The Coronavirus Diaries, 29th June 2021

I’m at das Boot. Alone. MasterB has stayed at home and is being looked after by Celia and B&J. It’s odd to be here without him, but I am going to be busy cleaning and doing noisy things he doesn’t like, so probably just as well. He wouldn’t have liked the journey much either. There were several diversions. I saw more of Leytonstone than I have ever before. I was quite worried about being totally lost. I did learn that there is an Alfred Hitchcock Hotel in Leytonstone. I wonder what it’s like. Leytonstone is his birthplace and I am acquainted with the mosaics which honour him at the tube station, but the hotel was a bit of a surprise.

it’s coming up to 10pm and the light is fading, but you certainly couldn’t call it dark. A duck, maybe the same one that visited last year just came onto the gunwale, and then round to the foredeck and tried to get my attention, tapping on the window glaring at me fixedly. I was rather glad I had closed the windows to keep the insects out a few minutes earlier.

Das Boot is very grubby. I spent the first hours removing the worst of the dirt from the interior, discovered a half pint of very off semi skimmed milk in the fridge. Who put that there? Not me, I don’t drink milk. Maybe Stuart when he was working on the boat earlier in the year.

It’s the exterior which makes my heart sink, and the covers. All look to me like several days hard work. I was planning to go home on Friday morning, or even Thursday afternoon, I am now thinking I may have to stay the weekend. That would of course depend on Celia and B&J’s goodwill. Otherwise I shall have to come back again next week if I am free.

Cleaning the boat, or the prospect of cleaning the boat, is stiffening my resolve to sell. The journey out of London and through mile upon mile of verdant country was delicious. No park in London, however big, compares to this. But increasingly I don’t enjoy driving. If I want to be in the country I prefer to go there by train, or maybe move somewhere where the countryside is on my doorstep. Just a few yards into the single track road that leads to the marina I saw a kestrel. Then swallows swooped and dived across the road in front of me. I have already mentioned the ducks, but I fear I am too late for the cuckoo. I’ll listen carefully in the morning. A couple of very friendly and curious cows approached the fence when they saw me. One wanted a nose scratch, the other to sniff and lick my hand.

So I am going to head for bed with my book now, hope to wake early and get down to work after breakfast. There is one other car here but I haven’t seen anyone, so if I am noisy I shall not disturb someone’s quiet day.

Stay safe. Keep well.

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