Having been kidnapped to Wiltshire by a daughter to be observed post eye injections in case my speech went wobbly again with a TIA, I feel I should wear a scarf I bought a year ago in Salisbury. It took me a long time to feel comfortable about entering a charity shop in Wiltshire subsequent to the Novichok nerve agent poisoning in 2018. By now, all my readers know that goodwill shops are a happy hunting ground for me to find unusual scarves. My children indulge me in my eccentricity and I am treated to forays in places unfamiliar to me on my Wiltshire trips. On such an outing to Salisbury I found a damaged scarf which had subtle autumn colours, different silks and textures, even gold beads and sequins. Alas, the silk lining was badly stained with candle wax, but I thought I might rescue it with dedicated treatment and laundering. Alas, it needed more drastic work....lining removed, scarf width reduced by half, then seamed on my machine and voila! a long skinny neckpiece or belt like no other!
I want to write this blog today to salute the bravery of the people of Salisbury, a gentle city with a beautiful cathedral, which was hit by horrible violence when one woman died and three left very ill. The Russians Sergei and daughter Yulia Skripal were poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok spread on their house door in early March 2018, policeman Nick Bailey who found them suffered the same fate and Dawn Sturgess died later in early July after spraying herself with the counterfeit Nina Ricci perfume bottle which had been used as a carrier by the poisoners. The town of Salisbury was in a lockdown situation then much as we have been for almost three months. Again today in 2020 these shopkeepers, restaurants and pubs suffer the same loss of business. There are parallels to be drawn from Novichok and Covid 19, international suspicion, and on the other hand, bravery and respect for those caring for the sick and others keeping essential services running.
We all walk on a tightrope.
My two daughters with their husbands had decided to treat themselves to Sunday lunch at Cote in Salisbury on Sunday 4th March 2018, hurrying along to Sainsbury’s after their meal to get some last minute shopping before closing time at 4pm. The Skripal car was in the Sainsbury upper level car park. The Russian father and daughter had visited the Mill pub and then Zizzi’s restaurant not far from Cote. Their slumped bodies were found at 4.15 pm on a bench which my family had just passed only minutes before. They saw nothing. An extra expresso in Cote, a difference of a few minutes and they could have been the ones coming to the aid of the stricken pair.
A tightrope, yes. Perhaps I will not chance doing my own shopping yet despite the virus figures decreasing!
Lots of leaves prematurely falling from the trees because of our dry sunny May, so my autumnal scarf fits the scene. I might just have an afternoon nap on the bleached grass under a tree and nobody will notice!
Busy Bee, Scarf Face!