Friday, March 5, 2021

The small world

  The small world.

It’s been exactly a year since restrictions started in Scotland. It seems a lot longer.

Since Christmas Day we have been under a total lockdown of only being allowed out for groceries, to attend a medical appointment or for one hours exercise. Except for  us that aren’t under lockdown.

Many patients are really suffering with their mental health, many see nobody, speak to nobody, day in,  day out. The recent terrible weather ( for Scotland I mean!), really heavy rain and snow,  high winds and freezing temperatures meant that even the daily walk for exercise was off the agenda.

On an upbeat note, all that walking has hurt knees, low backs, blistered feet and strained flat arches so, at work, we are really busy treating those injuries.

So, I think we now have two classes in society; those that are sore bored they are looking to swap jigsaws on Facebook.  Those that are screaming at Facebook, wishing to have time to be bored enough to do jigsaws.

Things are different at work than they were at the start of lockdown, one year ago.  We have rules at in the clinic about patients coming in at the appointment time and not before, then the patient will sneak in claiming the bus was early, or they misjudged the time, it’s too cold to wait outside ( true), there’s nowhere else open ( also true).  So in they come, sanitise their hands and sit in their designated socially  distanced space. Then the chat starts, or more commonly a monologue. The receptionist, encased in a Perspex box, with a small hatch for the credit card machine  ( true Scot that I am), is a sitting target. Add to the mix the  muffling effect of the  Perspex, the muffling effect of the masks, the noise of the road works outside ( they drilled through our internet cable but that’s another story) you can imagine how some of the conversations can go a bit off course. Then the door opens and another one comes in. Then another one. And the treatment room doors open and those patients walk out. When we get to four, one of the therapists has to go out and go on traffic patrol, standing in the middle of the reception  like a Spanish policeman,  guiding one patient to park at the door while another goes into a  room and the covid seat sanitisation shuffle  starts again.

Lives are lived second hand now. We understand that. Patients have our undivided attention for thirty minutes. We might be the only person they speak to that week. You tell them to come back in two weeks, they book for the following week - just in case. And they harvest the therapist for information about the dog, the farm,  the novel,  the builders, the new roof, the old roof,  the current jigsaw.

The topics of conversation are limited, as life is limited.

Scottish politics are interesting at the moment but the consensus of opinion ( it’s all he said /she said) is that they should all grow up and come clean.

Netflix- The Crown, The Peanut Butter Phoenix, Unforgotten are my recommendations, and we chat about the episodes, making arrangements so we are at the same bit in the series. We talk about Behind Her Eyes ( 97% psych thriller,  2% sci fi, but who saw that coming ??).    We then talk about everything that was wrong with Marchella, even though we watched it- in fact I confess that I watched it twice ( while doing paperwork!) as there were a few plot points I couldn’t tie up. That was because they didn’t, tie up they were left dangling. I might try that on my editor. Doubt I’d get very far.

The weather. Always a good talking point. There’s a lot of it.

The latest lockdown breaking scandal in the street- everybody is looking out their windows, waiting to grass up the neighbours for having a bubble of more than 1 from three different households with one foot in the door when there’s an R in the month  and Orion is visible in the night sky.

And schooling. Many folk have working from home pretty well sussed.  Sometimes both parents are working from home. If you are a key worker ( as opposed to an essential worker ), you are allowed to send your kids to school. If not,  you are supposed to school them at home, while doing your own job.

Mostly, they complain about the odd way things are taught nowadays - the adverbial phrase?  Teaching a  snottery nosed, stir crazy seven year old about the counterpointing metaphor is no use to anybody. Sometimes, they patient brings the English homework in for me to lend an expert eye, as they think because I write books I should be able to string a sentence together. I tell them that’s not the case. But I am good at killing  people.




  1. Caro, all I can say is thank heavens you are there to make us laugh through all this!That last picture is priceless. I just hope that those of us around in 2035 still think it's funny!

  2. I think most of your patients come to get a laugh from you! Physio is secondary.

  3. If we weren't isolated on our farm, where we can get out and about on the property as we wish, but held to the space and schedule so much of Scotland is enduring, we'd be as mad as a Hatter--that is if we didn't have your posts to read.