Lockdown May 2020

So life under lockdown continues in Dunblane and if anything, I’m delivering more prescriptions than ever as people are reluctant to collect from the pharmacy. Don’t blame them. However, as I am full time now I am taking it all in my stride. Its become the ‘new normal’.

The number of prescriptions would have freaked me out just 6 months ago but now it all goes in the van. In fact , at the start of May I used it as a challenge and counted the deliveries as I went. The number rose from the 70s to the 80s per day and it became a running joke with the pharmacist as I chased the fabled 100.

The weather in May has helped its been lovely. So many folks were out sunbathing that most afternoons I started going round to the back gardens rather than chap the front door. In the sheltered housing at Hanover Court they all sit out in the courtyard in the middle. “Ah here he is…its the roadrunner!” Been called worse haha. “Is the bar open yet?” I shout back.

The auld yins have been great I get all the comments. “Thats you got a job for life now, son”. In another sheltered housing block that I frequent alot, its “you should get a season ticket here, son”. Another old boy, when I ask how hes doing, he pauses, thinks and says “well am still fuckin’ here!”. See, you cannae argue wi that logic.

However, its not all banter and sadly we lost two old dears. One was deputy headmistress at Dunblane Primary School when I was there in the 70s. She was lovely then and she was lovely when I reintroduced myself 18 months ago. Actually I didn’t need to – she somehow knew who I was and asked after my mum. Her and mum were the same age she told me. Her funeral was today. Sadly I only saw the hearse as it passed the foot of the Old Doune Road but there were still plenty mourners outside her house when I drove past*.

The other lady was a character and kept the pharmacy staff on their toes. She died in the house she was born in I was told. The morning of the funeral I witnessed a procession that I have never seen before (only ever seen a similar occasion on Harris once). She left her home on her final journey with a lone piper leading the way followed by the hearse. Both sides of the street were lined with friends. They must have been well over a hundred and not a dry eye to be found. It must have been a comfort to the family to see such a turnout.

A final tale : the day after the Clap for Binmen/Posties etc I was stuck behind a bin lorry in Well Place. Ach well they do a great job I’m thinking, they deserve our respect. Just then the bin lorry swallowed the bin and the wee guy jumps in after it, his mate shouting and running aboot like a daftie – it wiz like Laurel n Hardy!

And did I achieve the fabled 100? Thursday 21 May 2020 was the day and 106 deliveries was the number. I even told the wee auld biddy in Springbank Cresent that she was number 100. She looked at me doubtfully. “Ach well” she said “you’ll sleep tonight son”.

And I did.

PS Dunblane Health Centre really is in Well Place.

*For the record, under lockdown in Scotland only immediate family are allowed to attend the actual funeral. As a result friends would line the pavements near the home of the deceased and pay their respects as the hearse drove past. It feels to me like stepping back in time.

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