Catherine’s Diary (28): Received 8 October 2020


It seems like a long time since I received the last ‘Catherine’s Diary’. It’s funny how you get a weird sense of time during this Coronavirus Pandemic; time passes slowly, times passes very quickly, you have no idea how long it is to Christmas. Catherine has had a bit of a difficult time recently but today it arrived, with the message on the back of the envelope:

“I was thinking I don’t need to do a ‘Round Robin’ letter this year, as I’m already doing one but look forward to your one, Barbara.  Also spinach going the same way as Brussels.  Don’t like frozen spinach, can’t waste it, got to try and eat it.  Thinking I will have some today, but knowing full well I won’t.  Thank you Postal People for collecting my letter and sending it to Nottingham.”  (These messages seem to get longer, soon they will be longer than the Diary.  I do think that Catherine is right, she’s done her bit for keeping in touch with family).  I am delighted that Catherine has got some new writing paper; new paper has inspired very neat hand-writing.  But no dates today!  So to the story:

“This is the third draft, can’t seem to get into writing but after texting Barbara this morning, have a bit more oomph!

I got up at the unearthly time of 6.30am, dustbin day, had to get the bins to the front of the path, then fed breakfast to my three ‘priorities’.  I didn’t want to stay up as it makes the day extra long, so went back to bed and as I laid there I thought of P.E. at school.  I’ve got a vivid imagination (it’s got me through life) and I thought I could never be a World Champion Gymnast.  Like Barbara I didn’t like our P.E. teacher, or P.E., especially as she made me go first, doing handstands and somersaults.  I hate being upside down!  I think this all came about because I am watching so much tennis, and the players are so athletic.  I don’t normally watch so much tennis but it’s been excellent and I cam always say that ‘I’m watching it for Christine’ who is in hospital again.  She loves her tennis and has been known to watch it to the wee small hours of the day.  I’ve kept your pronouncing of the French equivalent of the tennis scores as I hear a tinge of Beatrice’s voice in your voice, Barbara.  (Strangers reading this will have no idea what Catherine meant by this reference to the French Open.  Catherine texted me and asked what the French for 15, 30, 40 and deuce was.  I replied.  A couple of days later she texts me and asks me to ring her and leave a voicemail.  She promised not to answer the phone.  She wanted me to say 15, 30, 40 and deuce in French.  I am the last person to ask this of because I have a terrible French, and any other foreign, accent and I hate speaking in foreign languages because I am so self-conscious.  Anyway, for my Aunt, I did this.  It felt really weird.  Little did I know I would sound like my mother, Beatrice.  Hope that explains things).  The male umpires are much clearer than the female ones.

It is a bright sunny day here today, and dry!  The dark evenings are drawing in fast.  I’ve still loads of ‘snipping’ to do.  I want to keep mowing the grass, got to keep my garden bin full.  Blackie and I are in training, as I want him to have his last meal indoors.  I still don’t like going to the greenhouse and also it should stop the foxes popping by for food, and the fireworks will be around soon.

Last week was ‘Vet Day’ for Tilly and Tinker.  Amanda was taking me there.  What a trial getting them in the carriers.  I blocked the room off but they were packed tightly in the cat stand.  It was a waiting game to see who moved first.  Tilly started to move first, I went to get her but she escaped my clutches and hid behind the settee so I pulled it out.  Then she wedged herself between the wall and the cabinet, my chance was here, got hold of her stomach and managed to to pick her up, shoved her in the cat basket.  Relief.  One to go, rest for 5 minutes.  Tinker was a bit easier but her nails were stuck in the carpet, got my hands on her bulge and somehow managed to dislodge her nails, up in the air, legs out wide, got her in the carrier.  Silence reigned.

Arrived at the vets.  My favourite vet, Mrs Parrish, is on duty.  She says that Tilly has a wonky tooth.  It should fall out when she eats her food.  Tinker, on the other hand, who has been on a ‘no biscuit and less food’ regime has put on 70gms so the vet said to put her down to one and a half sachets.  It’s going to be hard.  This cat adores her food, she even eats old dried bits of food, if she can find them!  Amanda said start the new diet from November, do it gradual, won’t be such a shock to her system.  Overall check was fine, their nails cut, flea capsule on their necks, plus yearly injections, all ship-shape.  Home, out of the cages and they escaped upstairs, didn’t see them all day!

Monday was out to Epping with Wendy, a ride on the bus, not many people on them now.  Amanda wanted some warm socks.  There is a shop called ‘Fatface’ (Never heard of it before).  I bought a couple of pairs.  If they are ok I can get some more.  Popped into ‘Marks’ (M&S); it only does a small amount of clothes, the rest is food.  I bought salad items and ham, just fancied something light for a change.

At 3pm, tea and Victoria Sponge at Vivienne and Michael’s, passed a couple of hours.  When I leave, they always say if I need them, day or night, please ring, which I find comforting.  Tuesday afternoon is ‘Club Day’.  I actually walked again, 25 minutes it took.  The only thing I don’t like is that I have to go through an underpass which is quite dark, even in day light.  This may sound silly but I took my purse and keys out of my handbag and put them in my pockets and clipped the pockets shut.  I remember years ago, Bruce’s Mum had the straps of her handbag cut with scissors while she walked home, and they got away with her bag.  Arrived at the Club.  We are now down to six.  It was 12, two weeks ago.  We had refreshments and did a ‘Cake Quiz’.  I only got 15 questions right but it was fun.  I have sent Liz the quiz, the world’s greatest cake maker.  Managed to walk home again but did have an afternoon nap.  I was tired from all that walking.  Amanda texted ‘Excellent’ when I told her!  Off now to post this letter.  Thank you Barbara for our Text Talk this morning, you got me motivated to write again.  Cheerio for now!”

Another challenge.  Which tea towel to choose for this Diary entry?  I thought to myself “which is my newest tea towel?” And then remembered that Amanda, my cousin and Catherine’s daughter, had recently sent me a present, a new tea towel from the National Gallery which hadn’t had an outing yet.  Catherine probably hasn’t seen it so this is the one that I will use.  Thank you Amanda!

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