The Coronavirus Diaries, 11th May 2020

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

Brown Envelope Fear

I don’t know about you, but I get precious little personal mail these days. There’s the odd postcard; an occasional letter from my 94-year-old aunt in Gozo. Other than that it’s circulars, junk mail, magazines from the various charities I support, begging letters from the same and others needing funds. I look after Mother’s paperwork, so there’s a fair amount of stuff from the agencies involved in her care too.

A lot of it is pretty regular. But every now and then there comes an envelope, usually  brown, that I’m not expecting. These I regard with deep suspicion and not a little fear. There have been too many bureaucratic hiccoughs, all of which have needed a huge amount of my time and lots of letters to sort out. Added to that, for part of my working week I am freelance, and as any one out there who is self-employed will know, there are a myriad pitfalls to negotiate. There’s also the chance the Inland Revenue will choose you check up on, and it doesn’t matter how honest you’ve been, it’s not fun.

So my heart usually starts to pound weirdly at the sight of a manila envelope with unfamiliar handwriting or font. It feels like an ambush. There I’ve been in my happy little bubble, quite unaware of the booby-trap the post is bringing. Usually I try to open them as quickly as possible.

I got one on Friday. I took it into the kitchen and examined the postmark; London, so probably nothing to do with Mother. Maybe the Inland Revenue. As calmly as I could manage I opened it, breathing carefully.

Then, relief. And a rush of pleasure. Because it was a cheque, and an invoice that told me I’ve sold another mosaic.

Woo hoo, as Pseu would say.