Corona Diary, Day 4

2020-03-19 Corona-diary-day-4

I spend the morning preparing February’s file for my accountant. It was a quiet month workwise but complicated by credit card payments in Bengal, some private and some for Anglia (mostly books and computer equipment). I’ve got a lot more systematic over the years with receipts but there’s still quite a bit of room for improvement and I riffle backwards and forwards in my files after elusive bits of paper. And I can’t print directly from my desktop computer but have to mail everything to a laptop first, which complicates things (this being the cause of the cable trailing across the floor that I fell over the day before yesterday).

i’m not quite sure why I want to do this just now as it could wait for a while. But somehow I want to get it done so that I don’t have to think about it any more. And after working together for 74 years with David Kendall, I know that rational conduct is pitching it a bit high; the way to go is managed irrationality. It would probably warm the cockles of the Tax Agency’s heart anyway that citizens were prepared to struggle hard to put their house in order, come what may…

By late morning, I’ve fixed the accounts (leaving my workroom looking like I’ve just had a visit from a friendly local hurricane). I organise the recyclables to take with me. Our house (which is brand new) has no recycling room. We are supposed to take all metal, glass and plastic to containers at a shop almost a kilometre away with no direct bus there. This building is also for the Over 55s. This doesn’t seem very green to me (do they think we all have cars?). The property company make up for it by having cheerful advice on the website about how we can live in a more sustainable way.

I am tempted to write a quote from the New Testament (Matthew 7:3-5) on the rubbish shute – “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye” but there isn’t room and I’m not sure it would be readily understood…

It’s not a huge problem for me personally but it’s kind of irritating that something that should take 5 minutes, takes at least half an hour and the extent of waste sorting at our house is probably low.

I have to post the accounts at the post office counter at the shop so I’m kitted up with my mask. There aren’t many people around and I can glide towards the desk with people at a good distance (in fact, although the mask is not considered as offering such good protection, people avoid getting too near to someone wearing a mask, especially a slightly weird hi-tech mask like mine, which probably does enhance its protective ability). Maybe I should get myself a bell like lepers used to have in mediaeval times to clear the way even better (preferably rung by someone dressed up as the grim reaper who is walking in front of me but I suppose creepy reapy is busy just now playing a return match of chess with Max von Sydow…).

I decide to scrap my original plan of seeing how long it took to walk to my store as I’ve already dedicated half a day to commercial activity. I find a new way back from the shop to my flat, which is very people-free (and see how tracks go off from this road out into real countryside which is even more satisfying as spring is coming). I spend the rest of the day and part of the evening reading “Courrier international” which I like a lot. It’s a French publication that translates articles from newspapers worldwide, everything from Jerusalem Post, the Washington Post, Die Zeit, MIT Technology Review and a lot more. Very satisfactory to be able to catch up with what’s happening and to improve my French reading skills at the same time.

My elder daughter comes by in the early evening and drops off a couple of bags of groceries so I’m not without a support team!

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