I think today’s post should be about counting blessings. I’ve witnessed a couple of things today which suggest some people are not coping with the situation we are in at all well, are resentful and angry, wanting to blame someone, anyone. It doesn’t help. It won’t make the pandemic come to an end faster, but it may speed your end if you give way to these feelings. I am not saying people don’t have a right to feel the way they do, I am saying they need to find a way of managing this feelings which doesn’t involve dumping on someone else. We are, as David Cameron said once, in it together.
One of my bad habits is keeping magazines and supplements I have not had time to read in the misguided hope I shall one day read them. I seldom do. However the other week I caught up on an a short interview with Adam Kay about his reading habits. You can read the whole thing here. The book that changed his mind? His answer: I thought my opinion of David Cameron was immovable – that he was a terrible prime minister. His autobiography For the Record made me appraise him anew. I can now add “grasping, desperate shell of a human who exists in a moral vacuum”.
That’s pretty savage, but I tend to agree. I was once forced to shake Cameron’s hand. I felt sullied by the experience. Not that our current prime minister is any better. But for tonight, I hope he is comfortable and cared for, having just been transferred to ICU due to the worsening of his symptoms. Much as I loathe Johnson, I wouldn’t wish coronavirus on anyone, so I hope he recovers well and quickly. I just wish he weren’t prime minister. I have to remind myself there are others who would be even worse in the post.
So blessings I can reel off pretty quickly and in no particular order would include:
MasterB, without whom this whole lockdown business would be immeasurably harder. I had a night of broken sleep last night. I woke at four in the morning worrying about money. It was listening to MasterB’s gentle breathing that got me back to sleep.
Friends, they may not be able to be closer than six feet, but friends are like a warm embrace when you need one most. We communicate by text, by ‘phone, by WhatsApp, even here. They are beyond price. I should add neighbours to this list too. I live in an astonishingly neighbourly neighbourhood. When out and about we are waving, stopping to talk from a distance, smiling at each other, shouting ‘stay safe’.
Music, Bob Dylan is still my go to during this pandemic, Shelter from the Storm on the Hard Rain album. Thanks Bob.
Food, any of my friends would be able to tell you I like my food. I also enjoy preparing it, assembling ingredients, seeing the meal come together. Tonight it was a red lentil curry with brown rice. I thought I might have overdone the ginger, but it was just right.
My cameras, going out armed with one of my two cameras is something I find immensely pleasurable and rewarding. I think they make me look at things more. There’s a school of thought that when you photograph something you don’t bother to remember it. that may well be true sometimes, but I would also argue that the act of looking, of choosing to photograph is a positive. Much of the time we are too busy rushing from A to B to look at anything very much. Also the joy of looking through old photographs, the ones in the empty shoe boxes, or increasingly on the computer, is an act of remembrance in itself.
I have a much longer list, but one of my intentions was to keep tonight’s post short, so I’m going to stop here, or maybe that should be a pause, with just one more – my continuing good health and, I hope, yours.