The Coronavirus Diaries, 30th January 2021

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.


5 thoughts on “The Coronavirus Diaries, 30th January 2021

  1. Meditative cleaning is a wonderful thing to do. Equivalent to meditative walking about. Standing in a queue requires the patience we were told to learn. A friend spent most of yesterday and today running about looking for the proper tax form to file on Monday. All sold out. Supply chain is not just about loo roll in this pandemic time. Happy your cushions are plumped. Mine is awaiting my attention.

    • We have loo roll. At least at the moment. I am depressed by how Republicans who condemned Trumps actions are crawling back to him, and those who have stood their ground, Lisa Cheney comes to mind, are being called traitors.the analysis I have read said that the Republicans think they need Trump’s supporters to win elections. What sort of victory would that be? They will have have sold their souls to the devil.

  2. I belong to an fb group for brits in Greece. Most of the talk is about the new mountains of red tape concerning resident’s permits related to new brexit regulations. But there is also talk about how it’s not worth ordering anything from Britain any more, including Amazon. The new customs charges make products too expensive so it’s much cheaper to order from the German Amazon. I believe that with the pandemic, the effects of brexit are not being felt to their full extent. Haulage companies refusing to cross the channel and customs duties are not ideal for this wonderful bright future you seek!

    • I avoid Amazon as their tax avoidance makes my blood boil, but I know that is not the main point of this. The sunlit uplands were always a fantasy. Those who believed in them were maybe desperate, I do not think Johnson et al thought for one moment that the majority of people would be better off out of the EU. But then for Johnson et al the majority of us are expendable. We could die in a ditch, starved to death and it would not worry them.
      I should like to be proved wrong about Brexit, to see this country thrive, but I don’t see it happening.

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