Saturday 28 August 2021

Unhappy laughter

I don't know whether it was persevering through The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society film or  the news that a British official had escaped Afghanistan with a plane load of dogs and cats but not his Afghan staff, but I really lost it last night. Benedict Ambrose and I had a quarrel about COVID tests and why I wanted a pricey saliva test instead of the free Made-in-China stick up the nose, and I scream-whispered in several bursts.

It was past 11, and although I wanted to scream for real, I did not want to disturb the neighbours. They thoughtfully reserve their rows to Saturday nights before 10. 

I have sworn off news for the weekend, but this morning I've been reading the latest Spectator.  I found myself tittering at something, but it was not a happy sound. 

COVID restrictions + German occupation of Guernsey + Biden abandoning Afghanistan to Taliban + U.S. State Department actively preventing rescue of Afghani Christians + confusing tale about cats'n'dogs = Too Much. 

Clearly we live in terrible times, and if I had known by 1995 or so they were coming and that such a place existed, I would have fled to a certain Benedictine convent in the South of England and taken the veil. How peaceful and sane to polish already gleaming wooden floors and go out to tend the bees and the apple trees. 

On the other hand, I might have invested all my before-and-after-school earnings in Microsoft and then Apple, in which case I would be living in a gated villa on Capri, gently mocked by my friends for not having a wi-fi connection. 

Four common threads to these belated and therefore pointless ideas are gates and walls but also the South and sunshine. 

The comforting thought I had last night, when I strove for sleep, was that at least I help expose them--which theoretically should stop them from getting worse, or at least slow them down. For example, various people do not want you to know that many women experience changes to their monthly cycle after taking a COVID-19 jab. They do not want you to know to such an extent that I was thrilled when someone  wrote about it in the respectable Spectator last week. In the Letters section this week, someone who asked for his/her name not to be published and said he/she was a clinical assessor at London vaccination centres, said that "a conservative" 1 in 5 women report such a change to him. But when one 24 year old asked her pals on Instagram if they had experience this, and her post was instantly blocked.

Anyway, this is confusing work with fun-blogging with abandon, but dare I say that it is hard not to go crazy when we live in such crazy times? 


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