The Coronavirus Diaries, 2nd September 2020

For a few happily ignorant hours, I thought I had found a wonderful way to keep my London flat yet live elsewhere. I could let it for a fabulous sum quoted to me by the estate agent. Then I looked at the prices of rentals in Wivenhoe and was swiftly disabused. There was just one house which looked lovely and would be within budget but it said NO PETS.

So I am back to Moving – The Board Game. Throw a six to start. I don’t know know if I shall emerge a winner. I suspect not. It seems a case of two squares forward, one square back. Tomorrow I am back to Essex to see if Wivenhoe holds its charms on a grey day. Even if it does, do I want to live there, ore rather do I want to live there enough to risk selling my home in London and then realising I can never move back? Inertia seems very attractive right now. I have bought a lottery ticket for the weekend, but as my friend Chris kindly (?) pointed out, it’d need to be a fairly big win. Continue reading


The Coronavirus Diaries, 19th August 2020

A wet, wet day, but somehow whenever I needed to go out there was a pause in the rain and I stayed dry. Last night’s walk and drink with Cynthia was fun. At our pub of choice there was a sign telling us to wait to be seated, so we did. Then we were asked if we had made a reservation. We hadn’t, but there were places at a shared table outside which was perfect. The evening was warm, we were in shirt sleeves. I imagine a lot of pubs will be hiring those outside heaters as the days cool down.

My tasks today were mainly work related, or return-to-paid-work related as I am dipping my toe in the water on Saturday and reading up the rules and regulations, the advice, the precautions, and trying on my face shield for the first time. I was disappointed to find it already had some dents in it despite the padded envelope it arrived in. However Carol tells me they are being sold in our local market now so I may get another. at this rate I am going to need a drawer for masks and face shields. I have a new bottle of hand sanitiser to take with me, and goodness only knows what. Continue reading

The Coronavirus Diaries, 6th August 2020

The spiders will eat well tonight. There’s an ants’ nest near this mooring and tonight the exterior of das Boot and the neighbours’ boat is covered with winged ants expelled from the family home. I have closed the windows, cancelled all shore leave and am preparing to sweat it out. It is warm and muggy after a day of intermittent cloud and hot sunshine. Apart from a brief excursion to Reach to get onions and to check on the progress of the blackberries, I have been at the marina all day.

When I came here yesterday I was thinking of peace and quiet, rest and relaxation. This morning I realised I had a tight knot of anxiety in my chest. I poked at it, was it the unplanned but necessary expenditure for the boat? A mild reaction. Not that then. Was I worried about a possible workless future? A stronger reaction. Moving? Stronger still. So I spent much of the day trying to untangle my feelings. Not moving also brought a feeling of anxiety, so it was good that I had arranged to speak to my friend Nicola this evening. We have known each other for twenty-six years, we’ve witnessed each other go through difficult times, make difficult decisions. She has a few of her own to make right now too and one of them involves the possibility of moving.

I can’t say when we finished talking, she to attend her online meditation class, I to cook my supper, that my feelings of anxiety were wholly resolved but I did feel better, and my thoughts were clearer. I hope she felt the same way. It is astounding how much energy anxiety uses up. I imagine these flying ants aren’t feeling too zen either. Continue reading

Journey to das Boot

On a glorious autumn morning I am on the train to meet Older Nephew to take das Boot to the pump out at Ely and begin the process of winterising her. I have conflicting feelings about das Boot. I want to make improvements, I have ideas to make life aboard more comfortable, but I am also thinking the time is approaching to give up my car, and therefore das Boot. Older Nephew’s girlfriend is in London, and although he will still be based in the East, I wonder if his personal centre of gravity is shifting, and how often he will want or be able to join me when I am at the marina.
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Poo on the Pavement and Thinking Things Through

It was a good end to the day which had begun with MasterB not understanding about weekends and insisting I get up to let him out. Someone had had a poo on the pavement, just by our gates. Yuk. In case you are wondering g how I knew it was human poo and thinking it was a large dog or other ravening beast roaming south London, humans are the only animals I know who try to wipe themselves. This one had left the wipes too. The vomit at the other end of the street seemed quite acceptable in comparison.
Say what you want about foxes screaming, ripping open bin bags, about squirrels eating things in the garden you have carefully planted, even rats chomping through your lovely vegetables, human beings are the most disrespectful of environments, and the dirtiest species in this world. Continue reading

The Contender

I have been at work, then discussing how to make my money give me more than 1.5% without investing in things that may be exploitative and environmentally dubious, then out again. But I made pit stops and am with NotCat in the rather breezy garden writing this on the iPad while the sky puts on a wonderful display. I am using Blogsy for the first time, writing offline, and I don’t know how the picture insertion bit works. So I may have to add that later.

But I didn’t mean to write about the sky, or about ethical investments which are not high risk and which my adviser did not find. I have a stray ginger cat on my mind.


After a fairly full on weekend of Ginger, there’s been no sign of him today. I am hoping he is going to show up again, because the plan is to get him to the vet who will give him a check up and give him the snip. I managed to get some Frontline on him on Friday, so even though he has not had the advantage of thorough brushing, his flea problem, assuming he had one, is being addressed. Once neutered the rehoming process can begin.


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A River of Stones, Day Thirty-One: Decisions

I cycled home in a shower, the sort forecasters describe as wintry. It felt like little specks of glass hitting my face. So tonight, with freezing temperatures anticipated, I have hung up my cycle clips and topped up my Oyster card. In a moment, I shall take the bus to my evening class, or walk. Somehow, this feels rather sad.

And this is the last stone for January too. I have enjoyed this exercise; the being in the now, focusing on one aspect of the day that shines out for good or bad. Thank-you Writing Our Way Home for organising it. I shall be back.

The Road Goes On

Viva Voce

At the start of next week there’s a meeting at the hospital which may decide Mother’s fate.

I understand the hospital wants firm decisions to be taken about where Mother will go when she is medically fit to leave its portals.

The family, on the other hand, wants an information gathering session, and for any decisions to be deferred until we know if Mother’s leg mends properly, and for the sore on her heel, a legacy of poor care in the same hospital, to be history. Only then, we feel can we make an informed decision.

There should be a good turn out. Doctors, trauma nurses, OTs, physios,a social worker, a District Nurse, someone from the scheme where Mother lives, three members of her family, a family friend if he can make it, and if we’re lucky, a representative from the Alzheimer’s Society. Continue reading


I missed a call from the hospital social worker and she had gone home when I was able to call back, so I have not been able to ask any of the myriad questions going round my mind.

I’ve just come off the ‘phone from Aunt who is very upset and wound up. As she suffers from high blood pressure this is also worrying. I tried to just let her vent some of her stress and felt my head starting to pound.

Note to self: replenish stocks of camomile tea and lavender oil.

So, no real progress, but no guns to our heads from the hospital either. My research into care/nursing homes doesn’t look that promising. The ones we have visited are the closest, and a shocking number don’t have en suite. The one that really confuses me says there are 60+ residents in 35 single rooms. Are they in bunk beds? Maybe there’s a rota system.
“Up you get Mrs Jones, it’s Mrs Smith’s turn to have the room now.” Continue reading


I can’t say we have got very far since I posted last night.

My chances of getting away in a couple of weeks for a break seem remote. I’m obviously not happy about it.

Not just because I’ve been looking forward to catching up with Cousin and meeting the new dog, but also in the wake of Olga’s death a family reunion is being planned to coincide with my visit. I know Mother’s brother and sister in Belfast will want to talk to me about her, and I’d welcome their thoughts. Telephone conversations are not the same. Continue reading