Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Sunday, January 10, 2021

The Man Above

 First of all, I have to report that I didn't get very far with the novel. Just a few changes in the notes about how many illegitimate children the father had before he met the mother and some new thoughts on infant mortality.

For I was too busy paying heed to the Georgia run-offs. Got up early on Wednesday morning and positively whooped at the news that the Democrats had succeeded. That was a good feeling about US politics that didn't last the day. For, as everyone now knows, there was a bit of an insurrection on Capitol Hill. 

The day after Bert had to see the man up the road who is quite the Trump fan, and who believes the orange one to have been sent by God to turn around the evils of this world. No matter, that God's chosen one has a dubious grip on morals and decency, for He works in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform... as isn’t written in scripture.

The man up the road informed Bert that the rioters were most emphatically not supporters of Trump. They were in fact actors and Antifa. He maintains that in a months time the truth will out, Trump will be back in the White House and Biden will be in jail!

My thoughts? I have come to believe that those who take the bible literally are capable of believing anything.

Meanwhile, closer to home, Bert’s Aunt Lizzie was admitted to hospital on Monday. There was a day-long wait for the GP’s visit and then a five hour wait for an ambulance which, when it finally arrived, was staffed by volunteers all the way from County Fermanagh.

Anyway, the hospital did some tests and she has a serious problem. She refused a biopsy and they said she could go home, but not until the social workers had arranged some extra help at home – which is good. Then the hospital phoned to inform her next-of-kin that the hospital bay she’d been nursed in had a coronavirus case so now all those patients are in isolation for ten days. These are crazy times and not a good time to get sick.

But for now, I am looking forward to the Spring, the vaccine and a hair cut. And Bert is looking forward to receiving the £30 bet we put on the results of the American election. I said I wouldn’t pay up until inauguration day. For anything could happen. Anything.

Saturday, January 02, 2021

Saturday Morning Conversation

 Y'know Bert, last night just before snuggling down to sleep I realised that I can let my thoughts wander where they will, I can go anywhere, do anything, be whatever I wish...


And, y'know, next thing I'd worked out an idea for a book!

Oh. That's good. Will it be a humorous book?

Oh no. I don't think so. The themes I'm considering are family, rural Ireland, betrayal and insanity.

So it's going to be an autobiography then? 

No! Definitely fiction.

Any sex in it?

Hinted at. Although nothing passionate, it will be dutiful congress only. We're talking about Catholics here.

I'm not sure about Jack Russells but Eriophorum angustifolium (bog cotton) will definitely feature.


Friday, January 01, 2021

New Year's Day

Martha asked me recently how long I might live. I answered, 

I'm planning to live until I'm 88 years old. I might live longer or I might die before that, but - that's the plan anyway. You'll be in your early thirties by then, you'll be a proper grown-up, on your way.

I think she liked that answer, Being thirty-three must seem like a lifetime away to her. When I was her age I thought my life would be hardly worth living at thirty. I expected to be married to some elderly boring professor who I wouldn't even particularly like and that I'd have about four not very interesting children, likely all boys. Obvious that I believed Jo March's fate to be a big disappointment.

Bert's Aunt Lizzie has gone two years over my ideal lifespan. I spent most of yesterday with her and she is not in good form. She won't eat, hardly drinks, cannot sleep and is in constant pain. She waited three months for a hospital appointment and has finally been given one for this day week. In ordinary times she would already be in the hospital if only to be rehydrated. This pandemic is dreadful for the ordinary sick and elderly whose care needs are not being met. One of Lizzie's carers told me that on a recent house visit she came upon an elderly man who had fallen and could not get up. Normally carers would be expected to call an ambulance and wait until it arrived. Two hours later, no ambulance had arrived so she sought the help of a neighbour who helped her get the old chap on his feet. He then declared that he would not go to hospital and the ambulance was cancelled. Incidentally, this carer waited on her own time and will never be paid for it. And didn't even resent it. A true Hero.

Lizzie in better days