Saturday, August 01, 2020

My pandemic Friday

It’s not getting any easier is it?

Do you think it is?

Yesterday I was looking under the sofa for my sketchpad so that I could sit in the shade in the garden and draw my feet

and I came across the paintings I did for the lockdown competition for people over 70. The one that popped out was the Seven days in Lockdown, which illustrated my mood swings through a week in May and often depended on the sleep I’d had the night before.

I don’t have nightmares or sleepless nights anymore – in fact this week I dreamt I was newly married to Greg Wise. Beat that! And I generally sleep well. But I still have days when I feel depressed and hopeless and times when I feel very very happy, nearly always because I’ve been on a new walk with a friend and it’s been a sunny day.

Yesterday I woke up feeling gloomy. I tried to cheer myself up by picking sweet peas in my pyjamas before breakfast. I have never worked out why this cocktail of warm air, loose clothing and sweet damp nature is so cheering, but it is. Here’s a photo from happier times when my hair was not 5 months past the need for a haircut:

After breakfast I set off on a bike ride in order to beat the crowds and the heat, but my legs ached and I didn’t go far. I ended up at Monsal Head after only 15 minutes:

And then swooped down to the river. 

Here’s a video of the view from the bridge:

I sat down and wrote some questions in my notebook about the coming months. And I remembered my decision a month or so ago that my aim for a day should be to accomplish three simple things, and then not to worry. That thought guided the rest of my day. It was very helpful. 

Zoë has just got back from her holiday in Craster. Craster is on the Northumbrian coast and is where the wonderful Mick Oxley lives - the artist who takes a photo of the sea and sky every morning from his window and posts it on Twitter. His daily photos are the very best thing on Twitter. (@SeaSkyCraster)

Zoë texted me from her hols and asked if I'd like her to bring me back a kipper. Craster kippers are like no other kippers. If you’ve never had one, and even if you think you don’t like kippers, you should try one. Dave can’t stand the smell of kippers, as he can’t stand the smell of lots of things I want to eat - stilton, parmesan, bacon, fish pie...hey ho. Having Aspergers makes him very sensitive to sensory stimulation. It’s a pain in the neck, but there it is. Because he knows I’ve got pandemic blues, he said he didn't mind Zoë bringing me back a kipper.

So I cooked one with all the windows and doors open and ate it outside while Dave was on his bike ride and it was delicious. 

But the best thing by far about yesterday was that it was Lux's 10th birthday. 

Tenth!  And the family Facetimed me so I could see her opening her presents. 

That girl! She is sensitive and thoughtful and funny and charming and talented and reflective and sweet and brave. And I love her to bits.

Here she is, arriving in my life, as documented in DAYS ARE WHERE WE LIVE

July 30th 2010
It’s a still quiet morning here, at 5.42 a.m. The dawn was red and yellow and deep dark grey – beautiful. I am up and awake because I am waiting for news of the baby. The Little Red Hen went into labour 13 hours ago and all through last evening we got updates and now there is no response to my texts, and Isaac’s last tweet said “update: no update.” San Francisco is an awfully long way away, and 13 hours is a long time to be in labour, although I know it’s not been heavy going all that time, because on Isaac’s first call he said Wendy was having contractions every four minutes and eating cereal in between. Several hours later, his text read “Wendy is eating a burrito.” But that was a whole English night ago. What is she eating, now?
10 a.m. I am still waiting. Poor Wendy. I don’t think she’ll be eating anything.


August 1st 2010
My darling new and first American grand-daughter arrived in the world on Saturday after a long long labour, and then a Caesarean. She’s called Lux.

I can’t wait to meet her in September.

Bless you, Lux.


Anonymous said...

Well done Dave. Happy Birthday Lux.
Saw this and thought of you: ′′ August should be sipped slowly, like expensive liquor. Pour yourself into a small cup, sip a sip and look through the glass to the sun... August nights should be filled with candle lights, glasses of wine, cat purring and crickets song. August days should be placed between the pages of a favorite book, as bookmarks, so that when in the dark November you take this book off the shelf, the heat of these days will smell you... And don't exclaim, ′′ Oh, it's August now, Autumn is coming... ′′
Take your time!
Stop the clock!
Take a sip... ′′Alexander Kostov
(Seen on Facebook posted by a Bulgarian friend)

I like the idea of three things

My peas got mildew, I pulled them up and threw away - do sweet peas get mildew ?

Greetings to all


Sue Hepworth said...

Thank you, Jenetta. That’s lovely, and also a lesson to learn. Xx