Life & Culture

Forget Jamaica, I’m staying in

Peter Rosengard should be sunning himself in Jamaica. Instead he's ordering stuff from Amazon


Panoramic view of Paradise white sand beach with coconut palm trees blue sky and Caribbean sea on Jamaica tropical island.

SUNDAY 10.30 am

l I just bought a red check lumberjack jacket on Amazon. I don’t need a lumberjack jacket; the closest I ever came to being one was watching the Monty Python TV sketch 50 years ago. I have no idea why I have done this. I’ve been wearing a dark blue suit, white shirt and a red tie every day for 30 years. But we are in the middle of a pandemic. Peter, let’s live a little. Let’s go crazy!

MONDAY 9.15 am

l Breaking News is a ham sandwich story.

Dutch Customs Officers are stopping drivers from the UK as they come off the ferry at the Hook of Holland and confiscating their ham sandwiches. “Can’t I just keep the bread?”, a lorry driver asked. “No, I’m sorry, I have to take your whole sandwich”, the officer said. “Welcome to Brexit, Sir.”

Apart from ham sandwiches (how often does the JC have a ham sandwich story?) cats are in the news. “The demand for cats is greater than ever”, the RSPCA said today, and you can understand why. People living alone in lockdown, we need a little company, somebody to talk to, someone to cuddle, someone who, over the breakfast table, won’t answer back — and you don’t even have to walk them twice a day. They’re too busy sleeping up to 20 hours a day. What’s not to like?

There is apparently such a shortage of cats that people are resorting to desperate measures. Yesterday outside Melbourne a man in his 50s, dressed in military style camouflage clothing and armed with a gun, stormed an animal shelter called The Lost Dogs Home in the middle of the night, tied up a woman worker and demanded: “Where are the cats?”

I think the answer might be in the home’s title. “The circumstances are a little bizarre”, a police spokesman told reporters.

TUESDAY 11.30 am

l As I’m writing this I‘m meant to be on a plane to Jamaica.

I bought my ticket three weeks ago. “Why Jamaica?” asked my friend Dr Chris.

“Have you ever been in London in January?” I said.

Just four small problems.

1) We’re now in Tier four plus plus plus, so we are not allowed to leave home.

2) We are not allowed to travel abroad.

3) Jamaica banned all UK citizens from entering the country one day after I bought my ticket

4) Virgin has cancelled all flights to Jamaica.

“Does that mean you’re not coming, Mr Rosengard?” Gerry at the wonderful Jamaica Inn in Ocha Rios asked, after I’d just told her the four reasons I wouldn’t now be coming.

“Whatever makes you think that, Gerry? I’ve got a snorkel and flippers… I’ll swim across!”

WEDNESDAY 12.05 pm

l I’m 93,727 words into writing my new book. Draft titles include My Life as an Exclamation Mark! (I once wrote an entire JC column where every line ended with an !) and He Woke Up Dead! (That’s what they say in Jamaica when someone’s just died. I think it’s better than “he passed away”.)

THURSDAY 2.15 pm

l To pass lockdown time I start reading all the hundreds of emails that are in my junk inbox.

Whatever happened to Top 20s? or Top 10s? Why is everything now an odd number? The Leicester Mercury’s Top 9 Posts… Top 13 Miss Universes… Prime Insider’s Top 47 Tips about everything… The Top 17 Ways to beat Toe Fungus… and my favourite: Top 9 Ideas to Stop Slugs Coming into Your Home. You must offer them coffee: “An espresso or a flat white, Mr Slime?”

I ended up again on Amazon and bought an extendable fork cum backscratcher, clearly the perfect “two in one” product: You can steal food off the people at the next table in a restaurant (remember them? people, that is) and later at home scratch that itch on your back while sitting on the loo. How did I ever live without one?

I also bought myself a fake cat. If you didn’t know, you would definitely think it was real.

It purrs and raises its paws when you talk to it and opens its blue eyes… and you don’t even have to feed it!

I also bought a “muscle builder”. OK, it’s a fire extinguisher, but you can lift it up and down in one hand and if you get too hot and catch fire you don’t need to call 999. Is that a brilliant invention or what?

FRIDAY 7.30 am

l Amazon just delivered my new cat: “A Cat in a Box”.

If the government got them to give us all the Covid vaccinations, 50 million of us would be done in one week.

By ‘them’ I mean the Amazon delivery guys, not the cat.

You can buy Peter Rosengard’s book ‘Talking to Strangers - The Adventures of a Life Insurance Salesman’ at

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