The Coronavirus Diaries, 15th November

Octavia and I realised on our evening walk that these next few weeks are going to be enlivened by Christmas decorations.

Just six weeks until Christmas

Obviously the shops have gone all out on Christmas since the day after Hallowe’en. It seems more than one Londoner has also decided the jolly season has begun. Octavia reckons it’s lockdown and people looking for enjoyment where they can find it. I am not so sure. Some people just love Christmas decorations. I have only once spent Christmas in the US. It was something of a culture shock. After lunch on Christmas Day we strolled the neighbourhood where every house, without exception, was decked in lights, lawn displays, roof displays. The national grid must have been going quadruple time. I had never seen anything like it. Except of course I had, because such scenes often figure in US films set at Christmas time. I just don’t think I had believed they were real. It was like having far too much sugar to eat in one go.

Ho ho ho

I think the people who live in this flat would have loved it. Every window had lights and Christmas decs. I’m looking forward to seeing other extravagant displays as the weeks pass. Maybe we’ll award prizes.

We walked down to Peckham via Burgess Park, then came back via Camberwell. We talked a lot about Gogglebox which we both love. Altogether we saw five foxes, each one alone. That sounds a lot, but I am sure we missed others. I don’t think Celia and I saw any foxes at all on our walk earlier. We missed the rain and turned down near Kennington Park, over Camberwell New Road to Brixton Road. My fingers got cold, and as usual we enumerated the various layers we were wearing: vest, long sleeved t-shirt, jumper, raincoat in my case.

Walking the city streets and parks each day with friends is lovely. It is something about the first lockdown I can look back on fondly, and I am enjoying it this time around too. It’s something I should like to keep up, but I understand now from when we eased out of lockdown1 and suddenly had more choices, that it may well be a casualty when the pandemic is finally over.

B&J came to the communal garden this afternoon and B played football with Romeo using a tennis ball. J and I decided to join in. Romeo stopped playing and watched us from under a car. I think he thought it was half time already. J became very ambitious and decided we should start trying to score goals. She delineated the goal post and stood in front of it. For two shots. B is a v good goalie. Too good. At this rate we’ll have jumpers on the ground at each end of the garden before long.

Rested, Romeo came out to play again before retiring once more to under the shrub where he looked like the archetypal football manager in the bunker. Hartley appeared and sat on top of the wall watching us, but did not join in. Only when we decided to sit down did he descend to our level. He galloped across to us to claim our knees.

That cat is an affection seeking missile.

Stay safe. Keep well. Keep walking.


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