I Just Can't Get Enough of Those Self-Isolation Blues

The first thing I want to say today is thank you, for all the good wishes after my last post, especially to the couple of “lurkers” (their choice of words!) who’d never left a comment before but wanted to show some support. The rest of you guys are used to offering support in my times of woe, so y’know…still appreciated, but it’s a big deal for non-bloggers to stick their heads above the parapet – so thank you to you all.

The second thing, I guess, is how I’m doing. Well, better, is the answer to that; I still have an annoying cough, but the high temperature has gone and I’ve not strayed into the territory of being short of breath, any more so than usual.

So I’m not sure that I’ve had “it”; that said, whether I have or not, I do think I’ve done the right thing by taking myself out of circulation. Indeed, the day after I decided not to go to work, I learned that there had been one confirmed case in my office, along with a couple of people who, like me, were showing some of the signs so the decision was made that all in my department should work from home for the time being.

Much as I disagree with much of the Government’s handling of this crisis, and at the risk of sounding like I’m trying to score political points here because Boris has been – well, I’d like to say unbelievably here, but he’s been exactly as we expected: an idiot of King Canute proportions, trying to turn back the tide of a virus with catchphrases; isn’t “Turn The Tide” just a little bit too close to “Get Brexit Done”? – believably shit, the one thing they did get right was to recommend that, if you can, you work from home, avoid contact with anyone else, self-isolate, irrespective of whether or not you have any of the symptoms.

Anyway, how have I filled my days since Wednesday I hear you mumble into a scarf pulled across your chops? Well, with quite a lot of snoozing in front of the telly, it has to be said. But also listening to some podcasts – truly the BBC have upped their game and shown exactly why it is essential they do not become a subscription only service – and watching some TV shows and films that I love. On Friday, I watched two of my favourite films: Shaun of the Dead, which incredibly ITV2 isn’t showing at the moment, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, both of which I’ll probably return to talk about at some point.

Tonight there’s a documentary about Maradona on Channel 4 which is probably worth a watch, along with the final episode of Hidden on BBC4, which I won’t bang on about as I’m biased because my friend Sian (who many of you sponsored to do the London Marathon last year) stars in it, and (she, and it) is just utterly, utterly brilliant.

But you won’t be surprised to learn that I’ve also spent quite a while thinking about appropriate songs for our current situation, and so, well here you go: fourteen apt songs to keep you reasonably occupied

And to start off, a man who claims to understand the joys of self-isolation, but who in reality probably would have sent out a couple of hoods via his Mafia connections to sort out this corona wise guy:

Frank Sinatra – A Man Alone

The message that we’re trying to get across here is that, irrespective of what symptoms you may or may may not have, your time would be much better spent staying at home rather than clearing the shelves down at your local supermarket of their staple foods:

Alice DeeJay – Better Off Alone

Whilst she may have a valid point, nobody is going to take seriously anyone who gives their ascribed profession as their surname. It’d be like me telling you my name is Jez Insurance Officer, or Boris demanding to be called Boris Prime Minister (although given what his actual surname is slang for, this might be preferable), or Clarkson insisting he be referred to as Jeremy Denim-Bigot.

Perhaps, just perhaps (given that it came out in 1999) this isn’t the clarion call to stay home that we want it to be. How do we know that “Alice” doesn’t have any of the symptoms we’ve all come to know and over-identify? There’s only one group qualified to ask such a question:

Terrorvision – Alice What’s the Matter (‘Oh Yeah’ Mix)

Now, irrespective of whether Alice is or is not showing any of the symptoms, it’s important that she – and you, yes you – takes themselves out of the loop for a while. If you’re not exposed to it, then you can’t catch or spread it – it’s not a difficult concept, right?

What you need to convince you is somebody who shot their own face off in a downward spiral of herion and depression, right? Right!

Nirvana – Stay Away

No? Ok, so how about something from an album of acts covering/trying out Brian Wilson songs under his tutelage, who are so good, they don’t even make the list of artists on the front sleeve of the very album they feature on?

Redwood – Time To Get Alone

And so to a song which I’ve had ear-worming it’s way through my brain for days now, the title of which is self-explanatory, even if the subject matter is actually some hippie schtick:

Thunderclap Newman – Something In The Air

Sometimes, you have to look for the silver lining with global crises, and I think we can find one here. For finally, we find a use for a song from R.E.M.’s just-about-above-average Up album, for it’s not just ‘something’ that’s in the air….:

R.E.M. – You’re In The Air

So, the best way to fight this is to self-isolate, to avoid contact with anybody else. As a result, I imagine there’s quite a few porn sites which have suddenly experienced an increase in traffic. The ladies on Babestation (er…probably…) are knackered this morning, having had to ‘talk’ to more drunk blokes back from The ‘Spoons than they’re used to.

I doubt that’s what Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly had in mind when they wrote this next song; I’d imagine that a global pandemic and the domino-effect on to the adult entertainment industry probably barely crossed their mind, which is why this plea is so mis-placed. But who can resist a power ballad right now? Appropriate your own pretend microphone now please!

Heart – Alone

We now know the answer to the question: How do I get you alone? Answer: wave some unsullied bog roll at them. Job’s a good ‘un.

Now don’t take the title of this next song too seriously. It’s just here to add some class to proceedings. Just because you’re alone at home does not necessarily mean you’re lonely. You’re doing a good thing.

And besides, none of us can call upon the likes of Willie Nelson to dash out a quick duet anyway, so suck it up:

Sheryl Crow – Lonely Alone (feat. Willie Nelson)

One group, if any of them were still alive, who would probably not follow the rules are this lot, who nonetheless wrote this, not their finest moment, granted, but any excuse to slip a little Gabba Gabba Hey! into your daily routine should be celebrated (Disclaimer: they do not say Gabba Gabba Hey! on this song):

Ramones – Sitting In My Room

So what have we learned, not just here (I’m not sure anyone has learned anything here) but in the broader context?

Well the main thing is that regardless of whether you have any of the symptoms or not: STAY AT HOME.

And if you’re lucky enough to share a home with other people, do not engage in any tactile behaviour.

We know some songs about avoiding touching, don’t we kids?

MC Hammer – U Can’t Touch This

I prefer this as a Government Health Warning, though:

Motorhead & Girlschool – Please Don’t Touch

So whilst you can’t touch your own face, or anybody else, what can you touch? Well all I can do here is refer you to the over-worked (so I’m told) Babestation ladies and Divinyls, who combined may have the answer:

divinyls – I Touch Myself

But I don’t want to add to the scaremongering here. It really is quite simple:

– wash your hands regularly;

– try not to touch your face, or other people, or things that other people might have touched;

– Don’t panic buy/stockpile/whatever you call it: buy what you need for a short period of self-isolation only;

– And then stay indoors.

Because, to quote Nick Frost in Shaun of the Dead – right at the end of this clip (includes some effing and jeffing, by the way):

Super Furry Animals – It’s Not The End Of The World

That should do you for now.

More soon.

I’m Not Too Keen on Mondays

Sometimes you don’t need something upbeat or dancy or cheerful or happy to get you going on a Monday morning.

Sometimes you just need something fecking loud.

Here’s Motörhead:

Moțrhead РIron Fist

(Today’s picture is brought to you by World of Leather.)

More soon.

*Takes ear plugs out*

I said: More soon.