I saw him thundering down the narrow footpath in my direction. A bulky man who won't see 45 again unless it has a P in front of it, he was truly struggling.
The particular exercise he was engaged in could be broadly and benignly called jogging but it seemed to have more to do with ritualistic masochism than useful exercise. He was obviously working on the principle that if he was really in pain and miserable he must be doing something worthwhile. Suffer little children and all of that.
I always thought that pounding your joints on concrete had about as much to do with a healthy lifestyle as habitually snacking on spice bags and lager. But to each their own.
Except in these unfunny times my own and everybody else's are self-evidently interlinked. So it came to pass.
I squeezed tight against the wall, winding up the dog leash as I did so. This guy needed more space than either I or my little Yorkie. Considering the way he was gulping down air he needed much more of that too.
But instead of veering to the rim of the path or leaving it altogether, marathon man didn't see fit to reroute as much as a single centimetre.
Either oblivious to my existence or not giving a continental, this sweating, wheezing wobble simply brushed by me, expelling more droplets than your average spring shower.
At the best of times, this would have been repulsive. Considering the twilight zone we are all trapped in, it was verging on the criminal.
I called after him, though not sure exactly what. There were expletives in the mix, of that I have no doubt. He didn't respond, either not hearing or choosing to ignore.
A vignette worth recalling, not because it is illustrative of how the vast bulk of decent people are behaving but just to show how the selfishness of the very few could do untold harm to so many.
Call them out. Every time.
It's time to brush over those thoughts of DIY
Enthusiasm is a wonderful thing. The problem is it wears off. With me it has a particularly short shelf-life. Fifteen minutes to a half-hour generally.
Before the economy was put to sleep, the euphemism now favoured when describing Armageddon, we filled the boot of the car with paint from Woodies.
Our plan was to decorate the kitchen which, for want of a lick of emulsion, had evolved from shabby chic to just plain shabby in the past year.
We were going to put all this isolation time to solid, creative use. That must be three weeks ago. Pots of eggshell blue are still stacked as a pyramid in the corner of the room, exactly where we artfully assembled them that same day.
In the meantime, Debs has decided she doesn't like the colour anyway. Enthusiasm?
It only gets your hopes up.
Lockdown has finally brought me to book
I don't read much fiction these days. As a history student, the books I bury myself in are chunky tomes as dry as Saharan sand.
But, like everyone else, I have time on my hands, so I have been indulging in trashy thrillers that eat up an hour but don't drain my brain battery.
First I tried Lee Child's Jack Reacher, the ex-marine drifter who goes from one dullsville to another finding trouble. It occurred to me that Jack probably votes Trump, so I moved on.
But Harlan Coben knew what I wanted. Finished one and need another, except libraries and bookshops are closed.
So I ordered on Amazon, the global beast that, on a point of principle, I never feed. What is this virus doing to me?