Storm Diary 45 – Outcrop

Storm Diary 45 – Sun 19th April

Still ploughing and plodding my way through Mary Webb’s Shropshire. Liaising with a mythical golden arrow, beats a spell in the company of Harry Potter’s magic wand any day! J K Rowling, stand aside – the late author, Mary Webb, is making a comeback!

Not that I’ve really got anything against J K Rowling, but she’s not, to my knowledge, related to me – even by proxy; whereas I have plenty of Salopian Webb folk on my family tree. Okay, so Mary Webb only has that surname by her ill-fated marriage to the roving Henry Webb, but that’s no matter, because I also have numerous ancestors going by her maiden name of Meredith.

But besides any of this, then a day with my head in the cloudy mists of Shropshire’s craggy outcrop, the Devil’s Chair, has got to be an improvement on 24/7 updates about our Boris’ state of health. He’s had Covid-19, he was in critical care, he was coaxed back into existence by the lovely nurse, Jenny,  from New Zealand (and someone else), and now he’s recovering at his holiday retreat in Chequers, i.e. flouting his government’s lockdown restrictions. What else do we really need to know about it? Boris is allowed to go his holiday home, miles and miles away from 10 Downing Street, without criticism, and I have to make do with a time-travel journey into the world of fiction. Reckon I’m the one with the advantage, here, so I’ll say no more … Grrrrhhhhh! Boris. Grumble. Bumble. Buffoon.

In the absence of Boris, I take my anger out on Mary Webb’s character of Stephen Southernwood instead. I mean, why the heck (not allowed to say ‘hell’, being a daughter of the clergy) does that dopey Deborah fall head over heels in love with such a controlling moron as Stephen? Surely she can see past his if you love me, you’ll do whatever I say manipulations. Am I supposed to cry along with Debs, when Stephen abandons her, or am I allowed to celebrate? And why does she burn up all that good furniture? Is any man worth such waste? Why can’t she just stay on in their cottage on her own, let her hair down – for herself only – and begin to enjoy life? I only hope that Stephen’s gone for good.

Sadly, I don’t get to find out whether the lovers are reunited, because Hubby pulls me back to the reality of the present (is this lockdown really real?) by suggesting I partake in my ration of daily exercise. Seeking reassurances as to the length of said walk, I agree, reluctantly, to abandon the lovers to their fate.

The flatlands of Suffolk take precedence over the fantastical hills of Shropshire.

To give Hubby his due, then the walk turns out to be an eye opener. The wild flowers of Salopia give way to the very beautiful weeds of Suffolk.

And I really like the geometric patterns provided by our local factories, offices and warehouses.

In my mind, I see a Picasso-style masterpiece taking shape. I’m sure I can do something with a few old watercolour paints. I just need some more art boards.

Once back in my clifftop prison-home, I Google up some art supplies. Cheap art supplies. I want a 40 X 50 inch art board. No such luck. Neither Works or The Range are able to provide me with such, seems every Pip, Squeak and Wilfred (Tom, Dick and Harry? Such sexism – why no girly names?) is suddenly into art during a lockdown, and there’s no way I’m paying the prices for the so-called genuine articles of quality. One bit of canvas stuck to a bit of cardboard is the same as another.

New lockdown project abandoned, I get back to Stephen and Deborah. Surely she’s not going to take him back, is she? Why can’t she just tell him to **** off?

By Jay Cool, The Silly-Savvy Salopian in Suffolk

UK’s coronavirus-related deaths in last 24 hours: 888
Boris Johnson’s state of health: whatever

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