In this strange time of lockdown, I was excited to see that WordPress has resumed its Daily Post Writing Prompts series – inviting bloggers to respond to a writing prompt every day – and I’m going to have a go at taking part. After all, there isn’t much to be excited about these days when we’re only allowed out of our homes for shopping and one form of exercise and not much else. I’m setting my timer for 15 minutes and only allowing myself that much time to write the post. Today’s one-word prompt ‘Joke’ seems completely unsuitable, given the current global health crisis, even though it is April Fool’s Day. How on earth can I respond to that? I thought. I headed over to the WordPress Reader to find out how other bloggers had responded and chanced on this post by someone called Ella Craig which I found genuinely funny. Ella’s anecdote about a bikini, a goat, a misunderstanding in another language, made me smile. It reminded me a little bit of Je m’appelle Josephine, a post I wrote in 2013 (remember 2013, anyone??) when I’d just returned from a holiday in France and was thinking about some of the amusing misunderstandings that arise from trying to communicate in a language other than our mother tongue.
Are we allowed to smile at this sad and frightening time? Should we feel guilty if we do? These are the kind of questions I’m asking myself. Not allowing myself to laugh won’t do anything to halt the Covid-19 crisis even if laughing won’t help it either. I’m not in the right mood for jokes but Ella’s post did provide me with some enjoyment and momentarily cheered me up. For that I’m grateful.