Friday, May 08, 2020

The Queue at B&Q

Under the Forth Railway Bridge (abstract view), as seen as part of some daily essential exercising that takes less than the mandated hour. I'm still not completely clear on what a fully "legal" lockdown day actually looks like.

I was thinking about all the people I saw in a queue outside of a B&Q store. It's a sunny morning, I'm looking for some concrete, technically I've made an unnecessary journey but my mental health barometer told me I needed the concrete to build a stone step, yackety yack, to improve the garden etc. So I joined the fairly large queue. A sunny morning, only about 0930 but there were many eager souls in that queue, mostly couples, shorts and t-shirts clutching phones as is the custom. All lost in thoughts on doing up the bathroom, some running household repairs or fixing up the garden like me.

The queue was slow and though I've been in B&Q many times, now from this strange queue the inside of the store seemed quite a mysterious thing. How had it changed I wondered? Would it be one way? Would there be an uneasy sense of desolation? Certain stocks and facilities were not available according to the on line messages I'd seen. It was now another dark world, a small part of an unfamiliar universe distorted by Covid pandemonium. I reasoned with myself, but I just want a bag of concrete and maybe some fence paint if I can find the "right" colour, whatever that might be. 

After ten minutes I moved up one place and suddenly I saw clearly a sign that I'd been avoiding reading: "No plaster, cement or concrete products in stock. Only a small selection of fence paints. More stock due in next week." So that was it, no stock or at least nothing worth standing in a line for. I ducked under the tape, always at a safe distance of course, jumped in the car and drove over to Homebase. First thing I did was check the signs and sure enough: No plaster, cement ... etc." 

Turns out we're all the same. We just want some cement and some paint, perhaps some bedding plants and a pack of drill bits. You can try Amazon but delivery dates and times are screwed so you go "non essential" in a fake, self induced bid of desperation. We're all looking for a purpose right now and sometimes just hating the Tories or being angry at the media or the virus isn't enough. There are higher purposes but seriously who cares? You just need to get back home and mix up some concrete in your garden, in your own small world.

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