Monday 23 March 2020


Benedict Ambrose and I listened to the Prime Minister's speech when he gave it at 8:30 PM (GMT). What a good thing we visited the Blessed Sacrament in our geographical-parish church when we could, for the doors will almost certainly be locked tomorrow. Meanwhile, I suppressed an urge to rush across the river to panic-shop at Tesco. Oh me, oh my. I wish I had bought my seeds last month.

This morning B.A. dropped a can on the smaller teapot, and when I saw the state of the kitchen I fled to the garden where I weeded both the herb garden and the ----

Sorry, can we grasp the fact that in Great Britain today, you cannot meet outdoors in groups larger than two, except with members of your own household? Yes, I realise that this is for a very good reason, and I will strive never to buy anything "Made in China" until the Communist Party is no more. But at the same time, I am simply amazed.

Anyway, I weeded the herb garden and the raised bed by the shed, and I hope the seed packet companies are still delivering, although as almost everyone has to work from home, who knows?

Naturally this is not as jaw-dropping as not being able to set foot in church, which surely is unprecedented in 1, 600 years of British history. I mean, even during the distressing period when being Catholic was illegal, churches were still open for prayer. That said, the trade in seeds must be even older than that, although not the mail-order version, naturally.

B.A. has made me a gin-and-tonic to cope with martial law the nation's new, sobering challenge which every one of us will meet to protect the NHS and save lives. It has a slice of grapefruit in it because when we bought the gin there were neither lemons nor limes in the shop.

The Prime Minister called the Covid-19 coronavirus "the biggest threat this country has faced in decades," and I must say I was glad it was Blond Boris telling us all about our new inconveniences (and the likelihood of many dying anyway) and not that ghastly Jeremy Corbin. Even as the PM delivered all this bad news, he sounded reassuringly embarrassed and non-communist.

Nothing to add except that for our two-person Laetare Sunday supper we had a pink feast: duck breast, mashed potatoes dyed with beetroot juice, beetroot, red wine, and strawberry mousse for pudding, followed by zeppole. It feels like wartime, but that was definitely not wartime food.

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