Written 24 May, 2020.
One of those dreary cold days when you should stay in bed with your cuddly flannelette sheets and your electric blanket on high. In fact, I can’t sleep, I’m worrying over the chapter so much that I catch myself saying aloud a sentence, so there’s no help for it. I get up, pull on my dressing gown (I gave K the old, really warm one, ugly and pilled but made of molleton- will they ver make warm dressing gowns again?), I stoke the fire till it glows red, make a cuppa, dig out the last piece of the Aldi Has No bread, spread it with avocado- little hills, just as I like it -, and on the sofa, begin work. At 7 I fry K an egg and run down the steps for thyme, and make up a biscuit mixture. When she emerges from her room, i’ve bored myself silly and fallen asleep.
Today’s worry is how to get a big 18 kg gas bottle up the 40 steps for the cooking. That’s more than a third my body weight. Usually I ask Dy, for I can offer him something, maybe just a cup of tea, but he’s still away at his doctor’s. The flying fox?- that gets over the steps problem, but at this end, I have to lift it out and up into the air and carry it down five steps and under the house, being careful to duck my head under the overhanging deck. Our neighbour M, is young, strong and fit and I could ask him, but there’s no favours I can offer him. His house is newly and splendidly built (by him), his wife cooks and looks after him- I still haven’t heard a word from her but her chimney’s puffs smoke all day- so even the offer of a cup of tea won’t wash.
Since GG lost use of his arm, i’ve become good at carrying the little ones, about 9 kgs, but the garage at Brooklyn had run out of them- it was a big one, or no cooking.
I manage to carry it from the boat, holding in my core muscles so i’m a strong woman, I get it along the jetty, groaning softly hoping that’ll help, holding it at both ends so that’s only 9 kgs per arm, and at last I plonk it down on the bottom step. One step a day?
Leave it till someone strong comes along, says GG. You’ll kill yourself otherwise.
So I wait.
And work on the chapter- 6 more days before deadline. And rake the mud, hoping to turn our mud flats into sand.