Sideswipe: September 8: Lockdown walking distractions

Lockdown – grin and bear it

A reader writes: “Last year in lockdown my sister, who lives rurally near Karaka, placed bears in various poses at her front gate which the locals drove to view. This lockdown she is repeating the exercise.”

Mistaken identity: Pet edition

One night many years ago Pam spotted a black cat on a side street that looked like it had been hit by a car, but was still alive. “The poor cat was dragging his broken body on to the grass verge. A man from a nearby house came out, looked at the cat and said, ‘Torby, oh Torby lad’ (Toby). Two men from the house across the road came over. Toby’s owner looked at us all and said ‘someone give him mouth to mouth’. Just then a black cat came walking down the top of the house fence. Toby’s owner looked from that cat back to Toby then exclaimed ‘That’s not my Toby! There’s my Toby! Oh Toby lad’, scooped his Toby off the fence and went inside. His wife and the neighbours took injured ‘Toby’ to the emergency vet.”

Weird wedding

It was a medieval-themed wedding. The best man declared his love for the bride. Challenged the groom to a fight for her love. They march outside, draw swords and go at it. Apparently they choreographed two nights a week for like six months but it honestly looked like they were trying to kill each other. The groom wins and everything goes on like normal. Weird but cool.

Contactless hole in the wall service

It’s not just a clever gimmick. At Kuma no Te – Bear Paw cafe – In Osaka, Japan, customers can easily keep their social distance from their server. Run by Mental Support, an academy that provides support and counselling services, the new cafe is designed to be a safe space where those undergoing therapy can overcome their fears of reintegrating into society due to mental health challenges.

With face-to-face contact being a stress trigger for a number of their clients, Mental Support came up with the brilliant idea of setting up a cafe where staff don’t have to see or be seen by customers. And the problem of skin-to-skin contact was also solved with fluffy bear gloves, which staff use to hand out drinks and sweets through the small opening in the wall.

Improvised coffee

A reader writes: “I was called in to supervise some essential workers’ children at school and- realising that I wouldn’t be able to use the usual staffroom facilities, because of the tight hygiene regulations – I took my Nespresso machine … Forgot to take a mug, didn’t I. Fortunately, designated classroom was the Science Lab and I found a box of beakers. I took this photo to have a laugh with my colleagues but after seeing your deconstructed coffee piece I thought you might have a laugh as well.”

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