August 12th, 2020


My mother used to know to turn her bedside light on when she used the commode but more recently she hasn't been doing it- so I've hidden a table lamp behind her TV and left it on all night.

Last night she called me in to question me about it.

"I didn't ask to have that light on," she said.

"But you need it," I said.


So you can see what you're doing."

And so on...

She didn't have her hearing aids in so I was shouting. I don't like how angry I sound when I'm shouting, but I can't pretend I wasn't a little bit angry. The imperious tone she adopts on these occasions stirs up childhood memories.

Was it she who made an anarchist of me? No, that would be altogether too simplistic, but she had a hand in it.

"Did you turn it on?"


"And are you going to turn it off?"


If Ailz had been asleep the concluding set of questions and answers would have woken her up. That last "No!" hurt my throat.

I need to remember my pulpit craft. I used to be able to bounce my voice off distant walls without going hoarse but it's a skill I haven't used in decades.

Signs Of The Times

The Blogger Nigeness- who I follow- is back from a holiday in Dieppe. Everyone on the streets there is wearing a mask but the crowds are such that social-distancing is nothing but a pious dream. On the return journey he and his party were obliged to fill in an intrusive and headache-inducing form which the British port authorities didn't even ask to see. It is, he notes, typical of the Johnson government to be issuing orders that can't or won't be enforced...

But it's not just this government of ours. It's government world-wide. CV19 has taken their powers away. They pull the levers but the wires have been cut.

Our friend "W" reports that a "No Waste" shop has just opened in Tonbridge. You turn up with your own containers- boxes, bottles, bags- and fill them with loose produce. We must find out where it is and give it our custom. I love it that something that would quite recently have seemed wonderfully old-fashioned and quaint is now cutting edge. "Reculer pour mieux sauter", as they say in Dieppe.