Peter Rhodes on getting Covid and a great performer's not-so-great message

I covered the Charles and Di royal wedding in St Paul's Cathedral. As far as I recall, I received only one official invitation to attend this global event. Compare this with the multiplicity of emails for my pre-booked fixture this week at our local tip. So far, two invites plus one reminder. I wonder if the Archbishop of Canterbury will be officiating.

Olivia Newton-John. Photo: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni
Olivia Newton-John. Photo: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

Curious business, this Covid-19. I shaved and then splashed on the after-shave expecting the great smell of something piny and spicy. But the Old Spice smelt of nothing. So did the Tabac. Likewise the Nivea. This is anosmia (loss of smell). But so far, apart from a dry throat, that's all. There's no sign of that other common symptom, ageusia (loss of taste). Oranges still taste of oranges and peaches are perfectly peachy.

One problem with Covid is not knowing how advanced your infection is because you don't know when or where you caught it. If it was in the pub this could be my eighth day and I'm almost through it. If it was in the shopping centre, then it's my third day and all sorts of unpleasantness could be coming. I'm using an old and well-proven remedy. My desk is wood. I touch it.

Mind you, I have taken other precautions. I am what conspiracy theorists call a thrice-jabbed idiot.

If you think droughts are scary, wait until the rain comes and your home becomes a sanctuary. The spiders are coming – and I bet they'll be bigger than ever.

From trespassers to thieves, from stray dogs to subsidies, many things annoy farmers. But I bet nothing annoyed them more this week, as they tried to hack a living out of their iron-hard soil, than the streets of London running a yard deep with water from yet another burst main.

Olivia Newton-John was a terrific performer, a great ambassador and an Australian national treasure. But the most-screened video following her death was hardly a blow for feminism. The message in the final minutes of Grease is that if a girl wants to get her man, she must change her nature, abandon her principles, light up a fag, slap on the lippy and dress like a tart. Not the ideal role model.

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