The Coronavirus Diaries, 24th September 2020

It’s hard to believe that two days ago we were enjoying warm sunshine. Today the temperature suddenly dropped mid afternoon and tonight I have put on an extra layer and started thinking about making soups. I’m watching the Grayson Perry programme. The first was on last night and I watched it earlier this evening on catch up, but I see the other programmes in the series are also available, so when I finish writing this I am going to settle back and watch the second one.

He made the programmes last year, travelling to different parts of the US by motorbike. The episode I have seen was about his visit to Atlanta and the main focus was on race. He’s a good listener. Maybe he has learned from his psychotherapist wife Philippa, and he says back to people what he has understood them to be saying which allows for further clarity if he has got it wrong. There was a performance poet whose name I didn’t get, but whose work I should like to know more of. Some of the conversations have a greater urgency about them now due to events this year – George Floyd’s killing, the BLM protests, the news today about the acquittal of the police officers who shot and killed Breonna Taylor, the death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Trump’s intention to replace her with a judge who supports him, the increasing threats by Trump to disrupt democracy at the election.

Carol called me this morning to tell me her little dog Rosie died on Sunday morning after a sudden, traumatic illness. She was bleeding from her mouth, from her back end and Carol wrapped her in a towel to get her to the emergency vet, but there was nothing to be done. She was seventeen, almost completely deaf, blind, but put her down on grass and she shed ten years, nose to the ground, inhaling all the news. I used to make toys for her out of old socks which she would inevitably rip to shreds in a matter of days. She was a miniature pinscher, and always made me think of the Bambi like creature on the Babycham ads. Carol is understandably distraught.

The Elephant and Castle shopping centre closed today for the last time. It was to be demolished ten years ago, but has had various stays of execution. It was the first purpose built shopping centre in the UK, and I am surprised it hasn’t been kept. Instead over the last twenty years it has been run down so it looks awful and very unappealing. The old Coronet cinema is also going to be demolished. The Elephant has a strong history of entertainment, music halls and theatres, and cinema. The Coronet is a magnificent building disguised in some very ugly cladding from the late C20. It was one Boris Johnson as Mayor of London who decided it should go. In its latter years the Coronet was a multi purpose venue, and everyone from Tom Jones to Justin Timberlake played there. I am sad to see it go.

Celia has gone to Wales to visit her daughter, travelling by train for the first time since March. Maybe I shall be able to persuade her to take another train for a walk in the country. In the meantime I think I may dust off my boots and go walking on my own on Saturday. The weather is uncertain over the next few days, and if it’s bucketing down the Rumpole DVDs B&J have promised to lend me sound a more attractive option.

Stay safe. Keep well. Be kind.

One thought on “The Coronavirus Diaries, 24th September 2020

  1. Isobel, thank you for your nod on behalf of Breonna Taylor. In the interests of strict accuracy, though, actually nobody was “acquitted.” That word applies if there had been a trial. In Ms. Taylor’s case, the grand jury — a preliminary screening body that you in the UK have eliminated — declined to indict. So no trial in the first instance. Nobody was charged on behalf of Ms. Taylor herself, except for the one indictment against the officer who sprayed a neighboring apartment with gunfire. But — in another way, accuracy be damned. We are in a nightmare over here. Again, thank you for noticing.

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