297. Fear and loathing in North Essex

During one of the last days of 2020, with daylight in short supply, Maureen and I drove about 15 miles out to Coggeshall, a small town in north Essex where some friends had lived a couple of decades back. Still allowed to exercise by walking, we went primarily to beat back the coronavirus ennui and sense of isolation.

Coggeshall is a beautiful town, with hundreds of listed buildings that are delicious on the eye.

With few people out on the streets, the architecture dominates. Alleyways, shops, houses and pubs with facades and features that take you back in time. Ghosts lodged in the freezing air. It made me sad to never have lived in a visibly historic town. But that’s another story.

In this one, I realised at some stage that nature was calling. Left my wife browsing shop windows and followed a sign indicating that relief lay ahead. No surprise, though, that the public conveniences were closed. I saw two elderly couples chatting, and assumed they were locals. Walked across the road and spoke to the nearest woman. “Excuse me, do you know of any nearby public toilet that is open.”

I started my question about two metres away from her, as recommended. I have been shielding my father for almost a year. Hence I stay distant from anyone except family. Nonetheless, with each word she shuffled backwards. When I got to “here” she had at least doubled the distance between us.

The fear in her eyes, above her mask, was palpable. I don’t wear a mask in the open air. Maybe that scared her, which would never be my intention.

The poor woman knew of no other public facilities. Thanking her, I set off for a small park I had seen earlier. Hoping to discover a large bush that might shroud my debladdering.

No good. Bush-free. Coming back, a woman (also masked, maybe in her late 60s) appeared at the other end of a path that skirted a small grassy area. It’s best to be kind whenever you can. I decided to walk out onto the sodden grass before we passed so that she would not have to come close.

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at what happened next. Well before our passing point, she stopped, turned, and bent over the waist-high fence bordering the path. So that her bum poked up and her head was as far away from me as possible. So as not to inhale any of my breath.

I found out later that Coggeshall was hit by the Black Death back in the 14th century. Maybe those ghosts were urging her to avoid me like the plague.

“Thank you”! I said. To her buttocks.

The only suitable place I could find was a path alongside a Presbyterian church, away from public gaze. Gratefully emptying my bladder, I thought about the coronavirus for the thousandth time.

Being alive comes with risks. Always has done. One option that I choose is to take Vitamins C and D3, combined with zinc, to strengthen immunity to respiratory illness. Walk long distances. Eat well. Avoid close contact with strangers. Simple common sense.

If SARS-Cov 2 does somehow come knocking, then such is life, or perhaps death. The Grim Reaper comes for us all in the end. But when he swings a cleaver stained with Covid, his victims have already lived one year longer on average than those who expire from other causes. Encouragingly, there is something like a 99.7% survival chance, for those contracting the virus. In a life that comes with no guarantees, those are good odds. Happy odds. And so I worry about passing the virus to Dad far, far more than for my own wellbeing.

The image of the protruding arse will stay with me. To repeat a past opinion, the widespread depression and other forms of mental illness stemming from the government’s Covid-19 lockdown policy are affecting so many more people than the virus itself. Including the woman who kindly bent over for me.

The prime culprit behind the terror some people are experiencing is in many cases not the virus itself. It is the unsubstantiated fear porn vomited out by local and national media, underpinned by government sponsorship, and perpetuated by people still paying heed to the fuckwits on the TV.

And now the promise that vaccines would end lockdown is gradually being reined back, a notch here and a tweak there. But that’s another story.

16 thoughts on “297. Fear and loathing in North Essex

  1. Just love your writing, you visit Coggeshall a Back Waters that my ancestor haunt most probably looking like slaughtered bovine, I’m smiling as I understand the pressures of the situation, having an enlarged prostrate I now prepair so as not to fail as my bladder often does. In the haulage business known as the Tizer bottle. Not many will know about Tizer.Sent from Samsung tablet.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love the names of so many towns in G.B., Coggeshall now among them. I love the ones that are “So-and-So On the Sea.” So romantic.

    I don’t want to laugh at the lady’s rear end poking you in the face as you walked by, since that’s her fear we’re talking about, but it really is unavoidably comical. The attending illustration is hilarious.

    Unsubstantiated fear porn is such a perfect analogy. And yeah, now we’re on the yo-yo of “vaccine’s here!” “Vaccine’s not here!” “Second shot not available!” “We don’t know what we’re talking about!” And even though one feels pressed, who really WANTS to take it? God knows what’ll surface five, ten years from now from it?

    Sounds like you guys are doing okay, tho. Hang in there! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Essex has some really beautiful place names Stace. My favourite is Magdalen Laver. Tolleshunt D’Arcy is another beaut. As is Walton-on-the-Naze. And you read about my old village, Bowers Gifford.
      It is far easier to write about Coggeshall and its inhabitants than to get into vaccines. I know people that are absolutely delighted to have taken the jab, who would probably take it in every orifice thrice over. Others who just see a practical remedy to Covid. A further group that is correctly uncertain over the unknown nature of what the vaccine brings your body in the medium- to long-term. I’m probably in that group. And others who say ‘no fucking way Jose, you can shove it where the sun never shines.’
      How does anyone have a strong conviction over an ongoing mass experiment, involving new medical technology, rushed through in 10% of the standard time, in which they are a guinea pig? Who in their right mind would trust a pharmaceutical industry that chases profit over health?
      See what you’ve started!!
      How are things in Cali? Do you have days, like us, when you feel madness descend for Groundhog Days on end?


  3. Ah…….. Magdalen Laver. Tolleshunt D’Arcy. Walton-on-the-Naze. Bowers Gifford sounds like the name of some viscount or earl.
    It’s all so much better-sounding than Van Nuys and Whittier. At least we have a lot of Spanish-inspired names like
    Marina del Rey, Santa Monica, Montebello, Pico Rivera. But they still pale in comparison, on top of the questionable means by which some of the land was acquired…

    But yeah, I don’t think anybody in their right mind WOULD trust the pharmaceutical industry. As if they give two sh**ts about people, lol !! I wouldn’t be surprised if the cure for cancer was discovered long ago but smothered by big pharma in order to keep the traditional and expensive chemo and radiation going endlessly. Oh, well.

    Madness does descend, Kevin. It comes and goes. Anger, irritation, snapping, a glazed, unfocused eye. Only movies, reading, and telling raunchy jokes has saved us. Not as many walks as you… but enough here and there…. to beat back the darkness!!!


    1. Here’s one of my favourite raunchy jokes for you..

      A guy with Tourette’s syndrome walks into the poshest restaurant in town.

      “Where’s the pissing, motherfucking manager, you cock-sucking arse-wipe?” he enquires of one of the waiters. The waiter is taken aback and replies: “Excuse me sir but could you please refrain from using that sort of language in here. I will get the manager as soon as I can.”

      The manager comes over and the bloke asks: “Are you the chicken-fucking manager of this bastard place?”

      “Yes sir, I am,” replies the manager, “but I would prefer it if you could refrain from speaking such profanities in this, a private restaurant”.

      “Fuck off” replies the bloke. “Where’s the fucking piano?”

      “Pardon?” says the manager.

      “Fucking deaf as well, are we? You snivelling little piece of shit, show me your cunting piano.”

      “Ah,” replies the manager, “you’ve come about the pianist job” and shows the bloke to the piano.

      “Can you play any blues?”

      “Of course I fucking can,” and the bloke proceeds to play the most inspiring and beautiful sounding honky-tonk blues that the manager has ever heard. “That’s superb. What’s it called?”

      “I tried to shag yer missus on the sofa but the springs kept hurting my dick,” replies the bloke. The manager becomes anxious and asks if the bloke knows any jazz.

      The guy proceeds, playing the most melancholy jazz solo the manager has ever heard.

      “Magnificent,” cries the manager. “What’s it called?”

      “Wanted a wank over the washing machine but I got my balls caught in the soap drawer.” The manager is a tad embarrassed and asks if he knows any romantic ballads.

      The bloke then plays the most heartbreaking melody the manager has ever heard. “And what’s this called?” asks the manager.

      “As I fuck you under the stars with the moonlight shining off your hairy ring-piece,” replies the bloke. The manager is highly upset by this language but the man’s skills are so sublime that he offers him the job on condition that he doesn’t introduce any of his songs or talk to any of the customers.

      This arrangement works well for a couple of months until one night, sitting opposite him, is the most gorgeous woman he has ever laid his eyes on. She is wearing a very transparent dress, silhouetting her breasts, and sitting with her legs slightly open, sucking suggestively on asparagus shoots as butter drips down her chin. It is all too much for the bloke and he sprints off to the toilets to release his tension. He is tugging away furiously when he hears the manager’s voice. “Where’s that bastard pianist?”

      He just has time to finish off, and in a fluster he runs back to the piano having not bothered to adjust himself properly, sits down and starts playing some more tunes. The woman steps up and walks over to the piano, leans over and whispers in his ear. “Do you know your knob and bollocks are hanging out your trousers and dripping spunk on your shoes?”

      The bloke replies “Know it? I fucking wrote it.”

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Tubulasock….I’ve read this guy before, with appreciation. His four vaccine arguments are pretty much where my thoughts sit. That said, my Dad had the jab last weekend and showed no ill effects. Ditto both sister-in-laws and their partners. Time will tell.


    3. My favourite is Wendens Ambo, which contains an ancient building called Wendens Hall. Theirs a Little Wenden and a Great Wenden, now what came first is my question! The Wenden hamlets of England or the Wenden hamlets of Germany.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. PS: Don’t know if you follow the Tubular Sock blog, but he had this on Dr. Fauci recently. I remember you mentioning Fauci and W.H.O., etc, and possible shadowy shenanigans with both. Dr. Fauci seemed so straight forward and calm and reasonable….it was hard to imagine whatever stuff was going on with him possibly. But Tubularsock posted this today (part of his four reasons why he’s not getting the vaccine):

    “How is it that the guy who pushed for Gain-of-Function experiments which led to the Wuhan mistake, now is the guy the government put in charge and the government takes advice and direction from about covid. A guy that helped to create it? And no he isn’t alone in creating this shit!

    Just in case you are not aware, Gain-of-Function experiments are government funded experiments focused on enhancing a pathogens’ ability to infect different species and to increase their deadly impact as airborne pathogens and viruses.

    These highly controversial gain-of-function experiments at the Wuhan lab were funded in large part by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases NIAID (under the direction of Dr. Anthony Fauci).

    These types of experiments were halted in 2014 (within the United States) due to the possible danger “. . . that malign actors could replicate the work to deliberately cause an outbreak in human beings”.

    With the encouragement of Fauci and others in 2017, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that they would resume funding gain-of-function experiments.

    At the time when the experiments were reinstated, Fauci stated that it is, “. . . worth the risk.”

    Eeeeech. Come on. Et tu, Dr. Fauci?


    1. I’m not in the least surprised about the Gain-of-Function revelations. I think I’ve read them before….so much info out there that you begin to forget things to make room for others.
      But yes, Fauci was never trustworthy, for me anyway. He has reversed WHO policy to tie in with political/corporate winds.
      The public stage is crammed with fuckwits, who sup with Satan. The only sane response is to work things out for yourself, which is laborious.
      I liked your Valentines blog Stacey. Will be commenting on that later 😊😎

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Definitely feeling deflated, disappointed and sad these days at the world and the people in the world that continue making it a worse place than it already is. Supping with Satan, indeed. Whole cocktail parties and raves. Bleh. *sigh*
        But thanks for your compliment! A bright spot in an overcast day….

        Liked by 1 person

  5. The lone covid case that sparked a week’s lockdown followed by a week of masking up was triggered by the supposedly 70% more transmissible UK strain.
    Not a single fucking case was detected in the community.
    Looking back on the late 80s financial collapse and the 2008 Financial Ballsup, I see a pattern of government overreach doing more harm than good.
    Glad to found a place to let it out. As did I – right here!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Loved the word picture ‘ghosts lodging in the freezing air’ and the funny image of the overly scared woman, why are people so sensitive to feeling fearful, you are right it’s the virus of fearmongering that’s dangerous

    Liked by 1 person

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