"My mum was always blasé about risk: 'We lived through the Blitz, dear.'
The Germans flattened their house one day when they were snug in their shelter. She was definitely from the 'don’t make a fuss’ generation. She rarely wore a proper coat walking the dog and would say 'it’s far too warm to put the heating on'. Coming from Newcastle, she often remarked on our Southern softness.
Our lives have been a doddle compared to hers. No bombers overhead. No rationing. Painless dentistry (well, almost). Dishwashers. Electric cars. Skype. Jaffa cakes.
I miss her more than ever today. And I wonder what she would make of our national emergency? One thing I know for sure is she would do what the Government told her to do. I think also she would be so much better equipped than us lot. She wouldn’t panic. She would look disapprovingly at anyone pushing round a trolley heaped with baked beans. She would be patient, happily finding things to do. She would tend her tomato plants, calmly waiting for it all to be over.
Although none of us have been through anything like this before, we come from people who have been through much, much worse. We have good genes. We’re all going to be fine."