The Coronavirus Diaries, 16th June 2021

Nearly midsummer, and the humidity has been building steadily this week. It was the upper twenties centigrade today but it felt oppressive rather than hot. Celia and I walked round to the book group’s alfresco poetry evening at a slow slow pace. The first drops of rain fell as we started, but they were pleasant and occasional. Then the rain got going. Umbrellas appeared, I put on my waterproof poncho and hid my books underneath it. The water pooled in my lap. After two rounds we called it a night and returned the chairs and cushions to the TRA House. Maybe a rerun in a couple of weeks. Already the air feels fresher, and there is no wind so the windows are wide open and no rain is coming in. Storms are forecast for tonight and more rain tomorrow. I realise I should have rescued a couple of plant pots which are in wall planter with no drain holes. By morning the seedlings may have drowned.

It’s a week for exhibitions. I don’t know that I’ll get to Alice at the V&A, but tomorrow I shall be at the BM for Becket. Celia, Charlie and I shall travel together on the 68 bus, but my entry ticket is half an hour before theirs, so we shall tour separately. The last time I was at an exhibition with Charlie he was round it in half the time it took me. We are warned a third wave is either imminent or with us, so how long we can enjoy these cultural pursuits is questionable.

Celia and I went to the Women Making History exhibition at the London Scottish Regiment building on Horseferry Road, close by Channel 4’s building. It was great, immensely colourful, witty, fierce, determined. I found the banners made by women serving prison sentences who are denied the vote among the most poignant. We toured the ground floor, then went upstairs to seethe ones hung higher up in more detail. Celia was a couple of minutes ahead of me. As I came out into the balcony there was a Theatr Clywd banner. I called out to Celia who had somehow missed it. Her daughter is the director there. She hurried back, breaking all the one way rules and a moment later squeaked. Her daughter’s name is included. She’s there along with Gillian Clarke, Shirley Bassey. Illustrious company. I mean, can you be more honoured?

I’ll try to include a taste, some photos, to give you an idea of what you are missing if you don’t get along there before 11th July. It’s free, so if you are in London there is really no excuse. I have more photos, but I find it painful uploading them to WordPress these days, so although I have good intentions, these may be the only ones I post.



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