The Coronavirus Diaries, 28th September 2022: Thin Pink Line

I tested after lunch. The control line came up quite quickly, then nothing. After five minutes I scrutinised it again. Still nothing. I shone a torch on it to check there was no thin pink line I had missed. Nothing. My spirits were on the rise. The world started to look a shinier place, even shinier than it had a little while earlier when I received a message from Celia saying she had managed to get me a marrow. The timer pinged to say fifteen minutes had passed. I looked at the cassette again. And there it was, that skinny little paler than pale pink line that said I still have COVID. Maybe tomorrow. I have started to get messages about work next week. I can’t make the commitment until I get the all clear. It’s like having one foot nailed to the floor. Even more important is that MasterB has his annual vet screening and vaccination boosters booked for Tuesday. Getting an appointment with a vet is not easy. So many people got pets during lockdown that vets are overloaded, many quitting as they are burned out.

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The Coronavirus Diaries 26th September 2022, What Now?

My nose has, thank goodness stopped running like a tap, but as of yesterday evening I am very tired. I slept for ten hours last night. This is a worry as I have a ticket for Outspoken on Thursday evening and I want to be there. I shall test on Thursday morning and hope for no second thin pink line.

The weather, suddenly autumnal, has been achingly perfect for long country walks which of course I can’t take. Celia has brought me my shopping, Octavia called round with a risotto and side salad yesterday. I can’t say I am struggling. Both cats have been perfect companions. A&M return on Thursday, so my duties will end after breakfast. I shall miss the ever demanding Lola. MasterB is a pushover in comparison.

A short time ago I went out to break up a four way cat fight. Stumpy, Hartley, Romeo and Smudge were all embroiled in fisticuffs. My guess is that Stumpy picked on Hartley, who is in general fight averse, Hartley’s brother Smudge and Romeo both piled in. It made quite a noise. MasterB watched from the bedroom window and seems to have decided on an evening indoors.

I finished selecting photos for MasterB’s 2023 calendar today and have despatched them to the printer. There’s a limited print run, and I hope to keep the price to £8.50 again, plus postage and packing which I need to check out. Let me know if you are interested. Some will go to Belfast, some to Melbourne Australia, at least two to the US, one to Italy, one to France. It’s an international though exclusive club!

The news from Italy is not great. A neo fascist set to be prime minister. People here on twitter saying they agree with her views. Our new Prime Minister probably does too. As neither she nor the chancellor are stupid, I am struggling to understand why they are acting as they are. Simple greed? Have they decided the best thing to do is to milk this country for all it has, sharing the spoils with their pals while the rest of us starve, before rushing off somewhere else on the planet with their cash? If they intend to remain here, trashing the country doesn’t seem a great approach. Or maybe they like raw sewage in the waterways, people living in tents on any stretch of land, overburdened hospitals and collapsing infrastructure.

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The Coronavirus Diaries, 23rd September 2022: Positive

Well it finally happened. After two and a half years of resisting COVID I finally succumbed. Wednesday’s head cold symptoms turned out to be something else. I had lots of vivid dreams on Wednesday night which is something that often happens when I am running a temperature. This time the Queen’s funeral cortege featured strongly. It was quite exhausting even asleep and clarified for me how the choreography of the funeral was excessive.

So yesterday morning, feeling a little shaky, and having to blow my nose almost constantly, it was time for a lateral flow test while MasterB tucked into his breakfast. A second red line appeared with almost startling rapidity. I called work to say I would not be able to do the job I’d been booked for in the afternoon.

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The Coronavirus Diaries, 28th August 2022. Crisis Bullet Points

The trouble with not posting for a while is you – by which of course I mean I – have too much to say so where to start, where to end, which rant to prioritise, which magic moment to celebrate, becomes the barrier to any post at all.

So I thought to try a few bullet points. Here goes, in no particular order:

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The Coronavirus Diaries, 5th August 2022: Belfast

My friend Fiona who I met through the pages of WordPress has succumbed to COVID. We met in her garden yesterday after she had tested positive. I met one of her daughters which was lovely. I have read about her so often and seen so many photos it was delightful to meet her in person. Also met Harry, the dog. Again lovely, big ears, more bark than bite. We got on. Fiona was feeling perky. Not so today. But perky or not she would not have been able to come with me as planned to the Ulster Museum to see the small but perfectly formed Bloomsbury Group exhibition, or the larger and completely wondrous Light from the West exhibition which had me lusting after a Paul Henry painting of a sunrise. Annoyingly the museum has a very small postcard selection for sale, a selection which does not include this painting. Maybe she’ll get to both before they finish.

In 2019 Fiona and I had lunch at a place called Falafel at 9 Botanic Avenue. It was great. Last year, my first time back since the pandemic I took myself there anticipating a good lunch, only to find it very closed. I assumed it was a victim of COVID and lunched at a good, but not as good as Falafel, place a few doors up the road. Going along Botanic Avenue today on the bus I nearly had whiplash when I realised the restaurant was open. I am meeting Petra for lunch tomorrow, and suggested this is where we could eat. She’s agreed, so I am hoping it’s the same management and as good as before.

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The Coronavirus Diaries, 12th April 2022

J sent me a text today asking if I had given up blogging. No I haven’t, but I have been busy. Still it was a good nudge. Yes, I thought, I’ll try to blog this evening. There were a few things I thought I might write about. Then I saw that Boris Johnson, Prime minister of the United Kingdom, had been fined for breaking lockdown rules, had made an apology, but did not intend to resign. How dare he? I watched the news. I am outraged. I am insulted. I am ashamed.

One woman interviewed described Johnson’s behaviour as ‘a bit naughty’. Since when did we apply the expectations we have of toddlers to the Prime Minister and the Cabinet? Johnson said he offered his apology with ‘openness and humility’ and that he ‘fully respect(ed) the outcome of the police investigation’. Oh yeah? Openness and humility are clearly just words to Johnson. Words that could be cake or carpets in this scenario for all it would mean. Ditto respect. I’d quite like to hear someone interview Johnson about respect. I take that back: I don’t like seeing Johnson in any shape, interview or form. Still less do I want to hear more of his lies and prevarications. Life is too short.

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