Posts Categorised: 2020

Social Distancing: Week 2

Post dedicated to Jane Ades and Oscar Romero

Nicaragua 2018

I found this diary entry written exactly two years ago.  A different sort of “Social-distancing.”

“I could be on a cruise playing deck shuttles, drinking gin and tonics with the captain and finding multiple husbands.

Instead, I am 75 miles down a river in Nicaragua on my way to meet a Rama tribesman who will take me to stay in his community.

Filling in the time I go on a trip to the jungle with a Danish couple.

I’m not really expecting this to be hard so I’m a little surprised when the hotel hands me gum boots and wishes me well. 

We register at the unnerving, bizarre army station with very young boys waving guns and hardly smiling at all.  This is a protected area, and you will most certainly be shot if you don’t follow the protocol.  We follow the protocol.

We moor at some wooden steps and off we go. 


Don’t hold on to the trees

Don’t step on a snake

Are We Stupid or What?

There is so much virtual stuff going on that it could become a bit of a tyranny – especially if you have to learn a whole new range of technology.  The first attempt wasn’t exactly plain sailing…

M: let’s try and set up zoom!

V: Go to app icon and search for zoom. It’s incredibly simple! Even I can use it!

M: OK I’ve downloaded zoom and got as far as “invite your colleagues”

V: OK invite me using my email

M: Done that, I’m on and can see myself!

V: OK I’m going to have to take a few moments to work this out. Did you send an invite on my email?

M: No, on zoom I think I pressed the invite button. Shall I end meeting and start again?  Or you invite me?

V: Yes, press the invite button then go into your contacts and invite me via email.  We are so useless at this tech stuff.  This is an opportunity for us to hone our skills

M: OK I’m going to FaceTime you on my phone

V: OK I have sent you an invite. Just look at your emails and click on the link.


V: Oh, go to the top and press the speaker icon.  I can see your foot!

M: Yes but can you hear me?

V: No!! Go to the top of the screen and press speaker icon.  I think you have to allow audio when you start the meeting.



Hello Mr Frog
Dare I?
Garden of Cosmic Speculation
…Lonely as a Cloud

Talking of Complaining…

Are we allowed to complain, get stressed or have anxiety attacks if we are living in the heart of the countryside with plenty of food, family companionship, financial security and haven’t even contracted the dreaded C Virus…yet?

I had this conversation with my daughter and we decided that YES! we are allowed to get upset; this situation is, after all, unprecedented (the most over-used word in the English language at the moment.)  So, I’m allowing myself to get over-anxious and grumpy, especially when I can’t precure the Saturday Guardian.



Garden of Cosmic Speculation: This is where I am!

Second Nature https://www.secondnature

If you want to lose some weight this is a good one.  No deprivation and no starvation.

No Such Thing as a Fish (Podcast) absolutely brilliant and funny!

St James Piccadilly  –   Lucy Winkett does a stonking good sermon every week.  All filmed in the beautiful St. James Piccadilly church (where I got married!)

Joe Wicks  Family work out.  It lasts half an hour and has gone viral everyone loves him so much.

Royal Court Very dark ending but great performance

Hampstead theatre is showing three plays from its archives

Social-Distancing: Week 1

Riding on the wave of the coronavirus hype I was definitely a bit over-ambition thinking I could do a daily blog.

The best thing I did since I last blogged was get going on my bike again.  After my fake knee installation and my broken leg (falling out of a train) my bike has been neglected.  Here I am on the canal with Vicky, my PT and friend, ready to pluck me out of the water if it all went wrong. It didn’t!  It was spectacular in spite of the limb casualties.

After endless family conferences – (we are getting very good at Zoom, Hangouts and Whatsapp and even Skype and face time serve a purpose) it was decided that I would join Amy and family in Dumfries and socially isolate from my own little cottage.  Well, not exactly “my own” but I am feeling quite proprietorial about it.


I had to invite the cat to come with me.  Honestly, how many times can a cat meow?   We left at 3.40 a.m and arrived at 10.50 and he meowed every two seconds for five of those hours.  When he wasn’t meowing I thought he was dead, so I would nudge the cat holder and off he went again to reassure me that he was alive and meowing.  I make that 18,000 meows.  Boris hadn’t told us not to run away from London by Thursday, so I’m sorry Dumfries, I didn’t think I was being selfish.


Two amazing facts:

  • Young friend in Naples has a remote-control dog. Do I believe him? Is this to get around the rules of going outside? He said, “Walking around the city was incredibly surreal.” Really? You don’t say!!
  • A teenage girl with a bunch of daffodils banged on my door and offered her services as my shopper and whatever else I wanted. What a sweet little darling.

As I become increasingly solitary and internalised forgive me for sharing last week’s thought theme: IDENTITY – it is all about identity in my head.  Why?

  1. I am reading “The Cut Out Girl” by Bart Van Es.”Lien can keep her own name and her surname, de Jong, but she must not say anything about Mamma or Pappa or family.  She is not be Jewish now, just a normal girl from Rotterdam whose parents have been killed in the bombing.”
  2. I’m mentoring a Second Year Psychology student at London Metropolitan University.  She sent me her review of a paper about how self-identity affects behavours and how the identity can change during life.  This is all in relation to offending behaviours.  Wow!  I would love to be doing that course!
  3. Finally, my sister’s book – as yet unpublished and untitled – A British girl falls in love with a Mexican culture and the book describes the painful steps of questioning her given identity and trying to adopt another one.



Miss these little munchkins!

Social Distancing: Day 1

Shakespeare wrote King Lear whilst quarantined.  So here goes.  Day One and I reneged on attending my best friend’s birthday lunch. Much to the derision of the host.  Drove to Host’s house to deliver a present to the doorstep. Forgot the present, drove back, picked up the present and drove back again.  How am I doing?

Read the Saturday Times (It’s Sunday) cover to cover.  This is a departure from the normal as I usually read the Saturday Guardian.  It took me a while to find the fiendish sudoko which I completed.  Clever me, rarely achieved with the Guardian but I guess Guardian readers are cleverer.  As a result of reading the reviews decided to give myself a Juliette Binochet season.  Hope they are somewhere to be found on my many TV apps.

Friend rang up and said we oldies are all going to get it (I’ll say it just once – it = Coronavirus)  first but the masks will be snatched off our faces to be given to someone more worthy i.e. younger.  And we will be turfed out of the hospital bed if we ever get there in the first place.  Well they have a point I suppose.

Found two ants crawling on my body.  This is not the first time.  I have a bit of an ant problem which is freaking me out.

Played in the Barnsbury wood with daughter and family using the 2 meter stick to maintain distance.   Useful for prodding them too.

Rest of the day (it’s 1 pm) 1. Extract my bike from the shed 2. fix knob on bedroom curtain 3. summarize Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza (Gloria Anzaldúa) for my cancelled book group meeting. 4. Pay Hackney £65 for turning right – fuckers.

Possible things:  1. Read King Lear for any hints 2. go for a walk listening to Grenville podcast 3. Find Ant nest and exterminate 4.  Break Social Distancing contract and visit anyone who will have me.

© 2024 Margie Mitchell