Corona Diary, Day 42

Sunday, 26 April

The first thing to do next time there is a virus warning is to go to the barber. I didn’t do it this time and when I eventually emerge from my hermitage, I will blend in well with all the other eccentrics and lonely polesitters with my silver locks in wanton disarray. I can even manage a sufficiently wild expression after my asteroid belt brain has been left to its own devices for weeks and weeks with small ideas whizzing around on eccentric orbits unimpeded. Only the stone for breast beating and the self-flagellation kit will be missing to mark me off from the crowd of shuffling sufferers. And I can’t order anything like that from Amazon as I’d have to pick it up from the pretend post office at the crowded local shop, which is surely an infection hotspot.

The last couple of days, I’ve mainly spent on reorganising the storage cupboard in my flat as it was becoming so densely packed as to be close to the threshold for becoming a black hole. And I have enough problems with space and time as it is without them combining and distorting half the flat and having to reach my bedroom through a wormhole.

But I’m pleased with the result and that I’ve got rid of my self-storage facility. And I’ve thrown out tons of paper (yottagrams anyway) that has dogged my footsteps for about 15-20 years without good reason. I also purged my wardrobe of everything too big and too small and odd items only suitable to wear if playing a peasant in a Brecht play.

I’ve been reading “Uppsalavandringar”, a number of walks looking at Uppsala’s architecture. I like the book very much as it’s for the lay person but doesn’t talk down to its readers while at the same time doesn’t get lost in technicalities. The built environment is important for all of us but as architecture is not a school subject, we tend to be poorly educated and discussion on new buildings is often at a low level. At the same time, city planners and architects with insufficient education on the social and psychological impact of and responses to architecture need feedback expressed in a way that is comprehensible to them and which broadens the way they think.

My plan was to study the buildings of Gunnar Leche, who was Uppsala’s city architect from 1920 to 1954. His career spanned the period from the end of the national romantic era through neo-classicism (Swedish grace) to functionalism. With the aid of my book, I planned to visit his buildings in chronological order in an area called Fålhagen to see the imprint of the older styles on the new, the national romantic remnant in the neo-classical building and later moves towards functionalism (but not all the way). I scrapped my original plan to cycle to the relevant locations but am now going to see how much I can get out of looking at the buildings on Google street view. If it doesn’t work, I’ll try very early next weekend (the days are getting seriously long now in these parts) or postpone it to post-Corona when I can get the bus down to town again with lungs intact.

Otherwise, I had a long telephone conversation with a friend in London. And visited the recycling point twice to at least bring me up to 7,500 steps and part company with a yottagram or two of old paper.

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