310. Where there’s a will…

I’m bored of Parkinson’s. Let’s talk about something else.

Perhaps she was disorientated by being on the first floor.  They hadn’t been long in the rented accommodation where Harriet Neate was now living with her son Harry, his wife Millie and their children Violet (nearly eight) and Arthur (a toddler).  For most of her life, she’d lived in the ground floor accommodation attached to the Beer Shop which was the family business.  Perhaps she’d got up in the night and lost track of where she was.  For whatever reason, in April 1934, at the age of seventy four, Harriet fell down the stairs and died.  The timing could hardly have been worse.

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309. Sitting at my piano…

“For Pete’s sake, look at the time!”

It’s been a leisurely start to the day (like every other day, in fact).  I’m eating porridge while idly scrolling through my phone – I’ve fallen in love with one @HenryRothwell on Twitter who shares works of art: landscape paintings, largely, which are pretty much the only way of stepping outside right now.  Like this one of Scarborough, painted by Carl Herman in 1930.  Isn’t it wonderful?

Carl Herman 1930
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308. Ending in tiers

“There were so many old people!” says Ma. 

Well, yes. A vaccination centre for the over 80s is likely to contain folk of a certain vintage – and all a jolly sight wiser, for sure, than the idiots who have spray-painted ‘Covid hoax’ and the like onto the walls of said centre and of our local station.

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307. Groundhog day all over again…

with apologies to Thomas Hood

No pubs - no gyms -
No bars - no swims -
No dawn - no dusk - no proper time of day -
No sky - no sunny view -
No distance looking blue -
No sag-aloo – (unless for take-away) -
No shopping just for fun -
No picnics in the sun -
No coffee with your mum with cake and biscs -
No film night with the gang -
No jigsaws with your Nan -
No meeting kith nor kin, no Rule of Six -
No galleries, no plays -
No Homes and no Aways -
No birthday celebrations -
No romantic trysts in stations -
No rousing hymns in chapels -
No bobbing for no apples -
No visiting things pastoral -
Not even Barnard Castoral -
No sooner up, it’s dark -
No kickabouts in park -
No travelling at all - no friends to stay -
No where to hang the washing
No thing to do but noshing –
No place to go - it’s raining anyway
No buses, so the car but there are jams - nowhere to park it (PARK IT!))
No loo rolls yet again - no friendly caff - no Christmas market (MARKET!)
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No cinema, not even for a  member -
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds, -
November!

306. Not going out…

It’s Sunday afternoon and we’re facing some tricksy decisions, ActorLaddie and I.

A.L. has been canvassed for his views on re-starting practices for – shall we say – his Interpretive Cross-stitch Group. And I have been asked where I am on this Sheep Scale:

copyright Samanthawan.com.au/2020/08/22/sheep-scale-meme/

An answer is required from ActorLaddie, so we mull. On the one hand, there has been a full risk-assessment of the school-hall used for practices and the Cross-Stitch committee are happy with it. There will be much gelling and the group will not share needles.

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305. Stand and deliver…

“It was a dark, black mask and I thought it looked OK, it looked like the Lone Ranger,” says Donald Trump.

ActorLaddie looks up from his book. “Surely the Lone Ranger wore his mask over the eyes? And anyway, why on Earth are you watching Donald Trump?”

“I’m not – I’m watching Sarah Cooper. I went onto YouTube to check some face-mask stuff and I got side-tracked. Wanna watch?”

ActorLaddie joins me at the table and together we watch Sarah Cooper lip-syncing to Donald Trump talking about masks. Then one of our old favourites: Trump talking about injecting disinfectant. Then – oh, there’s a new one! Trump talking about ‘acing’ the Montreal Cognitive test.

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304. Street Art for Beginners…

If it’s true that we are but toys for the Gods, then my sister-in-law is definitely their Etch-a-Sketch.

I guess you could say that it all started with the Golden Giraffe. 

Tasteful, or what?  One of my brother-in-law’s finest creations: essence of plastic giraffe, with an artisanal wooden mount and golden overtones. Such simple beginnings; such magnificent results. 

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303. Warriors in Lock-Down

Right now – Boxing. 

Alex holds up to the camera a notebook on which he has written the word ‘Boxing’.

Two forward, two crosses, two up.  And I’m looking for eight out of ten from you. I want to see eight out of ten for effort. Ready?

Ready, I say. Though as we’re all Muted, only the cat hears and she’s too polite to listen. The bell rings and we’re off, PD Warriors together, bashing the hell out of thin air, at a rate of eight out of ten for effort.

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302. Chin up, Angela!

It’s threatening to be a day of hiding under the duvet and reading about people doing stuff, rather than actually getting up and doing stuff myself.

Specifically, I’m about to tackle a Guardian article Shelf isolation: stylish reads to keep your spirits up. This is by way of window-shopping really: my actual reading in lock-down has stalled at Harry Potter. I do love a good school story. I hated school, mind, but I have memories of a blissful week in bed with some childhood disease, working my way through a pile of June and Schoolfriend annuals bequeathed by my slightly older cousin.

So, now, essentially, I’m hiding in Hogwarts: back on the school stories but with the added resonance of being books I read aloud to YoungLochinvar and the InfantPhenomenon in happier times.

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301. Those WhatsApp days…

The best time of day is just after waking: sun streaming through the curtains, birds dawn-chorusing and me, eyes closed, pretending that none of this is happening. Nothing to see here; move along please. My sleep tipped me into Day of the Triffids, perhaps, or A Midsummer Night’s Dream. and shortly Puck will come and restore amends.

Just before I turn in at night can be a bit grim. I tend anyway to late-night fretting when over-tired and, let’s face it, there’s no shortage of source material. Eventually I wrench myself away from the news and go to sleep listening to Radio 4 comedy. At the moment, I’m mostly mainlining P.G. Wodehouse and John Finnemore.

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