The Coronavirus Diaries, 23rd July 2021

I think the weather is going to break tomorrow or Sunday. Yesterday I did virtually nothing other than sit in the shade drinking mint tea or water, read and just enjoy being. Today seems to hold much of the same. Last night Poppy the overweight Labrador decided it was still too hot at 8.30 to walk, so after just a few hundred yards we turned back. I thought I’d walk her this morning, but by 9.00 the sun was already beating down. There’s little shelter from the sun for much of our walk, so exercise is again deferred.

Next week I’m hoping to see Uncle Bill on Monday, meet up with Fiona one day and see my friend Jo on Friday. Rain is forecast for the latter part of the week, but only light rain, so I think we’ll cope. I’m sure to be back in Belfast anyway.

ideally I’d like to revisit the exhibition on La Belle Époque with Charlotte McReynolds, it’s curator, but
as the pandemic rolls on, and numbers continue to rise while our freedom to spread and contract it remains uncurtailed, curators tours are unlikely to happen. In place of government leadership requiring us to exercise caution, individual businesses and venues are having to step up to the plate.

If I do meet Fiona our rendezvous is likely to be at the Linen Hall Library, a wonderful oasis in the heart of Belfast, opposite City Hall, an amazing building but whose cafeteria is both more expensive and less convivial than that of the library.

One of these days I am going to see inside the Grand Opera House. It’s almost next door to the Europa Hotel, one of the most, possibly the most, bombed buildings in Belfast during the troubles. Recently it saw my erstwhile hero Van Morrison losing it and inviting Ian Paisley Junior to join him on the stage. I don’t usually agree with people who tell footballers/singers/artists to stick to what they do for a living and keep out of politics (it only ever when the opinions of said footballers/singers/artists don’t accord with those people’s views) but on this occasion I do feel Van the Man lost it.

Stay safe. Keep well. Sit in the shade.

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