Pictorial blethers

By blethers

Keeping on track

I've kept a diary - a paper one, in addition to this more recent online account - for the past 65 years, stopping only briefly after the dreadful time when I left a bag containing book, diary and spectacles under my seat in a plane after a transatlantic flight followed by an internal one. At that time I was so dispirited at the loss of a five-year diary with some important memories in it that I thought I'd not write one any more, but I lasted only a couple of months when I realised I was missing it so badly that I started writing a journal in a notebook for the rest of the year. Just now, I'm on the first year of a new 5-year diary given me, like the last one, by my grandsons, but I keep looking back at last year's diary and remembering how I felt as lockdown began with its accompanying sense of loss.

A huge loss at the time was the experience of the services of Holy Week and Easter in our little church; zoom was still a fairly new medium to most of us and the loss hit home. This year, we've been allowed to reopen just in time, though the necessity to clean the building between services means we can't hold them all, and can't quite create our usual drama. However, I was in church recording hymns and a short piece to use in Sunday's online service, and noticed that already the cleaning fairies had been at work: the eagle gleamed with a new vigour as he gazed down the church at the clean carpet strip and polished wood of the nave.

I'm realising from reading other people's journals that J and I are not the only ones feeling tired with the effort of just ... being. I don't know why sitting at the computer for half an hour completing an online supermarket shop should fill me with such a sense of burden, though I think I understand why having to shop in this way seems to put a straitjacket on my culinary imagination. I find myself wasting time just because I lack the energy to get on and do the things I know I planned on doing, while at the same time congratulating myself on a reasonably productive day. Today, for example, I made a sourdough loaf, starting at 10am and taking it out of the oven twelve hours later. I did the above mentioned shopping. But then, filled with self-righteousness, I chatted to my pal over coffee for far longer than I'd planned, then made a stab at writing Sunday's Intercessions before lunch, so that lunch didn't happen till almost 2pm and the singing till after 4.30. 

So not a failure of a day - I even managed three Duolingo lessons in Italian before dinner - but accomplished only with this sense of stress (the Mussolini jaw is a symptom with me!) that leaves me feeling tired and ancient. Actually, I'm feeling less t & a now, at 11.15pm, than I have all day, though that may just be the imminent promise of bed ...

Random question: is anyone else out there watching The Terror on BBC2? I find it so traumatising that I can only watch the first of the double episodes and have to catch up on the second later in the week. Really interesting insights into leadership and loyalty in a desperate situation - and at times pretty hiding behind the sofa stuff.

But we're far too old for that ...

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