I have never given someone a trifle as a birthday present until today. Trifle as in a dessert of fruit, cream and custard. But that is what I was advised by J that B would like, and her face did light up when she removed the wrapping paper so I know J was right. We celebrated tonight, as has become the custom, by Zoom and with chips. The audio on my Zoom was not working very well, but I have also realised that I am often much quieter at Zoom meetings than in real life where, in common with most of my family, I am generally a talker. I think it’s because I associate screens with passive activity, watching television and seeing a film, not conversing. So I am happy attending online talks, that sort of thing. That said, I did enjoy my one to one conversation by Zoom with my cousin Russell a week or so ago. When there are just two of you it’s easier to know whose turn it is to speak. I miss those social signals in an online chat.
Today has been wet and windy. Apart from trips out on errands it has been an indoor day. A grey day. That meant I got a certain amount of work done which feels good. I was domestically occupied too, cleaning the kitchen and the bathroom, washing out the cat litter tray. plumping up cushions. Dull in its way, but it wasn’t a day when I wanted excitement. My work was interesting and lead me to read and reread things which caught my imagination and stimulated my curiosity. I often find mundane tasks are conducive to new thought; as I dust or wash up I may go over things I have read, just as I do when I go for a walk or a cycle ride. New thoughts occur, new questions I want answers to. I am not saying I should like to be cleaning all day long, but it does surprise me how random and useful thoughts often arrive when I am thus engaged. There’s also the satisfaction of a tidy room, a vacuumed floor, additions to the bag destined for the charity shop when it reopens.
Oddly, standing in a queue, or waiting at a bus stop seldom has the same effect. So it’s not simply about a mindless activity. It seems to be that a part of the brain, the mind is more elastic when I am doing something where it can take time off. Why is that? Anyway, a mundane day with positive results, even if they were just plump cushions, was miles better than yesterday when I spent hours, and I am not exaggerating, trying to find somewhere with a printer in stock to replace one that finally gave up the ghost this week. Had I been willing to pay hundreds for a state of the art machine I don’t need and cannot afford, it would have been fine. However, it seems that printers are another casualty of transition, everywhere is out of stock, even Amazon which I generally avoid (when Amazon pays its fair share of taxes to the exchequer I may become a customer), the seamless trading promised by Johnson et al which has spectacularly not materialised. Is it just a hiccough, or is this how it’s going to be until we rejoin the EU? a country where we cannot get things that prior to 1st January were readily available? Please someone show me the sunlit uplands of the Brexit dream.
Stay safe. Keep well. Eat chips.