At the beginning of Lockdown, back in mid-March 2020, the only thing that ever came through my letter box was either a flier for ‘Domino’s Pizza’ or a bunch of leaflets about driveways. Personally, I consider this to be an insult as it isn’t long since the driveway was relaid.
All this changed once my Aunt Catherine started writing her ‘Coronavirus Diary’. She doesn’t have the internet or a Smart phone or an iPad or anything else vaguely technical, including a typewriter. So several times a week she writes to me, real letters, hand-written, put in an envelope and then she has taken the risk of going to the post box, coming back to scrub herself down. All I can say is I’m glad her handwriting is neat and easy to read. She lives alone, six months since her husband Bruce died. Not only has she had to adjust to life without her husband of almost 50 years, but not seeing her daughter and to Lockdown. Anyone who has read her diaries will wonder how she has coped. Maybe addressing her problems to the wider world has helped; I hope so.
Each envelope that arrives has a note on the back of it, usually referring to the amount of mistakes she has made or a bit of news she has forgotten. It always ends with a ‘Thank you to Postal Workers’, recognising their role in keeping me in touch with my aunt. An envelope from Catherine brings great joy and happiness, and I bet the Postal Workers also get some joy: today’s forgotten news was “49 Brussel sprouts to eat”. I wonder what my Postal Worker thought today!
15 June 2020
I have been to the post box to send my diary, nice warm evening for a walk. I met a couple I know and had a bit of a chat. I’ve decided to put the mower in the shed so I covered it in a black bag to keep it nice. I want to clear the shed out, so much rubbish in there, and as Bruce would say “loads of good wood!” But there is loads of cobwebs and dead insects; it makes me squeamish, especially if something small with four legs and a short tail should pop out near me!
Watching Breakfast TV, in Liverpool and Birmingham people are queueing for Primark, can’t believe it.
I went to Vivienne and Michael for the afternoon, Sue came as well. We had tea and a chocolate eclair, lovely it was. We discussed a wide range of subjects. Sue enjoyed her weekend with her grandson, so it was nice to hear about that. It was a very humid day, with some greenfly. Two hours spent in good company.
The last few days I’ve had a glitch. I’ve been missing company or a presence in the house. I’m sure I’ll get over it. A fragile few weeks: Father’s Day, 50th Wedding Anniversary and Bruce’s birthday still to come.
Opened the Black Magic tonight that was in my delivery. Two chocolates equals one serving it says. I had my favourite first (2 Coffee Crescents) and then two Caramel Hearts. The caramel lingers in the mouth, delicious, roll on tomorrow! I haven’t had a chocolate since Christmas; I can’t remember if I had any for my birthday. I like a Fruit Pastille or a Cherry and Cola Tic Tac before bedtime. Amanda says I can’t have any more chocolate until Wednesday; she says I had two servings in one go. Ah well!
16 June 2020
What a morning. Still in my dressing gown, donned my trainers and mowed the back lawn. Got to have some grass to put in my Garden Wheelie Bin when it comes. Daisies disappeared; new plant has arrived, loads of clover. Still the lawn looks good from it’s cut and the edges look nice as well.
Changed my day for Stir Fry, in my new Wok: it’s today. Already prepared vegetables, not a sprout to be seen! Sauces and noodles, soy sauce all out of the cupboards. Chicken defrosted. Well, Brucie Boy, you will be proud of me. Just made the perfect Stir Fry, just as we like it, and lots of flavour.
And, yes, I cheated Amanda, couldn’t wait til Wednesday for another chocolate. Two orange ones, with tea, watching Countdown.
19 June 2020
When I woke up Thursday morning, I thought ‘Great I’ve slept through the storms’, came downstairs, tried to open the glass door to get to the front door but it wouldn’t move. Pulled it again and as I opened it I found the carpet was full of water, which I can tell you was both a shock and upsetting. I found small towels, travel blanket and sheets to help soak up the water. I phoned Amanda who suggested I put the convector heater on to help dry it out. Most of the day I was spinning and drying the items before putting them down again. Wade came round and checked the door. He could see where it came in. The outcome is that I need a new front door. Friends had said the rain had woken them but I slept through it all. Today it’s dry but just smells musty. Still feeling a bit down about it.
While I was having a chat with Jennie on the path, a lorry arrived which had my new, big, brown, shiny Garden Wheelie Bin, so excited seeing it. Christened that day with the dead lilac flowers. In the afternoon, Gary put the paper through the door. Things were getting better.
20 June 2020
Amanda came and we went to get the paper and a couple of magazines. She said I could go in with her ‘card’ and buy what I wanted, so exciting though I didn’t linger, I sped round. I haven’t been in a shop since 20 March 2020. Amanda went off for her walk with Jennie, taking with her a black sack of the stuff I had used to dry the water up. Amanda had offered to wash and tumble dry it for me.
(I noticed that as I turned the sheet, there was a smaller sheet of paper with no lines. Obviously, she had run out of her regular paper).
Smaller paper, no lines on the back, how am I going to cope? More snipping for my new bin. Nearly filled it up and only a fortnightly collection.
I’m giving up cake for a while, though not next Saturday, it’s Afternoon Tea and Champagne. I nearly bought cake in the shop, but stopped myself. I had to choose between cake or alcohol. Alcohol seemed the better deal so Amanda put Salted Caramel ice cream in my delivery to tide me over.
I would like to say that last week’s treat (Black Magic) did last a whole week. I was leaving the nutty ones for Christine but Saturday night the urge to eat them got the better of me. I apologised to Christine. She said “Good for you”, a real trooper.
Today’s Diary entry has proved to be challenging to find an appropriate tea towel. I haven’t got one of a Wheelie Bin or Black Magic or a front door or storms. So I chose ‘The Dictionary of Gardens’