The Coronavirus Diaries, 24th June 2021

It seems ages since I posted. Blogging is so last decade, or maybe that should be last century, but it does help to clear my head, to clarify what I’m thinking, what’s on my mind.

After a few days of cold turkey (surely there must be a vegan version of that?) from spiralised courgette and carrot I am back on it as of tonight. Is there a three step programme, and if there is, is it necessary? I do not understand how these two simple vegetables, spiralised and then mixed with spinach or lettuce, with olives and dressing, with butterbeans or chickpeas taste so good. Oh I forgot to add wholemeal bread or wholemeal pitta.

It’s been. busy week. Computer problems and then when computer up and running more hours in from t of it than I care to admit. There are days, quite a few days, when the memory of those simple times of pen and paper, books and buildings housing reference libraries seem enormously attractive.

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The Coronavirus Diaries, 21st May 2021

My vaccine reaction has, thank goodness, passed, just a slight headache when I first woke. My leg, though still sore, feels a bit better this evening, as though my body is putting the trauma behind it and concentrating on mending. Maybe that was what was going on this morning when it felt as though there was some sort of electrical show inspired by stinging nettles going on around the wound. Good or bad I didn’t know but it was somewhat alarming.

After some hesitation I called the number the oncology nurse had given me and left a message with the very helpful person who answered. An astonishingly short amount of time later I received a call back. The NHS is extraordinary. It’s continually run down by a government who would like to privatise it. NHS staff are overworked and underpaid, and yet the vast majority continues to work with dedication and professionalism. The nurse was approachable, a good listener and told me to call any time if worried or had questions. I felt not only reassured but somehow better.

The weather is helping me to accept my restricted mobility which is good as I have looming deadline and I am going to have get my skates on. I want it all ready with at least thirty six hours spare so I can review and edit. It’s a useful distraction from the leg, and the somewhat unsettling word cancer that floats across my mind periodically. I don’t think much further than the surgeon telling me I was lucky the melanoma had been found in the early stages. I started to read the info they gave me on the different stages of skin cancer, but at the moment, until I know I am clear, it is something I think can wait.

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The Coronavirus Diaries, 15th May 2021

There’s a slender silver sliver of moon in the skies tonight. It’s beautiful. I saw it a moment ago when I went out to retrieve the Boys’ dishes. The Boys are of course Hartley and Romeo. Tomorrow is Sunday, so it’s the day I am on breakfast and dinner duty. Romeo missed his breakfast with Joe this morning. Sleeping in was Joe’s verdict, and when he, Romeo, saw me mid morning he was hopeful I was bearing food. I wasn’t. I was bearing a stack of clean dishes to return to Joe, so I told him (Joe) about Romeo and the next thing Romeo got his breakfast. Or maybe that should be brunch. Hartley’s brother Smudge approached me while I was talking to J by her front door. I have a mission to get Smudge to trust me so I can start work on the dreadful knots he has in his fur. The trusting and the removing may take many months.

April was dry. There’s a rhyme about spring weather: March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers. I used to take comfort from it when I was a child as most of the cousins on my father’s side of the family, that is the cousins who I saw on a weekly basis as opposed to the Irish cousins who I saw every other summer, had March birthdays. Mine is in May. I felt a bit left out. But this year April was windy and May is showery with temperatures see-sawing. I was working today and got caught in a couple of showers. They were short but effective. The damp has brought the slugs and snails out in the garden. I avoided them when fetching the dishes, and was relieved no slug was actually in either dish. I know Celia will pick up slugs, but I am more prissy.

Work was good for several reasons, one being it involved walking. I mean to pack a decent walk in every day until Wednesday, and shall probably walk to the hospital before my movements are curtailed for the next few weeks. Mother used to say she wanted to keep her mobility. I know what she meant. Being able to get out and around on your own two feet is a freedom beyond price.

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The Coronavirus Diaries, 13th May 2021

Still the Coronavirus Diaries but we are visibly relaxing into what we hope will be a straight path into seeing friends, open shops, museums, galleries, pubs, theatres – everything. But this morning there was a warning about the Indian variant and its possible risks to that straight path. I am hoping it isn’t going to be a U-turn back to another lockdown.

I’ve been busy with work preparation and paperwork, and have spent large amounts of time in front of the computer on consecutive sunny days. Today it is cloudy with some drizzle, so being inside doesn’t feel so bad. I was going through some papers yesterday when the ‘phone rang. The hospital, wanting to book me in for a follow up appointment this Friday after my biopsy a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t like the sound of this. It seemed ominous, but the person who rang was unable to tell me any more. Over the years I have had various things dug out, excised is the correct word I believe, from my skin to check they are not malignant. The results have always come back negative, so I have been rather assuming this one would be too. Well tomorrow I shall find out. Fingers crossed.

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The Coronavirus Diaries, 6th May 2021

My first haircut this year. My first haircut since 8th December 2020. I love it. There are, I realise, advantages in being forced to go through the growing out stages of a haircut. At almost precisely six weeks after my December cut my hair was wild. Then it settled down, seemed to grow into a new style and I was happy with it again. The pattern repeated itself over the five months. My curls grew back and I liked having them. So today although I had a couple of inches cut off my hair it is longer than it was in December, still wavy, and in a bob with graduations and layers. I had it done at the Vidal Sassoon Academy in Buckingham Gate, a building that was formerly used by members of the Met Police where they stocked up on bacon butties when demos were on.

Lauren cut my hair. She walked across the foyer in a cardigan decorated with lemons and I watched amused as three women opposite me followed the progress of that cardigan covetously with their eyes. At that point I didn’t know Lauren was going to cut my hair.

I liked her and trusted her immediately. On the way to having my hair washed I told her about the cardigan reaction. “M&S,” she said delphically, “I got it in the sale.” It turned out she had been a wig maker, having got into that from being a costumiere, having got into that through learning how to sew because she did an art foundation course, liked drawing clothes but didn’t know how to make them. She’d spent much of lockdown on the Isle of Wight at her parents’ house going slowly bonkers having got away from New York where she’d been working a day before that would have been impossible. Now she’s escaped to London. You can follow her on instagram @lamacdesign. I am. If she sets up a salon I want to be her client.

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