The Coronavirus Diaries, 4th January 2023, Quiet Times

Unplanned, I seem to have started January dry. Octavia does Dry January which is not quite the same thing. The Nozeco opened on Christmas Day morning is still in the fridge. Yes, there’s very little alcohol in Nozeco, very little in Becks Blue, and I have several bottles of that, I just don’t fancy anything alcoholic or even approaching the idea of alcoholic. Benilyn continues to be my tipple of choice, which is odd because it tastes disgusting. I couldn’t get Benilyn original, so have Benilyn Non-Drowsy after the pharmacist assured me it didn’t contain any ingredients which would keep me awake. It’s also red, but a brighter red than Original. Just as unpalatable though.

Still my cough has definitely lessened. It’s not yet gone, but it’s in departure. hanging around the duty free section perhaps, or in the bookshop, flicking through books it has no intention of buying. I hope its flight is called soon. I feel as though I have been coughing for ever. Work continued all last week and then into the weekend. I was up in the morning, out and about, doing my stuff, home and eating good healthy food washed down by water, and then to bed with a Lemsip around half past eight.

I’ve not worked today, and the diary is gloriously empty until next week. That’s how I feel now, but by Saturday I shall probably be fretting and worrying about my income. Well, being freelance and self employed was my choice. It can be precarious, but I don’t have many extravagances, so I get through. Also January and February are always quiet and a chance to recharge batteries, and as I didn’t do a jigsaw over Christmas this may be my chance.

Michèle gave me a copy of Alan Bennett’s The Uncommon Reader, a cautionary tale about the Queen becoming an avid reader. It’s light, but not frothy. Bennett makes the case for reading in general and literature in particular. Did Her Maj ever read it I wonder. I understood she had a taste for detective fiction which would explain why PD James was ennobled. I’ve finished it now and am casting about my shelves for my next read. I am still on a light book diet. Len Deighton may be the one. Again, well written, and he loves food so there are always lots of cooking scenes. Several years ago I realised I only really enjoyed detective fiction if there were details about food. I’d been reading Donna Leon and Qiu Xiaolong. Both Leon’s Inspector Brunetti and Xiaolong’s Inspector Chen enjoy their food. There are scenes in the kitchen, at the dining table, in cafés and restaurants. The only one I didn’t enjoy was a description of cruel food where animals are tortured in the name of haute cuisine.

Romeo is still hunkered down in the storeroom of the shop which is his official home. Hartley may be missing him, but MasterB has clocked his absence and is asking to go out every day. He’s still wary of Hartley, but he’s spending time in the garden, sniffing at the plants, raising his little pink nose to the wind, mooching about happily. It’s both lovely to see and a sad reminder of the enjoyment he used to have before the two more assertive cats took over his territory.

Not working gave me the chance to tackle my to do list which featured such tempting tasks as doing the washing and ironing, giving MasterB his second litter tray while I washed out his first, taking a sample from my nose to send off as part of the ONS Covid survey, carrying a bag of textile recycling over to the council reuse and recycle site off the Old Kent Road. The latter got me outside and walking for an hour and a half while at home the same wind which buffeted me dried my bed linen. Tomorrow I need to do some paper work; tally up my earnings from the last ten days, pay commission where it is due, make sure the books balance. I also spotted some forgotten broccoli in the fridge so lunch will be include that. Then I shall need to find a task which will get me outside.

It’s nearly nine o’clock and the fact that I am still awake, still up means I am heaps better. However, the washing up has to be done and if I am going to read before I sleep I had better stop now. There’s another board game evening planned for Saturday. I want to be there, maybe even have an alcoholic drink. Maybe not.

How long does an open bottle of Nozeco last anyway? Happy New Year. Thanks for reading. Do comment if you can. It’s nice to have online interaction. Sweet dreams.


17 thoughts on “The Coronavirus Diaries, 4th January 2023, Quiet Times

    • Thanks Ann. I still have a third of the bottle left (I bought the biggest) so long as I don’t need to buy another that’s ok. Happy New Year to you too. Let’s hope it’s less of a car crash than 2022.

  1. Loved the description of your cold mooching about in the departure lounge: hope it’s airborne by the time you read this! Happy New Year, Isobel.

  2. Sorry to read that you’re still in the throes of the virus, Isobel. I have a very old bottle of Original Benylin which I’d post to you but by the time you get it, you’d probably (and hopefully) be recovered.
    Glad your diary is empty. Rest up. Master B will appreciate it too 😉

    • Thanks Jan. I am about 85-90% well, just the residue of a cough and energy levels still subdued. Onwards and upwards. I’m keeping on with the cough medicine for the moment and hoping I don’t catch another cold! Our coughs and colds seem to have replaced conversations about the weather – and it is unseasonably mild, and today bright and sunny. I have quoted your comment t about the surprising amount of mucus a human body can produce to others who recognise its truth. 😹

  3. … and to think my librarian filed away Ben Macintyre’s WW2 espionage thriller Operation Mincemeat and Len Deighton’s Cold War classic Ipcress File as cook books, archived Mick Herron’s sardonic spy thriller Slow Horses next to George Orwell’s Animal Farm and filed Bill Fairclough’s espionage epic Beyond Enkription under cryptography before she completed her MI6 induction program. If only she had known Pemberton’s People from MI6 were watching – best read this intriguing news article dated 31 October 2022 in TheBurlingtonFiles website. It’s a must read for espionage cognoscenti.

    • That’s true, and a devoted father. I like the way his children have aged very very slowly.
      Have you read any Qiu Xiaolong? He’s excellent. I have learned a lot ( and forgottten) about noodles. The details of the Cultural Revolution have however stayed with me.

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