It’s Good Friday and we had hot cross buns and coffee in the garden. When everything grinds to a halt something happens to motivation. The weeks that have passed seem to have become a blur and the days fly by, although somewhat languidly. Somehow my focus is not what it used to be. There is no structure to my day really, and my mood is a little flat. There is a sense that this will go on forever, and that we have entered the doldrums. My two teaching slots are two evenings a week and that is it. I miss coffees with friends, and cold white wine in pub gardens. I miss making plans.
The other day I was walking along the sea front at Pett Level, and all of a sudden about twenty police cars arrived. Not for me, I should add. We are not there yet! It was the most beautiful day and the sea was as flat as can be. It dawned on me that migrants must be crossing the channel, so I sat on the beach and asked a couple of passers by who confirmed my thoughts. Someone said that a large rib was heading towards us with 70 migrants on board having taken off from France. I waited, scanning the sea and nothing happened. It was almost exciting. But nothing happened.. N joined me and we crossed the sea road and walked miles along the canal, peering into the water for signs of aquatic life. We spoke to people from safe distance and enjoyed the little social life allowed to us. I always make sure to talk to everyone if I can, acknowledging our shared experience.
When I came home I asked Facebookland if anyone knew about the migrants. Hive mind responded that migrants had landed just beyond Rock an Ore at Ecclesbourne Glen. Some said the poor people looked so thin and ragged. Apparently Covid 19 is rampant in the camps in France. I hope that everyone can get what they need and can claim asylum and safety here. No doubt they will have to be quarantined.
I am still so grateful for our ability to exercise in this pandemic. The idea of exercise being taken away is so dangerous, as inactivity causes a cytokine storm in the body, creating perfect conditions for viruses to take hold. And that’s not the least of it. All manner of other issues ensue without physical activity. I feel so sorry for people stuck in abusive relationships, in small flats with no outside space. The list is endless.
So grateful for my cliff top walk.
I listened to a podcast with Yannis Varoufakis and Brian Eno talking about a post-viral world, and the death of neo-liberalism as a result of this. That would be good. I will try to hold onto that thought, as other thoughts feel too bleak. We have to create a new paradigm from the ashes. I applied to be on Grayson Perry’s art show on artists under lockdown, but I had to make a video of myself talking which took me all effing morning.
I still haven’t had a drink or a cigarette for weeks. I still manage to put on a dress for Frock Up Friday, an online page started by two of my Hastings friends, where all kinds of people post photos of themselves in a dress or nice outfit. Some of the photos are so uplifting and it breaks my heart in a good way to see all these wonderful people dressing in their finery, and putting on a bit of slap and just feeling a little bit sensual or attractive for a brief moment, confined to their homes. All dressed up and nowhere to go…..I didn’t tidy the house, and the upside down bike just adds to the authentic vibe.