Good gravy! Can no one stick to the social distancing rules?

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So yesterday I went to get some crisps from the cupboard, because such is my covid diet, when I spotted a fox in the garden. And she wasn’t alone, she had the cubs with her! I watched them for a while skipping about, tumbling, playing tag, playing football with the two footballs left by the kid from downstairs. Meanwhile the mum hung out keeping an eye. Finally they all tumbled out through the fence. then two tumbled back in, kicked the football a few more times and ran out again.

I knew mama-fox wouldn’t be scared of me after I walked into that tree! Worth it!

note: It occurs to me I’m assuming that this is a female fox because they’re with cubs, but I believe both male and female parents stay with cubs, so one parent must have died. Which means this might be a male or female. And I am sexist, sorry!

Tomorrow I release the next three chapters of my book, so for those of you reading, I hope you’re enjoying it. And for those of you not reading, well, I shall be pestering you!

It’s a new dawn. It’s a new day.

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“When you throw everything up in the air anything becomes possible.”
― Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses

doki doki (Japanese) the anxiety when someone is doing something nervewracking

Note: this word interpretation comes from a dictionary of mine, and I checked online for accuracy. There I found another interpretation, which may mean the above isn’t right (anyone out there speak Japanese?) However, much as I like the above interpretation, I also like the online one, so here it is:

ドキドキ (dokidoki) is a word that mimics the sound of a beating heart. It is used to describe physical/emotional excitement or racing of the heart. It can indicate that someone is thrilled, excited, or nervous

psychiasis  – healing of the soul or psyche (something we don’t focus on enough in society)

quoz – absurd person or thing (my favourite kind of person or thing)

How are you all doing? I think I may be getting the hang of this isolation thing, (my biggest problem right now is that a neighbour is playing Amazing Grace extremely loud) but I know many of you aren’t or have serious problems to deal with right now, so please share. Communication is good!

Me vs. Tree. I lose.

Red Fox cub
As you can see from the watermark, I nicked this from Warren photographic

I’ve been keeping busy in the lockdown.

I was hanging out at the end of my garden today. I pruned the apple tree in winter and I’ve been terrified it wouldn’t bud. However, it’s sprouting like a trooper, blossom abounding, so I was getting a close up look. Then I noticed a fox the other side of the tree, standing staring at me. So I stood and stared at her for a bit. And she stared at me. I thought, This is nice. We’re having a moment. Then she ran over to the fence where a small animal was trundling through a hole into my garden. It looked like a puppy, squat and dark brown, with a stubby tail. I’ve seen fox cubs before, but they didn’t look like that. The fox tried to nudge the pup back through the hole, and when it wouldn’t go she gripped it with her mouth to try and pick it up. I shifted around the tree to get a better look and saw there were four or five of these little puppies squeezing through the hole, ignoring the fox trying to get them back out again. They were crawling underneath her while she tried to sit on them so they couldn’t, all the while still gripping the one pup by the neck. She kept looking over at me warily, no doubt thinking I was up to no good.

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I decided I needed to get my phone to try and get a picture and quickly turned, smacking my face straight into a thick tree branch of my lovely pruned tree. I didn’t knock myself out, but had to sit on the ground for a bit with my head in my hands. When I looked later my eye had gone a bit purple, and there were scratches and bumps across the lid and up my forehead in a clear line.

Anyway, now I’ve looked it up, those dog-like pups are exactly what fox cubs look like when they’re very small. No wonder the fox was protective and suspicious. Hopefully, having seen me walk into a tree she’ll have realised I’m not even slightly a threat.

My time well spent reading about people spending time well

I don’t know how I feel about the above achievement (sadly I don’t know the inspired artist/scientist who did it). I mean obviously I’m impressed, and jealous of that kind of commitment, but what are the practical applications? Could I cover my walls (which are a plain beige colour) with a million smileys? Would that make me happy Or would it be too much pressure to feel cheerful? – like being at a party where you’re the only one not enjoying it. They could make for a more subtle game of Where’s Wally. Presumably they could evolve over time, add a few details some hair. Can you think of any uses for 42 (I think) pages of smileys?

Things that have made me happy:

Next door’s three legged cat came to visit. He’s super fluffy, but kind of touchy since they chopped his leg off.

The toddler from downstairs came with her dad to play in my garden. It wasn’t a break in, I said a few days ago that they’re welcome to use it. It’s nice to do my garden for someone other than just me.

I did some exercise, it was awful, but it’s over now.

 

Trundling through time

 

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Word of the day: Emberlucock – to confuse; to bewilder

“Prime numbers are what is left when you have taken all the patterns away. I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them.”
― Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

I’ve enjoyed my bubble today. I did a YouTube workout. I thought I was fairly fit, but I nearly died. Felt smug though. I ate a garlic bread baguette that has been clogging up the freezer for a while. I tried to learn some new insults, and discovered that neek is a cross between a nerd and a geek.

Now to those (like me earlier today) who don’t know what the difference is between a geek and a nerd. A geek is more of a collector and consumer, excited by things such as movies, music and the memorabilia that comes with them. A nerd is more academic, obsessed with accumulating knowledge in their specialist field. Both tend to be obsessive. nerd

Here’s a graph from Slackprop, here (the whole blog on the subject is worth looking at too) showing words collected from tweets with orange words showing geeky subjects and words, while the blue shows the nerdy.

The picture at the top is from my work, because I miss it, such beautiful plants. What have you all been up to? As productive as me?

 

I’m forgetting how to talk :D

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“Yossarian was flabbergasted. His leg went abruptly to sleep.”

Catch 22

Word of the day: Bloviate – to write or speak windily

After returning to blogging last week, I came to a standstill. Because if I’m not working at my loopy job, what am I supposed to write about? And my three flatmates ran back to their respective countries just as all the trouble was starting, so now I’m in the flat on my own. Isolated. And more importantly, boring.

It’s a good life really, I’m doing much thinking and meditating. Watching videos and snoozing. I’m putting the finishing touches on the book that I wrote. I’m cleaning all the nooks and crannies of the flat. But none of that makes for an interesting blog. And even if it did, I’m aware of the humongous amounts of scary shit many people are going through, so it feels heartless to chatter on.

Being isolated, I do need to talk to people though, so I’m going to try and blog, then hope it provides some distraction or company for others and doesn’t annoy.

I’m going to carry on putting up interesting words and quotes, plus any photos from work I didn’t use. I hope you like those. And if I do have any thoughts or events worth sharing, I will.

So…

Is anyone else enjoying the little moments of connection with strangers that happen in a crisis? Exchanges of raised eyebrows and grins when things go wrong. Or a shy smile when I step out of someone’s way so we can maintain space. When the big interactions stop, the little ones become more significant. Is this how we get communities?

Final words…

For all of you out there who are scared, lonely, in danger of losing a job or a loved one, my love goes out to you. I’m so sorry. I could well end up in the same situation soon, but while I’ve got things easy, feel free to vent.