability, but watching the six or seven images of us on screen, each in our square sterile digital box, it was impossible not to think of this as a bit of a fight back; one in the eye to coronavirus; half a dozen flickering images that promised a return to hope and a better future. At least those were the positive thoughts that circled in my mind during the session. Afterwards, stretching out against a wall, my muscles told a different story in which there was less hope and more pain.

Anyway, keeping your mind as well as your body active is important, so, following positive feedback from the quiz in my last post, here is another one to keep your neurons firing. Once again, if the mood takes you and you enjoy the quiz, any relevant health charity is likely to appreciate your donation. Go on. You know you want to.

Answers are available from me using the contact details on this blog.


                     BRITISH BIRDS CRYPTIC QUIZ                           
                                                (may include anagrams)


1. Rub down musician (9)________________________________________
2. God! Barrier (7) ______________________________________________
3. Sounds like lorry changing direction (6, 4)_________________________
4. Wheat waste, then measure (9)_________________________________
5. Out of breath (6)_____________________________________________
6. Chess piece (4)_______________________________________________
7. Drink up instrument of flight (7)_________________________________
8. Regale to lose queen for bird of prey (5)___________________________
9. Wash raw pork for this bird of prey (11)__________________________
10. Fencing her?(10) _____________________________________________
11. One pig found in city streets(6)__________________________________
12. No brawl for night time hunter(4,3) ______________________________
13. Valuable item beside top of hill (9)_______________________________
14. Illegal activity? (5) ____________________________________________
15. Female sibling? (6)____________________________________________
16. Mr Stoker with jewellery (9)____________________________________
17. Face card next to digital audio workstation (7)______________________
18. Attire for sentencing to death (8)________________________________
19. Tenth letter (3)_______________________________________________
20. You might need a dish for this jolly jape (7)________________________
21. Hit with head then break shell (8)________________________________
22. Heather after heavenly body? (8) ________________________________
23. Coloured tool (12)____________________________________________
24. Let in nasty, noxious Eric – tea for starters (6)______________________
25. Muir – with Scots lass (7)_______________________________________
26. Farm worker with house (8)____________________________________
27. Sounds like it should hold your kebab together (4)__________________
28. Wild party ends in north (5)____________________________________
29. Boulder talk (9)______________________________________________
30. Fast (5)________________________________________________
31. Famous grump (6)____________________________________________
32. Hot drink left (4) _____________________________________________
33. Child’s play on the donkey?(7)__________________________________
34. North Briton hesitation (6) _____________________________________
35. Nonsense, brassica. Untrue (12) _________________________________
36.Shake or shiver (5)____________________________________________
37.Something for your tank? (6) ___________________________________
38.Regal angler (10) _____________________________________________
39.Freshwater bird caused by a rare wilt (5,4)_________________________
40. Agricultural produce (9) _______________________________________

About Eric Sinclair

Writer, stroke survivor, whippet owner, music lover, charity volunteer
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