The Coronavirus Diaries, 9th May 2021

I woke up thinking it was Monday. I have spent most off the day working, so in a way, if I had a regular nine to five job, it makes some sort of sense. The work was satisfying. but I was also treading water as I had an arrangement with a colleague to go through something we are working on together. I worked all. morning and heard nothing. Time for an early lunch. I sent a text, how about 1.30? It was a lovely day and I wanted to get out and especially to get away from the computer for a while. I hate waiting in without a definite time to meet; it feels like having one foot nailed to the floor.

A message came back, she was meeting someone for lunch. How long? I asked. Hours! came the jaunty reply. Ok, I thought, threeish at the latest. I went for a walk. Home by half past four. No message. Had past five came and went. No message.

As is our habit I was eating with Octavia tonight. My turn to cook, and unlike our usual practice, instead of cooking everything bar the veg at home, I was going to cook everything from scratch when I got there.

Finally, just before half past six I got a message to say my friend was home, and suggesting we talk tomorrow. I have things to do tomorrow. I really wanted this sorted today. How about now? I said.

It turned out she hadn’t done any more work on the project. You know I was going out for lunch, she said. Somehow, I didn’t find that excuse convincing. We had had an agreement. I’d kept it, she hadn’t. Lunch, for me at least, doesn’t generally last six hours, especially when I have agreed to do something. So I agreed to ten tomorrow morning, but I am underwhelmed.

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Blackberries and a Baby

The man with the two lovely collies and the equally lively yellow Labradot told me there were damsons at the end of the path. 'Some are very big,' he asserted. But although I followed you he path I found no damsons. I did gather my fourth box of blackberries, and had I had more containers I could have gathered yet more.

Quite a lot of the smallest container, about half I reckon, I have already enjoyed for pudding after lunch. A lunch which featured a poached egg. I bought the egg this morning and it was still warm from the hen. Although I do not think I want to live in the depths of the country, car culture is one of my main objection, there are compensations. My neighbour having, though with the best of intentions, killed my thyme plant, I have bought another. I have freshly picked spinach and salad. Janet Eggs is reserving some eggs for me to take home with me tomorrow. Das Boot is brightened by a bunch of sunflowers.

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Staying Awake, Growing Your Area

MasterB has been in all evening while I have been at a meeting and then in the pub. My eyes want to close, but it is only fair he gets a run around outside for a while.
The meeting was good; lots of ideas about greening cities; our connection, or lack of, with the land; how this area might grow more of its own food. There was a thought-provoking and entertaining Ted Talk by Carolyn Steel. You can watch it here.

I like the idea that the Roman Empire was extended shopping trip. I don’t like the fact that five multi-nationals control some 80% of food production.
How did we drift into this state of affairs where we rip up rain forest, mine islands into oblivion and demand tomatoes that are regular and uniform in size, throwing away the ones that aren’t? Continue reading

A Day Off

It was a late late lunch. My friends had initially planned to be here for half past eleven, but it was a good two hours later when they arrived. I had vacuumed das Boot and was catching up on yesterday’s Guardian. Giles Fraser’s Loose Canon column hit a particular chord. I have been thinking about Mother’s last months and days, the way she has had to accept care. She was a very independent woman and the helplessness she experienced would have been the opposite of everything she would have desired. Yet in a strange way, I believe it healed something in her. As I mentioned before, her own mother died when Mother was just seven. It was a tough, insecure childhood. She and her siblings were a close gang, but their trust in adults was small. Experience taught them young that adults were unreliable. They looked after themselves and each other. So finding herself cared for by people who were kind to her, who looked after her when she could not care for herself, who wanted her comfort and happiness, may have done something to help the damaged child inside. I hope so.
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Official: Mosaics Make You Hungry

Three Quarters Done

I may not be keeping up with NaNoWriMo, but this mosaic is on track to be finished by Christmas. It’s intended as a gift, and not in my usual style. I am far happier when working on something like the Autumn piece that I hope has safely reached Maria in Barcelona. For me, that’s my art, whereas this is craft and I am less absorbed in it, more detached.

So maybe that is why I was susceptible to the food conversation earlier than usual tonight. Continue reading

Cat Health Bulletin

Well, they used to do them for royalty, so why not for Cat?

Anyway, I’d better get on with it. I’m playing hookey from some work I need to finish this evening to put up a this quick post.

Cat has just completed ten days on his new medication, a tablet each day. For the next ten days, he has a tablet on alternate days. He’s being very good about taking the pills mainly because I am crushing them and wiping them up in thinly sliced chicken like a dishcloth. The vet warned me that they would increase his appetite.

She wasn’t kidding. Continue reading