Dunblane in Lockdown January 2021

This is my third winter as pharmacy delivery driver in Dunblane and, after two mild winters, finally the snow has arrived. Its not been as bad as I feared : any areas where the snowplough had not been I parked nearby and walked in (Dargai Terrace, Buchan Drive, Keir Street and Balmoral Court spring to mind). It actually improved my drive up to one isolated farm near Braco as the snow filled in the potholes, making it a smoother drive up and down the mile long track. In fact that afternoon the temperature had plummeted to minus 9 which weirdly reminded me that one day in June it was 29 degrees in Braco.

The first snowfall coincided with the new lockdown, resulting in more home deliveries as people couldn’t get to the pharmacy to collect. This made for a busy spell but, as ever, folks were very appreciative when I appeared at their door. Its a tough time for the elderly and January has been a very long month for them. The fact that most of them now have been vaccinated is brilliant. A few have told me excitedly that they are getting the jag in the Vicky Hall that afternoon and one auld boy, who had received the jag, told me its great having an end in sight. He is already planning having a dram with his neighbour in mid May !

Sadly, we have lost a few people in Dunblane in January. Several times I have had to deliver prescriptions to the bereaved families and make a point of passing on my condolences. Some admittedly I barely knew but others I have had a blether with and hope they enjoyed my chat (these days its mostly an update on where the snowplough has been with a parting shot of ‘you’re better staying inside nice and warm’). Not that they have much choice but maybe by mid May that will change. The auld yins deserve a break and I’ll tell you why.

Firstly, they are almost always cheerful, despite the pandemic. Some haven’t crossed the threshold in ten months now. They would be entitled to complain but no they prefer a wee blether. Again this week one auld dear said they never had to endure this during the war. I assume she meant the isolation, not being able to chat to your friends and neighbours, visit the shops, give someone a hug. She also claimed there was a bomb dropped in Dunblane which never exploded !

Secondly, they still give me wee presents. One woman passes me a funsize Mars bar every time I deliver, another gave me some books by an author we had previously spoken about and an elderly Dutch lady gave me a late Christmas present of lovely chocolates beautifully wrapped in paper depicting people ice skating in Netherlands. There is a story behind this : before Christmas I was wearing a Santa type face covering and this lady loved it. So next time I delivered I managed to get her a fresh Santa face covering to wear when her family visited on Christmas Day. Her chocolates were a wee thank you.

The third and final reason the auld yins deserve a break ? They call me son. They say things like ‘thats gid o’ ye, son’ and ‘take care, son’. One guy says ‘thank you, young man’ and another auld boy always says a brisk ‘well done’ when I deliver. I reckon he was an officer in the army.

Anyway, thats January oot the way and the days are getting longer. Hopefully things will open up for the summer and I can get out and up the hills (though I’m not holding my breath for Wembley). Stay safe everyone !

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