I’ve woken up not from a bad dream but in a rant. I am not a political person. Or, I was not before COVID 19. I regard myself as politically naive and lazy. I did not vote in the last election. Unacceptable, but as far as I am concerned for obvious reasons. Boris Johnson is not responsible for the fact that at the last high security operations for a pandemic in the UK Cygnus, which took place in 2018, the failure for a degree of preparation in the UK was unquotable. The results were not published. I wrote about this several weeks ago and now it is being reported in the press. But Johnson is responsible for almost everything else that he has allowed to happen since his election.
Exercise Cygnus dramatically exposed the gaps in Britain’s pandemic response but its ‘terrifying’ findings have yet to be published.
As usual the poets got it right, they are often better at understanding the mind than us therapists. Unfortunately I will have to do more research to find which metaphysical poet was the source of both George Orwell and Co Co Chanel’s quotes regarding by the time we are fifty we have acquired the face we deserve. (In the poem it was forty but Jacobean lives were shorter!) The poem is better than either but it escapes me. Boris may be bulging with brains, as his Scholarship CV wants to reassure, but to me his face belies the hedonism which he has never denied and the alleged laziness. ‘Alleged’ and ‘Unprecedented’ seem to be adjectives in an uneasy marriage.
So far the ‘face’ reference continues to elude me but Proust’s image is an awesome alternative:
‘The human face is truly like that of a god in some Oriental theogony, a whole cluster of faces side by side, but on different planes and never all visible at once.’
Marcel Proust: ‘In Search of Lost Time’
There is talk of the children returning to school and the teachers too, which is probably the right thing to do, but who knows… For our household and many others where someone may be immune deficient, or otherwise middle-aged and healthy but liable to bronchitis and pneumonia the logistics seem to be insuperable and the thought of more separation is unbearable . I try to spend as much time as possible with Bell and Zac. We have started up a Sunday night film club. Bell has only recently graduated from cartoons, Harry Potter almost frightened the life out of her, to films we can share. John is less enthusiastic about our choices and prefers anything with subtitles.
At Saturday Night Film Club, our club for two, we have watched Emma with the astonishing Anya Taylor-Joy, West Side Story, (that was acceptable to John), Little Women. Last night I recklessly suggested La La Land. (John and I tried and abandoned it when it won all the awards.) By the time I had reached half-way, watching now with Bell, I still had no idea what the film was about, or trying to communicate. Bell didn’t seem too sure either. I felt so bewildered by the idea of its oscar-winning history I had to consult Wiki to check out the La La plot. Bell was happy to be up late, curled beside me. Eating chocolate. I found the film intolerable, but the thought of self-isolating from the children all over again made me relish every moment of our togetherness. Bell announced that she has had enough ‘Romance’ for now and next week could I find some comedy.
I hadn’t finished today’s blog but one of my ‘patients’ has kindly gifted me this article that I was desperate to post from Saturday’s Times but I couldn’t get behind their pay-wall without subscribing. Everyone and Anyone who is interested in the human condition should take the time to read it. I don’t know whether the link will continue to work but I have ‘selected all and copied’ for anyone who cannot get access who wants to read one of the most disturbing pieces of ‘life writing’ narrative in existence.
Surviving coronavirus: ‘I’m back with the living but it was a close-run thing’ Roger Boyes. Economic Editor of The Times
My confession for the day is that I have ‘found’ my Lindt Neapolitan and have been eating them continuously, surreptitiously and not even shared with John. It’s Tuesday again tomorrow and time to change the sheets.