Written 10 May, 2020
Terrifying, to go to the city, but my friend R says we’re out of date, there’s not much virus around, we’d have to be really unlucky. I say, yes but… We leave K here, she’s too agrophobic to join us.
R’s mother M says she’s been waiting 18 hours for us. We explain the long boat trip against gale winds, the long drive, the fear. But all that’s incomprehensible, for she’s 90. Her house is large and enclosing and safe. She’s set out afternoon tea on a cloth embroidered with posies of pink and blue flowers by her older sister, now dead. She tells me with a smile she was the baby of the family. She’s the last one. I always loved her, and from when i met her, I wanted her to adopt me. I’m charmed by the old lady feel of the house, the big dogs, the smaller one sleeping on its own sofa on its own lounge room, the porch where she sits hoping passersby will stop and chat.
She and K do Skype, and though they have few words, they both feel they’ll be kindred spirits. Immediately afterwards, M falls asleep immediately after on the sofa, exhausted by 18 hours of waiting. Later she tells R that we’re like the country people she grew up with in Peak Hill. I’m proud, for I like country people too, for being so easy-going, so wide open spaces-isa, so unfussed by fashion, timetables and rules. They’re to me something like hammocks. I want GG and I to be a hammock.