A Journal of the Plague Year Day 78

Saturday 5th June 2020

Today was A‘s birthday, who decided a low key affair was in order. We’d originally mused on having a picnic with nearby friends the date kept changing due to their house-hunting plans and the rainy weather, the sunniest month in UK history now banished by the onset of winter again. The heating’s on.

The other day we’d gotten out with J to sit in the garden as his mate was visiting from Bulgaria, back in London after 6 months lockdown by the Black Sea. It was nice to reconnect with socialising and alcohol again, though the lure of the warm flat was terrible and keeping socially distant difficult on a bench (we ended up by the pond). Though these best friends hadn’t seen each other in so long they weren’t able to go indoors, and had to wait out the cold interminably, wilting from park to estate and back again before it became too much.


For A’s day we went and splurged out on the forbidden fruit that is gelato in two varieties + tiramisu, and a chocolate baklava sheet thing from Greece to remind him of home. Midweek shopping for the two of us doubled to £50. Then it was lying in bed, cooking, scrolling, watching the box and the occasional chasing the fucker round the room as he’s constantly teasing. Did some documentaries, Greek plays (the Birds by Aristophanes) that kinda thing, interspersed with the latest Jurassic World insert from Netflix. Was actually a thoroughly enjoyed day, despite our plans having fallen through. I think serendipity is occasionally on our side.


It’s a welcome change from a tough week of grey skies and greyer walls, where turbulence simmers. They say lockdown will be over in a couple of weeks, but the infections are spiking again. The crowds this last month from the sunny weather, across the parks, beaches and beauty spots have contributed as have the protests. A part of me really wants to just get it over and done with, get sick, see what happens. But is the risk worth it to be able to mingle again?

The protests still carry on distant across the horizons, somewhere in Central London is where I’d very much want to be. Imagine the size of the crowds if not for lockdown, imagine the even greater impact of those voices in unison. I am having a break from politicking for the day, having ignited then consumed the last week, constantly playing in the background of domestic dramas, when every time you open the screen you see ugliness streaming back.


Animal documentaries I think is in order, if I can find one where the narrator isn’t righteous and the camera interspersed with web graphics and techno music, and every scene must have a cheesy storyline.


I wish I worked where I want to work, with animals, with kids (the small ones who can barely speak, not the knifey ones). Saw a man with the T-shirt emblazoned ‘Do What Makes You Feel Alive’ (perhaps not the best to take round prison). The call to arms in big, bold lettering, hammered into a neat circle on his chest. He was, at the time, giving a webinar on the difference between waterfall and agile styles of project management.



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