The Coronavirus Diaries, 16th November 2022, the Miss Scarlett Letters

I’ve just deleted fifty-four spam messages. Fifty-four! That’s what happens when you don’t post for a while. So what’s my excuse? Nothing special, just the usual, busy with this and that, cat wrangling and I have started reading Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace. I’m not sure where I picked up this copy. I had a vague idea I had read it, but a few pages in and I realised I hadn’t. It’s over 500 pages long, and it says something about how much I’m enjoying it, that I have taken it on the bus and carried it around while I’ve been working on at least two days. I seem to have a lt of reading material all of a sudden. I mean extra to the ear present pile of books by my bed. Charlie has passed me copies of the Economist, J gave me an article about Noel Fitzpatrick to read, the Guardian online is my first thing in the morning go to while I have breakfast. I’m listening to Vesper Flights by Helen McDonald which is superb. It makes me dust much more thoroughly when I have something so absorbing and enlightening to listen to.

Tonight it’s raining. Again. Where is all this water coming from? I know people think it rains all the time in England, but our rain is usually of the drizzly half hearted sort. This rain seems to have been working out in the gym. I’m working outside tomorrow, and more rain is forecast. Which is not to say it has rained all day. It was raining when I woke up, and while I had breakfast. Then the skies cleared and I went out to the City to do one or two things. At the bus stop I had to shield my eyes against the bright sunshine. When I got home there were domestic chores to tackle and lunch to make. So Vesper Flights took my mind off the mundane. I put the washing out on the line. Most of it was dry when the skies darkened again and I prudently decided to bring it indoors. I managed a good hour of Alias Grace with MasterB curled up beside me before he stirred and asked for his dinner. I started to prep my supper. It felt like the right sort of night for a curry.

Now we are back on GMT rather than BST, the light goes around four in the afternoon. I think I wrote how A&M came round to play Cluedo the other week, and fun was had by all. There was a lot of swearing which I don’t recall from games played when I was in single figures. My copy of Cluedo had lain dormant in the cupboard for years until COVID. Then when we were allowed to meet in gangs of six, we had several evenings playing board games. It was fun. I always enjoyed bored games when I was a child. Unfortunately, my close family members were less keen. I also loved playing cards. One summer my mother’s cousin Joan came from Canada with her parents. She was sophisticated and glamorous and worked in Nassau. I am guessing there was a subtext for her joining her parents, maybe a relationship gone wrong. I can’t imagine that she really relished sleeping in my bedroom with its wallpaper of ducks flying kites and rabbits posting letters. If I remember correctly, my parents, my sister and I all slept in my sister’s room. Uncle Tom and Aunt Ethel had my parents’ bedroom. Anyway, Joan was presumably sufficiently bored to indulge a seven-year-old with endless games of cards. I thought it was great.

The evening with Marcelo and Andrew has retriggered the board game gene. Reinhild and Mark want to play, maybe J, though B is less keen. Michèle too. Reinhild has suggested Saturday, early evening. Andrew and Marcelo can’t come, but Celia has just texted me to say she and Charlie are free. It’s a date! I’d love it if this turned into a regular fixture throughout the winter with enough of us interested that a group of five or six could meet each week. Reinhild and Mark have also been given a new game which is based around art auctions. It sounds fun too. I don’t think we’re as competitive as we probably were as children, though Charlie’s inner capitalist makes a frighteningly fast appearance when we play Monopoly.

I’m trying to arrange a visit to Nephew and family. I see them rarely, and I have accumulated two bags of birthday, and now Christmas presents for the children. Quite apart from the fact it would be nice to see them and catch up, I’d lie to regain the space those two bags take up.

Now I am going back to my book. Have a lovely evening.


3 thoughts on “The Coronavirus Diaries, 16th November 2022, the Miss Scarlett Letters

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