82.  Watching, not joining.  The Saturday before Christmas.

An announcement this afternoon that new restrictions are to begin tomorrow.  This is the most urgent implementation yet, I believe.  Stay at home, essential shops only to open, go out for a walk but only with one other person, and so on.  This just reinforces the feeling of detachment, end, disengagement, empty time.  The bookshop is now closed again.  The sky outside is black.  How many more days inside looking out waiting for time to pass?

Monday is the winter solstice, after which the days get longer, mornings get earlier, spring arrives, things grow.  I already have a cabbage and a cauliflower plant growing.  They are just leftover vegetable parts planted and watered, fake plants really.  They perhaps won’t produce anything edible.  They won’t be inedible, the most to hope for is just connected leaves.  Pleasing green mavericks that grow because they choose to, and it is not my place to stop them.  The geraniums need to come in tomorrow.

I haven’t felt very able to write recently.  I could be one of those painfully self-indulgent writers who needs peace, Earl grey tea, a sea view, the right type of pen and paper, an Egyptian cotton cushion.  I’m not, but I do find place important, and at home in the flat every day I allow distracting routines to take root.  Going to places by train is usually the way I force myself to write, or visiting dim low taverns with patterned plates.  I don’t visit with the plates.  I usually don’t leave with them these days, as I have enough at home now.  Both sanctuaries are currently forbidden, anyway.  I could probably get away with a journey just bluffing it, looking like I have a reason to go somewhere, but for the first time in all this (is it a year?  Longer?) I feel morally obliged not to.  There’s a feeling now that this undefined thing could lurch on forever, throwing new twists up every few weeks.

I still want to escape elsewhere really, but that prospect seems as impossibly distant as ever at the moment.  Nothing is possible.  Everyone just waits, trembling.  I had a brief intercourse online this morning with diarist and dandy Dickon Edwards about suitable places for bohemian loners to locate themselves.  He really needs a sumptuous armchair beside a fireplace to go with his smoking jacket, but he doesn’t need me to point this out.  St Leonards came up, as well as Kenneth Williams in spartan Bloomsbury flats.  I’m favouring Lawrence Durrell’s example, skipping between attic garrets in Paris and Corfu, being broodily sexy, and dropping in on naked Henry Miller in Mayfair when social life beckons.  Not literally dropping, although perhaps.  I wasn’t there.  I don’t know if Dickon is the person I worked with in a trouser warehouse in Walthamstow some decades ago.  It is an unusual name. 

This evening I’m watching (not joining in with) a Geoff Marshall railway quiz on youtube.  I’m sure it keeps him happy.  After, I may watch A Clockwork Orange.  Only one scene was filmed in Thamesmead, whatever people say.

The oven doesn’t work.

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