My Aunt Catherine has been writing, her Diary Under Lockdown for many weeks now. She lives alone, having lost her husband in October last year. Her daughter, Amanda, lives a few miles away. In her diary, she records her day to day life in this ‘strange new world’. She writes by hand, posts her letter to me while taking her daily exercise. Today’s letter contained photos of her three cats which she asked me to post, since they get a regular mention they should share the fame! They will be posted in her next Diary entry but, today, the tea towel is the one my chiropodist gave to me on 4 March 2020 at my first, and only, appointment with him. Who else gets a tea towel from their chiropodist?
6 May 2020: “I started revising my new ‘Bucket List’. Always at the top was an oyster, then America, see family and friends, hairdresser and chiropodist. However, I was desperate to see a chiropodist and that went straight to the top of my list. I asked Amanda if I could have a home visit; she said, as long as he had all the’ gear’ on, it was ok. Today was the day, in Seventh Heaven. I can walk in comfort without the nails scratching my skin and my slippers are comfortable!!
Last week, Amanda ordered some dried mealy worms and birdseed; it arrived in two days. I asked the van driver to put the seed inside the doorway. Boy, was it heavy? It took two cups of tea, three restings and four ‘pulls’ to get it into the dining room which is like a storeroom now. In there is: loads of bird food, cat food, hedge trimmers, new lawn mower, obsolete handbag and shopping bags, boxes of tonic water and ginger ale to go with the next delivery of alcohol!
In the past week, I’ve had four picture postcards: Oreo (Amanda’s cat), one of me at the seaside having a dip in the sea (feet only), me drinking cocktails and Barbara sent one of the two of us both looking really miserable. Must be something she said to me! (I would point out it was taken more than 60 years ago!!). Where do people unearth those photos from? Still, I had a good laugh.
Also this week, I had a surprise parcel from Amanda: a BIG book of Daily Mail Quick Crosswords. As I am a bit of a ‘peeker’, looking at the answers, I tore out four pages of solutions and gave them to the recycling men. I have to work harder now, keeps the brain ticking over”.
8 May 2020: “The moon, this week, has been fascinating. It’s been huge, clear, bright, lighting the sky up. Last night it was low, horizontal in line with my head, a light film over it and a slight orange tinge. So excited I was that I texted Barbara. No reply (must retire early) so I phoned Wendy. She likes the moon as well but she couldn’t see it; the houses were in the way. When I went to bed it had risen in the sky. Outside my bedroom window, I have permanent star. For some reason I call it ‘The Epping Star’.
Talking about stars, Amanda gave me a ‘star’ as a present in 2003. My star number is P15842367. My celestial address is Oh47m13.5s; I am located in the constellation Pisces. I am duly certified and henceforth be known by the name “Catherine Watts, all my love, forever, from Amanda”.
I liked your piece on Halloumi, Barbara. I felt proud that you would almost, but not quite, eat it, if we could meet up”
The photos of Aunt Catherine’s cats will appear in her next Diary entry.