It’s my half birthday and the universe seems to be telling me to leave things alone. I repeatedly forget to buy a lottery ticket in a shop, when I try to buy one online it doesn’t work; I make the decision to put my flat on the market and I turn down the virtual tour option, a second lockdown is announced immediately. Return to Go, go back two spaces, miss a turn, or whatever board game cliché you like.
I’m not sure how I feel about the flat, certainly some relief, but whether that is simply to do with knowing I can duck out of the stress of selling and buying for a while, or if I don’t really want to move, I don’t know.
I do love London in the autumn. With the dark streets lit by the lights of cafés, bars and restaurants I almost certainly shan’t go to, even the wettest night – and we’ve had a fair few of those this past week – takes on a fairy land look. Riding on the top deck of an almost empty bus, looking out at the capital is a pleasure. Then Celia and I came across a vegan café not far away with outdoor space where, when we can socialise again, we should be able to meet, and my world seems complete.
I am hoping to meet my neighbour Cynthia in an hour or so for a walk with a pub as our goal. Our local pub closed at the start of the lockdown and has not reopened. It may have been sold, the owners tried to get permission for it to be converted into flats some years ago. Since then it has been listed as a community asset, and that listing is up for renewal. Some parts of London are rich in lovely pubs, Camberwell for instance. Walworth has few pubs I want to enter, so if our local does close, it would be a blow.
I have been working through tasks work related and domestic today and feeling pretty pleased with my progress. The bossy neighbour has been out which always makes for a more relaxed atmosphere. Her unshakeable belief that we are all accountable to her is somewhat wearing as well as wrong. So I have swept up leaves, hung washing out, planted some bulbs, put fat balls in the bird feeder. Romeo had a good sleep on my car. He seems to approve the new cover. I don’t like it as much as my last one, it’s much harder to do up the ties, and will be harder still in bad weather. I need it to protect the paint work from the cats and foxes.
I tried out the television from the boat and got it working, though the DVD/CD player seems to have had it. I do quite enjoy watching television on das Boot when the evenings draw in, so this is timely. The one thing I really miss about buying a hard copy of the Saturday Guardian is the the tv and entertainment guide. I switched to an online subscription shortly after lockdown began. I like not having piles of newspaper about, but I know I miss lots of articles. On the odd occasion I buy a hard copy and it’s much more satisfying. Still, the subscription means I can read the Guardian six days a week, and The Observer on Sunday. Swings and roundabouts.
I am loving A Suitable Boy. It is so well done. I caught up with Mrs America which friends have been raving about, and I enjoyed that too, but A Suitable Boy is one of my favourite novels and this tv adaptation is excellent. Andrew Davies has not lost his touch. I can see me watching the whole thing again when it ends. Continue reading
I am still thinking about George Floyd and all the issues his murder raises. Thank-you to the people who made such interesting comments. They have given me much to think about. So tonight I am going to let those thoughts percolate, and write about other things.
Jeckells, the firm who made the original upholstery covers, has been in touch and Mr Jeckell no less is going to come to das Boot so he can give me a quote on Thursday. Jeckells are a very well know firm, and I am expecting the quote to be high, so I was grateful to Stuart for giving me the name of someone else I have now contacted so I shall have prices to compare. If Jeckells can’t supply the same material as before, and I am guessing it won’t, then a cheaper source will be my preference. I have been wondering if Impala can be used on boats. Maybe the London Upholsterers are back at work and I can ask them.
Slowly slowly the ticks are growing on my to do list. Stuart is doing much of it – new light in the galley tonight and the opportunity for me to meet his lovely dog Rio. Rio sat on me and I sat on the grass. MasterB his from Stuart under the pillows. Rio is only nine months old so very much a puppy still. He spent quite a while studying the bees.
The ducks seem to have decided I am a dead loss as a food source, so maybe no more pictures like these.
Who’s that on the gunwale?
Listening to ducks above his head
I seem to have an ok connection this morning so I am going to take advantage and post some pictures now.
Plants for sale
It was a wonderful evening; great company, great food, more alcohol than was good for me. A late night, a very late night in fact as I was preparing for bed and MasterB asked to go out. The positive from that was that I drank lots of water which staved off what would have doubtless been a headache in the morning. But I woke with a very blocked nose, and continued blowing it for some time. I think the blocked nose is also due to alcohol, and it is a good deterrent. MasterB is outside now, but as both Hartley and Romeo are also in the garden he is not exactly strolling his demesne. I think he’s lurking in a flowerbed waiting for them to move on so he can enjoy himself.
I have had a fairly lazy day. Late nights mean late mornings, but I still didn’t get my full quota of sleep. I did a little shopping, including buying the paper and some milk for last night’s hosts, B&J, and biscuits for Celia. She didn’t specify what kind of biscuits, other than saying (by text) she did not want chocolate ones. That still left a fairly wide choice, and faced with that choice in M&S I called. Just as well I did, because otherwise I should probably have bought the pistachio and almond ones, forgetting Charlie’s aversion to almonds.
Naturally some of last night’s chat was about Cummings. I mentioned the interview I had seen with his father-in-law. If you missed it, click here, but I do advise you to take care of your jaw or you may find it crashing painfully to the floor. It is scarcely credible that someone could hold these views, but it seems his father had an equally abhorrent attitude to those outside his circle. Continue reading
When all those weeks ago we had our first Clap for Carers it was great. Those of us who were suddenly living more sequestered, less social lives, our work and income gone, felt like we were doing something. We might be spending our days at home, catching up on long neglected tasks, clearing cupboards, or in my case doing jigsaws, but we knew in the hospitals staff whether medical or other were working hard. Delivery drivers came to the rescue of those who could not leave their homes; post became erratic, but still came; paramedics, fire officers, police, street cleaners, bus and train drivers have been working. So it was a shout of recognition that we knew and appreciated that often their health was compromised by going to work while we stayed safe. It was also a great chance to see neighbours, to wave at friends who stayed firmly behind closed windows. It was unexpectedly sociable. Continue reading
Thursday has come round again. It’s the night of the Great Clap. There seemed less noise tonight though I and my neighbours were out as usual making as much noise as we could. I presume the Prime Minister was on the steps of Number 10. Or maybe not, since it has been leaked that the government intends the impose a pay freeze for frontline workers. It seems an odd way to show appreciation, especially when there seem no plans to impose higher taxes on the wealthy. Rainbows in windows are all very well, but practical, financial rewards would show more of the appropriate recognition promised by government.
There were some great videos going round this morning after the confused and confusing message from the Prime Minister yesterday.I think Matt Lucas’ was the best. You’ve probably seen it, but if not,here you are.
I don’t know, it doesn’t feel good. I feel people are relaxing too much, too soon. A second spike doesn’t so much beckon as loom. I’m scared by the way people are behaving on the streets, a week ago people were moving aside, not today. Celia and I had a constitutional in the late afternoon. The wind today was cold, a complete change in temperature from last week, so at least Kennington Park was quiet.
I had had a strangely satisfying time going through my bank statement and crossing off the items. Normally my monthly statement is a brief two pages. Today I received a wadge of paper. I have been using my card instead of cash, and buying things for other people, then they have been paying me back. I hadn’t realised until today that B&J had been using Hunger Games as their reference. Continue reading