The Coronavirus Diaries, 20th April 2020

As the cherry blossom gives way to the ceanothus, I walked down the street where last year I saw the most magnificent display. The tree was dark blue, petals had fallen to the floor so there was a slick of colour on the pavement. I rounded the corner. No tree. It was in someone’s garden, and since last spring that someone has removed the tree. I imagine they had no idea of the pleasure it gave passers by, or the anticipation of those like myself of its beauty this year.

Last week I was worried I had given the impression her that I do not value the arts. I do. When times are hard I believe the arts are things we need even more than ever. I don’t know if other species look at flowers and sunsets and sigh at their beauty, whether storytelling is something practised though generations of say tigers for example. I rather hope it is. We have seen elephants with paint brushes and can only begin to guess what the experience means to them.

This week’s worry is about what happens when we start to exit from lockdown, when we start to see how many businesses have gone bust, how many people are losing their jobs, their homes, their hopes. I keep reading dire warnings, that what we shall experience will make the Great Depression look like a picnic. Does that mean we shall be pushing wheelbarrows full of our life savings to the shop to buy a loaf of bread? I find it all the more frightening because I have no idea how to prepare myself, if I can prepare myself. Continue reading

The Naked Arm

I could show you a picture of my newly naked arm. The consultant pronounced my healing stitches beautiful, which was enough to let me know I wouldn’t be asking him for art exhibition recommendations. I hope and expect it’ll look more pleasant in time. I scar fairly easily, so I anticipate a visible line down my arm for the rest of my days.
So instead, here’s a photo of tulips and ceanothus from the hospital grounds.
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London has moved on from cherry blossom to ceanothus and lilac. The shrubs and trees in their glorious blues, mauves and white obtrude prolifically across pavements and brighten the dullest corners.It is incredible how, in such a short space of time, leafless trees are thickly green and abundant; roses have burst into bloom; the cherries are already forming as the blossom petals still carpet the grass. Spring is my favourite season; the embodiment of hope and possibility. Funny to say so when the first anniversary of Mother’s death is only a week away, and I hope it presages a new acceptance, and a shift to good memories infusing the future. Continue reading