Come closer – it gets better



The grain store was pungent and dusty. A summer job years ago. Grain mountains and the European Union. Big aircraft-like hangars and a steady stream of artic-wagons all full of grain. For feed and for feeding us. Every delivery weighed and tested. Manual work. Do what you’re told work.

The bath water was always black when I got out. A day’s dust going down the plughole. Until one day.

Told to crawl inside an empty grain silo. Strap a tank of chemicals to my back. Spray all the nooks and crannies. It was hot and dark. No air to speak of. Just the smell of chemicals. I asked for a mask-respirator-overalls-gloves – what we now call PPE in these “Rona-times”. The boss said I was being a wimp. I said I wasn’t going back in there unprotected. He said I didn’t need any. I said perhaps we should ask head office. He sent me to the local agri-depot. I brought back what I needed.

Rona-times remind me of that silo job. Stuff in the air, on surfaces, invisible and probably deadly for me. Yet I did that silo job and didn’t die. The chemicals were all around me and I was safe. I was crawling into nooks and crevices. Spraying up and down and all around. The equivalent of a Rona-bath today. Yet I suffered not death but only a sweaty and uncomfortable ninety minutes.

What if …

I could go one better than “The Hug” and “Garden Fun”? What if I could take a (co)Rona(virus) bath and remain dry and safe? What if I could go and buy a newspaper whenever I wanted? Try the supermarket perhaps. Get in the car and go see our four lively grandchildren. Or hop on a bus or train and always be safe, chilled and relaxed. What if I could let our grandchildren climb all over me. Poke me in the face. Smother me with kisses. Slobber as only little children slobber. What if I could be shielded – just as I was in that silo – and still emerge smiling, healthy and energised?

The answer arrived yesterday: I can and I will!

Which means that I will continue shielding for the next weeks … months … year or more … AND have a life – but “out there” rather than “in here”. My bricks and mortar shield are no longer my ONLY protection. I don’t have to choose between keeping “it” out there or staying “sterile” in here. And NO MORE obsession with conflicting and confusing government rules and/or advice. No longer choosing between life or death (with all the drama that entails).

I am resuming life as it used to be – almost. Still with lots of Rona-times surface-cleaning-showers-changing-of-clothes (all of which is Mrs Paul has been encouraging me to do for years).

Drumroll per-lease … 🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁

Let me introduce you to …

“The Infinity – powered air purifying respirator”.

The Rolls Royce of its kind. With filtration to the highest standard. And cleaned-to-the-highest-standard air pumped over my face. All pumped behind my full-face visor tough enough to withstand flying pebbles. All within a hard-hat that weighs very little. Oh – and did I mention it has a battery life of eight hours?

Come closer – it gets better … 🤓🤓🤓

I can hear you and you can hear me. I can be in your face and you in mine. You can see my smallest expression as I can you. And when I come back from whatever socialising or shopping trip – using whatever form of transport (I choose) – with whomsoever and wheresoever (it pleases me) …

(do I sound smug?) 😎😎😎

I simply strip-shower … then wipe-wash and sanitise my portable shield … plug it in to charge and it’s ready for next time (that WE now get to choose).

This hi-tech baby IS pricey 💰💰💰

We had help from work (my boss is intrigued) – a small chunk of the Canada trip refund (that was you Rona, wasn’t it). But my requirements are detailed and specific:

A full face visor so our very little ones can see grandad … no flimsy masks to be involved … excellent filtration enough to “Rona bathe” safely (the place I ordered from said this stuff keeps being diverted to the NHS without warning) … and tough enough to last one-two years of normal work-family of living life like wot we used to.


Filters and pre-filters need to be replaced like all filters. And this gadget that I call “freedom” was sourced from an ordinary online builders depot.

(there are loads of different options and different prices)

Hugs and cuddles will need a little adapting with my new “Darth Vader”. But living life is always about making adjustments and I intend to live again! So that is a small compromise – because everything else becomes possible – AND while remaining fully shielded.

I was floating six-feet off the ground (and immersed in cleaned-to-the-highest-standard air) the whole of yesterday afternoon!

Today’s excitement when WE want no matter how busy or quiet? That simple trip to the newspaper shop that I have been drooling about. Then tomorrow – and EVERY day after that … ? I have a long list!

Hello world … move over!

I’m back!!



Where it all began


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