Thursday, 7 May 2020

Lockdown Week Seven (I think)

I'm cocooning and hoping to emerge as a butterfly but until the hairdressers are back, I resemble a scarecrow left out in a stormy wind.
My heart goes out to all those who have lost loved ones to this horrible virus. And, like everyone else, I am deeply grateful to the people on the front line who are risking their lives. It is a humbling experience.

What have I been doing? Do you really want to know?
Week One: I cleaned the windows and the bathroom from top to bottom. Then I worked on my Christmas novel. Did some zooming with my children and grandchildren, got a lot of calls from friends who I hadn't seen for a while. Did all my washing and ironing. Avidly watched the updates from our Chief Medical Officer and the question and answer session with journalists afterwards. Watched a few panel programmes on the corona virus. Caught up on European news via France24 and Euronews. Read a couple of books, watched a ton of quiz programmes and the film Girl with a Dragon Tattoo.

Week Two: Rinse and repeat, except the film I watched was  In the Heat of the Night .
I finished all three Len Deighton books in the Berlin Game, Mexico Set and London Match series from the 1980's. Deighton started a whole new kind of spy story, as opposed to the James Bond style character. I really enjoyed his early novels.

Week Three:  I didn't do any cleaning - there was nothing left to clean! No need to do any washing or ironing. I got sick of hearing journalists ask the same questions every night, so I just watched the CMO's update and looked at the news. I watched Casablanca. Read a Harlan Coben novel Caught.

Week Four: Only watched the news headlines to see if any really "new" news on the virus. Avoided all those panel discussions where some expert or other tells us that we are economically ruined (in more elegant words, of course) and names a sum like 500 billion or trillion Euros or whatever, which the normal mortal can't comprehend. It's getting depressing having zoom conferences when conversation is a bit limited to "how are you?", "coping all right?" etc etc. I re-wrote the beginning of my novel twice and took out two characters and put in another two. Watched Berlin Express a black and white film from the 1950's. I found it interesting because some of it was set in post-war Frankfurt (with permission of the Occupation Forces of the USA, Great Britain and Russia, according to the credits). Years ago I met a woman in Frankfurt who was a child when the war ended. Her mother brought her into the city centre every day because she had a job somewhere there and this woman told me she used to play among the ruins, there were so many places to play hide and seek she said.

Week Five: see Week Four, except the film was The Magnificent Seven - my favourite line being the Eli Wallach one: "if God didn't want them sheared, he wouldn't have made them sheep". Wallach is the magnificent one in this film. Finally got into my Christmas novel and don't plan on changing much.

Week Six: More or less the same. I didn't watch a film this week. Finally did a bit of housework but not as thorough a clean as before and decided not to clean the windows. I've started dreaming about what I am going to do when all this nightmare is over. Apart from the obvious plans of meeting up with family, I'd love to go to Paris and London again. But even getting on the bus and going to Cork city will be a big adventure! Imagine eating out with friends again.

Week Seven:  Cocooners are allowed out for short walks. Liberation! It has rained ever since, though, so I haven't been out much. I am currently reading Just Take my Heart by Mary Higgins Clark. It's a bit formulaic but she has always written a good thriller and it's not too taxing, so I am really enjoying it. Next week, depending on how the virus is doing, we might be allowed to meet with up to four people, social distancing of course.

Things will get better, of that I am convinced.

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