The Coronavirus Diaries, 26th April 2020

A bit of a break from the doom and gloom as it is Celia’s birthday today. We set out for a walk in glorious sunshine. It had been chilly when I woke, but the sun’s warmth was evident by ten and I wore my jumper tied around my neck for the whole outing. Celia liked the card I gave her. It was in the drawer but I have a sneaking feeling I may have bought it with her in mind. Card shops are not essential so there was no question of choosing one last week. I had hoped to have a small gift to give her On the Day, having given her a hula hoop a few weeks a go as an early birthday present cum exercise opportunity in lockdown, but despite it being due on Friday, the she will have to wait until later in the week.

We headed up towards the river. At West Square there were signs for a Mayathon. It should have said Aprilathon as we quickly realised it was happening while we were there. Today should have been the London Marathon. There were certainly lots of runners about.

West Square Mayathon


Here comes a runner

Another runner

Sally, Celia’s cousin called while we were walking. She lives in Greece, so there was an international dimension to the race.

Outside Morley Adult Education College the Guerrilla Gardeners had been at work.


Equally lovely

In a street close by, a poppy had seeded itself into the path.

Early poppy

Among the paintings of rainbows one set of windows stood out.

Crocheted rainbows

Same crocheted rainbows

A house in the same street had a different use for its windows.

Windows as art gallery

The Waterloo ambulance station was at the end of the street.

Ambulances, Waterloo

We passed the Old Vic, closed for now, but with the promise of future performances.

We’ll be back


As we neared the National Theatre and the South Bank we saw a large white, temporary structure with no windows. Is this a mortuary Celia wondered.

Is this a mortuary?

No it wasn’t.

No. it’s closed exhibition space about Van Gogh

The river was beautiful and we stood and gazed. It was low tide. A goose swam determinedly into the middle of the water. I took an unofficial birthday photo.

The Unofficial Birthday Photo

The River and St Paul’s

Suddenly there seemed a lot of people had also had the idea of walking by the South Bank. We noted the sign for a minute’s silence on Tuesday for all the key workers who have died, and turned in the direction of home.

A Minute’s Silence

My bladder had been reminding me at increasingly frequent intervals that it would like to be emptied. Celia pointed to some shrubs. I felt I could hold on.

A bit further on on I took the official birthday photo of Celia among the daisies. A cat sat behind a large gate, safely watching two dogs being exercised.

The Official Birthday Photo

I took a few more pictures of flowers as we made our way back. My bladder’s messages were almost continuous, and a short distance from home I left Celia to march away home. My neighbour Carol wanted to talk. Sorry, not now, I said as I shot past her garden. Made it. The relief.

Since then I have enjoyed champagne and salad in Celia’s garden, almost finished the jigsaw, spoken to Michèle and cuddled MasterB. I am determined to be in bed before eleven tonight.

I hope Celia enjoyed her birthday and her socially distanced gathering. I did.

Thank-you our key workers, thank-you the NHS. Keep safe, stay well.

10 thoughts on “The Coronavirus Diaries, 26th April 2020

  1. Sound like a good birthday despite the unusual circumstances…lovely to see the river from the south bank….I’ve missed it! We were due to come down for a few days in early March but decided against it given the way things were heading!

    • Yes, Celia said she had enjoyed the day. I have a framed photograph of the river taken from around the same point at the end of the 80s, you get a good view of the skyline which has changed a great deal.

  2. I prefer the “unofficial” to the “official” portrait – like that saucy tip the of the foot. Considering the state of the jigsaw yesterday, I would say you or MasterB have spent quite a few of the last 24 hours upon it.

    • Yes, I do too. I finished the jigsaw last night. I really want to dust and vacuum and am nervous of vacuuming up bits of puzzle, so was motivated to get it finished. I had done a lot of the small sections, the work was fitting them together.

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