The Lockdown Diaries 15: Baked Beans At Dawn
So there was that.
Yuk. Do me a favour, don’t get any kind of cancer, especially this one, it’s really horrible. I’m here, though, now managing the healing process. I just had my first FEB (Full English Breakfast) in three months (right, minus sausage).
I’ve broken the law every day since Lockdown began on March 23rd because you can’t shield at home and travel to hospitals at the same time. Now come more rules for high-risk patients, but I can’t tell if they allow for trips to castles for the purpose of checking your eyesight.
Dominic Cummings’ excuse for breaking the law remains as ludicrous as the perjury politician Jonathan Aitken committed in court that led him from Eton to Belmarsh Prison and eventually to the priesthood, Catholicism being the natural extension of a rich fantasy life. Why do those who consider themselves superior to us Proles always feel the need to over-explain their lies? ‘Trusty sword of justice’, my arse. (This paragraph made need some unravelling for overseas readers. I’m sure some kind commenter will help).
The endless texts, emails and letters that pop in from the HM Government advice centre on COVID-19 are now beyond anyone’s interest or comprehension. My latest ones include outdated advice, contradictory suggestions and irrelevant notes. The new barriers in our hospital’s supermarket are about three feet high. I am over six feet tall, so if I stood on the line they suggest I could cough over the cashier.
Italy, never the most practical of nations, has come up with elegant plastic boxes to put around sunbathers. They’ll never make it as far as the beach. If they do, after 24 hours they’ll have been smashed, defaced, stolen or rented out by one of the many colourful branches of the mafia that infest that country, news having already come in this week that the mafia has been working with corrupt city officials to take over supplies of PPE.
In London exaggerated politeness is reaching early Victorian levels, which suggests what we suspected all along – that ordinary people are more timid than the government, and that it’s the press that places exaggerated importance on anti-vaxxers and G5 scaremongers* to the detriment of those who quietly and sensibly do the right thing.
I’ve developed my own approach to recovery; I improve my therapy by reading, researching and adding empirical evidence to logic. It takes thought and organisation but you really can improve on the advice of the ‘one size fits all’ brochures they’ll chuck at you. Why suffer 24 hours a day if you can suffer for pre-arranged periods and experience long stretches of relief? I’m not ‘fighting’ cancer; it’s not a battle, just an endurance test.
To think it all through you need a clear mind, and to clear the mind you need to be calm, and to be calm it helps to read a book. So at 3:30 each morning I’m on my terrace sofa with some early breakfast and my Kindle, calibrating its light as an Arabic sky passes from indigo to hesperidian, this being the time of year when London gets just four hours of night.
Nothing is connecting in my head well enough to return to longform writing. There are just unconnected paragraphs that read inelegantly and don’t quite make sense, which leaves me stuck at the level of ‘Girl on a Train’. Some form of brain training may help.
It now appears that my Cancer Bombshell, which exploded on the first day of the Lockdown, will now terminate on the last day of the Lockdown, June 15. It seems appropriate for a fiction writer to admit that you really couldn’t make it up.
There’ll be one more Lockdown Diary entry toward the end of the week, then let’s draw a line under it. There are more interesting subjects to explore.
*A shopkeeper serving the Spouse had a stack of G-5 warning leaflets on his counter, explaining that the new phone masts have been causing his customers to suffer blinding migraines. The Spouse pointed out that they haven’t been turned on yet.