The Coronavirus Diaries, 23rd May 2021

Oh technology, a blessing and a curse. For some reason I cannot post from my laptop. I have sent an email to WordPress, but if anyone here has any idea what I need to do, please do tell.

Another day of erratic weather, ending in a rainy night. I stayed in most of the time and got on with work. But it’s Sunday which means Joe isn’t here and I am on cat feeding duty for Romeo and Hartley. There was no sign of Romeo when I went outside, so I put some food down for Hartley, and took my recycling round to the bin shed. Romeo materialised beside me. So back we went and I filled a second dish only for Hartley, who had by now almost finished his breakfast, to commandeer it. It’s funny, of the two cats in most circumstances Romeo is the bolder, the more feisty, but Hartley seems to have first dibs when it’s a question of food. I lifted Hartley up, put him back by his dish and popped Romeo in front of the full one. In less time than it takes to tell Hartley had changed places again. Poor Romeo. Fortunately both boys were there tonight and Romeo tucked in with gusto.

MasterB is also a cat who likes his meals. This morning, as I slept beyond seven, he became impatient for breakfast and started his bouncy castle routine. Usually it disturbs my sleep but doesn’t hurt me. Today he bounced on my wound. You know that feeling where the pain is so intense that it feels like a black hole swallowing you up? That’s what I felt. It took several minutes of deep breathing and repeated ows before I could bring myself to sit up.

MasterB and I have spent most of the day together. Celia went over to Notting Hill, and although B&J and I had planned to convene this evening in the garden we decided it was too cold, and rain looked imminent.

Yesterday Michèle came round bringing the most beautiful bunch of red tulips. It was lovely to see her. We drank some wine and MasterB was pretty sociable before falling asleep on my lap. It’s such a treat to have visitors in my home again. My social skills as host are rusty, but the idea of inviting a few friends round for food and drink is a happy one.

Michèle has a book coming out later this year. I am hoping she’s going to be doing some readings at independent bookshops which I can attend. I love hearing her read. I’ll settle for some Radio 3 or 4 appearances. She’s got a great radio voice too.

She asked me about the skin cancer. I find it hard to think of myself and cancer in the same sentence. Maybe it’s denial. Maybe it’s because I am hoping I no longer have cancer, and if I haven’t I was only aware of having it for less than a week before steps were taken to remove anything that might also be cancerous. I hate the language around cancer, and in no way could I be said to have fought it. I have not had a battle, and I sincerely hope this is the last of it. It feels rather like the moment when you realise you have had a lucky escape from something that could have been nasty; like when you are just about to move to the left on a pavement when a careless rider on speeding electric scooter passes by you so close you can feel the air disturbed. A second later and you’d be knocked flying. I haven’t been knocked flying, but that air disturbance is all around me. Turbulence. Something fundamental has changed.

Stay safe. Keep well. Enjoy your visitors.

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