The Corona Diaries – Day 55

These are strange days indeed! One hears about deaths with distant friends but no direct deaths in anyone close (thank Heavens) or in the village. It’s surreal.

I can understand why some people think it’s all an overreaction. It does not seem real. But it is. There is a killer virus out there and mass graves in Central Park. It’s killed over 31,000 in the UK and 77,000 in the USA. But it has put a hell of a lot more than that on ventilators and in intensive care. This isn’t the flu.

If it had not been for all the personal distancing and isolation the health services would have been overwhelmed. There would not have been beds and ventilators and people would have been left to die – just like what is happening in the Care Homes!!

So for fifty five days we’ve been in lockdown. I still can’t say that I’m finding it too hard. Although I miss friends and family, gigs and theatre, I have my writing, my reading, walking and TV. I lead a busy life.

The government seems to still be in a dither. One minute they are leaking to the Press that there is going to be a relaxation of the lockdown and the next minute they are changing their mind. All very confusing. The problem seems to be that the numbers of new cases are still not coming down.

It’s a bit disturbing. It is noticeable that more people are out, more shops are opening and there’s more traffic. We could well be in for a second wave.

In the States it looks dire. The virus is ramping up in many areas and there are a lot of nutters who are not distancing. They’ll be a mighty reckoning!

I hope it goes on for a while yet – I still have two more rooms to decorate.

Today was VE Day – something I feel ambivalent about. I like to think that I would have joined with the international effort to oppose fascism. I respect all the men and women who fought the Nazis. But I don’t like the nationalism or the way it is represented as Britain against Germany. Many in Germany opposed the Nazis and many were tortured and killed for their opposition.

I do not like the jingoistic patriotism. It smacks of Brexit and has racist overtones for me.

This morning we walked up to the top of the hill overlooking the Wolds to see it basking in the sunshine. We passed lots of houses with their bunting. I was heartened to see one house regaled in flags of all different countries! That was my type of house!

I haven’t got much writing done today. I had to take down and repair the blind in my room. I’m not very good at that sort of thing.

I’m off to do a bit of reading!

Take care – Stay Safe!!


Response to Armed right-wing Thugs storming Michigan Legislator.

A reasoned response to Trump’s reaction to armed men intimidating the Governor of Michigan.

Is this sort of behaviour acceptable now in America? Can armed people – thugs – threaten politicians with impunity?

Clearly the President condones this. How would he feel if a bunch of armed Democrat thugs stormed the White House!

What on Earth is happening to America??????

The Right’s Gun Routine Falls Flat During the Pandemic

This is scary stuff. America has gone nuts!!

Poetry – Nature’s Rainbow

Nature’s Rainbow


Yellow, blue, white and pink,

Glittering between shades of green,

Under blue sky,

Yellow sun,

And white clouds;

As Spring explodes in colour.


In the trees, the hedgerows

And verges,

They purvey their scent

To attract and seduce

With UV tracks,


And lively pallor.


Insects, birds, rabbits

And hares

Go about their business

In this new land of plenty

After months

Of slim pickings.


Opher – 3.5.2020



After the grey days of winter nature explodes into colour as the brown soil and skeletons of trees erupt in buds, leaves and flowers.

It is as if nature is providing its own rainbow.

This is a time of renewal, a time of plenty.

It is a joy to watch.

The Corona Diaries – Day 48

Well the USA has more deaths from Corvid-19 than were killed in the whole of the Vietnam war and the UK is heading for the worst death-rate in Europe.

The USA is on a curve soaring up into the stratosphere with no sign of levelling off. But then to isolate or social distance is communist. I wonder if those Tea Party pranksters still feel it is just a Democrat Hoax. Maybe at some point they’ll change their mind and accept global warming – or even vaccination!

Or are they pinning their hopes on God saving them??

Looks like these populist leaders are completely useless!! But don’t say I didn’t tell you!!

Meanwhile, due to isolation and social distancing, we are exempt from infection and haven’t died yet! Yippee – still got book to write!!

Yesterday we heard from two friends that they had relatives that had died – one lost a sister and one a niece. It makes it real.

In the Care Home in Driffield it is rumoured that thirteen have died. But hey – they’re only old. They don’t count, right?

So life goes on in isolation. We decorated the stairwell today – a big job. But it looks great. So it’s a productive time!

I have done a few pages of my poetry book. Played some Gil Scott-Heron and tidied up the blog. Still haven’t found time to watch that Michael Moore – but it’s on the list!

Then we went for an hour’s walk – just down the back lanes. It rained a little but was OK.

Tomorrow is Liz’s birthday. I’m taking her in for dinner! Perhaps I should have got a card or something?

Birthday in lockdown is a bit different to usual!

It’ll be seven weeks tomorrow!! Wow!  I’m getting used to this rhythm.

Stay Safe everyone!!  Stay out of the USA!! It’s looking a bit dicey over there!!  Take care my American friends!!

Poetry – The Powers of Laughter

The Power of Laughter


Laughing and joking

When times are rough;

That’s the way to do it

Even when the going’s tough!


Economic mayhem

From the blind man’s bluff

Death stalks a handshake.

That ain’t funny stuff!


Opher – 28.4.2020



At times of stress or sadness the British always turn to humour as a way of dealing with the fears!

In this time of great uncertainty, worry and fear it is humour that will help us through – Oh – as well as a choccy biscuit, a cup of tea and a nice cuddle!

Music to keep me Sane in Isolation! – Gil Scott-Heron

Gil was a writer and musician. He wrote novels and lyrical poems.

He created a jazz-fusion rap that put his poetry to music – often with an African beat.

He was unique.

The first track of his that I heard was B Movie – a fabulous diatribe against Reagan. It got me into the rest of his work – The Revolution Will Not Be televised, Whitey On the Moon and Inner City Blues all hit the mark.

Gil wrote about the plight of the black ghettos in a way that nobody had. This was poetic social commentary with biting satire and beauty.

Love the man!

So today I will being play Gil loud and proud!

Music Today to stop me from going insane in Isolation – Snooks Eaglin!

I discovered Snooks way back in the sixties. I was a Blues nut and used to hunt through all the second-hand record shops looking for rare blues albums. I discovered this Folkways album with its thick cardboard cover. It was called Snooks Eaglin – New Orleans Street Singer.

It wasn’t quite the Blues album I thought it was. Snooks was not really a Blues singer. Neither was he a Folk singer.

I was unfamiliar with New Orleans music at the time – even though I’d heard a bit of Swamp Blues (Slim Harpo and Lazy Lester) and things like Huey ‘Piano’ Smith and Frankie Ford. I later got into the special hybrid vibe of New Orleans. Loved it.

But Snooks was always special. I love his melodic songs and warm voice. He’s so gentle and special.

So today I’m going to be playing Snooks real loud while I do a spot of decorating!

Poetry – Mother Nature

Mother Nature


Pirouetting through the stars

Twirling and spinning

Through the sky.

Her dress of green,

Trailing over hills,

Through forests

And seas.

Her caress bringing creatures to life.

From ice to fire,

Her body is alive

With mystic energy

Stretching over aeons,




From simplicity to complexity,

From nothing to something.

She smiles upon the universe,

Unique and fantastical.

She cavorts through the ages

Breathing life into the very rock.

Her dreams

Fill the air,

The sea

And the land.

Her breath drives the wind.

Her tears fill rivers and oceans.

Her laughter brings forth laughter.

Her smile lights the sky.

Wounded by her own children

She continues to give

Without blame.


Opher 28.2.2020

Poetry – Meaning



Forged in the centre of a star

Where atoms are stripped

And split,

The molecules of my mind were created.


As it spewed its substance forth

In a supernova blast,


The nascent energy permeated.


Into matter, carbon and DNA

In wondrous meaning


As if all life was fated.


The unique fire was lit,

A spark of consciousness,

Of life,

A spark that cannot be equated.


For without that spark

The whole infinite universe

Is meaningless

In darkness unalleviated.


Opher – 19.12.2019



I find it hard to imagine and a joy to wonder at, that all the matter and energy in the universe blasted into existence in the instant of the Big Bang. That naked, basic matter, condensed in stars, nuclear dynamos of heat and pressure, in which the more complex elements were created.

So all the atoms of my planet and my body emanated from the inferno of a star.

Those suns spawned matter and give light and warmth to nourish life. They are truly the gods of the heavens. No wonder primitive people worshiped them.

But it is us that give this incredible spectacle meaning.