Ziggy the cat is in her carrier, behind a small red car, waiting to go into the vets during lockdown

Confinement Notes #4 – Vet Visit and Beach Balls of Rage

Week 8

Ziggy had a socially distanced trip to the vet. Her left eye had gone all weepy and squinty and Dr. Google said not to ignore a weepy squinty eye. So I made an appointment and Gareth got her pink space capsule down from the loft.

The only time Ziggy makes a cliched cat noise is when travelling to/from the vet. It’s a non-stop miaow miaow miaow miaow miaow miaow that sounds exactly like it’s spelled. Not sure if she’s saying I’m scared or This pink space capsule demeans us both.

Ziggy in her space capsule ready to visit the vet

It was surreal driving into town after an eight-week absence. I’d missed the transition from bare branches to full-on spring. The streets were quiet but the trees were loud with blossoms and green.

The lockdown vet process was beautifully efficient:

  1. Park up and place cat carrier behind vehicle.
  2. Phone the vet.
  3. Vet comes out to collect feline and take inside.
  4. Vet does their thing then calls back with diagnosis.
  5. Bill paid over phone.
  6. Feline deposited back to rear of vehicle, with medication taped to the carrier.

The vet’s plastic apron looked mighty shredded when she returned, so I hope Ziggy behaved herself.

The whole thing was done in 15 minutes and £52, then we miaowed our way back home to Fluffy Towers. A few eyedrops that evening and Zig’s peeper was de-squinted.

Ziggy the cat is in her carrier, behind a small red car, waiting to go into the vets during lockdown


Week 9

Gareth went back to work on Thursday after five weeks on furlough. Time to get that essential whisky back in production.

I felt a little sad and unsettled as he left our bubble, though relieved and grateful he still has a job and that he can do it safely, when so many are not so lucky.⁣

I said on Instagram that at first I was worried about being together all day. We’ve spent great gobs of time part this past half-decade, with his long hours and my work travels. I half-joked that “separate lives” was the main reason we were still together.

So it’s been a relief to find he’s still the human I like to hang out with most. Not sure how he feels about it though 😉

I don’t take for granted this unexpected pocket of togetherness, with the bleary-eyed morning coffees, the cat-and-eyedrops wrestling, the mechanic assisting in the garage; the crisps/tea/Schitt’s Creek.

G in the garage


Week 10

Is anyone else’s mind throwing up a montage of past mistakes and/or cringe-worthy moments late at night? Just as you’re trying to get to sleep?

Maybe with the present being so repetitive/scary and the future but a fog, the brain is forced to look backward for entertainment. It’s bloody annoying.

This Month in Diversions:

  • I took up watercolour painting. “Taken up” = “slopping amorphous blobs onto a page”. I’m not great at making something look like something that exists on this earth, so I tried some Morning Mood Mandalas like my friend Alli does. You draw a circle, look at the paints, see what colours sing to your mood, and just do whatever you feel like in that circle. It’s strangely soothing and addictive! Gareth calls them my Beach Balls of Rage.
  • I started tidying the chaotic pit that is my office, starting with the bookshelves that are visible in my Zoom background and slowly working forward.
  • We’ve now done eight Friday night Zoom pub quizzes. I cannot believe Gareth did not know that the unicorn is Scotland’s national animal. That is THE BEST factoid about Scotland!

Confinement Notes #3 - Everything I Do, I Do It For You

Confinement Notes #3 – Everything I Do, I Do It For You

Week 5

A set of temporary traffic lights has appeared in our quiet street and it’s very exciting.

Scottish Water are doing some pipe repairs; there are traffic cones everywhere.

At night, Gareth’s new game is to peek behind the curtain and say, “Okay, guess what colour they are now.”

“RED!”

“You’re right again!”

By day, if I sit up straight on the couch, which happens now and then, I can see the lights from my spot. It’s thrilling when I manage to look up the right time.

“GREEN! They’re green! Quick, look!” and Gareth will lunge across to see.


Week 6

On Tuesday Gareth went on a cleaning spree. Not an unusual thing for a grown person, especially one who needs tidiness to function and must always have the remotes lined up and pointing north on the coffee table. But he was wrestling with a weird guilt for being on furlough, thus looking for a project to justify his existence. I, in turn, felt guilty for not helping, even though I’m still working. I put on my headphones to drown out his scrubbing.

When I emerged a couple of hours later the bathroom was gleaming, the carpet was vacuumed, the kitchen was perfection.

“Looks great, G!”

“Did you see the hob! It’s shining!”

“It is!”

“And the floors!”

“Amazing!”

“And the cupboard doors! No fingerprints!”

“Excellent work! … is this enough validation for your labour?”

“I think you could be more enthusiastic!”

“Ahh, you want more COMPLIMENTS! Like when you throw me a parade for stocking the fridge or cleaning the litter tray?”

“Yes! Give. Me. Compliments!”

I had forgotten about Compliments, this awesome video from 2011. We re-watched it five times and thought of simpler times. Why is my impressiveness written off like as it was ofcourseness…


Week 7 

I dunno about you but I feel like my mind hit the wall this week. I’m forgetting how to form proper sentences. I’m sure this article explains it but I’ve not got further than the headline: ‘Allostatic Load’ is the Psychological Reason for Our Pandemic Brain Fog

I got so tired of looking at screens that I drafted this blog post on… paper. Have you heard about paper? It really works!

The screen fatigue did not extend to devouring Normal People across Friday night and Saturday. It was beautiful. It felt good to be immersed in another world.

Normal People

This Week in Diversions: I hit Day 80 of German on Duolingo. Won’t be visiting Germany anytime soon but keeping up the streak makes me feel like a person who might one day be capable of a streak in other areas of life.


So… how are you, comrades? Let’s chat. Monosyllables and/or random mashing of keys are fine!





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