My husband Ross is fond of saying: ‘Things happen to you, don’t they, Jo?’ By which he means, I’ve always got a story about some drama or other I’ve encountered during my day. Like the time I was practically kidnapped by a blind man on the high street, who would not release his vice-grip on my arm until I’d delivered him a 20-minute walk out of my way to the place he needed to be. Or when I found myself watching in horror as a tourist’s huge suitcase hurtled through the air on a London Underground escalator and I quickly realised it was me – in a tight dress and high heels – who was going to have to be The One to catch it. (And I did: insert flexing biceps emoji in here, thank you very much.)
So yesterday Ross just rolled his eyes and turned back to his book when I told him that I was in our local supermarket and found myself suddenly dodging a load of potatoes being flung violently in every direction. A man, I would guess in his 60s, was having some sort of altercation with one of the staff. About what, I have no idea, but there was a lot of profanity-filled shouting. Then, to my horror, it escalated into shoving, a couple of swings, then it all got deeply (comically) undignified when the man lunged for a bag of spuds, ripped open the plastic and started hurling them, indiscriminately, into the throng of confused shoppers.
I can laugh about it now but at the time it was all rather ugly and upsetting, especially when there was a poor checkout assistant cowering behind her counter, yelling, ‘I am not paid enough for this!’ (Fact.) I described the incident on Twitter and my Mail on Sunday colleague, the columnist Sarah Vine, replied: ‘Covid Derangement Syndrome. There’s a lot of it about.’
I think she may be right. Even for those of us who think we’re handling this situation pretty darn well, the reality of it seeps out in the most random and unexpected ways. Some of us are spending too much time online shopping out of sheer boredom (or so I hear… cough). And some are finding themselves gripped by a blind rage which results in the tragic waste of some perfectly good baking jackets.
My suggestion? Let’s sleep. None of us is getting enough of it. And when we do, it is often hijacked by weird, Covid-themed dreams, like the one where we got turned away from our own wedding to Tom Hardy because we weren’t wearing a mask. (Or was that just me?)
Yes, we’ve lost a lot in the past 12 months, not least of all sleep. So this issue is dedicated entirely to helping you get more of it. We’ve galvanised the best experts in the country to reset your body clock. We can’t solve every problem the world is throwing at us right now. But we can equip you with better health, more energy, more calm and clarity and much-needed perspective with which to face each day – all of these and more are gifted via the power of sleep.
Here’s hoping that the enraged spud thrower is out there right now buying his copy.
A few things I’m coveting this week