Monday, October 19, 2020

My Covid life in Tier 1

Every few days I think to myself 'I really ought to write another blog post' and then I sigh. What is there to say in the situation I'm in - that many of us are in - right now?

I lead such a small life because of Covid, in the attempt to stay safe and not bring the virus home. It's not objectively an unpleasant life - I live in a lovely place with a garden where there is always a job calling out to be done; I have a good stock of art materials; I have my sax; I have books; I am fit enough to walk and cycle, and the surrounding countryside is beautiful; my three 'children' and their families keep in touch by phone; Dave is here.

Yes, Dave is here, sending me emails like this:

I think these are pretty good. I’d definitely like one of these. They are not cheap, but at near the bottom end of the scale. I don’t think they are extravagant, and it would go on the roof-rack if it isn’t raining. You’d need help to get it up there.

Despite all his Carpe Diem-ing, Dave's obsession with preparing us for death is ever present. Do you remember Richard in Plotting for Beginners? Yes, of course he was based on Dave.

Exhibit A:

Richard’s mind is still on funerals.

This morning he said: “I thought it would save money if I built coffins for you and me and Gus. It could be my next project.”

“We’re in our fifties, Richard, not our eighties.”

“Forward planning.”

“Where would we store them? In the shed?”

“Yes, but it would be even better to design them with a dual purpose. I could make them double as bookcases until we needed them.”

“Mmmm,” I said, munching on my toast and wanting him to shut up so I could get back to reading Janina Lemon’s column.

“Or better still,” he said, “have them on castors under the bed, use them as storage for blankets or whatever, and then when the person dies you could pull out the coffin, empty it and then just roll the corpse off the side of the bed—plop—into the coffin.”

Dave is wonderful company, but you could be excused for thinking I would like someone else to talk to as well as Dave. But I go nowhere except occasionally to sit in a friend's garden for coffee or - thank you, Chrissie - a long lunch, and then every two weeks to a weird version of Quaker Meeting in which only twelve of us can attend because of social distancing, and we all wear masks, and the rest of the Meeting joins us on zoom.

This lack of social stimulation is not good for a Sue. 

I have not seen my local grandchildren since the start of school term. I was going to go for fish and chips in their garden last week but then Zoë rang to say she thought she was coming down with something and we decided to cancel, just in case.

As I was in town to drop off a birthday present for a friend, I swung by Zoë's house and talked to them all on the doorstep briefly, from 6 feet away. That was nice, but strangely, not enough...

Last night the Colorado family called on Facetime. Cece played me a tune on her ukelele. She was bubbling with excitement. She was literally jumping up and down (and yes I mean literally...I ask you, what is a writer supposed to say now that the  word literally has been debased?) as she told me that she's going back to school in person this week!!!!!!!!! 

(and that is the only time ever you will see a superfluity of exclamation marks in anything I have written.)

(Blimey, this post is becoming way too self-referential.)

And then I had an intimate, quarter-of-an-hour conversation with 10 year old Lux. That was the highlight of my day, probably of my week.

The grandchildren lift my heart when no-one else can. 

I am, I realise, very lucky.


Anonymous said...

Having just read this aloud to Austin, and had a brief moment of shared humour, I have had to warn him not to start thinking down those lines (not that he has a practical woodworking bone in his body ) to which he replied “you always accuse me of overthinking things” so I think I can guarantee this will eventually come up in serious conversation in the near future. 🙄🤔 😁 Jenetta in a Tier 2 zone (at time of writing)

Sue Hepworth said...

Hi Jenetta
I would have no objection to Dave buying two of these if we had somewhere to store them. But we really don’t! And they arrive fully assembled, not flatpacked.
Hey ho.