Trees and Caircraft, three weeks of shielding 8/4/2020

When I got my last new car I spent a couple of weeks driving it round like it was made of glass, terrified I might have an accident in something so shiny and brand spanking new (to me). After two weeks it had started to fill with old water bottles, stinky rugby kit, forgotten takeaway wrappers left (mostly) by greedy teenagers, and I was thrashing up and down muddy fen roads like I had with my previous wreck. It had, in short, stopped being the new car and become just, the car. Same thing happened this week with living in hobbitland and being shielded from the rest of the family living in the main house. It stopped being new normal and became just the way things are.

During the week social distancing became ordinary, George worked from home pretty well; we had an isolated barbecue on Sunday when the weather was gorgeous which Paulina prepped to perfection and Nick cooked; I worked out the age of our copper beech by employing beginners trigonometry – turns out it’s about 185 years old; I had some brill writing news which I can’t mention until Friday and did fab free Arvon writing course devised by Tania Hershman; Nick had a huge break-though with his corona-provoked website and Caircraft project; and we had a MORRISONS DELIVERY.

Re Caircraft. When Nick was setting up his covid-19 information website he spoke to loads of people in the medical profession who were worried about lack of Intensive Care Unit beds and equipment which people suffering from the worse c-vid symptoms need to save their lives. At the same time planes were being grounded with Virgin even asking for a govt bail-out. Nick had the idea of recommissioning grounded planes and adapting them to become IC wards because they provide an unconventional solution to a new and huge problem. Planes are not being used, have inbuilt and adaptable oxygen delivery systems, are sealed units and so good at containing infections, and airports are optimally served infastructure wise and are surrounded by hotels to put up medical staff. Also when this is all over the planes can be un-adapted and go back to their previous lives, ready to be recommissioned should this ever happen.

Once he’d thunk it he worked like a fury speaking to medical and aviation experts some of whom were so enthused by the idea they decided to form a group called Caircraft. This week they did a press release and The Times ran an editorial. They were hoping to reach the ear of the UK Govt but unfortunately poor old Boris was taken ill and is now too poorly to talk to so its hard to know who’s really running things, and until he’s better I don’t think there’s anyone able to make it so. (I should say politics wise I’ve never voted tory in my life but wouldn’t wish what’s happening to Boris on anyone and wish him a speedy and complete recovery). Anyhoo, to cut a long story short, The Times editorial was picked up by Reuters and the story circulated throughout the world and loads of journals did articles including The New York Times. There’s been lots of interest from the US so watch this space. Its an innovative idea that could save thousands of lives if he can get it off the ground (to use the most inappropriate metaphor ever.)

In other life changing news, the Morrisons Delivery really showed how times have a changed. Never before has a grocery delivery caused such house-wide excitement. Cupboards were prepped, fridges cleaned, the car moved to give the driver clear access. The family was up at the crack of sparrows waiting at the window with a strange mixture of anxiety (that he might not come) mixed with Christmas-eve excitement at the prospect of hotcross buns, toothpaste and LOO ROLL. When the delivery arrived it was like a military exercise, Harry on onloading, Paulina on unpacking, me on standing two meters away issuing giddy instructions. It was like all our ships had come in!

Re the Arvon free five day workshop which is still live and still free. Here’s the link in case you fancy it https://www.arvon.org/5-day-short-story-challenge/ I found it a brill thing to do and wrote a flash like nothing I’ve ever done before.

Last night there was a pink super moon. It was a bit hidden by the trees when I took this photo at about nine. I took another at 12.30 but it didn’t show what it was like at all. It wasn’t just the moon that was astonishing – it was the light. I’ve never seen such a bright moonshine night, gin clear but weirdly dark too, like clear dark daylight. Apparently these pink super moons are quite rare and one won’t come around again anytime soon. Which means, I suppose, that next time there is one, this crisis will be over. Same moon very different world I suspect.

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