After eleven editions of Catherine’s Diary, it seems unkind not to include the photographs of her cats and Teddy Bear that she sent to me and asked for inclusion. Her view is, if her Diary is going world-wide, her co-stars should share that fame. Seems reasonable to me. The Teddy Bear (Rupert, I believe his name is) is, of course, in celebration of the work of the NHS, along with the rainbows and displayed in a window.
Besides the cats, one of Catherine’s other interests is crosswords. Catherine doesn’t have access to the internet, Google or whatever. She uses her numerous dictionaries and reference books; failing that she texts her brother Christopher and me for help with the answers. Catherine has a system of asking Christopher for any ‘across’ clues she is stuck on and me for the ‘down’ clues. How she remembers where she is at with the crossword I’ll never know, but she does.
9 May 2020
“5 am. I put the bathroom heater on, ready for a shower at 6.30 am. Another 3 mile, 1 hour walk. Yesterday, I wasn’t ready and had to go out without a shower. Amanda thinks I need the exercise. We were first in the queue for the paper; we beat the ‘old boys’! After Amanda went home, down to breakfast and crosswords. Texted Barbara for help; was she ‘away with the fairies’? She didn’t know what day it was! Mind you, I had to ask her what the lines on a guitar were called; my mind had gone blank (strings is the answer!!).
Must have had a load of energy today, after Amanda had gone. I mowed the front lawn and it looks great. I know I’m blowing my own trumpet. Last night I had to remove the ‘little presents’ that cats and dogs had left on the lawn. I know it’s supposed to be lucky if you tread in it but how much luck do you want? Years ago, I used to put moth balls on the lawn which kept the cats and dogs off but you can’t get them now. So today I put diced lemon and raw onion on the front lawn. Will let you know if it works.
I had a late lunch. Predicament: do I have a Banana Sandwich or a Honey Sandwich or a Honey and Banana Sandwich? What a dilemma! Ended up with new potatoes and left-over chicken-in-breadcrumbs which I had made the day before. I’m getting a dab-hand at cooking. Also made two single portions of apple crumble with cream. Delicious.
This evening I actually indulged in a Banana and Honey Sandwich. Fab it was!
10 May 2020
I will be going soon into my seventh week of Lockdown. It doesn’t seem possible. I seem to be set in my ways now, not so stressed out. The cats and I are getting along really well now though Tilly was really picky with her food two days ago. If she doesn’t eat, she doesn’t ‘perform’ and I have to give her medicine. It’s judging how much to give, as it’s my responsibility now, where before it was Bruce who gave it to her. It’s taken at least four weeks to realise you have a totally different way of life and it’s been frustrating. Amanda said on Saturday that I was “frustrating”.
The routine changes, what time to get up, go to bed, what time for meals and locking up the front door at night. A lot of people have gone ‘Housework Mad’. I’m afraid I’m not one of them. I did rearrange my bookcase and took a lot of books to the Charity Shop (just before Lockdown) and I do keep it dusted, books arranged in size order; can’t stand them looking big, small, big, small!
The Lockdown for me is a new experience. I’ve learnt to cook again: apple crumble, banana pancakes, croquettes. Not much you say but it’s a beginning. It’s about bothering to cook, I make myself do it. Every week, Amanda delivers my shopping, always a surprise in there, which I haven’t ordered. A couple of weeks ago, I had strawberries, so lovely and sweet, didn’t need anything on them. I ate them naked (not me, the fruit). No cream. Grapes, chocolates, steak , extra cakes. It makes life exciting for me.
I hoover upstairs one week and the following week downstairs. Actually it’s stuck half way down the stairs, reluctant to come right down. Also I have more contact within Barbara (it’s a bit strange writing about yourself, part of me wants to remove that bit but it wouldn’t be the diary as Catherine intended ). If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t be writing all these letters; it’s given me an incentive to do something, helps pass the time. I wish Bruce was here to see it all. Tilly, Tinker, Blackie and Rupert are famous. We are being read by lovely people all over the world.
Being in Lockdown, I have ‘inherited’ more friends: Sue, Vivienne, Wendy, Pat, Jennie, Lindy, Anna, Sarah, Tom and Gareth, Gary, Della and, of course, Christine who phones every day to check on me. Today, though she spent a day in hospital, well looked after and fed, outcome was a frozen shoulder, the most painful ailment you can have for a shoulder, but she still found time to check on me.
The things I want to do after Lockdown is over: visit Wilko, have a haircut, meet my daughter in the same room, meet Barbara and Liz, see my friends old and new, eat an oyster and go to New York. When we get our freedom back, Rupert will go back upstairs to my bedroom. I’ll look forward to going back to the Thursday Club, just going out generally. When we take that first step will it be nerve-racking? Amanda tells me that in about three weeks I can sit in her garden, in a mask, when not eating burger and wedges. The mask is waiting for me. BJ (Boris Johnson) on Parliament Today said you are not compelled to wear one. Will I continue to wear one? I don’t know, though if it keeps other people safe then perhaps I will”
Today’s Diary has been a challenge to find a tea towel. You don’t get many about hoovers, cat pooh, Banana and Honey Sandwiches, housework, apple crumble, lawn mowers………….It will have to be cats again