My new burglar alarm


Are some people in a mad rush to buy guns to protect themselves?

If I was a burglar, top of my list would be offices and closed shops where a smorgasbord of goodies are waiting for my light fingered touch. And no one to disturb me.

The last place I am going to want to visit is a house full of cooped up maniacs. However, if I did, I’d be brandishing enough firepower to storm Omaha beach or a riot on Black Friday.

In the remote chance that I was to choose a domestic target I would not go near a house with Covid-19. Simple.


...and another thing

Spring cleaning. It was almost a badge of honour in my bachelor youth to be able to boast I did not know how to operate the washing machine and the first sign of spring was my housekeeper taking mothballs out of my summer socks drawer.

Now our home is so clean even the mice must wipe their feet. I have discovered long lost family heirlooms consigned to packing boxes. After a month locked inside my home thinking of new things to do, they screamed at me to open them.

If we keep this up who knows what will turn up, but if the Antiques Roadshow or Porn Stars ever return… I fully expect to see the Lost Arc, the Holy Grail, Washington’s spare set of teeth and a recent photo of Elvis.

It’s not only things that I am unearthing that bring back memories but clothes. However, unlike my svelte wife whose metabolism and exercise routine ensures she will be the same size at 81 as she was at 18, I have expanded somewhat. She shrieks with laughter trying on things from her past such as a Joan Collins power dress straight from Dynasty. There is no way I can shoehorn myself into any of it. Not that I would want to. So much of it must have been bought under the influence. A red and green suede bomber jacket? What is scary is not that I went out in it, but looked in the mirror beforehand and said to myself,

“That works.”

...and another thing

Cooking. I love to cook, but I lived in LA once and did not use the kitchen in my apartment for six months. Unless accompanied by the ‘ting’ of the microwave a whole generation have grown up believing cooking is another dark art.

When in Chiang Mai last December, city apartments did not even have kitchens as everyone eats street food. Goodness knows what they are eating now, but there must be a lot of anxious looking stray dogs, cats and bats there.

As for Europe, the French, Italians and Spanish will be fine. The Dutch won’t give a damn so long as they can cover anything with chocolate sprinkles and the Belgians in mayonnaise. The Scandies live on Aquavit and any meal with a herring, from a coffee to a mousse.

The Germans have stockpiled every part of a pig and will be quite happy to suck on a frozen bratwurst. But the English… yes, our food tastes have moved on from the 1960s staple of Fish and Chips, Faggots and Mash or Beef Dripping and Yorkshire Pudding… but no one actually knows how to cook the new stuff. Most people are nonplussed at how to make a pizza or a chicken curry (allegedly the two most popular dishes there). Without home delivery and the closure of the chains, after wailing and gnashing of teeth I can see half the country chewing furniture as the other’s retreat to cereal or tinned spaghetti.

And finally, anyone who thinks they have sufficient freezer space must either live in an igloo or own a morgue!

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One Comment

  1. Magda says:

    Hello Mr Grenside,
    It is good to read you again…Reading you makes me laugh 😉
    Would love to see pictures of Mrs Grenside in a Dynasty type dress from the 80s (with the period hairdo as well ;-), or you with the red and green suede bomber jacket 😉
    Personally, as I had to move back to my smaller French flat I had to give away a lot of clothes, sold some or throw them away…
    But I kept a lot of pictures. Relooking at them during the confinement was fun. Looking at old failed hair cuts or horrible clothes that I used to love was quite entertaining.
    As per the cooking, I think that boredom and necessity make you creative too.
    As long as you are curious and willing to try new flavours and combining new elements.
    It is great way to create new good (or not good…recipes) too 😉
    But you need to have the palate…
    I have created lately a few recipes with left overs that I will cook again in the future.
    My new favourite one being salmon fishcakes made with sweet potatoes and truffled cheese (ok, I agree not everyone can have the truffle oil, or truffled cheese, but it was exceptional 😉
    Also made a version of cantonese rice with green beens instead of green peas, homemade sweet potatoes thin crips, and a few creations with family made chorizo 😉
    As per the freezer, who knows…, when the corona is over, some of the very rich people might want to have their own “ice room” to be able to store more food in their home, in addition to their bunkers, to their jacuzzi, to their swimming pool…It will be interesting to see how people will change their habits.
    Here in Paris they are using one of the cold storage Rungis food and flower market warehouse as a morgue ;-(
    Stay safe both of you !

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