Cliff Kelly is our Head of Driver Training has been sharing his ‘unique’ perspective on life while in lock-down.

‘I just thought I’d jot down my thoughts and give you an update on my situation so far during this strange time.

Even though the situation has developed over several months, first in China and then emanating further afield never did I expect it to have such a profound effect on us, especially me, things like this don’t happen to me.

What a change it has meant to normal daily life, a normal working day for us trainers would consist of sitting there staring out the window hoping we are going to get out of this alive. Now I find myself sitting here staring out the…well you get the picture. Oh how I miss McDonalds.

I am trying to keep positive and stay sane and I assume doing the things most of us are doing. I started off giving the whole house a spring clean, it’s been a while since I last had a good clear out. It’s amazing the things you find, I threw out a copy of the ‘News of the World’, which had a half chewed Opal fruit stuck to it, I found a packet of ‘Spangles’ which were surprisingly flavoursome. There was two ‘Park Drive’ left in a packet of five, stuffed behind a radiator, a Gonk, a ‘Tank Top’ which I am saving in the hope they will come back into fashion. I came across a suit bag from John Collier, (John Collier John Collier the window to watch ha-ha), a pair of Oxford Bags and a platform shoe just the one strangely. It was quite a cathartic experience, and now I’ve cleared it all out I can actually get in the bathroom.

On that note I have become aware that it’s easy to let standards slip and I recently realised I had not showered for a while, well there doesn’t seem much point when we can’t go anywhere and I live on my own, there are up sides and down sides to this. On the up-side social distancing doesn’t seem to be a problem, on the down side the flies were becoming a nuisance. I have now decided I will take regular showers every two weeks whether I need to or not. Also it’s important to get dressed every day, this became apparent whilst I was cleaning the blinds and caught myself on an ornamental cactus I have on the windowsill.

So I then decided to do some decorating, not as easy as you would think, I went on-line to order the necessary and who would believe that this virus would lead to a national shortage of non-drip gloss paint, ridiculous, but that is the situation we find ourselves in, white emulsion is also a rare commodity. This meant the woodwork and ceilings would have to be put on hold however I did manage to procure paint for the walls. Faced with limited choice I have gone with battleship grey, it was either this or puce and I don’t even know what puce is, but it doesn’t sound very appealing. I did have some good fortune while shopping for essentials at the supermarket right there among the other comestibles were two small tins of the afore mentioned non-drip gloss which were hiding a couple tubs of white emulsion. It’s a sad indictment of these times but my excitement at this find was palpable. The wall paint, brushes and rollers etc. should be delivered tomorrow so this time next week I will be literally watching paint dry. Oh by the way, I don’t have a step ladder so I’ll have to stand on a chair to reach above the light switches. Just thought I’d get that in before any budding comedians mentioning no names Mr M.

In between times I have been sorting out the cupboards and have made some space by getting rid of the teas maid, the bread maker the Soda Stream the fondue set and the Breville sandwich toaster, all of which have been used once. I then moved on to the food store which I expected to be a tad more straight forward than it turned out. I would appreciate any advice you may be able to offer on the following. Firstly does Cadbury’s Smash go off? Secondly when organising the tinned stuff, do Tomatoes go under C for chopped, P for plum or just T for tomatoes? Thirdly does anyone have a recipe suggestion for dried egg powder?   Under the sink was not so testing. I started by clearing out the plastic carrier bags and the many and various items of clothing saved to be used as cleaning rags ( Is it normal to save underpants for this purpose?).Once this was done I was able to see the wood for the trees. There was enough boot polish to clean every boot in Her Majesty’s forces, hoover bags for various makes and models, half a box of OMO washing powder and a FULL tin of VIM sitting right next to Blanco. Finally right at the back would you believe there was a tin of brilliant white gloss paint and a paint brush, which was something of a mixed blessing, the bristles on the brush were so hard I used it as a chisel to try to get the lid off he paint tin, which I did not achieve, I also ruined two perfectly good knives and bent the handle of my best long handled screw driver to boot. Not to be out foxed I ended up taking the bottom off the tin with a tin opener only to find what appears to be a lump of marble.

So now you are fully appraised of how my life is going at the moment, two weeks in and as you can see everything is perfectly normal and I am having no problems with my mental health, as I was just saying to myself the other day, but I won’t go into that as it caused something of an argument, suffice to say I am not talking to myself, at least until I apologise.

All the best everyone, stay safe and if anyone wants to share their stories, that would be great.

Cliff & Cliff