Sunday, March 15, 2020

The Ides of March

I spoke to my sister today. She’s given up Lenten abstinence which is not a bad idea. She and her husband are meant to join me and C. on our May cruise. She hasn’t much hope. I still cling to a shred of it. The Majestic Line has just sent us our luggage labels.

We had a dear aunt who lived past her 100th, and used to say towards the end that the sad thing about extreme old age was that you knew you weren’t going to find out how the story ended. I’ll be happy enough to read coronavirus books in two or three years time. She wants to see the 20-year book. (She’s younger than I am, but not that much younger.)

She and her husband live in a retirement community in DC. It has obviously gone into lockdown, for she says, a propos Lenten abstinence, “everything else is gone, visits with grandsons, visits with friends, meals in the dining room, exercise programs, the swimming pool, the library, museums, Metro rides, concerts, lectures, church. It does not seem unreasonable to go back to wine with dinner…”

Denied Mass, I watched a papal Mass on Youtube yesterday. I have recently seen the excellent Netflix movie, The Two Popes, and couldn’t help feeling that Bergoglio looked a lot like Jonathan Pryce all right, but wasn’t quite…

It is to be deduced that in England the elderly and vulnerable (=me; Rachel’s husband Ed who is asthmatic; James who is a Type One diabetic) are soon going to be told to self-isolate and to stay in that condition for months. Ed and James have a living to earn. I’ll be all right. Here in Scotland we will just be told to reduce our social contacts. I haven't got all that many to begin with.

The early evening news reported that supermarkets were besieged today. Everybody is stocking up on cat litter, presumably.


  1. I'm crocheting a blanket or throw for a friend's daughter's wedding, all arranged for August. The wedding may or may not be able to happen; the groom is Polish and the bride's family English, but the blanket is becoming a statement of faith. I can pray for them and the families as I chug along the rows.

  2. At least the baby we're expecting next month -- for whom I knit that shawl in South African colours -- won;t be cancelled, whatever happens.

  3. You must have one of the widest social contacts spread of anybody. Surely we all count as social contacts, and unless the internet goes down, we will still be here, looking for distraction ourselves.

  4. I am depending on the internet to (a) work and (b) keep up my social contacts with people like you! I check your blog post each morning - just to be sure you are still here! (I was even guilty of contacting Helen when you were ill last year/year before to check on you.)

  5. I loved The Two Popes, too.
    I'm thankful for a house that hums with everyday doings. Take good care, Jean.

  6. =Tamar6:22 PM

    It's odd to see what is selling out here and what isn't. Large canisters of oatmeal were gone today (lots of small sizes still available), and one shelf in the canned soup section was empty, though there was plenty on the other shelves.