200416 Lin fire

Mrs Mike, burning all my possessions. This coronavirus lockdown is murder on relationships!

I’ve been having trouble motivating myself lately.

The lockdown seems to have deprived time of its meaning, and I’m not the only one feeling that effect.

So although I started with many good intentions, it is proving hard to follow them through.

I set out to clean the house – carefully, making sure I did a good job. While I took a week to scour the master bedroom, it has taken two to finish off the bathroom, and I’m not completely satisfied with it.

It has proved increasingly difficult to keep up with developments in politics and the news, despite them being my business; no sooner did I try to get to grips with one development than another reared its head.

Or – worse – the latest news was almost entirely similar to what I had already reported. How many times can a writer interestingly describe the government’s failure to provide proper protective equipment for medical staff fighting the coronavirus?

How many times can one convey public frustration with an administration that insists it is doing a good job, then confesses that more people have died every day – including medical staff who had contracted the virus due to the lack of protection?

At least, last week, we had the diversion of the leaked Labour Party report on how right-wing factions among that organisation’s staff had interfered with its affairs in order to corruptly affect the result of the general election in 2017 (last December’s was not covered by the report).

But coverage of this story was hampered by strident denials on the part of those mentioned, and by a certain lawyer who asserted that he would sue anyone discussing the report, on their behalf.

It’s an empty threat. The Labour Party is well within its rights to publish the contents of emails written and sent via its network, and the publication of WhatsApp chats is also protected; whoever did it is a whistleblower who passed on information that may refer to criminal acts. It is a crime to corruptly influence the result of an election.

The combined effect, to me, was similar to that of wading through treacle; it felt as though I was getting nowhere and the effort made me feel dirty.

I’ve been trying to keep myself from going to fat by weight training at home, with the result that I have developed a strong pain in my right knee.

I read a book! However, I should admit that my enjoyment of Very Good, Jeeves! by PG Wodehouse was facilitated by the fact that I had the Audible spoken-word version – I listened to it while I was battling to clean the bathroom and struggling with the weights. Now I have started The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo. I’m around one-sixth of the way through, again with the help of Audible.

I have tried to keep in touch with my friends. There is a group who maintain constant contact – strewn with profanities and lewdness – online and via video chats every few days, but I didn’t have the stamina for the most recent call because of my recent illness, and I have found it hard to get in touch with others. It feels like intrusion.

And yes, I have been ill. It came on around April 16 – a malady of the stomach that has caused me a large amount of discomfort and made me considerably more irritable than usual, hence the image [above] and its caption.

And the government has announced that we must have at least three more weeks of this. Will we survive?