Brave New World II.

I have always followed the advice of the novelist Grahame Greene, that the important thing to do when settling into a new country, or in this case, a new life changing environment; that the important thing to do is to get into a routine.

This has proved beneficial over the last nine weeks of self-isolation and lockdown, as I have unhurriedly kept busy: reading widely, cooking, stumbling about the garden, clippers in hand, full of malevolent surgical intent to lop off any suspect ivy, dead wood or invasive greenery, over the fence with the neighbour.

Exercise has proved more difficult. The gym is closed, but the Jane Fonda workout cassette is still at hand. I hesitate to expand upon the results so far.

The TV made an initial attempt to drown me in Corona news, but I have resisted with a surprising amount of fortitude. There is only so much one can take of Trump’s daily headline grabbing nonsense, or even the antipode of Boris reverting to his disappearing act, despite being Prime Minister.

But I have thankfully, become engrossed in the “Killing Eve” television series. It's very much a modern day “who done it?” series, and helps keeping the brain going, trying to decorticate the twists and turns of the various characters and their exploits. Villanelle says she feels nothing, yet seems to have warm memories of a missing father, who was strong and for whom she was close to as a child. Earlier I had thought the father was Constantine. As for the mother; too much alike; and as expected was killed. Caroline, MI6 Head; a contradiction in terms, playing fast and loose with lovers and colleagues, yet never losing control. “Dasha”, one minute an impressive countess in the “Belgravia” series; next as a trendy minder to Villanelle setting a whole new fashion sense for women of a certain age. And of course, “Eve” herself. Is she, or isn't she? They say opposites attract, and that is increasingly becoming the case.

But back to what potentially lies ahead as we ever so slowly exit the pandemic: dentists that will look like troops in germ warfare suits? tactile exchanges redefined? Massive unemployment and soup kitchens? Imploding national life?

Perhaps we need to appreciate that old Latin saying, “Antiquitas saeculi juventus mundi.” Ancient times were the youth of the world.