The Coronavirus Diaries, 13th May 2020

The other day Matt Hancock MP was asked about summer holidays. This is what he said: “I think it’s unlikely that big lavish international holidays are going to be possible for this summer.” Actually I don’t have any big lavish international holidays in mind for this summer, though I do have a flight booked to Belfast at the end of a July. I imagine most of compatriots have been thinking more along the lines of a week camping in the New Forest, or a caravan somewhere near the coast, than a month in the British Virgin Islands. Hancock’s answer was yet another example of the disconnect between those in power and the vast majority of the population. Matt Hancock has not shown to advantage in this crisis. He is one of those you seriously wonder about.

Maybe I will get to Belfast and then on to Magherafelt, but I have a day trip in mind that might be my consolation if not, and which can be reached easily by train: Bedford. Birthplace of John Bunyan, and not, so far as I am aware a major lavish holiday destination for international travellers. There was a piece in the Guardian on Saturday I almost missed. You can read it here. The Garden of Eden in Bedford. Who knew? Certainly not me.

Celia and I were talking about walks we shall take when we are allowed back on trains, and she reckons the Guildford circular that included Watts Gallery at Compton might have to be our first one. It is a lovely walk but I have a sneaking suspicion that she is hoping to buy a new shirt in the wonderful shop at the gallery.

Today’s walk was closer to home. I had a yen to see Cancell Street again. So our route took us there and through nearby streets. Each time we go down a street we notice something new. We are starting to pick out details in Cancell Street. I have never seen a sage plant with such large leaves.

The Biggest Sage Leaves You Ever Did See

Another garden was very ornamented.

Ornamented Garden

This front garden appealed to me a lot. I especially liked the little frog.

Spot the Frog

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The Coronavirus Diaries, 27th April 2020

I’ve just had one of those dinners where at the end of it I put knife and fork down, looked at my empty plate, and thought, that was good. Simple, good food with fresh ingredients makes me happy. Well, I say fresh, but it did include frozen chips. Being happy, or at least not depressed, is a vital ingredient for surviving this weird time. You could probably say good food is a vital ingredient in surviving.

On the whole I think I am surviving fairly well. Walks mainly with Celia and always with my camera around the local area are a constant source of delight and interest. The weather is a huge help. Tomorrow it’s due to rain. Maybe I should have left renewing the car insurance until the morning. On the other hand that sheaf of papers has now been filed away, another task has ticked off the list. I read an article a few weeks ago about not having long to do lists. Have one or two tasks on post-it notes which you then keep as a record of what you have achieved. That last bit might not be great for me as I am not good at throwing things away, and I can imagine a scenario where over months my home could just be covered in yellow coloured squares. However I know that anxieties are bubbling away somewhere. I woke at half past three this morning feeling tremendously anxious and a bit unsafe, but I could not tell you why. It took quite a while to get back to relaxed, deep sleep. My carpal tunnel in my left hand didn’t help. You wouldn’t think numbness would be painful, but it is. Is there a link between carpal tunnel and anxiety, carpal tunnel and champagne? Might be interesting to find out.

I finished the jigsaw last night, so today I could dust and vacuum without fear of vacuuming up a piece.

My work is done


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November Roses and other Late Autumn Things

It’s that time of year when after lunch the sun is so low it shines straight into your eyes and you can’t see the faces of people coming towards you.
That’s when there is sun. We had mostly rain from mid afternoon on Friday to mid afternoon yesterday. But today, like last Sunday, had glorious blue skies and lengthening shadows.
Despite the sunshine, MasterB did not want to go out. He took himself back to bed, got very shy when he met the neighbours on the landing, and growled when someone on a lower floor started talking in the communal area.
It was after lunch before he made it into the garden. He so obviously wanted my company that I stayed outside with him, took pictures of the roses, the grapevine and the winter pansies I planted in the hanging baskets last weekend.
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A Confident Boy

The weather being somewhat erratic today Not Cat has spent most of the time indoors and I have made good progress with the housework. Just the ironing to do and some notes to write.

Finally this evening, the skies cleared and we went outside.

I deadheaded the roses with my secateurs while Not Cat bounced about. Then I brought the peas out to shell.


Not Cat is wearing Cat’s Beastie collar. It has a tiger stripe motif, and is more chic (and more expensive) than his purple camouflage one which I shall now wash. I bought a new bell to attach to it with a good loud jingle. I rewrapped the Loc8tor in fresh clingfilm and sellotape so altogether he looks rather smart.
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