Sunday, September 19, 2021
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I wish I were a fluffy toy

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WHEN I look at my soft toy companions – ‘fluffies’, as they’re affectionately known – whose job it is to sit about all day and do nothing (especially one character I provide a home to, called Sleepy Fox), I often think I’ll try to come back as one myself in my next life.

All I’ll have to worry about is being ragged by a dog or stuck on the front of a bin lorry, although some concern did ripple through the ranks here not so long back when a particularly shocking rumour went round that fluffies, with pets, could well be up for confiscation, or even the chop, due to the ‘virus’.

But as a fluffy, no real and present danger of Covid to fret about, nor concerns about the jab, surely? And always the chance of a spontaneous cuddle, of course. How lovely!

Together with other purchases such as clothing, jewellery and bric-a-brac, some of my fluffy pals have had cause to reside at, then be ‘rescued’ from, junk shops, charity shops and alike before their arrival at their longer-term care facility-cum-retirement home and sanctuary. 

Being able to purchase such things during a so-called virulent pandemic has always struck me as a little odd – the passing of often well-loved belongings from one home to another (even if they have had to sit and air somewhere for a while beforehand). A bit like when you buy something secondhand on eBay, and things end up getting shipped to you from across the globe, or just Grimsby. Australia, the US, Italy and Morocco in my case. All extremely good for building up your natural immunity, I also suspect, as well as the oft-voiced drive for more sustainable living, of course; we mustn’t neglect that these days, must we?

Covid is still very discriminating, you see – just like it was when it came to whether or not you were standing up or sitting down at your local pub (if it’s still trading), attempting to eat a ‘substantial meal’ in as relaxed and as normal a manner as you could manage. Even more so here in Wales, where face coverings are still required in shops, apparently, but not in hospitality settings. Eh? It could all change again next week, mind.

Surely the ‘normies’, as they are termed colloquially by some, might now have justifiable cause to start questioning proceedings and wake up a little? How much longer can this situation continue to bypass their – you’d like to think, cognitively ‘dissonating’ – logic? Only if they had some in the first place, you might reply all too swiftly and begrudgingly. A bit harsh, granted, but as a certain person might yell out, ‘Come on, people!’

Which reminds me, before the autumn and winter has chance to do its worst, I must ask Sleepy Fox what he thinks about things currently. Who knows, I could be on the receiving end of quite a lot of common sense and some sage, but wily, advice . . .

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Clare Benfield
Clare Benfield is a magazine editor based in South Wales.

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