Saturday 4th April The Coronet Diaries.

No Skypes today. Instead an exhilarating day of childcare. And mop-work. Very satisfying. I cannot imagine we will get to the seaside this summer but this is one of my favourite images of childhood.

maggie and milly and molly and may

went down to the beach (to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang

so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles, and

milly befriended a stranded star

whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing

which raced sideways while blowing bubbles: and

may came home with a smooth round stone

as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)

it’s always ourselves we find in the sea. (ee cummings)


Instead, today we taught Dido to play darts! And Zac learnt how to turn around and get out of a chair without falling backwards.

The garden seemed to be full of birds today and I spied a beautiful long tailed tit, which felt like a gift.

I needed a gift after earlier this morning when I had the phone conversation I referred to on Thursday with my young consultant friend at UCH. She rang to talk to me about her children; inevitably we also talked about the difficulties she was confronting at UCH. She is also a research scientist. She commented that after what consultants were witnessing in ICU last night there was no way any of them believed that the mortality figures released by China could be a reflection of the true devastation of this disease. They must have been joking! Yesterday, she was in Theatre to perform surgery on a young woman who had a rupture due to an ectopic pregnancy but there were no anaesthetists available. While she was waiting she went into ICU to help ‘turn over’ the patients, mainly men and generally in the elderly age limit. But not all. Fortunately UCH is relatively well provided with PPE, (an initialisation that I had not noticed before), and she did not feel at risk. A COVOID vocabulary is now unfolding by the day.

Her long training had not prepared her, or her husband also now marshalled to the front line in the Royal Free for watching patients dying in front of their eyes. I hope more long tailed tits will return tomorrow.

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