Questions, questions – Lockdown life 2020

Updated: Jun 12


“Are you leading or am I?” asked the Killing Eve finale. Having watched it, we were none the wiser. Don’t be offended BBC, we love you and even more in the last couple of months - ignore Boris, your nation needs you - it was just that the last episode offered such a bewildering intersection of loose ends that personal motor neurons failed to keep pace.

Obviously (having now read zillions of post-production cyber-space discussions) bigger questions were at play in the deliciously decadent smash-hit.


However, for us, subliminal points about MI6’s super-cool Carolyn always wearing shapeless clothes with enormous pockets (what does she keep in there, lunch?); who actually paid for Agent Eve’s globe-trotting lifestyle and how did Villanelle travel the world with no luggage and an A-lister wardrobe - speaking as one who can’t go out for the day without a boy-scout entourage - continued to be our talking point of choice.


Questions, questions. Current life is full of them, all certainty leaving us many months ago.


Goddess Kuenssberg’s diligent probing, shining a daily light down the political tunnel in search of answers from squirming leaders, poses questions that many, including politicians, have no idea how to answer.


“Thank you, Laura,” they ooze from the podium, shuffling on the spot like toddlers presented with cough medicine.


Big questions, big answers.


But really, what many are keen to discover is the little stuff, the nitty-gritty of daily life; why does Health Secretary Matt Hancock always wear the same pink tie; has Boris had the hedge trimmers out to his lockdown thatch and is little ‘Wilf’ sleeping through the night?!


Details, details.


A million years ago, as a very junior reporter on a local paper, a tip-off came in about a child having picked-up a syringe in a playpark. It was the early nineties; height of the HIV epidemic, tension running high. Buoyed by the ‘scoop’, I felt the Editor couldn’t fail but be impressed.


Wrong.


“How did the boy’s mother feel about it,” he asked. Crestfallen, I realised I’d forgotten the all-important, headline guaranteeing, question.


An important lesson learnt.


And now I have crucial inquiry in the story of lockdown life; a small point but troubling none-the-less. What do we do about removing rainbows?


As a country still gripped by the pandemic, there are calls to drop the weekly ‘clap for carers,’ but what about all the diligently-painted colourful arcs adorning the nation’s windows.


Disrespectful to remove? Prolonging agony to leave them in place? Perhaps additions to the gallery should be made, demonstrating continual gratitude, or is that ‘old hat’ now, initial impact lost?


Teddies too, fluffy little heads poking from window frames, enjoy a new career after human playmates no longer require their service.


The jury seems to be out in my straw-poll of two. “Time to move on,” says one.

“Oh, I’m keeping mine up a bit longer. Perhaps until school goes back..?” said the another.

Hmm. Uncertainty seems to be the current currency, often overwhelming, but as ever, the devil’s in the detail.


The rainbow debate’s been endlessly discussed here, but nobody could agree on correct procedure.


Sound familiar?


For now, ours stay, we’ll enjoy their positive overtones for a while longer, but is that the right way forward. Who knows?


Mairi Fraser

03 June 2020

The Daily Record 12.6.20



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