Monday 20 April 2020

A Sunday Walk

Returning to our pre-Lenten diet may have been a mistake. I feel very tired. Yesterday I had the sense not to drink coffee in the afternoon, though.

B.A. came into the sitting-room, where I was with my morning coffee, to tell me that there had been frost in the night. I was terrified for my beans and rushed out with pop bottle cloches that I had cut too short. Fortunately the beans looked okay. There was frost on the lawn, but not on the trug. Possibly I am too invested in the survival of six broad beans.
Closest look at the butterfly

Then I wrote a letter to my writing student to explain what
she needs to work on, in case that was not clear from the red scribbles on her submission. I also went through the draft again to mark in black everything that was particularly good. Then I was haunted that I hadn't done this for her brother. I am going crazy worrying about seedlings and the psyches of two children.

At 10:55 AM I dragged myself away to get ready for Mass. I set up two chairs in front of the sofa table, found Warrington on my computer, put on a dress, and filled up the incense defuser. The homily was fiery about lockdown conditions, and B.A. repeated told the screen that this would all pass until he realised the homilist's rhetorical strategy.

Country path.
Leftover spaghetti bolognese for lunch, and then we went for a walk to the countryside. I had a headache and indigestion, but indigestion is not a symptom of the Vile Germ, so I didn't worry. However, after we had walked though a few fields and reached the next settlement, I vetoed walking to a copse. I was simply too tired and sick. So we turned around and took an even more scenic path home. Halfway there, B.A. also felt tired, so he sat on a grassy knoll and I lay in the sun with my Panama hat over my face. This I enjoyed. It was not a warm day, but it was certainly sunny. The sky was clear and bright blue. Apparently dogs came along and showed an interest in my hair, which presumably they took for a beast of some kind.
Rocky wall & the Pentlands

B.A. stopped off at Tesco to get a Sunday newspaper for my beans, but I went straight home to lie down. I took my computer and read an unintentionally funny article in the Harvard Review against homeschooling. The central arguments were that  90% of homeschoolers are conservative Christians (the horror) and that it is bad for children to be in their parents' clutches 24/7. The illustration showed a child locked up in a house of books (including the hated Bible) as other children played outside, which homeschooling Twitter users found risible.

As this is the first time in centuries that schools are closed all over the world and most children in America are being homeschooled, it seems like an odd-time for the Harvard Review to publish an anti-homeschooling piece. Perhaps it's to warn parents who have newly developed a taste for directing their children's education not to get any ideas.

One thing I am reasonably sure about schools is that children pick up the ethos of the one they're in during the most impressionable part of their lives and then it is hard for them to lose it. (This can take curious forms.) Meanwhile when my family in Quebec discerned that their children were being treated like Anglo-Saxon Uber Untermenschen they had the children out of that school and into another in a minute de la Ville de New York. Not all parents have the choice of a different school, though.

B.A. returned with the Observer, and I read its left-wing point of view with some interest. I skipped the Trump-hate in favour of the Boris-hate and Royal-hate. My goodness. Also hated: lifting restrictions on the quarantine, except for children in Spain, and lying about the neighbours to police to settle old scores. Loved: ratting on the neighbours for not following the social-distancing guidelines. I was vaguely reminded of the cult of Pavlik Morozov--here he is.
Pentlands again.

I had a telephonic Italian class, which I cancelled. B.A. jokingly called me a slug-a-bed, which did not go down well, especially as under my Observer reading, I was worrying about the dandelions.  When the sun went down, I put pages of the Observer over the beans.

Flowering tree.
We had duck legs (which had been on special) for supper and watched some rubbish telly before I,   cross-eyed with exhaustion, called my mother on Skype.

One cheerful thing: a Glaswegian acquaintance of long ago wrote asking if my short story manuscript had been published, as he wanted something to read. My manuscript (from 2015) was rejected so many times, I had given up on it. But I sent it off to the Glaswegian and a friend-fan in America, too, who accepted it happily. So that was gratifying.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed reading your blog today. And the pictures are lovely too.