The Coronavirus Diaries, 12th December 2020

In the 2020 Christmas card writing challenge, Celia scooped gold in the local heat. I am claiming silver, and Helen downstairs was hoping for bronze, but she may have lost to Viv as there was a delivered-by-hand card from her when I got home. Maybe there’s another few categories; not only written but posted or popped through the recipients’ letterboxes. I have posted all those requiring stamps, sent or scheduled the ecards, but I thought I’d wait a week before delivering the ones by hand.

Also underway is the present wrapping. MasterB enjoys this. He particularly enjoys sitting on the wrapping paper and customising it with his claws. I see he has customised Charlie’s wrapped present too. I am learning to be sneaky, to wait until he is asleep under the bed, for a more productive wrapping session. I think I have bought all the gifts I need to buy. Gradually the list has got shorter as mutual agreements are made with friends that we shall bypass this particular ritual. These are mainly friends who live at a distance requiring trips to the post office for the dispatch of parcels. As the price of postage has gone up and up it was becoming as expensive as some of the gifts. The gifts have also gradually become more modest. At one point we seemed to be exchanging higher and higher costing presents. Nothing was said, but by some silent accord we have drawn back. Now it’s a book, a bar of good soap, a scented candle, a pretty notebook. Something on those lines.

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Love the Cat You’re With

Three days before Christmas and the carols are ringing out chez IsobelandCat. I’ve not been to a carol service yet this year, and I think it’ll have to be tomorrow. I didn’t get my act together early enough for evensong at the abbey which is a ticket only event on the Sunday before Christmas, but I see there’s another Nine Lessons and Carols at St Bart the Great, so I’ll probably nip along there.
I’ve bought the sprouts, am stocking up on fizzy water, dusted and vacuumed, turned on the fairy lights, sent the ecards and trotted round the neighburhood with the local cards.
Today has been unsaeonably wet in London, though nowhere near as wet as in Devon where there are floods. MasterB played outside, bursting bubbles in puddles and happily splashing through expanses of water that Cat would have circled. Perhaps he has got the Bengal water gene after all.

Bright-Eyed Boy

Bright-Eyed Boy

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Forgotten Treasures

As an exercise in clearing out, it was a failure, but I got lost in memories looking through goodbye cards and messages from old jobs. My favourite card wasn’t there. I binned it years ago. It was at the end of my first year in teaching. I had taught French to four year 7 classes, or as we called them then, first years. That represented two thirds of the year entry and quite a chunk of my timetable. So my head of department was determined I should drop two of those classes for September. One of the groups accepted the news without a murmur, the other was upset. I had to spend time with them explaining it wasn’t personal. They made a card and bought a gift for me. The card showed the French flag round the wrong way and as well as a sweet message inside, a list of names. At the bottom were the words “those whose names aren’t here are the ones what didn’t pay”. Continue reading