Friday 27 March 2020


Over the course of this week, beginning Monday 23rd March, I have had a swathe of texts from the NHS Coronavirus service. The very first one instructed me to stay home for 12 weeks and this morning’s told me to make sure I phone a friend or relative everyday. I’m phoning in this way, through my blog and vlog.

The willow and cherry trees sandwich our home and I try to keep my mind steady. In some ways life is unchanged for me, and in other ways everything is new because everyone else is experiencing it for the first time - this global disorder to the sense your life made to you. I have experienced a microcosm of this disorder every single day for the past twenty years... and still make little sense of it.

So I walk on ... as you do... taking one step at a time.... que sera sera ... except we don’t really believe that, or adhere to it. We don’t want it to be what it will be. We want to make it what we want it to be. Who wins this? The men in power keep speaking in war analogies. No room for softness and gentleness even in this time of great vulnerability. My walks with Dad can only be described as gentle and vulnerable. Especially now that I can’t manage them anymore. I have a heavy cold, cough and sore throat, have re-started antibiotics on the recommendation of my immunologists and need to stay away to protect him, and Mum, for a while.  I’m glad we walked when we could.

Saturday 21 March 2020


Am I naive to call it that? Probably. But I would rather be naively hopeful during a global pandemic than be destroyed by fear of a thing I exist with daily, hourly. And that is extinction by infection. Talk about unromantic language. Some English consonants are not the prettiest sounding.

There are cars whizzing past, still. And the sound of conversation, laughter and once, a child crying next door. My mother is chopping vegetables for soup tonight. And my father is doing his floor exercises. On Friday, schools closed their gates around Britain, following suit behind most of Europe. The supermarkets are buckling under the strain but community morale and practical solutions are being invented by a world used to being superhuman, charged by motivation and productivity and consumption. Oh dear. More of those consonants.

Let’s steer towards the sea. And Venice’s clear waters.

On Monday, I had my six monthly dose of Rituximab, which depletes my B cells, and takes me on a briefly intense chemotherapy journey. Then it passes. But the meeting place of a new virus, further immunosuppressive drug therapy and continuing chronic illness is... interesting. This slow paced, enforced self-isolation life? This is my jam. This is where I dwell as a matter of course. This place is never quite comfortable in a world of motion and forward full speed ahead-ness, but it is home, for me. Am I better prepared than you for the quiet life? Perhaps. Well, except for the extinction by infection part.

The post and delivery men come and go. Retired NHS staff are returning with sleeves rolled up in solidarity. The birds were riotous earlier this week, but sounded a little subdued today. Humans, eh? they roll their eyes at each other. Just can’t tell what they’ll be up to next.

Are you coping alright? Is the quieter pace of life easy for you to adapt to? Or are you among the population who are busy doing at home work-outs, creating community cohesion networks, magazines, reading groups? I feel tired just thinking of the ways in which people are stopping, slowing down and finding ways to ‘do things’ in a time of government mandated no-doing. Perhaps this is because I have had a winter of respiratory infections already, and I have almost no energy to worry about a virus that seems to be making most people very considerate. But I gathered just enough to upload a vlog to my ancient channel, in case you want a little glimpse into my life! My skills are desperate, but there's always a chance I'll get better :)