I’m not the first person to make this observation, but isn’t it weird how the whole world can turn so upside down in such a short time?
Not three weeks ago I was one of 2,000+ people crowded together in the Christchurch Town Hall, revelling in Dramfest and the tasting of whiskies from around the world. Two-metre separation was impossible – in most parts of the venue, two centimetres was challenging!
Now the world has locked us into our homes for at least the next four weeks, hopefully with someone we want to be locked in with.
And I’m not even allowed to go around to my brother-in-law’s to help him drink his whisky.
“Not three weeks ago I was one of 2,000+ people crowded together in the Christchurch Town Hall, revelling in Dramfest”
At the start of lockdown, liquor stores were deemed “non-essential” and forced to close. Sanity has fortunately prevailed and stores are now available again for on-line, “contactless” purchases.
The whole situation is quite typical of the fast-moving nature of this crisis. And it is a crisis, even before the liquor stores got shut!
Things are changing so quickly it’s hard to keep pace.
I type a really good, fact-perfect, totally insightful sentence. Then somebody changes something that turns the whole thing into a mockery. For example, I wrote eloquently about how we could only get our nerve-relaxants from the wine section at the supermarket. I waxed lyrical about the UK supermarket shelves that stock up-market whiskies.
And what happens? The Authorities go and allow the liquor stores to open on-line and whole paragraphs have to be consigned to the rubbish tin!
Have some consideration, guys!
One major concern on the alcohol front, though, is that re-cycling in my city has been temporarily halted. Which means the empties won’t be collected.
Perhaps we could start building a bottle-house with them. That would fill several gaps – a project to do (pastime), save the re-cycling (conservation), and a new garden shed (utilitarian).
But there are some parts of this New Order which have no humour at all.
The rate and speed of infection spread and the death tolls are horrendous.
The decisions and public pronouncements of some of the world’s “leaders” border on the insane – no names, just think Orange (my last political comment).
The choices of some people to consider that lockdown does not apply to them displays a breath-taking depth of self-entitlement. And a lot of other similar words, with adjectives.
“Working from home, previously regarded as the ultimate oxymoron, has become the standard state. ”
However, against that dark background the human condition emerges and lightens the darkness with intense and poignant humour. Witness:
- The Youtube video of Jennifer taking her laptop into the toilet during a staff video meeting – forgetting that the camera was still rolling all the while. The looks on her colleagues’ faces was enough!
- The fake-news item from 2050 which reads “.. and Thomas has just opened the last toilet roll that his parents purchased in 2020”.
- People reacting classical artworks by playing dressing-ups in their homes.
The communication systems available now have made things possible that could not have happened even thirty years ago.
- A group of whisky friends have been having email discussions. The chat is enlightening and confirms that tastes in whisky are enormously personal!
- At 10am last Sunday (International Whisky Day) I Facebooked into a live-video Master Class being broadcast from Bunnahabbhain on Islay. The London Whisky Live had been canned so Derek Scott, Bunnahabbain Brand Director, ran their stand from his living room complete with open fire and Mac the Labrador. And while the broadcast was going out live to the world, someone from NZ wrote in to say what kind of whisky they were having with their breakfast. I love that!
- There are family gatherings on Zoom or Skype, bringing people together virtually. That kind of gathering would normally only be at a wedding or funeral and, sadly, usually the latter! My sister talked about Skype-reading a book in Dunedin to her five-year-old grandson in Vancouver. Nice!
Working from home, previously regarded as the ultimate oxymoron, has become the standard state. And is proving every bit as effective as sitting in an office in the centre of the city. The 10-minute quiz get-together that used to be held around the morning tea table is now a slightly voyeuristic Skype peep into your colleagues’ homes (or at least that section of it that can be seen in the background of a slightly grainy video picture).
And here is a closing thought for you. I’ve just been reading about some lovely whiskies that are available as “travel retail only” in exotic airports.
Considering it likely that air travel in the new, post-COVID world will be severely curtailed (and undoubtedly unattractive, too) what will happen to those drams? Unsold at duty-free, are they likely to start turning up for on-line ordering?
I can only hope!