29 September 2020

First morning in the new flat. So far I’ve learned the walls & ceiling are very thin, the pipes bang, and I am a little freaked out by the spare room that’s locked. What if someone’s secretly living there like that girl who was living under someone’s wardrobe? Still so much to do–shoulders sore from lugging stuff. Plus had to go on a Sheets Quest to buy new ones that fit and make sure I could make my bed! And the estate agents didn’t fix any of the stuff they said they would, which they used as a reason for not letting me move in early when I asked. But honestly it didn’t go too badly. Better get up & going.

28 September 2020

5:45 AM and it is DARK on this train. I’m going to regret waking so early when I want to get to bed at 8 and my groceries arrive at 9 PM but let’s cross that bridge when we come to it. First hurdle: arrive at flat & keys & let the mover in. The guy completely refused to wear a mask and I normally would have insisted for someone working in my home but I didn’t feel I could refuse because it’s not like I could have ordered another truck. Hopefully the combined efforts of me and the estate agent will be enough to make him wear one this morning. If the bloody estate agents even arrive on time: I got a call at 2:30 PM yesterday asking if I could do “any other time that day” for key handover and I was like “Uh, no, that’s what we agreed and that’s when the truck is arriving…” but perhaps I should have pressed more firmly to say the truck charges £50 for every half hour they’re kept waiting. I will certainly be asking Anthea to explain why when they had 3 weeks to work this out with me they waited until the afternoon of the day before, when I’d already made arrangements with the removals firm. Not cool. As usual, no toothpaste in my overnight kit, meaning my mouth feels like cotton wool soaked in brine after last night’s drinks with Daphne. Very sweet of her to see me off. Sunrise not for another hour! Just before we roll into Edinburgh.

27 September 2020

Final day. 12 hours from now I should be enjoying dinner with Daphne before heading to the overnight train. My mind is swirling with what-ifs. But I just have to trust all will be well. The house has that empty echoey feeling of not being lived-in–it’s not my place any more! Just a little last-day packing & cleaning and that’s it. What of the wider world? A few days ago the supreme court of Kentucky refused to indict Breonna Taylor’s shooters for her death. I sent £500 to the Louisville community bail fund and the Louisville mutual aid fund. Dad’s Biden lawn sign got knocked over so he put it up again with rebar. Cases continue to rocket up here in the UK, with university dorms particularly hard hit & very little support for these young barely-adults. Awful. Right now everyone in England and Wales is being smug about Scotland’s failings but it’s only a matter of time before a similar situation elsewhere–though an optimist might say they would learn the lessons of the other unis & do better. An optimist. Better get moving.

25 September 2020

Mom tells me, to my utter lack of surprise, that Aunt Sarah & Uncle Pete have tested positive for Covid-19 after their vacation to Alabama with five other couples. They’re not taking this seriously, and I doubt they’ll get really sick, meaning they’ll take it even less seriously. It was only a matter of time before someone we knew had it and I’m not surprised it’s them, given everything. A small and selfish part of me hopes they do learn to understand the magnitude of the illness, but of course I don’t want them in danger–not really.

23 September 2020

New restrictions announced, I think, but I was too annoyed by Monday’s shambolic performance to watch the news. I’ll check again tomorrow and Sunday before I leave. Weather turned suddenly yesterday–went out at noon for a walk and it was sunny and sultry; wanted to do some hammock time after work but the weather turned suddenly and big clouds rolled in. It was like someone turned the “autumn” switch.

21 September 2020

Picnic with Irene yesterday. Stung on the inside of the lip by a bee that had gotten inside my can of g&t…Not cool. Managed to get the stinger out straight away and Irene ran off to find me some ice. Thankfully only a little swollen–looks like I had bad plastic surgery. This morning it still seems a bit puffy. Well, goodbye to you too, London!

16 September 2020

Dinner with Tim was good after I got over my spikiness about being out and about. Same for Christie’s visit–nice to see her, though she’s as ditzy as ever: tried to take all the cutlery and plates and I had to remind her that I am in fact still living here. She talked about coming back next week and I’m going to have to remind her that I’m still living here and need those things at least until the 26th.

14 September 2020

Cases on the rise, doubling every 8 days at the moment. Sultry heatwave in London–meant to be 83 degrees today. Even the fun things: Tim wants to go out for dinner to say goodbye and I’m dreading it because cases are rising exponentially again. But the UK government being weak (morally) and focused primarily on protecting the economic interests of the powerful, they won’t move to return to full lockdown for at least another 2 weeks when the deaths begin. Right when I’m moving. I feel sick thinking about it. And cases will go up as people are carefree in the unexpected summer weather. Outdoor transmission is low but I think people are getting lax with gathering–and even if outdoor transmission is low restaurants are still attracting lots of people into one place. Offices & schools. Everything. They’re going to have to shut everything again, sooner than they bargained for. But too late for many. At least I had a nice (if slightly disconcerting) walk yesterday and a good catch up with Daphne. On the less fortunate side, upstairs neighbours have gone increasingly amorous. Maybe this is a different couple than before? Here’s hoping the new flat is well insulated for sound.

10 September 2020

Very, very adrenaline rush and crash week. Anxiety about trying to move early which was nixed by the estate agents so now I just have to hope we don’t have further lockdown soon. Or that I don’t get ill or…anxiety very high…going to be an exhausting few weeks. In the wide world, pictures of San Francisco & Oregon looking strangely orange because of the wildfires. The UK has threatened to essentially renege on the withdrawal agreement and even though that should really be the biggest news of the week, somehow other stories are taking precedence (currently the rise in cases.) And I feel so wrapped up in myself I’m forgetting basic social duties towards others: Dad’s got a skin cancer removal either next week or on my moving day the following week. There’s a lot going on and I feel very much like I’d like to stay in bed and hide. At least that’s an option I have–avoiding precarity, living in a stable situation with food, water, electricity, internet…it’s so easy in my cushioned life to forget how difficult the lives of others are.

8 September 2020

New laws announced to prevent more than 6 people congregating except in specific situations. Case numbers continuing to rocket up: government of course blaming people’s “selfishness” for having gatherings at their houses rather than, say, the huge push to kickstart the economy with the ‘eat out to help out’ scheme, the ‘visit London’ and ‘visit Scotland’ campaigns, & reopening schools & offices. No, of course the coronavirus isn’t transmitting in any of those settings, it’s only at private gatherings where people are being selfish. Utter, utter madness. I’m tired and scared and overwhelmed. I want a break.