I’VE been thinking about how I’m going to talk about the coronavirus pandemic, and lockdown in particular, in the future. 

Everyone has been experiencing feelings of isolation, loneliness, boredom, money worries etc. There’s no doubt it, it has hardly been a walk in the park for anyone. 

However, when I tell my weans and grandweans about the whole thing, I am going to be exaggerating the whole experience like nothing else. The way your older relatives talk about the war? That’s absolutely nothing on the nonsense I’m going to fill my poor future weans’ head’s with.

“Aw, Da! How can I no just go oot wi ma pals?’ My son will ask me after I’ve grounded him for not completing his daily reading of at least five of my columns or short stories.

“You’re grounded for a night, wee man. See during lockdown? I couldnae go oot for MONTHS! You’ve nae idea how good you’ve got it.”

He sighs, he knows what’s coming now. He sits down and rolls his eyes at me. “Here we go.”

“January 2020,” I say dramatically. “The year started aff wi talk ae World War III breaking oot and it somehow only got worse fae there. There wis rumours ae this new virus gawn aboot in different places aw over the world, but naebody seemed tae take it seriously.”

He yawns.

“Then a couple ae cases ae the virus were reported here. Still, naebody took it serious.” I look off into the distance. “Aw we should’ve took it serious, wee man. We had nae idea wit wis coming.

“Then lockdown happened. Everybody wis tae stay in the hoose, nae matter wit. Ye were allowed oot fur wan five-minute walk a week an that wis it.”

The wean knows I’m full of mince. He’s no daft, he’s learned about this in school. But he 
knows there’s no shutting me up once I get going, so he sits and pretends to listen.

“People were going wild. There wis fights in the shops for toilet roll. It became like gold dust.”

The wean imagines that if we were in a situation where we had no toilet roll, he’d take great delight in improvising by using a copy of one of my books.

“Ye know yer uncle Dale?” I ask.

“I didnae know I had an uncle Dale,” he replies confused.

“Exactly. He was ma best pal until we met in the shops during lockdown. Me and him, staring doon the last packet ae toilet roll. I had tae batter him fur it.”

The wean knows I can barely fight sleep, never mind a grown man.

“Imagine it. Locked in the hoose fur months oan end. We had tae board aw the windaes and doors shut, tae stop the virus coming in. Me and yer maw had tae wear gas masks and hazmat suits if we had tae venture ootside fur supplies. Ye were only allowed wan tin ae beans an a loaf ae bread fae the shop.”

“Were ye aye?” he says.

“Aye. The worst ae it wis, everything wis shut. Couldnae get a pint anywhere for love nor money. Couldnae even get a haircut. Guess how long ma hair got in lockdown.”

“I don’t know, da.”

“It wis doon past ma waist. I had the biggest beard you’d have ever seen in yer life.”

“Were you no allowed to shave?”

“Shut up, that’s no the point.”

“See if I was you in lockdown,” he says, changing his tone. “I’d have wrote hunners ae books. How many did you write?”

“Eh, well, I mean, eh. Och, it wisnae as if I was just sitting aboot.”

“Well wit did ye get up tae? Sounds as if there wisnae much tae dae other than sit aboot.

Ye could’ve used that time tae crack oan wi the novel you’ve been ‘writing’ for the last 20 year, big man.”

“Right, that’s it. Grounded fur another night. An ye cannae go oot oan yer hoverboard either.”

“Ye could’ve learned a new skill then if ye wurnae writing. Wit did ye learn in lockdown?”

I have a flashback to me discovering that the dug preferred cheese and onion crisps over salt and vinegar, the most exciting thing that happened to me in lockdown.

“... and another thing,” he says. “I heard people were baking banana bread and all that since they couldnae leave the hoose. How come you cannae bake, or cook, anything?”

“Right, pack it in,” the wee man’s got me on the ropes here.

Glasgow Times:

“So ye had aw this time where ye could work on projects wi minimal distraction, learn new skills, educate yerself, prepare to leave lockdown in better shape than when it started and ye did nothing wi it?”

“Aw away ye go. Go oot wi yer pals. Get oot ma sight.”

Maybe I’ll just not bother telling the weans about all this in the future, I’ll only embarrass myself.