He Fancied His Mother, So We Named Him Pharaoh
Hello, how are you getting on with this very strange year of 2020? I keep thinking I am used to it—I have come to terms with the fact that every book-signing and fair has been cancelled this year and I really am not going to be selling many books—and then something else is cancelled, and all the frustration returns. I am obviously not alone, because our town is planning to have an ‘open day’ on 3rd October. It was planned through our town Facebook group (usually the place for people to rant about potholes and inconsiderate parking). Lots of people make crafts, or are artists, and we are all discouraged by the lack of places to sell our work. So, on the 3rd October, we are all going to place stalls at the end of our gardens, and people can walk or drive around town, looking at what’s on offer. To be honest, I doubt if I will actually sell any books, but it’s rather nice to have something in the diary, isn’t it?
Of course, all my animals are completely unperturbed by Covid-19. The ducklings are now on the pond, and—wonders!—they are all female. (You might remember that last spring, all my females flew away in the search of mates, and I was left with a pond full of obviously unattractive drakes.)
The chicks I hatched are a cross between the white Leghorn chickens and my grey Legbar. I am really hoping that the females will lay blue eggs, but they are still too little to lay at the moment. The Legbar cockerels are no more, as they started to get vicious. I only have one full-grown cockerel at the moment, and he is very beautiful but rather sad, as his mate died last week. He keeps running to all the places she used to go and calling for her—so my garden is very noisy at the moment. The relationship was a confused one, as she was also his mother, so I named him Pharaoh, because marrying siblings and fathering children with daughters seems to have been quite a thing in ancient Egypt. I was very confused when I was studying the lineage of the Pharaohs, as there are so many weird couplings—they have a very narrow family tree—it’s probably just as well many of them were sterile and the line died out.
We went to the beach last week. I was feeling depressed with life, so Husband rearranged his schedule, and we zoomed off to Camber with the dog. Kia loved it, and it ‘did my soul good’ as my granny would say, to see her running through the waves. When she had her twisted stomach at the start of the year (really—what an awful year this has been!) my fear was that after such a big operation, she would never enjoy life again. But I can report, that whilst she is beginning to feel her 13 years, Kia is still tremendously excited by sea and sand and seagulls.
On the way home, we had lunch in a pub (The King’s Head in Playdon). There was hand-santiser strategically placed, and the staff wore masks, and the tables were well spaced, and every customer had to leave their contact details. It all felt very safe, and encouraged me to think that eating out doesn’t have to be risky.
But then we went to Ashdown Park Hotel for lunch on Sunday, and that was entirely different! The staff did nothing at all to guard against Covid. They didn’t wear masks, we were given the same menu folders as other tables, they placed the food and drink directly on the table, and I wasn’t aware of any extra wiping or washing or screening at all. Such a shame, especially when they must be struggling to cover their costs and need customers to return. It was a lovely venue, but annoying they aren’t doing more to stop another peak.
My fears for society are reflected in the vocabulary in Mandarin I am learning so that I can chat with my friends:
Jingji weiji shi hen dou gongsi daobi, ye shi hen dou ren shiqu le gongzuo.
Which reminds me to tell you: I have decided to study ancient Greek and Hebrew. I often feel frustrated when I discover that something I thought I understood in the Bible has a completely different meaning when you look at the original language it was written in. I realise that if I don’t start to study the things I want to study now, then suddenly I will wake up and I’ll be too old. I have signed up for a course that begins at the end of September, and I am very excited about it. I shall tell you all about it when I start.
On another brighter note, the plum trees have loved the weather this year and my freezer is now full of plum crumble. When I walk, the hedgerows are teeming with blackberries and fat acorns are dropping from the trees. There are also a whole new lot of weird fungus growing on my lawn. We might have had a rubbish year so far, but nature remains beautifully abundant.
I hope you have a positive week. Thank you for reading.
Love, Anne x