Diary of the Plague Year: Day 12 28 March 2020: A shelf of poetry


I don’t know about you but I have a terrible habit of stumbling across poems, buying the book and then ignoring it forever.  Well, now that we’re in lock-down I have decided to take down a volume of poetry every day and spend and hour reading. I will then post a poem on this website.

A Diary of the Plague Year: Day 4 20 March 2020:

Went into Clonakilty to pick up my veg box. Brief chat with veg man who was due to be getting married in Paris this week.  He was very sanguine about it all and said they would probably have a better time afterwards anyway.

Clon was like a ghost-town.  People here are being very level-headed by the look of things.  There was plenty of food and all necessities in Dunnes and no sign of panic-buying. They have also very sensibly instigated a safe distance policy between shoppers and staff with hand sanitisers and gloves issued at the entrance. There was one woman though who was sneezing I can only describe as voluptuously into the air, no tissue, not into her elbow, nothing. At my look of horror I swear she began to follow me round.  Paranoia is just around the corner methinks. ……..



Sweet potato
Red onions
White cabbage
Green beans
Red pepper
Bag of mixed herbs

€18 all certified organic.

In England the pubs are STILL open and full apparently. Tim Martin (Brexit supporter) in the news saying he will keep all his pubs open.  Why that Bozo has not followed Ireland’s lead and shut all pubs is beyond me. Could it have anything to do that T Martin and his ilk were vociferous supporters of Brexit? Perish the thought.

Listening to R3 – very soothing. Handel gigue being played at mo. Very life-affirming.











A Diary of the Plague Year: Day 3 19 March 2020: Central Heating for Bunnies

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Last year I made a “Hugelkultur” raised bed using old logs. It works on the principle of the logs rotting down and creating heat.  It was a lot of hard slog but it’s paid off though as the bunnies, who have returned to the garden, have decided it makes a super-deluxe centrally-heated warren.


I thought the bunnies deserved a snack for sheer cleverness.

Incidentally, if you have stumbled across this diary hoping for high-minded thought and clever political comment on the “present crisis” click off now. This diary will be the random and, I expect progressively more loony, ramblings of a “self-isolating” painter and written for myself and anyone who happens to come across it.


A Diary of the Plague Year: Day 3 19 March 2020

It’s not raining. I hesitate to say that the sun is actually out but what the hell – the windows have been flung wide and with any luck I will get into the garden today. Listening to Korngold’s Violin Concerto on R3.

But first a visit to John Collins, mechanic, to get the car past it NCT check.

Some words: Bright Shade, Interlinear, Persian Iris.
Ideas for memoir: Painting of house in Portugal, mum’s specs.

Walking back from John Collins …… the beginnings of spring.




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.