COVID Quarantine + Eighteen

A chilly morning at 3°, but a rapid run — 9:29. I spent much of the morning working to make an English-language version of the Plague Cross posted to Twitter by Fr A. Schrenk. Since then, others have posted more or less satisfactory alternatives, but this is what I came up with before I hit the absolute limitations of (a) my non-existent Italian (b) Google Translate (c) Inkscape (d) my mastery of Inkscape (first time).

Tridentine Plague Cross

Then, gathering my wits, I realised that I had devoted my most productive time of day to producing a very crude version of the original with a non-translation — which means I’m likely to turn back to it tomorrow. Lunch, and an afternoon mostly spent working on Legends (I’d like to finish the ‘Adam’ section anyway) with some fiddly work on my book project. End of the day, pasta and red sauce, and we started watching A Confession because Margaret finds Martin Freeman a comforting presence even in a bleak and dispiriting story.

COVID World, Day Fifty-Seven

Clear skies, 1° (in mid-May! Come on!), not too rusty or lethargic, and a mile at 9:44. Morning Office, fruit breakfast, and headed on to work. Not much came by way of original writing, so I churned through a few dozen pages of Legends. Pizza for dinner, Bosch for entertainment.

COVID World, Day Fifty-Six

Not so cold, not so breezy, all clear and a satisfactory run of 9:39. Morning Office, shower, hot breakfast, and then to my book outline. I got a couple of paragraphs written, but it was slow going. On the other hand, I got a couple of paragraphs written, and that’s more than I did on the weekend.
And yes, I did devote a fair amount of time to the next chapter of Legends of the Jews, not solely to satisfy my neurological inclination to make dusty, jumbled things into orderly, tidy, handsome and useful things, but also because I have a student who’s interested in Adam christology, and the section on which I’m now working is the creation of Adam. Plus, it’s great and it satisfies my neurological inclinations.
Dinner from Majliss, and Bosch on the telly. See you tomorrow.

COVID World, Day Fifty-Five

A bitter cold morning, 0° with breezes, and a sluggish time: 10:04. Fruit breakfast, Morning Office, and on to the day.

I was very pleased with my weekend of work on Legends of the Jews, and thought I might springboard from that to book-writing, but I wanted to finish up ‘The Creation of the World’ as a tidy leaving-off point. As it turns out, Creation requires more effort than I had envisioned. No complaints, though, and I did finish it up by midafternoon, but later than would allow for my own creative productivity.

Margaret cooked broccoli and breaded tofu with savoury nut sauce, and we settled in to start the new season of Bosch. A splendid time was had by all.

COVID World, Day Fifty-Four

Goodness gracious, 4° with gusting wind feels icy! That did not stop me from putting in a pretty good mile — yes, it may have provided a necessary motivation, since I came in at 9:34, but heavens to Betsy that was cold.
Fruit breakfast, then back to Legends of the Jews. It occurs to me that although this sort of exercise might be seen as eating into the monograph-specific research and writing I need to crack on with, at the same time it’s a productive endeavour that enhances my familiarity with this literature and keeps my mind awake, whereas succumbing to plague inanition dulls my mind and produces nothing. Thus I’ll push on ahead with Legends, and will turn back to the monograph and my book review and my article on James when those roil to the surface in my imagination.
But today was mostly devoted to Legends, and a good day’s transcribing it was. Topped off with leftover casserole and the concluding episodes of The Capture, a bit of HIGNFY, and early turn-in. After all, how much excitement can an old man take?

COVID World, Day 53

I woke up to a lovely morning, clear and mild (11°), and had a good run despite the medium pollen — 9:39. I said my Office and made a hot breakfast, listened to the Radio Four Sunday Worship commemoration of VE Day with that of Florence Nightingale. I had my hot breakfast, went to Most Holy Trinity, Wolverhampton, for Mass, and then devoted the rest of my day to working on a digital edition of Legends of the Jews (one with footnotes right in the text, rather than in an entirely different volume). I spent squandered some time scrutinising the auction pages for promising pens, and in the afternoon Margaret and I began the BBC series The Capture, which has us on the proverbial till we wrap it up tomorrow.
Margaret cooked a casserole with our copious vegetables from Bonner’s (they’re delivering during the lockdown), and Nate and Laura checked in later in the evening.

A Full Deck of COVID Days

Every morning I give myself permission to skip my morning run, but every morning I end up putting my socks and trainers on to go ahead. This morning dawned temperate, calm, 11° with medium pollution. My time was 9:51, but I felt as though I’d done better than that.
Saturday is grocery morning, so I did my biweekly shop. Margaret had her eye on some relatively niche items, and I feared that Sainsbury’s wouldn’t come up with them, but we only missed out the cashews (for cooking). (Not very exciting, but that’s a day on James Street under quarantine.)
I didn’t set out to be productive, but I advanced the cause of my book outline anyway. An order of new ink (Waterman Mysterious Blue and Diamine Oxblood) and several pads of paper came, engendering in me impatience to write at least one of my pens dry, so as to make it available for refilling in a new colour; and, I must admit, I spent some time hunting my pen sites for any vintage pen at a reasonable price (to no avail). Si, Laura, and Thomas called in at the end of the afternoon, and Margaret cooked a Garlic Vegetarian Scampi. We settled down to watch Vera, and that settled the day.

COVID World, Day Fifty-One

The warmest morning of the year, I think, at 11°; medium pollen, medium air pollution, and the feeling from last year of being heavy and sluggish. The mile came in at 9:51, though, which is not unacceptable for me.
Fruit breakfast, Morning Office with Margaret, clean-up and a morning devoted to reading and writing more or less successfully.
The afternoon went by agreeably, a bit more of the same, and we had a splendid rice-and veg dinner before settling down to watch Vera.

COVID World, Day 50

This should be some sort of household jubilee, with celebration at having completed a half century of housebound obedience. Alas, no one is in a mood for jubilation; mildly satisfied determination is about all one can ask.
I slept a bit later than usual this morning, and got an even later start on my run (8°, very clear, feeling brisker than I’d have thought). I made several stops en route (I did poorly in Shoelace-Tying 101), so my time is even less indicative than usual, but I did come in at 9:45, which is better than I’d have estimated. Morning Office, shower up, fruit breakfast, and finished up marking. In the afternoon, I finished reading through Greer’s book, and succumbed to a couple distractions. Then Vespers, and Margaret and I testing the new Sainsbury’s vegan burgers while watching Vera.

Covid World, Seven Weeks of Days

Seven weeks is a long time to spend without getting out and about. Just saying.
This morning dawned crisp (3°) and dry, with medium pollen. I didn’t feel any particular challenge in getting limber, and my mile came in at 9:42, which feels reasonable.
Morning Office, grocery trip, hot breakfast, and a morning spent reading and deliberating about (former colleague) Paul Griffiths’s essay on ‘Pascal and the Magisterium’. I seem to have been feeling more low-level anxiety today, and getting productive work done was a challenge.
It’s the sort of day I could put to good use by working on a digital version of a text, if I had started one; but if I start one, it would be likely to siphon off energy from working on the book project (or the James essay I should write this summer).
The specific work I should have accomplished much more expeditiously today was marking; even granted my aversion of marking, I ought to be quicker off the mark than I was today.
Margaret prepared a sort of chickpea pancakes (laden with veg) for dinner, we watched an episode of Vera (‘Oooh, yer ma’s been beheaded, luv’) and a HIGNFY, and then to bed.

Covid World, Day Forty-Eight

We watched Spooks late into the night, so I planned to skip my morning run; alas, I woke up early anyway, so I went ahead to run in the 6°, low pollen, creaky-limbed conditions. Came in at 9:50 (though I felt as though I’d been faster than that).
I said the Office, then cooked a hot breakfast while chatting with colleagues from the Sodality of Mary, Mother of Priests in the run-up to the Sodality Council meeting, which began with the Rosary and ran through the morning, ending with Sext. After that, I took the time to listen to a poetry reading given by Kei Miller, a former Glasgow colleague who’s now at Exeter. I had heard these poems from him when we lived in Glasgow, and it was deeply satisfying to hear him read once again. I downloaded the podcast and sliced the file into the nine individual files that I then uploaded into my music directory.
I had been trying on and off throughout the day to download the 1.0 release of Inkscape, the FOSS vector drawing app — I’ve been teetering from one small-market drawing app to another for years now, so I’m excited to have access to the full-on release of Inkscape.
In between, and at the end of the afternoon, I launched again into revising and expanding the outline of my current project.
Margaret cooked stuffed peppers for dinner, and we watched 21 Bridges, which we found an acceptable way to pass 90 minutes, though not without a number of plot holes and gross unrealisms. At the end of the day, we took time to remember our dear friend Phil Kenneson’s sister-in-law as he and his family and friends were praying together.

COVID Forty-Seven

I had a productive day, and I don’t have much more to report. Run weather was 9°, medium pollen, 9:39. Spent a lot of time on the monograph outline. Mushroom, aubergine, other veg over rice noodles for dinner, and the end of Spooks.