Friday, 27 March 2020

Corona Creep Up


Man posing next to large chunk of tree trunk like he has hunted it, looks out to horizon
Mr looks to the future, it looks like hedges.


Saturday March 14th 2020

On the drive to work I got bored of changing the windscreen wiper settings, then a little off-white spider raced around on the steering wheel. I blew it onto the dashboard but it jumped back. Cheeky spider. At work we are bored of coronavirus restrictions and bored at the prospect of it continuing. We don’t know anyone who has it. Supermarket shelves are missing toilet roll, dried pasta, as previously, now also tins of beans and tomatoes. There are travel bans and cancelled events. Last night I had to teach a non contact TKD session - no pads, no sparring, no hand shaking. I began my class with ‘first of all, please don’t breathe because that’s dangerous now.’ All of us are ‘meh’ about these restrictions. We understand that infection control is serious for the immune-compromised, we adhere to protocol for that reason. But the paranoia and boredom: meh. Monday March 16 2020 Yesterday Mr and I did some babysitting for Grandchildren 2,6 & 7. (They have numbers on here, our numbered blessings, mostly to reduce the chance of future embarrassments: they won't be stuck in the roles cast by childhood.) G2 is a grand big sister. The littlest ones are lucky to have this love and encouragement in their lives. G7 is walking a few steps, and has finally rubbed two teeny edges of teeth through his lower gums. G6 climbs into mummy and daddy’s bed, calling for mummy, but is bribed out of bereftness with a biscuit. Then we take her outside where she can wedge her wellies in mud, chase the dogs, and nearly fall off the swing a few hundred times. Takes another biscuit to lure her back in even when her fingers are blue with chill. G2 puts music on, draws her dream house. It has indoor stables and a disco room. G7 and Grandad fell asleep on the sofa while Gs 2 & 6 ate sausage casserole, and their Aunt & Uncle turned up to take the late shift. We ate seaweed together, and sponge cake; caught up on news of Dartmoor walks and work hunting. Mr and me drove home, had a few shots of blackcurrant vodka. I slept well. Today’s adventures began with a lazy drive around Colliford where my car was stuck awhile in the midst of wandering cows and calves. It was sunny so I wore the flowery lace ups my stepdaughter bought me, and a beige trench, and sunglasses. At work we took our care client for a small adventure, along a lonely lane that was too muddy for my nice shoes so I just went barefoot, casually eating a magnolia flower. 22 March, Sunday, 2020 This morning Mr and I crowbarred a few chunks of tree trunk to make a rustic seating area, before I went to work. There is no travelling except for emergency supplies, stretching our legs around the block (to the river sometimes) and my care work. When we arrive we wash hands and check our temperatures. Everything gets anti-bac sprayed. Our client is enjoying not going anywhere, just being chilled on the rug playing her pink guitar. She has a cough, a phlegmy sort, we are taking her temperature fanatically. Had to buy a multipack of batteries for the thermometer. The weather is nice and people are risking going out, which means we definitely don’t. We are in the time where staying isolated or not can tip the balance. It doesn’t feel real, I have a sense of acting out a scenario, like this is a drill only. Had a play at making a video Tae Kwon-Do session, which was kind of fun. There is that odd bit to this, that these unusual times can yield fun. I have roughed out a week of lesson plan ideas, a way to organise and schedule. I have a story telling schedule. My brain is hyper, throwing up ideas but also not able to concentrate enough to plough into novel writing just yet, so I have started the next round of Tales From The Tenets - Tenets In Space. Friday 27th March 2020 I have papers from work saying I can travel so now I feel like an extra in a 1940s film. It’s trench coat weather too, I would look the part if I could master the victory roll hair. We are on a skeleton staff, as no one is allowed to work on multiple care packages and those who have outside jobs at the hospital are needed there and also must avoid cross contamination. Meanwhile in the mornings we have a garden of frost, all sparkles and bright bird song. In the afternoons the sun warms us. The polytunnel is tropical, the hosepipe in use. Seedlings slowly stretch out of their encased slumbers, lift their leaves like little eyes, look at us and ask: what is really important? Um… Soil, warmth, light, water, nutrition, space to grow... The people I am missing. I see them on screens, of course, but the lack of proximity is a chest pain, a visceral thing. How grief is: but the joy of reunion is the privilege of the living, so I am adhering. Meanwhile, we can only contact Granma Grace via the nursing home phone. She is enjoying her dinners and glad we are safe.
Writer in face mask and apron PPE, looking wry
Work wear, Spring 2020 collection.


Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Spring Variety



Tree roots reach like fingers at the edge of a river, the river is just over the bank




The sun appears, edging back from retirement. It has been days of rain. Is that wind that stirs the washing trusted on the line or is it sighs of relief?
Both, let’s say.
The air seems warmer, the mud all soft.
Hot enough to get seeding in the polytunnel: tomatoes, basil, chillies, peppers, radish, carrots, pumpkin, cucumber, aubergine. Seeds flake-like, spear-shape, spherical, familiar.
Journeys continued.
Meanwhile we are asking questions over a piece of land, to see if we can make a connection between where we are and where we should like to be.
I have repotted the lime tree, and the red palms, knowing they are getting harder to move, hoping this works like ironic magic bringing us closer to the place where they can be planted in our own ground.
Clouds roll thick in the sky.
For now the magic is knowing that possibility exists.
Later we may settle for another story, another possibility; preparations help propagation but there are variables we cannot influence.