Saturday, March 28, 2020
Applause and a Virtual Drink
I forgot to mention this yesterday, but when Dave and I were watching TV Thursday night, I became aware of a weird sound -- a kind of rhythmic tapping or banging. I paused the TV and said to Dave, "What am I hearing?" He couldn't hear it. I thought it might be the kids upstairs, but I went to the back door and opened it, and realized it was applause -- clapping hands. My neighbors on all sides were standing outside and cheering.
We learned later this was a coordinated demonstration of support for the National Health Service and its employees, who have been at the front lines of the coronavirus battle. We didn't know it was going to happen, or we would have cheered too.
And you know who else ought to get some cheers? The sanitation workers. They came yesterday morning and collected our trash, right on schedule. I thought, boy, are these guys unsung heroes. I saw a few fellow bloggers say the same in their posts later in the day. In this time of disruption and uncertainty it's comforting to see crucial routines continue.
I barely left the house yesterday. Olga and I sat out in the back garden, me with my mediocre Patricia Cornwell novel, Olga with her belly spots.
And then we went, again, to the cemetery. I think Olga's actually doing more walking with me than with her dog-walker. I suspect the walker just takes her to the Heath and lets her loll in the grass, whereas she and I are more actively moving around. She seemed a little worn out yesterday!
In the evening I participated in a "virtual happy hour" with my co-workers. We all poured ourselves a drink and got on Zoom and chatted for a while, to decompress and catch up on the news. It was pretty fun and kind of surreal at the same time! It was cool to get a little glimpse of everyone's home lives in the background -- their decor or their gardens and pets and babies. I've seen articles recently on how to video-conference wisely, including choosing suitable backdrops and dressing appropriately. I guess we're all doing it, right?
My happy hour drink was made with the blood-orange-and-fig infused gin I bought at Sainsbury's the other day, and it was not bad! Not too sweet, and really good with tonic and lime.
I have already lost my bet about Mrs. Kravitz and her plants. She did water them yesterday. I still think most of them are going to perish, though. Stay tuned!
Oh, and remember how I visited filmmaker Derek Jarman's former home in Dungeness last summer? Well, there's a public effort to buy the property and make it available for garden tours and workshops and as an artist's retreat. I've donated to it and I hope they reach their goal -- they're already so close. I'm not a huge fan of Jarman's weird, incomprehensible filmmaking but I recognize how important he was in the worlds of art and gay culture, and I loved reading "Modern Nature," the first volume of his published diaries. (Which was partly about his gardening in the hardscrabble shingle of Dungeness.) I would love to be able to see inside the cottage one of these days!