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.
|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.
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.
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.
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.