April is the cruellest month, breeding. Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing. Memory and desire, stirring. Dull roots with spring rain. (Eliot)
Yesterday was a difficult day for me. I could not anyhow sleep after I witnessed the documentation of ICU at University College Hospital and then we had our first quarrel in our household with DEFRA. (please see end-note re DEFRA for anyone new to the diaries.) We quarrelled over Dido: whether or not it was safe for her to go out with her dog walker/ best companion, Suzie. We have not had an uncomfortable word or disagreement since we locked down as an extended household three weeks ago and agreed that nobody would come into the house with the exception of Suzie. I know that I have a Vizsla obsession and project all my unspoken fears onto losing Dido. Our freezer is occupied solely by kilos of her chicken wings. We have shared three Vizslas in our married life which extends beyond 50 years. (We haven’t killed any of them off.) We have also had two Boxers and one German pointer, sometimes more than one large dog at the same time, along with an assortment of cats. I don’t know what it is about Vizslas that makes me think they are living works of art. Elizabeth Frink agreed.
They are nicknamed the Velcro dog because they demand to be beside their owners at all times, except they own us. In Hungary, from where they originate, they were regarded as aristocrats and when they were not running alongside the carriages they slept at their master’s feet, whether by the hearth or by the bed. The quarrel about whether Dido, like the tiger could end up a super-spreader is mended, Dido is still at my feet. Fortunately Zen who is to have his own photo-shoot diary later this weekend never leaves the house. I have recorded him sitting in countless positions with his luminous eyes piercing the dark. During the course of every Zoom session there is a moment when the video freezes and it quite extraordinary to witness the pathos of the human face in ‘freeze’. I am grateful that I never see my own. But the other presumably does. If it were not for the question of confidentiality the collection of frozen expressions would be worthy (how I hate that word) of a Frieze exhibit.
Dido has decided that Zooming is a tolerable way to fill up the hours between walks. Only three weeks ago we were walking beside of the lake in Regent’s Park and waiting to see if more cygnets would appear… At that time I would have laughed out loud if anyone had suggested that I would come to see park runners as a super spreading hazard.
It’s 8.12 PM. I’ve just finished Zooming, eaten supper with John and come upstairs to finish this blog. To my dismay the bed is unmade! I fear I couldn’t face doing anything yesterday morning after the harrowing experience of witnessing ICU at University College on Monday night. The Tuesday duvet-changing-wrestling ritual passed us by until I stripped the bed this morning. The thought of cavorting with the beast tonight and trying to match its corners leaves me preferring the alternative of camping without sheets. I didn’t get round to Yoga either today and I’m too tired to utilise my newly learnt skill of sending out Zoom invitations in advance. It’s strange with this lock-down and Zoom sessions – people either seem to be coping in the most extraordinary and unexpected ways, or they are plummeting into free-fall. I have so much I want to write about the experience of consulting online but that is for the bank-holiday weekend.. And space.
It is long past midnight. I cannot sleep and tomorrow is a heavy Zoom filled day. I have to change the linen as soon as I wake up. I have just listened to a set of Haydn Trios and now to Brian Cox on Desert Island Discs. John used to work with him frequently. He is impressive, modest and seemingly transparent. He had a scorched and traumatic attachment history in essence losing both of his parents before he was in his teens but it has led him to degrees of personal self knowledge. And kindness. I wish the same was true of the man to whom many of us are currently energetically connected with grave concern for his welfare and wishes for his recovery. Our prime-minister. He also grew up under emotionally challenged circumstances with a fractured attachment history. The oldest of four children. What I cannot forgive Boris for is that he in turn seems unable to forgive any of the previous cabinet ministers, who rebelled against him during the election/Brexit processes, regardless of the contributions and experience they could now bring to Government. In his absence he has left his country with a well-meaning and in some few instances brilliant but Kindergarten Cabinet. Dare I be presumptuous as to say that perhaps – with his own battered attachment history – he is still, like Peter Pan wreaking havoc on ‘The Grown Up Parents’. Enough of this insomniac prattle, I am going downstairs to raid the fridge for those Lindt Neapolitan chocolates that are so slender they never seem to add up into calories.