Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Where to start? Each day is more unbelievable than the last.

Rachel has given up on Lent. She, whose piety inspires us all!

The Boat Race, the Grand National, the Chelsea Flower Show, the Queen’s distribution of Maundy Money on Maundy Thursday, all gone. For England, this is rather more serious than abolishing daffodils and lambs. And what if one had gone into a betting shop mid-January and offered a small sum to bet that the Boat Race and the Grand National would both be cancelled this year?

Foot and mouth might have stopped the National. A tsunami or the sinking of the Cambridge boat could have given pause to the Boat Race. But both in the same year? One would have made a fortune.

And what about the Strathardle Highland Games, on the 4th Saturday of August? I suppose the fate of the Olympics has to be decided first.

As matters stand, our trip to Kirkmichael is going ahead tomorrow. In that case, I won’t be back here until Monday, although I might contrive to send a few sentences from my iPad in the interim. My current anxiety is, what if one or the other of us develops symptoms while there? We’d be stuck. It’s for C. to worry about that – she’s the one who’s about to be a grandmother again, here in Edinburgh.

The Church of England has cancelled all public services. Have the RC’s done that? I’ve stopped going to Mass, but I have assumed it was available for the intrepid.

Every morning on Radio Four we have Prayer for the Day at 5:45. Sometimes I hear it, sometimes I doze. I have always assumed, however, that an actual holy person was in an actual studio, talking to us. Today we had a nun talking about St. Patrick. She spoke in his praise, not surprisingly, and alluded to parades and parties and religious services. What planet was she broadcasting from?

I’ve finished row 43 of the Cameron Shawl borders. But I’ll be taking the Oak Park scarf north with me tomorrow.


  1. Have a lovely trip and try your very best just to knit with pleasure and enjoy yourself.

  2. Anonymous7:53 PM

    I think if one of you develops symptoms there it would be fine to return home in your own private car. But it is unlikely to happen.Have a wonderful time.

  3. don't know about the uk, but over here mass is "cancelled" until further notice, or rather people are to stay at home - they can listen and even watch, because a lot of churches over here have radio transmitters or even cameras! the churches stay open for individual prayer, but not for bigger gatherings. even communions have been cancelled!
    enjoy your trip and try to think of something else for a little while!

  4. Yes, we're in uncharted territory all right. In our village the Indian restaurant and takeaway has got right on it and is offering to deliver without you having to interact with the deliverer. I admire that kind of thinking. We have bought seed potatoes for the allotment, although it will be some time before I can actually dig this year.

  5. Here in MD (US) schools are closed, courts are closed for all but the most immediate emergency hearings, restaurants only open for carryout, bars are closed, just about every social activity has been canceled. I'm working for the most part from home - as is anyone else who can. Hope your trip brings you sunshine and fresh air - maybe I'm old-fashioned, but that always seemed to me to be a darn good preventive measure, too:)! Safe travels!

  6. I hope you enjoy every minute of your adventure.

  7. I too am in Maryland, and how odd it is that we are all having the same experience across space and culture and age and nationality. The same incredulity and dawning understanding that this is a new world, hardly recognizable from the world we knew just a week or two ago.

  8. Here in New York City, all museums and theaters have closed. People are advised to stay at home. We live next to Central Park and can walk there with neighbors, keeping a bit of distance.
    I saw, somewhere on the internet, a short video of a priest giving drive-through confessions. He was seated on a chair on a street, and would listen to the person who stayed in the car. I do believe churches have cancelled services.
    I hope you enjoy your trip with family.