Friday, March 27, 2020
I dropped into the office about ten to pick up some papers but there was much grief and heartache and I ended up stuck there until ten to six with only a vile chicken tikka wrap from the Spar to sustain me.
I find I’m a bit tired all the time and every evening I have a nasty tension headache. I suppose it’s the uncertainty and general worry.
Our cleaner can’t come any more, obviously, and I told the children that a cleaning rota would apply from this weekend. This was met with a very lukewarm response.
I spoke to my 90 year old aunt on the phone and put Michael on to her as I thought it might cheer her up. I rethought matters when I heard him say to her, “If you stay at home, I’d say your chances of survival are relatively good.”
My sister got a call from the hospital at 8.30 in the evening and got a nasty shock when a nurse said to her, “I’m calling about your father.” However, it turned out that he was out of credit on his phone. I don’t see how he can use up his credit but my sister thinks it’s mostly from calling her and accidentally putting her on hold.
The Taoiseach announced that we are all going on further lockdown. All feeling a bit grim. Herself showed me the Italian mayors video and it cheered me up enormously.
Saturday, March 28, 2020
I went out to the garden to admire my compost bin in its new location. Stretched on the ground adjacent to its old location was a dead rat the size of a small rabbit. This is on top of finding a rat in the utility room a couple of weeks ago. I am beginning to wonder should we call in Rentokil. Would they come? Mr. Waffle says that a man from a nearby road is a rat catcher (who knew?) and he walks down the lane at the back of our house every day with his terrier. All I can say is that they are not doing a great job. We have had major building work on the other side of the lane and perhaps they were displaced? Anyhow, this one had clearly been killed by the cat so that, at least, was welcome.
Daniel and I went out to play tennis. It was within 2 kms of our house and it was brief (we only played a set) but I wondered whether it was allowed. However four guards passed us while we were there – two walking and two cycling – and they all nodded approvingly at us. So, ok, I suppose?
Aer Lingus cancelled Daniel’s flight to Paris and, unsurprisingly, won’t refund us but we can have a voucher to use on flights in the future. I suppose there will be a point when that will be welcome.
I was on to my friend in Paris whose daughter has asthma and she is really worried. The hospitals in the Île-de-France are full. A 16 year old girl has died. They haven’t left the house in 10 days. They get their shopping delivered; they hand a cheque through the letter box (curious, online payments do not seem to really have taken off in France) and the delivery is left outside. They take it in; wash their hands; put the cold stuff in the fridge and leave the rest for a couple of days before using it. Her husband has lost his job – he works for a small firm so not a great time, I suppose. I’m sure he’ll find something when this is over but how long might that be?
Meanwhile my friend in America who is a doctor is very gloomy. When I asked her how things were in her hospital, she said, “Dire and getting worse.” Her husband, also a doctor, will be 50 on April 1. Not a great time as she pointed out.
On the plus side, Mr. Waffle managed to get flour in the supermarket and we made not one but two kinds of bread. They both look a bit burnt but they actually tasted quite nice.
Our next door neighbours with chickens called to say they had left eggs on the doorstep and when we got there, there were 8 eggs. We need never be short of an omelette in the crisis. Particularly since we already had a dozen in stock.
Sunday, March 29, 2020
The clocks went forward. Hurrah
Notwithstanding this, it was a grumpy kind of day. I had pinned up the rota of household tasks and myself, the Princess and Mr. Waffle dutifully did ours but the boys stayed in bed until 2 and when they got up went into a joint online dungeons and dragons thing. When they had finished, Daniel said he had to do lots of homework and couldn’t do his jobs. I was cross and had some harsh things to say about his organisation of his time. Michael offered to do Daniel’s work as Daniel was very stressed about homework. I thought that perhaps my rigid approach was not making anyone’s life happier especially poor Daniel who, to be fair to him, is a hard working and obliging child.
Mr. Waffle and I went out for a walk around the block. When we came back, everything was a bit better. I think there’s probably a moral there.
I had an online meeting with my Sunday bookclub which I really enjoyed. We did not discuss the book but we did cover what everyone is doing for alcohol in the crisis. As a non-drinker (largely), I was tempted to say that I am still off sweets and biscuits for Lent and it is killing me. But somehow, the moment didn’t arise. They’re all doing fine for alcohol, you will be pleased to hear.
The hospital said that they might discharge my father tomorrow. His temperature is normal. Hope springs eternal.
When we were out, we ran into the next door neighbours (not literally, social distancing etc) and thanked them for the eggs. I mentioned the dead rat. “Ah,” they said, “we should have said, we have Rentokil coming on Wednesday. We’ve found a couple (!) of dead rats and so have the neighbours on the other side. We think they’re displaced from the building site behind the lane and they’re attracted by the food the hens kick out of the coop.” The hen giveth and the hen taketh away. Anyhow, Rentokil will be dropping in on Wednesday. In the interim, herself tells me that she has heard a definite scratching noise under her floorboards. Oh Lord, could I ask that we be delivered from a plague of rats in the midst of our Corona virus lock down? Would that be too much to ask? I am still maintaining my Lenten fast, I would like the universe to know that. Meanwhile, Mr. Waffle is contemplating setting up a rats whatsapp group.
In what has undoubtedly been the best WhatsApp message since this started, someone pointed out that the ISS was clearly visible in the sky this evening. We all stood together in the front garden and watched it pass through the clear evening sky. It was lovely.