I’VE started talking to inanimate objects. Or have I always done that? I honestly can’t remember. I suspect I’ve been scolding my printer on a regular basis for a while, but I definitely didn’t use to talk to the clothes horse. The other day I caught myself snapping “you’re not helping!” when it resisted being folded away.

Obviously, shouting at the TV is nothing new – I do watch Question Time, after all – but I don’t usually shout “hooray!” when Netflix launches (if you have an account I implore you to watch documentary series The Tiger King – you’ll find yourself feeling grateful that one thing we don’t have to worry about in Scotland, at this dreadfully worrying time, is hundreds of big cats breaking loose from amateur zoos).

To my great embarrassment, I even find myself following the example of Prince Charles. Please be assured that I’m not bashing this out from my bolthole in the Highlands, having fled the city at the first sniff of trouble in defiance of Government instructions. But I have been taking a leaf – and a petal – out of the royal’s book by whispering words of encouragement to my plants.

I’m trying to keep my vase of pre-lockdown roses looking cheerful for as long as possible, and if the daffodil bulbs fail to bloom it will feel like a dreadful metaphor.

I’ve also been talking to the door. Or rather, to the people on the other side of it who are delivering supplies, including three bags of the only brand of hay that my fussy little rabbits will eat (prompting an unfortunate few hours in which the song Baa Baa Black Sheep was never far from my mind), and an armband phone case so I can run around the park without cutting myself off from the steady stream of news notifications I don’t remember ever signing up for, but am now scared to try and stop.

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This week, in between grim death toll headlines and glimmers of hope about testing kits, one website felt the urgent need to tell me “Demi Lovato is reportedly in a relationship”. My knowledge of Demi Lovato is pretty limited (definitely a singer, maybe also an actress?) but I nonetheless spent several minutes wondering if she’s in isolation with her new beau or belle and if so, whether that will prove too hard a test for their budding romance. Maybe it’s not a romantic relationship at all, of course. Maybe she’s struck up a relationship with her clothes horse.

I saw through the peep-hole that one of the couriers had brought along his little boy, who was wearing a tiny hi-vis vest. It’s the little things that set you off, isn’t it? A wee lad “helping” his daddy work. A girl sitting on a park bench, weeping. A pensioner faced with empty shelves when looking for eggs or a can of soup.

I’ve also been talking to the postman. If I’m up and about in time for the clatter of mail through the letterbox I shout back a thank you, and then wonder why I wasn’t doing that already. This isn’t exactly Greendale Village*, but a wee bit of appreciation costs nothing, even at times when the job doesn’t come with such awful additional risks.

(*Some of my neighbours were involved in a full-on feud about dog fouling shortly before the lockdown began, and unfortunately the homemade signs appealing in red marker pen for poop to be scooped – complete with defiant responses such as “MA DUG SHITES WHERE IT WANTS” scrawled underneath in black – remain attached with cable ties to the fence. Here’s hoping an outbreak of civility will follow that of coronavirus – I hereby volunteer to act as mediator between red pen and black pen).

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Anyway, I digress. The other day, on seeing that my postman had traipsed all the way up my stairs just to deliver an “annual report” from Labour MSP Anas Sarwar, I blurted out “Not now, Anas!”

I spent the half-hour that followed desperately hoping the postie’s name isn’t Anas. Maybe I should put a sign on the door asking him what his name is, so I can personalise my cheerful greetings to him and get our relationship back on track.

But what if he responds in thick black ink?

Such is the turnover in my close that I’ve never even met one of the families living downstairs. Unless “meeting” includes yesterday’s interaction, when I was using gloves to move a large pile of cardboard packaging from the landing to my car, a nice lady asked if I needed a hand with the door and I replied “DON’T COME NEAR! DON’T COME NEAR!”

I’m now absolutely determined that we will become firm friends, and one day look back and laugh at that moment of hysteria. If you’re reading this, nice lady, give me a text – my number’s up on the wall. When summer comes we can sit out the back on loungers and feel the sun on our faces. In the meantime, if you need any loo roll, just ask.