After one of them returned a positive Covid test the couple, both in their 80s, will use their experience of growing apart over 40 years of marriage to see them through the ten days of self-isolation they are now required to do.
‘It was me who tested positive,’ explained Jan over Zoom. ‘I need to keep away from Geoff because of his heart condition.’
She dismissed the idea that ten days would be difficult: ‘We’ve had separate bedrooms since the last of the kids moved out. And our own rooms to watch TV for years to stop arguments. We’re more prepared than most.’
Wouldn’t they miss each other? ‘We don’t need sight of each other to know the other one’s there. Who else but Geoff is making that mess of the toilet bowl? And just yesterday he was shouting up the stairs at me for apparently putting a plate in the dishwasher the wrong way.
‘After 40 years of marriage, you learn the things that annoy you about each other are the things that keep you together as much as the other stuff that Johnny Mathis sings about.’
‘We’ll get through this,’ said Geoff, after Jan had returned to her bedroom with the new JoJo Moyes novel. ‘Jan’s been on at me for 25 years to get our hallway decorated. It’s nearly finished. Blow me if we’re both going to die and miss out on the satisfaction of seeing it done. Jan would not let me hear the last of it.’