The Coronavirus Diaries, 17th May 2020

On the way back from our walk in the City today a woman ran by us. Celia, I said, why is that woman wearing a wig and a false moustache? Celia didn’t know, but she hadn’t noticed either. Lockdown does strange things to us. Earlier I had become somewhat over excited at the sight of a lone canoeist on the Thames at Bankside. Yesterday we saw two canoeists as we crossed Vauxhall Bridge. If we hadn’t stopped to gaze at their wonderful, perfectly socially distanced paddling, we might not have encountered Frederick.

Yesterday’s canoeists

He had leant his bike against the barricade that protects the cycle path from the cars and was climbing over to the main carriageway. He wasn’t finding it easy. What is he doing? said Celia as we stared at him. He held up his hand as cars hurtled towards him and Celia and I gasped for his safety. Perhaps I should mention Frederick (he introduced himself later) was a man not in the first flush of youth and his appearance was a little eccentric. I’d mention wild hair, but my hair was probably looking fairly wild at the time, so I’ll skip that bit. There was a jacket on the ground, Frederick wanted to pick it up.

Amazing what you find in the road, he announced cheerfully, still the car side of the barricade. He was pleased with his find, a waxed jacket. Celia and I were now firmly in the role of audience and Frederick was playing to us. Let’s see if it’s a good make, he said and spread the jacket over the barricade to check the label. Marks and Spencer, he announced, not bad.

Still the wrong side of the barricade he engaged us in conversation, asking if we liked music, and inviting us to join the Choir With No Name, which in normal times meets on Shaftesbury Avenue, assuring Celia that her avowed inability to hold a note was no impediment. A further inducement was offered with the news that a meal, usually with a vegetarian option, was served afterwards. Some of what he said was lost to the sound of the traffic, but he told us to watch something which we think was titled The Trouble With Mother on Vimeo.

Today, as yesterday we saw people wandering along the foreshore while the tide was out.

Foreshore walking

though we didn’t notice any ducks today.


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The Coronavirus Diaries, 10th May 2020

Today’s Big News: I caught a bus. Yes. It was a number 40 from Ludgate Hill and for the whole of our journey Celia and I had the top deck to ourselves. For some of the journey we were the only passengers. I didn’t use my bus pass, I learned that travel is free on the buses at the moment. I knew you had to enter by the centre doors and the seats near the driver were taped off, but somehow I had assumed payment was still required.

We had been for a walk in the City away from our neighbourhood where social distancing has become passé for a considerable number of the inhabitants. The same for people by London Bridge too apparently. What a contrast with my two previous trips to the City. London Bridge was comparatively busy. No one was bothering to move to the other side of the pavement when someone approached from the other direction. How quickly we are resuming our old habits. Mysteriously the same people somehow vanished once London Bridge was crossed. Where did they go? We went down to the Tower, then through to Leadenhall Market, to Bank Junction and the Royal Exchange. hardly a soul. A brief segue into Marks and Spencer on Cheapside, then onto St Paul’s and then the bus stop. Continue reading

Is This Love, or Something Else Entirely?

Sonny’s behaviour and attitude to me has got me wondering.
First there was the moment when I was sitting on the ground stroking Not Cat who was rolling and wriggling. We got closer and closer to Sonny. I expected him to hurry away, but no, he rolled on his back and watched me with half an eye.
I know he gets Not Cat’s left-overs, but he has taken to greeting me with a loud miaow and following me about the garden. If I stop and offer a hand, he usually looks fairly aghast, but I able to get a lot nearer him than I used to.
On Sunday, this is how he acted when I walked towards him with my camera. Can anyone translate what he’s saying please?

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