The Coronavirus Diaries, 16th June 2020

Having established the London Camera Exchange had reopened I had planned to go there today. I have two cameras I no longer use, and although I attach great sentimental value to them, I really have no excuse for keeping them. I want to know what they might fetch. However, the footage of eager shoppers queuing rather dampened my enthusiasm for venturing to the West End. True, there’s no branch of Primark near the LCE, which seemed the goal for an astonishing number of young women, but I decided another day or two wouldn’t hurt. Unlike those who have spent lockdown clearing their cupboards, my cupboards remain alarmingly full. I have identified a few items and a small bag of very old clothes for textile recycling that will go to the charity shops when they reopen, and some kind neighbours are taking some defunct small electrical to the local big recycling facility for me tomorrow, but other than that no real change.

Mind I am not buying new stuff either. I really have enough stuff to last me my lifetime. Aunt used to talk about things seeing her out, I am starting to understand what she meant. I know people routinely change towels and whatnot, but my towels, which must now be in their teens, are still in good shape and show no obvious signs of wear. I am wearing a shirt today which I do not expect to last beyond the summer. I have a trio of such shirts. They are too worn to go for sale in the charity shop, so when they fall apart they’ll go in the textile recycling bag. The trousers I was wearing at the weekend are ones I think of as new, but they are in their fourth summer. This lack of need is welcome as I still don’t know if or when my income will return.

I suppose I am also surprised at the eagerness of people to shop when we have had warning after warning that there will be a recession the like of which we have never seen. I am not the only person facing an uncertain future. In my case, fear of debt makes a financial caution come into play. Part of the reason for my mental health day trip was to consider possible courses of action if my income does not return, because if it doesn’t, this might be the moment when I leave London and choose a life even simpler than the one I have now. It would be goodbye to das Boot, probably goodbye to the car. Lots to think about, but I feel as though I am doing something, not just waiting for disaster to overtake me. Views like these certainly made the prospect appealing. And with a protected garden MasterB could enjoy so much more freedom than he has now.

Boats at low tide

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The Coronavirus Diaries, 14th June 2020

My mental health day was a success. I have returned home feeling  stronger and happier. The world seems a bigger, better place with more possibilities. There were more people on the train than I had anticipated, but it was still easy to keep apart. The bus only accepts twenty passengers, and fortunately for me that number had not been reached when I boarded the bus this morning or the one this evening.

I heard a cuckoo calling in the woods, met several friendly dogs, one friendly cat who bore more than a passing resemblance to MasterB, though with very short whiskers, and lots of very friendly people. My faith in human nature went a long way to being restored.

Short whiskered MasterB lookalike

It helped that the weather was gorgeous, warm without being hot. I ate chips while I sat on a bench looking at a river and no gull bothered me. I chose streets where I’d like to live. I had a chat with a talkative toddler. Continue reading