‘It is with regret that we have to inform you…’
My heart sinks. I have been pinged. And now must stop what I am doing and find the nearest Covid testing station.
It is inconvenient. Because this is a busy week.
Pinged during busy week
Two days of filming are planned. One with a local textile company who in future are going to use only local wool in the production of their tartan.
Then there is the angling museum that has opened in Kelso. Because I am told that the sport of salmon fishing actually began on the River Tweed.
And from there it went all over the world. Sorry River Tay! At least you are still our longest river… But back to the ping.
It is one of my mother’s carers who has gone down with the virus. I do a quick lateral flow test. It is negative. Then off I set to the PCR testing place.
On arrival there is a problem. Because, apparently, you cannot just turn up. You need an appointment.
As I have travelled twenty miles to get there the man on the gate takes pity. He helps me navigate the system on my mobile and I join the queue.
Once inside it is a slightly uncomfortable procedure. Mouth and nose swabbed. All fingers and toes firmly crossed.
I go home to self-isolate and the next day’s work is cancelled. Twenty hours later another ping comes through.
I am in the clear. Hurrah! It is too late to reinstate the filming, but at least I can leave the confines of the bedroom.
Where I have been holed up – with the littlest MacNaughties scratching at the door.
Yes, Bennie the Norfolk terrier puppy has been attempting to keep me company. Note: only two packets of tissues shredded, and one shoe buckle chewed this week.
But here’s the thing: in order to start work again, ITV is asking to see a copy of the pinged negative result. Plus confirmation that I have actually had two jabs.
Now the former can easily be sent on. The latter is more difficult.
Because the NHS website is asking for the user-name that was on the original appointment letter.
I ask you, who keeps their appointment letters?!
Help line hell
I will in future. Because next job is to phone the help line. To be told that I am number 122 in the queue.
I put the phone down. And try again a day later. Where I find I am now number 246.
Admittedly, they get through the queue reasonably rapidly. And the young man at the end of the line is very helpful.
But it is a good thing the chief and I have cancelled plans to hit the dance floor in the local nightclub…
Only joking! Our disco days are long past. Much to the relief of family and friends.
In the meantime, the salmon museum is filmed – and I leave you with the cast of a monster fish. Sadly, not caught by me, but happy days.