Ah, Pleasant May! For those of you not familiar with Christian Rosetti’s poetry (like me; I had to look it up), the title is from her poem, “May,” and what better way to herald this spring month than with poetry!
This May is beginning in a very different way from previous Mays, as we are still in self-isolation because of the coronavirus and I hear it will be at least another 2 weeks. For my area, its doesn’t seem sensible. We haven’t had many cases comparatively and our mean age of death has been 86 years old with many of the deaths occurring in nursing homes, so while that’s definitely tragic, there doesn’t seem to be much spread in the community. People here have been very good at limiting contact, staying 2 meters away from each other and I still only know of one person who tested positive and my daughter and her roommate had to be quarantined with her for two weeks; neither my daughter or her roommate came down with it. So while we are under a government mandated self-isolation, curiously in the last three to four weeks I’ve noticed that there are many more cars on the road compared to the first two weeks of self isolation, and stores that were closed are gradually starting to open again. I feel that people independently are deciding enough is enough and are slowly moving ahead. While we definitely need to figure out how to best protect those who are old or with compromised health, we can’t stay isolated forever and people are beginning to be negatively affected in other ways. As long as we act sensibly let’s hope for a positive re-emergence!
I’ve been doing lots of gardening, cleaning, biking (Mudpuddle, you’d be proud of me!), working, some reading and taxes ……. well, I’m really struggling with taxes but am getting them done slowly. Honestly, when I wake up to a sunny morning, the last thing I want to do is sit at my desk and work. So I’ve been clearing out my three overgrown garden plots, working a little, helping some friends with some cleaning, and reading probably more books than I should but less than I’d like. I finished The Wind in the Willows and what a wonderful read it was! Grahame draws you right into their world and you want to visit with Ratty and Mole and be lulled to sleep in their hole by the riverbank. I’m also reading a children’s book called Shadow Hawk which gives a great snapshot of Ancient Egyptian history when the Hyksos had invaded the kingdom, and also The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot. In spite of uncomfortable Thomas Hardy vibes, I’m really starting to enjoy it although not yet as much as Middlemarch (one of my favourites) or Daniel Deronda.
And what do I have planned for this month? Just going with the flow. More gardening and reading, of course, and whatever else pops up. My reading is beginning to get more structured. I believe Kim, Jean and I are going to read The Mysteries of Udolpho during the summer. I’m going to need to prepare myself for some high drama and probably lots of laughter in places where I’m not sure I’m supposed to laugh. It should be fun though. And Reese and I are discussing possibly tackling The Decameron in September, probably a very suitable read for the times, complete with a plague and some self-isolation although mainly focussed on stories. I’m looking forward to it. And Jean and I have been discussing a read of The Golden Bough. It looks like a dense and intellectual read and I have a feeling I’m not going to agree with Frazer but the “conversation” will be interesting nevertheless. If anyone else would like to join in with any of these reads, just let me know!
So what is happening in your part of the world and what plans do you have for the coming month? I’d love to hear about them!
Other May Posts: