1st Tuesday Of The Month

7th of April 2020, Crossflatts, Bradford, West Yorkshire

















Prior to all of this.
That time, a long time ago.
That time that was how long ago? 

3 or 4 weeks.
I’m not sure.
A long time ago.
Prior to all of this.

I had noticed a thing on twitter. A thing, where folk were talking about the benefits of having a cold shower in the morning. And not just people that I follow because I want to be annoyed by them. The people I love to hate. Those people. Who we all follow. To make ourselves feel angry. We all do that. Don’t we. We did. I think. I don’t know.

But I’m not talking about those people. I’m talking about actual friends but online. Some of them were extolling the virtues of a cold shower in the morning.
Because it turns out, it is a thing.
An actual thing.
It is or was a thing.
That we did.
That we were all doing.
Or thinking about doing.
Or refusing to do while watching other people do it.
Prior to all of this.

I had noted, with some horror, that my friends were doing this shit idea.
This cold shower in the morning thing.
For fucks sake.
Why would you do this to yourself?
When the day still has a chance of being ok.
I was genuinely mystified.
I judged in silence from afar.
I thought to myself.

But that was prior

to this.
Before the now of this.
Which changes everyday.
The same
The same
The same but different.
But the same.
Every day.

Sea sick with the stillness of this never ending change.

As I write, our prime minister, who was so sure of himself not so long ago.
Such a short time ago.
Is now gravely ill in hospital.
Fighting for his life.
The GoveRaabHancock have been assuring us that all is well.
That Boris is in intensive care for a holiday, really.
Just a holiday.
Very poorly.
But it’s mainly for a holiday.

They say.
All is well.
Government is continuing on and all is well.

And I try and remember back to a long time ago, when Johnson was simply a dreadful man, a narcissistic man, leading his country to disaster.
Prior to this.
In the good old days.
3 or 4 weeks ago.
When Johnson was just a figure I could hate from a far.
On line.


Judge from afar.
Loath from afar.
Prior to this.

Before he was just another human being, desperately fighting for his life.

If you read between the lines.
Fighting for his life.
As I write.

I find myself praying for him.

As I am praying for everyone.

I am praying for Boris Johnson.


I am praying for him.

I am praying for everyone.

I am praying. For a kind of lump of people. Hard to imagine. Hard. A many headed organism. All one. We’re all one. All blurred in my mind. There are no faces. Many colours. There are hands and the sound of troubled breathing. Laboured breathing. And parents, lovers, children and friends. Faces desperate with fear and worry.

Only 2 or 3 or 4 weeks ago, this was somewhere else.
Not real.
Not here.
Somewhere else.
It was somewhere else. It was not here.

But now.
Everything is the same but changed.
All of this.
Even though it’s not clear yet.
What it is.
It isn’t what it was.
And whatever it turns out to be.
Where ever we are going.
The only thing that is already clear is we are never going back to

Prior to this.

I think about that as I wash my face with cold water.
This morning.
I think about that.
All of that.
And the cat.
And my aunt. And is she alright.
And Janey’s parents. Are they alright.
And my brothers. And sister. And nieces, nephews, friends and neighbours.
Are they all, alright.
Are they.

As I turn the cold water tap on and fill the sink with bloody freezing water.

Prior to this, the taps in our sink were getting a bit old.
A bit stuck.
A bit shit.

A bit broken.

And I had told Jane. My wife. I had told her. Because, in reality that’s how we roll. Before. That’s how we rolled. I noticed issues in the house that needed fixing and then informed Jane about them.

I would say.
The x is broken.
And she would sigh.
And say.

I’ll put that on my list.

I’ll ring the plumber. I’ll find a plumber. I’ll put that job on the list.

The taps were on her list. Because I had noticed them. Being wrong. They needed fixing. Jane. 3 or 4 weeks ago now. I mentioned the taps. But anyway. There were things higher up the list. Things of greater concern. Of greater priority.

Difficult decisions needed to be made and the taps were left to fend for themselves.

They would be ok and if they were not ok then they could be fixed.
By the plumber.
At a later date.
In the future.
Sometime in the future.
Which felt quite certain then, in a vague way.
In the way the future used to feel more certain in its vagueness.
When I thought it was ok to just say
Jane x is broken.
Instead of thinking of fixing it for myself.

But now.
The taps.
Just as other things were mounting up.
The taps.
Or to be exact the tap.
The hot water tap.
In the sink.
It became critical.
The hot tap has stopped working.
Overnight really.
It just kind of stopped.
It was a shock but also somehow inevitable.
That’s how it feels now.

Janey was thinking it might be possible to fix it herself.
She can do that kind of shit. She’s clever. The problem is, it’s risky now.
Risky in a new way.
Now that we can’t call a plumber if she makes a mistake.
If a mistake happens.
There is no back up.
Perhaps.It’s not certain.

So now we dither and do.
Better to wait.
Until a future time we can no longer imagine.
Weighing it up.
We asked.
Is it better to just accept the hot water tap is gone.
Should we risk an attempt at DIY now. When doing that might jeopardise water in the house full stop.
On balance the decision was no.
It was too much of a risk.
Something to do with an old pipe and it being impossible to isolate.
The tap.
It is old.
It can’t be put into isolation.

So hot water in the basin is a thing of the past.
And that has consequences.
That has knock on effects.
Or affects.
Or both.
I’m not sure.
I’m never sure.
Prior to this I would attempt to hide that uncertainty.
It seems pointless now.

But exercise is important.That’s something we’re all certain about.
It’s important to keep fit.

So before our self isolating, self conscious, early run.
Before our rush to get out into the world, alone together alone.
Instead of being in the house, alone together alone.
We get up.
Each morning. We get up.
To get out there, while others are still asleep.
While others are still starting.
Not up yet.
Safer that way.
Though prior to this I did not get up before 8 in the fucking morning.
If I could help it.
If I had a say about it.
If I could get away with it.
If I could push my luck.
I pushed my luck.

Now that’s changed.
And so I get up.
And I wash my face with cold water before we head out.

I think about how lucky we are, to be able to self isolate with running water.
I think about how lucky we are, to be able to wash our hands over and over.
I think about how lucky we are to be able to be alone in this way.

How many cannot.

So now, I wash with cold water every morning.
And every night.Every morning and every night.
For however long I’ve been doing it now.
I’m not sure.
2 or 3 or 4 weeks.
I think.
I’m not sure.
But I’ve got used to it.
It’s not so bad.
It’s quite invigorating.
I might quite like washing my face with cold water.
I would never have thought that possible.
Prior to this.
I draw the line at getting in a cold shower though.
Fuck that shit.




Also by Emma,