Here’s the latest instalment of my beloved’s covid diaries. We’ve both been pleasantly surprised at the positive comments we’ve had about them, but we won’t be able to keep up the weekly posts much longer. As life opened up, there was more going on and keeping the excerpts at a sensible length gets trickier. Also as more and more people are mentioned, privacy issues get more significant and keeping track of the alphabet soup that she has used to anonymise people gets silly.
Tammy is wondering about producing a proper memoir and we will likely still posts diary excerpts that cover some particularly important times (like the cancellation of Christmas which, for those of us not enjoying parties in Downing Street, was a particularly grim period).
For the next few weeks we’ll carry on. This week’s entry is actually very short. Enjoy.
Saturday 27 June 2020
It’s raining. I’ve just come back from the shops by bus wearing a face mask for the first time. Maybe “face mask” is overly grand. It was an old sock Tom cut up, as instructed by an online video. I don’t think masks work by filtering stuff. They work by encouraging people to sit quietly and shut up.
Last Sunday was Father’s Day. Mike and G came over to walk Morley in the park, followed by afternoon tea in our front (and only) garden. For the first time ever, we put out four chairs and a table, and scones and jam and cream. It was all very civilised.
Wednesday – midsummer – was our wedding anniversary. Mike and G sent a good quality champagne. So we had supper in the garden, drinking champagne from our best flutes and eating smoked salmon and cheese cake and cherries, feeing that life was actually OK. More than OK, pretty good. And, after the second glass, very good indeed. Watched a silly rom-com and danced to Vera Lynn’s Anniversary Walz.
On Thursday, for some unaccountable reason, felt muzzy and dehydrated. It must have been the heat.
On Friday, it was (a tiny bit) cooler. Tom and I cycled up the hill (low gear, kept going, just) to meet J at the Roehampton Gate of Richmond Park at 3.30pm. J arrived by Uber at the Sheen Gate at 3.50pm. No matter. Got back on our bikes and met her there. We walked through the park with ice creams, which I’ve been so looking forward to, as another step towards normality.
J has spent much, much too long alone in her flat with her kittens, with only the occasional trip to the vet to take her outside. She made excited coos when she saw a deer or a tree. “It’s amazing,” she kept saying, “It’s green”. J worried about leaving the kittens, even for a walk in the park. She had set up cameras in each room in her flat, and went online a couple of time to check the feeds. She showed me live coverage of a kitten climbing onto her bed and stretching out as though he owned it. J talked about her family, and the (uncertain) future. I even gave her a potted version of my theory of the crisis of capitalism. And on the way back, I found a new route – over Sheen Common – which brought me back home with no hills at all.