Monday, June 01, 2020

Letter from home

I hope you're all OK.

It's hard to write a domestic post when America is burning. But I am sure you're reading the news: you don't need me weighing in with hand-wringing. Just when you think the world is as dark as it can be, it gets darker. It brings to mind a quote from the film Out of Africa but I can't pin it down. Can anyone help?

And I'm sure you've been following the Barnard Castle furore. I have nothing to add to the Guardian's excellent reporting.

Here in the Derbyshire Peak District, it's another fabulous day with a clear blue sky at 6.07 a.m.  and the lockdown is offically easing, so I expect that in a few hours time on the Monsal Trail 

it will be like Blackpool beach on an August Bank Holiday - as it was every day last week - which would be fine for the people who like it, if we weren't in the middle of a pandemic. 

The lockdown may be officially easing but it's going to make no difference whatsoever to what Dave and I feel safe in doing. It generally feels less safe, because the threat is still there and yet so many people are behaving as if it has gone away. If they'd lost a loved one to Covid, or they'd seen how ill my friend has been with Covid - a young fit person - and how long it is taking her to recuperate (she's into her seventh week now, I think) they wouldn't be so bloody blasé.

At least the sunny weather means I get to see some of my family, sitting in the garden. 

Yes, I know the photo is too dark, but it's such a lovely composition.

And I know that recording of me reading from DAYS ARE WHERE WE LIVE was not top quality, which is why I have taken down the link to it. I'm going to try again and read a different bit. Watch this space.

I'm sitting here in bed with the cat stretched out beside me

thinking I ought to be getting up now, this minute, to seize the Trail while it's still deserted. 

Rain is forecast for Wednesday which happens to be the day we have two tons of topsoil arriving to fill in one of our ponds. Oh dear. The 24 year old liner had deteriorated past mending and Dave decided after much deliberation to say goodbye to the pond. We have a second smaller one, teeming with frogs and newts, so we won't be totally bereft. It's all part of the garden retrenching project, brought on by diminishing energy for gardening.

Before I go, though, I want to tell you about a creative arts competition for the over 70s called the King Lear competition. Entry is free and you can enter as many times as you like. It's specifically aimed at the over 70s during lockdown, but there is a category for over 60s too. I am entering a couple of the paintings I've done. The competition is for amateurs.

Lastly, I have two lovely  new reviews of DAYS ARE WHERE WE LIVE, which I'm posting here for anyone who can't decide whether it's worth buying. You might be thinking - 'But I can read the blog, and to be honest, there's not much there.'

For the book I downloaded the best 250,000 words and then pared it down to 110,000. I kept only the best writing, and as an example, this post I am writing now this minute would not have qualified. So, on to the two latest reviews - 

I hope the sun shines for you today, actually or virtually.

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