Monthly Archives: May 2020

Probus and The Boodman Syndrome

I’ve just been reading a book as part of being in a book club for those learning Italian. The story describes a Judge called Boodman in 1945 who uncharacteristically did something very minor, but wrong (he cheated himself when playing the card game Solitaire) and at the same time, coincidentally (?), the Americans dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. He blamed himself and became seriously mentally ill. Most of the book is about a psychiatrist who claims to find many other cases similar to Boodman’s, all over the world, and proposes a new syndrome to cover the psychiatric situation (and makes himself famous – and becomes mentally ill – at the same time).

I really don’t know if it’s a true story (I can’t find it on Wikipedia, so surely it can’t be true – or does that make it true?), but I feel a bit like Boodman in that I volunteered as our Probus Club’s Social Secretary for this year – and at the same time Covid-19 hit the world!

I don’t think it was my fault – well at least I’m not accepting responsibility for it! – But I do know that our club’s social programme is now zero! We had just had the first of what were to be monthly lunches and chats at a Harrogate hostelry (most successful), when all public gatherings stopped. No Probus meetings, talks, walks – nothing!

We have instituted weekly virtual get-togethers for a few Probus friends – and they’re very helpful in these socially bereft times. Apart from them and a few emails and Skypes with friends and family, it’s a bit quiet! I imagine that it’s the same for you.

I had thought that this year might be quite busy, organising a few Probus social events, including the regulars (including the annual summer lunch) and some ideas for other activities. Now I’m wondering if we’ll be able to have any of these, or even the Christmas carol concert and lunch.

Maybe it will all evaporate, or some magic pill will enable us all to safely avoid the current social distance restrictions – and get back to shaking hands in our traditionally British way. Perhaps we’ll have moved to bumping elbows by then – it’ll be a new world.