22nd May – Week 9
This morning, like most Fridays since Lockdown was imposed, I began a vague kind of background thinking about what I might write for Saturday’s weekly virus report. It would be the ninth in the series and so as I sat down with my notebook out on our back step, I was wondering if I might change things, make it somehow different? But I hadn’t realised I was about to make it this different.
The wind today matches my mood. A blustering, tumbling fury, banging in through the back door of the house and pushing me out the front. In a rage, a rage against nearly everything. Against the usual lying, shiftless, absentee government shysters. But more than them. The gathering and repeating of the usual and boring divisions in the papers and on Twitter. Us against them, for and against, the hard and the softs, the leaving and staying, the we’re always right and you’re always wrongs. Even in a rage against the writing of these pandemic things, a rage with myself. Nine weeks in and I’m sick of all this. Of getting up every Saturday morning and being nice, finding the good in being locked in, being patient. Well I’m not patient today and it’s not even Saturday. It’s a windy, blustering, raging Friday and I’ve had enough.
Enough lockdown, enough clapping, enough queuing, enough distancing, enough silence, enough dying. Enough of all this being all of the news and more than enough of it being all of my life.
Calming, a bit.
So I’ve walked through the wind-whipped streets down the hill from the house, across Smithdown and through the park, grateful for the wind. Grateful for the break in the day-upon-days of calm, blue weather. Grateful even for the rage and this feeling that I want to break something. Break the chain, break the sequence, break the mould, the deadlock, the dependence, the waiting, for this to go away. That’s it, that’s the rage, the waiting for this to go away. For a life that isn’t all this. Dominated by this, the discussing of this, the speculating about this, the putting up with it patiently and writing yet another blog post about it every Saturday.
It’s Friday morning then, in a high wind. And here on the allotment I can’t wait for Saturday to publish this as the last of these things that are all called the same thing, these Home Lifes. “I don’t do repeats” is the story I’ve always told myself. Year upon year, refusal after refusal. But I do and I just did. So I need to go away and write about some new things now. And stop this one.
So that’s it. Though for all of today’s rage I have loved the writing of all these since back in March. Many of them jointly done with my partner Sarah and a joy to be creating stuff together again. But last night as we watched the ending of a ten part series on Netflix together we turned to each other and said, like we’ll often do “They could have done that in less.” So it’s time for us to make up some new stories now, before we say anything like that about ourselves.
Then, as I was writing those last words about new stories, a wind more furious than all the others of the morning had me holding down this laptop to the allotment table as my flask and notebook and phone were blown to the ground. Which brought me packed up and “that’s enough of that” back home to finish and publish here. So I’m home again now, where I’ve found an Agile Cargo Bike has delivered me something new from News From Nowhere. A first new book in nine weeks and a new story for the weekend. Thank you x
All is well then and, as ever, I hope it is with you too?
This is the last episode in the “Home Life During a Pandemic” series, covering the first nine weeks of the British lockdown. You can read the whole series here.