Catherine’s Diary (50): 4 to 22 May 2021


It’s been a really long time since Catherine has written a ‘Diary’. I know that she is well, nothing wrong with her, because we have had many a Textation so maybe this is the effect of emerging from Lockdown: not quite normal, a bit scary and boring, just plain boring. Isabella, the cat, has had more correspondence from Catherine than I have. Maybe Catherine has summed it all up, on the back of her envelope, “Life is in the slow lane in my house. I reckon Isabella has more exciting letters! Thank you Postal Workers”. I like the fact that Catherine has thanked the Postal Workers on the back of every envelope she has sent me.

On thinking about it, this is the 50th Diary, recording life through Lockdowns 1, 2 and 3 and those journeys in and out of Lockdown. Does she want to stop now? Or is this like a contribution to the Mass Observation Project of years ago. Personally, I think at some point, someone will draw together the views of different people about the effect of the Pandemic on life in UK, and this Diary could be part of it, so keep going!

The ‘Headliner’ today is another Hanging of Tea Towels; Catherine has specifically requested tea towels on a washing line. I am so proud of this one. I have always said that I do not buy tea towels online, for myself, unless there is a very specific reason.

A couple of years ago, on a trip to London to see my consultant, I visited the Wellcome Collection on Euston Road. A fascinating museum. Among the items on display were a couple of tea towels designed by the Electrical Association for Women: Which Fuse, Changing a Plug and Reading a Meter, from 1930s. Infographics at their best. The Wellcome Collection had a big Gift Shop and I really expected to see reproductions of these for sale, but no! I bought a tea towel of Body Parts instead. I had tried to track down the EAW, only to find it was defunct and then, in #thejoyofteatowelsharing, I came across some memorabilia of theirs, and reproductions of these tea towels. That was it, I sent off for them (because the Wellcome Gift Shop had declined to sell them. Bad move!). And here they are in all their glory, a set that every home should have.

And now for Catherine’s Diary:

4 May 2021

We are up early today. Club this morning. I was going to go by taxi as the weather has been horrendous, wet and very windy. All of a sudden the sun came out, felt a walk was in hand.

10 May 2021

I know, Barbara, a big jump but life in Harlow is not that exciting. Town today to pick pills up. Tilly is off her food so I bought some chicken and fish to tempt her to eat. On the way home, I went into Sue’s garden for a cup of tea. On the walk home, I met another friend whose daughter passed away a month ago. We had a chat for about half an hour. When we lose someone, it does some good to talk about it. When I got indoors, Tinker and Blackie were waiting, as usual, for lunch! I cooked Tilly her chicken and put some warm melted butter on it and she ate it all up. It’s a start.

This evening, I took the bread knife and cut some more bushes in the front garden. Makes a good ‘saw’. Wade’s putting a front fence up for me in July so I’ve to got to get weaving and do something. I was extra careful, can’t afford to cut myself! I know Bruce has a lot of ‘saws’, probably hidden deep in the front shed!! Pleased I had done well, filled my garden bin halfway.

11 May 2021

Up early, Club today. I met a couple of neighbours en route, had a chat with them. My mail today consisted of a coupon for Matalan with 20% off and a letter, with a leaflet, from Jehovah Witnesses asking me ‘what the future holds?’. No answer to that!

12 May 2021

Delivery Day, received my frozen fruit. I’m back on the ‘Bullet’ again. I had a rest from it but still had my 20 grapes and two easy-peelers a day. Got to keep the system going.

13 May 2021

I took Tilly to the vets, not looking too good, off her food. When she tried to lay down, it was a slow process. It turns out to be constipation. Tilly was given some jelly-like gel and Lactulose but it didn’t help.

14 May 2021

Tilly went back to the vets. This time she needed an anaesthetic to clear the bowel. The vet said she wouldn’t have cleared it herself. An overnight stay, on a drip to get fluids into her and blood test were done. I missed her presence. She has never been away from home before.

15 May 2021

Amanda collected Tilly on Saturday morning. Medication is Lactulose 2mls twice a day by syringe. I might add, a nightmare. A friend of mine, Michael, is helping me. It’s a job finding her mouth opening. I think it’s because she’s all black. Also I had to monitor her ‘poo’ when she performed. To my relief, she went on 16th for the first time since 8th May, so it was out with the magnifying glass to do an inspection. I know Barbara said “No details” but Tilly is part of ‘my team’. Anyway it was dark and sticky, due to the Lactulose and I’m happier. So far she has only missed one day.

21 May 2021

Due for my yearly Gas Clean, should have been March but this was the earliest they could do. On Wednesday, received a text from the Gas Board saying they were too busy with emergency jobs and they were postponing my appointment until 13 July. Can’t understand why such short notice.

22 May 2021

Took myself out with a friend to Bishops Stortford on Saturday afternoon. Normally, never go out on a Saturday. Went to M&S, bought some stockings and underwear, nice to buy something for me. Looked at the shoes. I have to buy some soon as Amanda is taking me for Afternoon Tea in July.

PS: I just realised I haven’t talked about a phone saga, best do one. When I text a message the cursor sometimes moves where it shouldn’t. Mary said just touch it and it goes where you want it to go. Clever ain’t it‽

Thank you Catherine for leaving out the gory details of cat constipation, makes it more readable.

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