Diary… Scarcity of two-ply toilet tissue sends Britain in a viral spin

Supermarkets struggle to replenish empty shelves


Friday 6 March, London

>> The British Coronavirus panic is hotting up. Friends report empty shelves in supermarkets and the desperate urge to get hold of toilet roll. 

My wife says Lidl in Hackney was stocked OK (apart from hand-gel), but that the situation might easily have changed the moment she exited the store.

One minute later hordes of Mare-Street shoppers probably ransacked the place, foaming at the mouth as they frantically bundled two-ply toilet tissue into their arms and rushed for the checkout.

The supermarkets have issued a statement saying they won’t let the country starve. That’s kind of them. 

My wife wanted to know what happens when their delivery drivers are forced to “self-isolate”, depots run out and import bans brought in? Ditto the grocery home-delivery workers on whom the nation is becoming overdependent?

She also tells me that the Corona beer company is urging the virus to be referred to as COVID-19 because their sales have taken a hit in the USA.

>> Off to Two Temple Place for an exhibition about seven Victorian women obsessed with textiles. 

Maybe I wasn’t in the right mood, but the moment I entered this grand wood-panelled chamber I automatically re-titled the exhibition, ‘Posh Women Swan Around the World Nicking Crafty Stuff From The Poor’.

Some of the exhibition I found quite funny, but mostly it was just annoying. One of the printed biographies of the seven ‘visionary’ women, Louisa Pesel (1870-1947), described her as “one of a cohort of well-connected advocates of embroidery”.

Life’s a stitch…

>> Thus inspired, we stopped off on the way home to buy some fittingly posh cakes to eat later in front of the telly.

>> We grabbed a fixed-price two-course meal at Palatino. I had chicken and pancetta meatballs. We only went there because Funtime Friday at St Luke’s was cancelled after the musician they’d booked got slapped with a Coronavirus quarantine.

Pop Quiz… Name That Tune
“I don’t believe in an interventionist God
But I know, darling, that you do”



Read yesterday’s diary.

 Go here for Pop Quiz answer.

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