A Diary of the Plague Year: Day 2 18 March 2020

21.20 Farewell to Stromness.  Just heard this on the radio. So Poignant.  We met Sir Peter Maxwell Davies in the High Street in Kirkwall when we went to the St Magnus Festival. He could not have been more charming or humble. He died the following year and we saw him at the Proms that year too.  London, Orkney, the Proms – it feels like another world, a long time ago.

A Diary of the Plague Year: Day 2 18 March 2020

The problem with self-isolating is that you start to look around the house more … what with Spring seeming to lurk around the corner despite the endless, endless rain everything starts to look a little grubby.

Do I really need all these shoes?



I hardly wear any of them.  One pair is a pair of climbing boots (!) given to me on my 21st birthday.  The thing to do is to photograph them and chuck.

What to keep though? The fake snakeskin with kitten heels – definitely not me – what was I thinking? The Germolene pink Vivienne Westwood flatties – keep – though they make my feet smell  like Harrod’s cheese counter.  Should I keep the mountaineering boots for sentiment’s sake – my 21st birthday present from an old boyfriend? No, if I ever take up mountaineering I will be wearing state-of-the-art not something they might find on the frozen corpse of Mallory on the slopes of Everest.  My diamante sandals, memories of Glyndebourne; they make it by a bat’s squeak. The little fringed cowboy boots that pinch? Do I think the shoe fairy is going to wave her magic wand and render them wearable? Here we have a really bizarre pair, sandals I bought in shop in Peckham, too big – they must have been made for a 6 foot 2 Nigerian and they are so rigid it’s like walking in snowshoes though why you would need snowshoes in Nigeria is anyone’s guess. I remember I thought they would look pretty groovy at the time. What possessed me? Anyway out they all go. Saddest of all though is my lovely pair of dark navy blue suede shoes with the Louis heel. The most flattering shoes in the entire universe but so broken down now they are impossible to mend, assuming you could even find a cobbler. I can see I will have to do this quickly before I change my mind.