The Coronavirus Diaries, 7th December 2020

So, Monday and a to do list. I have not had a working landline since Thursday. What, are you thinking, is this an old post? surely this is something that happened in October. Yup. TalkTalk strikes again, and again customer service has been found wanting. After acknowledging the problem, and promising to be in touch they weren’t. I sent daily messages, which were ignored. So finally and reluctantly I faced the online chat support.

Two hours later and with my stomach rumbling, an appointment for an engineer to come on Wednesday afternoon was arranged. Then an hour and a half after that an email saying the visit would be on Thursday morning, which I had already said I could not do. Another half hour online, the appointment rearranged, though I see no email confirm this so I am more than a little disbelieving. It is amazing how life sucking these exchanges are.

However, I did get ten more cards written and posted, a box of bits handed into the charity shop, a jigsaw bought for Charlie for Christmas, and some other gifts sorted. Not Celia’s. Or at least only half Celia’s. I am sure I had her Christmas present organised, but I can only find half a present for her in the cupboard, and I have no idea what the other half was. So I have been thinking, and I believe I can get a good other half. I know Celia reads this, so I am not saying more, though I should alert her to the fact that Charlie’s present is from the charity shop, and only after I had paid for it did I think to ask if it had been checked to make sure it is complete. It hasn’t. I have the receipt, so if he finds pieces are missing, could you let me know please Celia?

Back to our walk yesterday.

Setting out into the lowering sun

We set off from home just after three. Already the sun was starting to sink. it was cold but dry with no wind. We strode through the little park to Kennington Park Road then onto Vauxhall.

Pre sunset Thames at Vauxhall

The river looked cold and beautiful, with pink streaks from the sky reflected in the water. This was where the Cockerpoo took a shine to Celia. Then over the bridge and left to Tate Britain.

Tate Britain Divali

Don’t tell me art is a dispensable extra, a frippery optional thing. Dozens of people were there. All happy, all enjoying it. It drew the crowds. Art and culture are necessities, just as love and food and warmth are. You can see people expand, relax, grow. I think of Mother, deep in her dementia, responding to poetry, holding my hand and squeezing it to the rhythm of the words, turning to me as I read to her like a flower turning its face to the sun. Man cannot live by bread alone. Nor woman.

Tate Britain Divali front entrance

I have more pictures, and I think this probably merits a post of its own. My favourite was the tiger, burning bright just across the river from where Blake lived.

Grr! I love the tiger

If I had that tiger I think I would be a very happy person.

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Copybook Cat

When Celia and I looked at the weekend’s photos while afloat I offered to copy them all onto a USB for her, including the many of MasterB on shore leave. She severely blotted her copybook by saying she might not need all of MasterB’s pictures. I believe my disapproval was apparent.

If you look at these, a mere sample, you will, I’m sure, agree with me.

I hope.

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Le Calendrier Ginger Ninja 2015 est Arrivé (and a darn sight nicer than Beaujolais Nouveau)

Roll up, roll up! The box of calendars arrived today, and was opened a short time ago, and with minimal ceremony by Celia, who pronounced the contents good.


If you would like to buy one leave a comment here and I’ll contact you by email. They cost £8, plus £2.50 P&P for the UK. I need to check the overseas postage charge, but as it is only early November, it should be possible to use surface mail and still have them by January.
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Death of a Camera

I love my little Olympus. It has been a trusty and trusted friend for nearly a decade now. Small enough to fit in my pocket; a great lens; my introduction to macro photography. But it is not well. I hope it’s not terminal. The lights are on but it is not taking photos. I can zoom, choose between flash and not flash, auto focu or work it out for myself, but at the moment that counts, the shutter does not respond; no image is recorded. Continue reading


Morning Sunshine Cat

Morning Sunshine Cat

MasterB is convinced that the moments following his breakfast (and before mine) are for playtime. He seems completely impervious to the fact that before I am outside a bowl of porridge and a cup of coffee the day has not begun. So my porridge stirring is disturbed by cries and noises off as things crash to the floor, or I hear suspicious tearing and scratching sounds.

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With a Lighter Heart

I am smiling more. I know I am. The work isn’t exactly dropping into my lap, but there’s enough to keep me hopeful. And way above that, there’s this feeling of lightness, of a weight being lifted off me. Like I am breathing properly again for the first time in a while.
There was a lot about the salaried job that I have left that I liked, and I don’t just mean the regular, reliable income. But some of the people were, to put it mildly, difficult. I had a boss who never praised me to my face. Instead she would always find something to complain about. Her attitude was picked up on by some staff, and there were a few who copied her example. Others would talk quietly to me, supportive but not obviously so. Too dangerous. Yet my work was recognised by outsiders, in reports; rated as outstanding. Reports and ratings my boss didn’t share with me. Didn’t repeat to my colleagues. Reports I fortunately read for myself. It took its toll. I feel as though I have spent several years just trying to keep afloat. Now I find I can swim. Magic. Continue reading

Another Long List…

I searched through my photos again yesterday to see if I had a decent landscape phot of MasterB looking out of the boat. No joy. Lots of almost decent ones. But I did find myself stopping and looking at others, so here’s a second list of possibles. I like the fact that there are a few different poses her. Obviously, it’s easiest to photograph him when he’s asleep, but sometimes I just manage to get the whole cat in the frame at the same time.

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