Life in Lockdown Valerie French Bournemouth

Life in Lockdown Valerie French

Caption: Valerie French

Life in Lockdown | Posted: Friday, April 24th, 2020 at 9:14 am | return to news

Life in Lockdown: Talking of… stuff

By Valerie French

Life in Lockdown Valerie French

Caption: Valerie French

(Audio narration by Julia Stringer of Valerie French’s My COVID Diary blog “Talking of… stuff”)

Though not exclusive to this magazine, Val French from Bournemouth has kindly shared her Covid 19 Blog 4 with us as part of our Life in Lockdown series.

Requests via our street’s WhatsApp group have escalated. Started with a pint of semi-skimmed, then indoor television aerial to: can someone please pick up my reading glasses from Sainsbury’s?

With COPD, Dad had no choice but to self-isolate. So far he’s taken his bed to pieces, cleaned underneath and reassembled it, created a running circuit in his lounge and de-cluttered his wardrobe. Is every self-isolater doing this?

Like Juliet, he talks to us from the window of his first floor flat: “The brightness of his cheek would shame those stars…” Gosh, he does seem to have more colour in his cheeks than usual. I must ask daughter if she has a spare thermometer.

We drop off sweet potatoes, broccoli and a chicken dinner. Headlining today’s shopping list: white emulsion.


My phone pings. It’s been doing that a lot lately. I watch a video of Spanish cops, sirens blaring, speeding down a street somewhere that is neither Valencia or Andalucia… a cop leaps from the patrol car brandishing…. a guitar! My Spanish-speaking son assures me the song they’re singing to delighted residents features words relating to body parts. A Spanish version of hands, shoulders, knees and toes?

Another ping: my mate Sara who lives off the west coast of Canada. We talk for over an hour. Usually neither of us has the time. She’s in lockdown too and, no, they don’t have toilet roll either. However, she assures me there are fifteen alternatives to bog roll. Really? Kitchen roll, tissues, damp cloth… Jimmy next door suggested petals from the magnolia across the street… but that’s only four.

Several calls later I find myself with daughter and prospective son-in-law standing in the garden under the stars clapping. Our effort sounds rather pathetic until we stop and listen: 360 degrees of cheers and rhythmic clapping – then fireworks, creating a climactic full stop to our appreciation of health and other key workers around the world.

PS: I’d be most grateful if anyone out there can add to my list of alternatives to bog roll.

For more of Val’s blogs visit

Val’s report is the sixth from our series ‘Life in Lockdown’ featuring lockdown stories from people in Dorset and across the globe. ‘Life in Lockdown’ aims to shine a light on how people’s lives have been affected by lockdown and how they are surviving. They will share their experiences and tips for living in lockdown. We will be publishing the reports online over the next couple of weeks and in the upcoming May 4Dorset magazine. If you have a lockdown story you would like to share please get in touch as we would love to hear from you.

Please share post:


Follow us on

Mags4Dorset | Follow us on Facebook
Mags4Dorset | Follow us on Twitter

for the latest Dorset News from Mags4Dorset


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Post comment