‘Heartbreak hangs heavily over anyone with the surname Peggotty’
Friday Lockdown Literature. The emotional intensity of Chapter 32 of ‘David Copperfield’ is almost unbearable. Barkis has snuffed it, Little Em’ly has run off with Steerforth and heartbreak hangs heavily over anyone with the surname Peggotty. At the end of the chapter Mr Peggotty concludes his miserable short stay in London with a foreboding pledge: “I am going to seek her fur and wide… my unchanged love is with my darling child, and I forgive her.”
📌 There are lots of Liverpool celebration videos in circulation, including one of the team watching the closing seconds of last night’s Chelsea victory over Man City. They apparently gathered for an outdoor screening at Formby Golf Club, which my cousin Helen describes as “their local”.
📌 Finally got word from Stuart, who had not been in touch for 4 or 5 days. He’d had a fall and was admitted to hospital.
📌 I said NO to a pitch for a Zoom creative wellbeing workshop. I’d really rather plan for getting back to real ones with Headway members.
📌 Another staircase is craned into the new building outside our front door.
📌 Shirley set up a Community Builders Reunited call on WhatsApp. I suggested ‘Bumping Drop-ins’ on Zoom as a possible alternative to bumping into people on the street.
📌 Bryn was in touch earlier saying he had spoken to Stuart (“disoriented” and on crutches) and will speak to the hospital ward next week. Later I got a text from Stuart thanking me for keeping in touch, but adding, “Currently lying on fold-out chair in hospital reception having lost my room here”.
Saturday The family asked me on Zoom yesterday whether I have been celebrating. I hadn’t. I was just quietly pleased. I am using Liverpool’s success to content myself at how my philosophy of stroke rehabilitation has been shaped by football, from notions of goal-setting, possession and distribution to the inspiration of the individual thriving in the collective. In practice it’s always been a beautifully fuzzy idea, but I cling to it. Then came this piece appeared in ‘The Conversation’ that got closest to defining it with any clarity and embracing Nick’s ‘Enriched Environment’ idea, a notion I initially derided.
📌 The ‘Morning Star’ quotes ONS figures showing that care workers are dying from Coronavirus at twice the rate of the rest of the population.
📌 The question on Quora is: “What baby names are Illegal in Italy?” And it turns out they include the names of parents and siblings, “ridiculous” names and names from literature. Among the examples listed are Moby Dick, Great Gatsby and Joey Tribbiani.
📌 The ‘Breakfast Club’ Zoom was another great leap forward in shared storytelling. We all told of great memories when travelling or on holiday. I told of the Metaxa 5* nights in Crete on our honeymoon. Jane did the story of Uluru and the plover we ran over who cheated death in the roadhouse bird sanctuary.
📌 Ireland has formed a three-party coalition government, which makes it start to look very European. Deffo one to watch from now on. Will Sinn Fein eventually make it a Party Four government of national unity (GNU)?
📌 Stuart reconnected via email, pledging to check whether Michael Parkinson is dead yet, which I took to be a good sign.