The Corona Chronicles: Week 76: The End!

This week I’ve won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Mother. It’s taken months of my life and huge amounts of effort. But all my impatient suffering has been rewarded. My Lost Boy is coming home! That nightmare screening of ‘Pandemic I’ has finally come to an end. Many in the audience have long gone. They left in the company of the main stars. But some of us stayed behind, holding out for those foreign supporting artists in the closing credits. And sadly, some are still waiting, in the hope they’ll spot their loved one in an outtake.

My own lead actor will be arriving shortly, courtesy of his Dutch supporters waiving his need to quarantine on return. No private jet for him. But the red carpet will certainly be rolled out in his honour. Just as in ‘screen life’ we’ll be condensing the last two years into a manageable viewing. We’ve got to pack in those key dates missed. Pancake Day, Easter, Bonfire Night, Christmas and countless birthdays will all be celebrated, along with toasts to absent brides and grooms.

The mood in our house has changed noticeably in anticipation. Grunting Teen, that notorious shop-a-phobic has announced he needs a new wardrobe in his desperation to prove to his big brother that he’s now up to being his co-star. He’s even roped in his sister to help with costume design.

Meanwhile, the Nearly-Beloved is busy directing the set. Apparently, it fails all Health and Safety standards and requires a deep clean. The last thing we want is for our Lost Boy to have battled through all the Covid setbacks only to be felled by a respiratory attack brought on by poor quality housekeeping. I outsource this task to the professionals as I have more important catering issues to resolve.

Has my Lost Boy been pining for my signature corned-beef surprise? Seemingly not. He remembers my culinary skills only too well…Thank goodness for Deliveroo! Our diva A-lister has yet to find an Amsterdam curry house worthy of an Oscar, so top of his wish list is a Chicken Vindaloo. I just hope the special effects aren’t too spectacular.

Hills have also been ordered. But care must be taken. Legs that have spent too long on flat land need to be broken in gently. A walk round our steep neighbourhood will do for starters until we build up the strength for an outing to the Peaks. And interviews will have to wait until his ears re-adapt to his native language and its Yorkshire vowels.

The long-awaited homecoming has his fans gathering in readiness. Delightful Daughter has booked time off work so that she can hang out with her ‘little big’ brother. And we’re shooting on location in Wales, with a crew of long-lost relatives and a reception worthy of Sir Tom himself. Spirits will be high and the after-show party will go on for days.

The challenge will be to enjoy this live performance, focussing on the present moment, without regretting roles that have been passed over or worrying about parts yet to come. What’s more, all the actors in this current film need a good long break. It was very much a box-office flop and we certainly don’t want to see a Pandemic II in production. So, for the next two weeks I’m taking the time to connect with my Lost Boy and disappear from public view.

But before I go, I’d like to thank you, the audience, for keeping me going. You see, writing a weekly blog has encouraged me to put a positive spin on life in lockdown, even when times have been hard. For me, The Corona Chronicles have finished with a happy ending and I hope that after my break, I’ll return to less pandemic-related, more mundane, musings on life.

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