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Rev’d Sissons’ Thought for the Day: March 27
March 27, 2020

Thought for the Day: Friday, March 27

I’m beginning to think I should rename this series ‘Tales from the Madhouse.’

You know exactly what I mean – because isn’t it simply extraordinary how bizarre things begin to happen when you are cooped up together with your family.

The other day my younger son opened a packet of couscous, only he didn’t really open it, he sort of split it down the side. Wikipedia informs me that the original name couscous may be derived from the Berber word seksu, meaning “well rounded”.

I can well believe this to be true because if you split open a bag of couscous in your kitchen then you will be amazed how far the tiny balls of durum wheat semolina can travel. Two days later and we’re still finding the little devils all over the house.

And then yesterday I took social distancing to a new level – at least this was how my elder son described it, when he discovered that I was stuck inside the garden shed.

There’s some background you need to know here, because it was that same elder son who the day before broke off in the padlock the only key to the shed; this being the shed where every tool I possess is stored; the kind of tools that might be useful for opening up a shed when the only key you have has broken in the lock.

You can see from the photo that I prised off the plywood board that had long covered up one of the broken glass door panels and, in what was, in my opinion, a rather remarkable display of agility, managed to manoeuvre my way into the shed through the lower panel (when nobody was looking!).

Sadly a similar exit was not available to me, the garden level being at least 18 inches lower than the shed floor level; so there I was ringing my son (who was naturally inside the house on his X Box) since now I had access to all my tools, but from inside the shed couldn’t do a thing with them.

My son, of course, didn’t answer his phone (how is it that they always have their phones with them but when you actually want them to answer them they just don’t hear them ringing?) so I rang my wife on her work phone and as she was working from home anyway she kicked elder son out into the garden to rescue his father.

Well eventually, after 30 minutes or so (which probably reflected the parlous state of my toolbox), we manhandled the latch off its screws and I was free at last. Don’t ask me what I went out to the shed for originally – I can no longer remember.

So what’s the point? – this is a Thought for the Day after all. Well it’s simply this: it was a very funny thing to happen; we chuckled at how ridiculous it was that at a time when we were told to self-isolate in our homes I had somehow got myself self-isolated in the garden shed.

Was I cross with my elder son? A bit when he broke the shed key and a bit when he didn’t answer his phone. But did I laugh – yes, a lot. And will I dine out on the story in the future – absolutely.

This virus lockdown is no laughing matter, of course, for people on the frontline and for those suffering from the illness. But I’ve learnt again that humour is a wonderful tool for coping with life, for healing hurts and for getting us through, so may I wish you many of your own daft yet happy moments in the weeks to come.

The Chaplain