Gnomes facing their worst crisis since they were introduced to British gardens in 1840

Torbay Weekly

As we slowly come out of lockdown spare a thought for garden gnomes. They have suffered a perfect storm.

The lockdown led to an increased interest in gardening. It was no longer possible to ignore the weeds by going on holiday.

This led to an increased demand for all things garden which, of course, includes gnomes.

But at the same time, a ship packed with the raw materials for garden gnomes became stuck in the Suez Canal.

Gnomes whether plastic, stone or concrete, are facing their worst crisis since they were introduced to British gardens in 1840.

This is a major issue where the Government should step in, perhaps the gnome secretary - I promise this is my last bad gnome pun.

Lockdown also saw an increase in home deliveries but not the type that needed a midwife.

It was expected that the birth rate would increase nine months into the lockdown but it has fallen. Clearly being stuck at home is not romantic. This could be due to financial insecurity but also, it takes two.

Humans can’t just divide like an amoeba, but how does anyone meet a new partner? Love at first jab? Would Chris de Burgh’s song have been equally romantic if he’d sung “The Lady in Red - mask.”?

Lockdown also led to an increase in binge TV and alcohol.  With live streaming, I’ve been able to watch Torquay United’s away matches although for the first 20 minutes of a crucial match I supported the wrong team. Sutton shouldn’t be allowed to play in yellow.

The increased use of video conferencing had another effect.

In 2020, according to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), there was a 70 per cent increase in men requesting cosmetic surgery.

As men saw themselves on video they spotted wrinkles, face sagging and circles around the eyes.

Did they fear they might look like MacBeth’s Witches “so withered and wild in their attire”?

Although Shakespeare worked through an epidemic there is no evidence he used Zoom. If he had, would he have invested in a toupee?

Maybe the 50-year-old men rushing to make themselves look 30 have a point.

In the US, it was shown that ugly people earn nine per cent less on average than handsome hunks, although I am not sure how they define ugliness.

In the 2017 German elections the most attractive candidates gained 3.8 per cent more votes.

If our local election ballot papers included a photo of each candidate would we see a different result?

Attractive people are less likely to be arrested and, if they end up in court are less likely to be convicted. They also do better at school and have more friends.

Even in fairy tales beauty is important.

Would Cinderella be such a powerful story if the sisters were also beautiful? It isn’t their fault that Cindy is beautiful, and they are not. And who wears glass slippers to a ball anyway?

Personally, I’m not asking for cosmetic surgery. It’s a bit late. To smooth out my skin would be like trying make Dartmoor look like the Fens.

I also wondered why my slippers are falling apart although they are not glass. I only bought them 18 months ago. But then I realised that I’ve worn them all day and every day, with the occasional break when I pop round to our local shop.

Some people with more money if not more sense have been investing in trainers.

Apparently, some were selling for £40,000, that’s £20,000 each. We can’t even see your expensive trainers on Zoom and you’re not allowed out anyway. By the time the lockdown is over they will be out of fashion.

As holidaymakers return to the Bay for a staycation will we see wealthy men arrive with facelifts and expensive trainers?

They may not be allowed expensive holidays in the Caribbean or Mauritius but might come to the English Riviera.

They may even have enough money left over to buy a garden gnome.