Saturday 21st November 2020
As I had no bike available, I got the Tube to the warehouse again, but this time I walked from Mile End because of railway
engineering work. I got a puncture coming home on Tuesday, after I’d fallen off my bike near Mile End. Going by train turned out to be a good thing; I was going to leave early and meet Jack at Stratford, but instead we decided to just meet later near home, which meant I stayed at the warehouse for more than six hours and we had a great time. I was chatty again this morning; it’s great to be hearing properly again (my ear recovered the same day I’d spent money on an “otovent” from JP pharmacy. I saw sweet Sally for the first time since March; she’s no longer got a Slough connection and is working in East London. I also talked to a new girl, Krushu, mainly about her comedy face-mask, but during the task she was quiet and I talked to another newbie, Jay, who only came over from New Zealand in January. A tall bloke standing with us said he was also from New Zealand, but he seemed quiet and didn’t expand on it much.
After moving some stuff around, we settled down to fold more leaflets. It was a great day as we got to chat all day while doing it, the social aspect being my main reason for volunteering, especially doing lockdowns. I talked about how many Beckys there are among girls in their 20s. Becki said there are three of that name in her local task force. Sara from Greenwich, who was sitting next to me, said she’d given up telling people how to pronounce her name. Aidan was talking to a blonde beauty, (maybe Hannah), but I didn’t get much chance to chat her up. Sharon was talking a lot, but this wasn’t a bad thing over so many hours, as it gave us all topics to talk about.
Sharon’s husband said he wrote on the borough website that it was wrong to rename Maryland because of its links with slavery, and i fact it had that name before the USA equivalent. Rosa was there, another task force girl. With twenty minutes to go, it seemed a shame that we weren’t quite going to finish the pile, but we stayed an extra fifteen minutes and incredibly got them all done, with the help of some extra arrivals, Ceiling, who I press-ganged when I saw her arrive on her bike about 14:40, and a French bloke who was telling us about his high earnings working six-day sixteen-hour days on ship cruises. However, his folding was so precise I was doing about eight leaflets for each one he managed. I reckon we did about 10,000.
We had a break earlier to try and get a fork-lift truck out of a sticky situation, and again briefly for a coffee. I met Jack at Waitrose, and we finished watching a three-part Channel 5 series ‘The Great Plague’, about the 1665 outbreak in London, a follow-up to their series about the Great Fire. The programme was clearly filmed before the current pandemic, but they’d added references to the voice-over to emphasise the obvious comparisons with 2020.