The Coronavirus Diaries, 22nd July 2022, the Crest of the Wave

Yes, it seems the current COVID wave has peaked, but if wave jumping is your thing never fear, another one should be along in the autumn. Woohoo. Or should that be boohoo? Apparently one in twenty people in Northern Ireland is estimated to be infected at the moment. I’m looking at NI’s figures as, if trains and planes allow, I shall fly into Belfast in ten days. It has started to feel imminent as I have had a message from one of my cousins, not the one I am staying with, about meeting up and seeing Uncle Bill. There was no mention of a party, but I’m hoping one is on the cards, just a small one, but he enjoyed his actual 100th birthday party a lot, and was keen to repeat the experience come the summer. Not that the temperatures in NI are suggesting a relaxed occasion in the garden under blue skies. It’s going to be quite a shock to the system, especially after the heat we have had in London.

Michele’s text made me realise I need to start getting myself organised. At the moment I am far more focused on work than on what I need to do before I go away. I was trying to complete a podcast recording today, but managed to delete part of it, the part I was happy with of course, so it’s back to the beginning with that task tomorrow. Still, I am happy with the script which I have edited. I did get to the bank to pay in a cheques and some cash, and to the Oxfam bookshop to drop off the latest pile of books I have managed to cull. I also thought I’d check out some Chaco sandals, but it seems there’s only one shop in London stocking them, and it’s not in the neighbourhood I was in. Maybe there’s a stockist in Belfast. Fingers crossed.

In the early evening I stepped outside and heard my name called by Celia. We stood on the pavement and chatted, but were distracted by a couple across the street behaving strangely. What were they doing? Something about them did not inspire trust. It’s been a known drug deal location in the past. The man called out to someone else down the street, and a third person joined them. They went into a huddle and something definitely changed hands. Yep, I think we just witnessed a fairly inept drug deal. They need to watch The Outsiders to see how it’s done.

While we were still standing there discussing what we had seen and watching the trio hurry off down the street we were assailed by another neighbour. Yes, I know people say Londoners don’t talk to each other, but they don’t know SE17. The ensuing conversation was slightly confused, but also very entertaining. I had no idea this neighbour was such a good mimic. I can’t repeat what she said, but both Celia and I laughed a lot. Celia went home to her cup of tea and the neighbour and I went on together, parting on the main road.

When I returned home via the garden Hartley was nowhere in sight so Romeo made a beeline for me and when I sat down, climbed onto my lap immediately. He submitted, purring, to being stroked, and obviously loved being scratched behind his ears. But his coat felt grubby and the loose hair was flying from him. I wished I had the cat brush with me. Hartley has been groomed regularly over the last few weeks and his coat is looking good. The dynamic between the two cats has changed recently. Romeo increasingly gives way to Hartley. My take on it is that he’s depressed. He desperately wants a home he can call his own. I have no doubt if offered one he would try his human’s patience to the max, by testing every boundary, acting up, seeing what things he can do and still be loved, before settling down. He is all to ready to be rejected, and like many insecure beings, to get his own rejecting in first.

The pax between him and MasterB seems to be over. Only a few weeks ago both boys could be in the garden together, on opposite sides of the garden, but both in the space. Now as soon as Romeo realises MasterB is outside he moves into aggressive mode, claiming the whole space for himself. Remember Bo’sun here. It is his garden. There’s no telling Romeo that.

Oh cats. What can you do?


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