Lockdown Diaries III, Day 29: Stargazing

I always loved to sit out in our garden at night and gaze at the stars. I would sit out even in winter, wrapped up in mountains of blankets.

When we first went into lockdown in the spring, stargazing proved a great escape and I decided to improve the experience by creating a classical playlist on Spotify.

Photo by theartofsounds2001 via Pixabay [public domain]

I now remember the evenings of last summer. I listen to my stargazing music and seek solace communing with the stars in spirit… 

stars in my eyes
wishing to see blossoms
on weeping cherries

(Matsuo Basho)

 

Lockdown Diaries III, Day 28: Terminally Fabulous

Death Bed Diaries? 

I can only apologise again for the way I’m neglecting Lockdown Diaries III. But the progress of my illness made me unable to do anything much, and that includes blogging. Today is a ‘good’ morning – may it last more than a couple of hours-  so here I am with another entry. 

In the last couple of weeks, during the hours of suffering, my thoughts sometimes toyed with the idea of changing focus and reconfiguring Lockdown Diaries III into Death Bed Diaries: at least it would allow me to vent and so give myself psychological relief, even if no physical relief. And I thought of others in the same situation, and their families and how it could help them to know they’re not alone.

There was a blog out there once that I used to read, Terminally Fabulous, written by an Australian girl in her 30s. It was brutally honest in her description of cancer, the horrific treatments she underwent, the sufferings at the end when the doctors could do no more for her. She had a wicked sense of humour and many a times she made laugh while I cried for her at the same time. I used to read it when I was really in the dumps with the treatments and it helped me. Her name was Lisa Magill and she died a few years ago. Her blog has been published posthumously (in 2019) in a book form under the title of:

Terminally Fabulous: A young woman’s fight for dignity and fabulousness on her terminal cancer journey by Lisa Magill and Geraldine Violet Magill

I recommend it to you all. You can buy it on Amazon (and elsewhere).

But when it comes to me…

Death Bed Diaries? No, thank you.

Lisa was inspirational and I wish I had the kind of talent that she put into her writing. But regardless of my lack of talent, the truth is that being that brutally honest and putting out my whole soul for all of you to see is just a step too far for me. So do not fear: Waterblogged was always a book blog and a book blog will remain to the day I die. We’ll keep the death talk to minimum. 🙂

Thought for the Day: Euthanasia (Assisted Death)

There is one controversial question that I would mention though. Euthanasia, or if you will, assisted death. This is legal in some countries; but not in England. Regardless of your personal stance – ie. regardless whether you would choose to take advantage of it, were it available for you – I ask you all to consider: should not it be available for people who wish to avail themselves of it?

I’m under the care of an excellent and dedicated palliative team but despite of that I have suffered a tremendous amount in the last couple of months. The last few weeks and days were particularly brutal. My palliative doctor recently had to admit that she’s already given me everything and there’s nothing more she can do to make me any more comfortable. I don’t want to distress you with the details but death is vastly preferable to the hours when the suffering is most acute, and every day there are endless hours like that. Palliative care, with all the brilliant medications it has, still cannot control all pain and discomfort and cannot therefore stop terrible suffering. I cannot be the only one, and death is not expected for weeks yet because, despite of the cancer, the rest of my body is still young and healthy and refuses to give itself for beaten. This leaves me in a prolonged limbo between life and death, drags out my suffering and there is nothing anybody can do. Only if you witness it (may you never have to), can you understand what I’m talking about.

I repeat it again:

Palliative care, despite of their best efforts, is not able to control all symptoms, all pain, all distress and discomfort for all patients, and cannot therefore stop terrible suffering. I’m the living, suffering evidence of it.

As a society, we pride ourselves of on our humanity. If you had a pet, a dog or a cat, in similar position as I am, you would not hesitate to put it down, to spare the animal unnecessary weeks or months of suffering. Should we not have the mercy to offer the choice to people who are terminally ill and whose symptoms cannot be controlled sufficiently to spare them pain and suffering? It is not beyond the wit of man to devise sufficient safeguards to ensure that this right to choose would not be abused. Nor are we talking about making people undergo euthanasia against their will.

But I think it should be a basic human right to be able to say: enough.

Dignity in Dying

To be able to go into a hospice, surrounded by your family, to whom you could say goodbye while you’re still coherent, while you can still cry and smile for the last time together and while you can give them a last hug. And then when you said goodbye, to be given that one shot (or be allowed to administer it to yourself), that will put you to death, painlessly. So that you can die tranquilly, in dignity, surrounded by love – instead of alone, screaming in pain.

Is that too much to ask?

Lockdown Diaries III, Day 18: Beds without Patients

My apologies: Lockdown Diaries III went a shameless eleven days without posting about the latest miseries caused by coronavirus. This, (surprisingly!), was not due to the lack of happenings: we’ve now got a Tier 5 introduced now on top of all the other tiers, we cycled through several reopening date for schools until they will now only reopen after February half-term… and so on.

There was also the whole delightful shebang known as Brexit; with or without an agreement, by now I’m not sure which it came out in the end, nor do I care any  more. We can’t do anything and go anywhere anyway. Life has ground to another complete halt and for some more of us, it will never start up again.

Last March, as the coronavirus cases started to rise, we all had to put our lives on hold – to protect the NHS.

As a society, we went through a lot in order to protect the NHS: People lost their jobs, children didn’t go to school, non-urgent¹ medical procedures were postponed, holidays were cancelled, weddings repeatedly rescheduled. We let our loved ones die alone and unvisited in hospitals, care homes and hospices; we let funerals pared down to such brutal basics that they provided absolutely no comfort to the mourners.

But for what? Coronavirus is still rising. We’re no better off than we were last March. We’ve undergone all this s**t for no benefit whatsoever. Except of course – we did protect the NHS.

For whose benefit, I’d like to know?

Because it’s not for the benefit of the dying, who are facing, on a daily basis, the unpalatable choice between receiving palliative care at the cost of never seeing their loved ones again  or struggling with their end-of-life symptoms alone at home, under  palliative remote control.

Which do you prefer, my dear:

      • to have your family around you while you’re still well enough to be able to see their faces, touch their hands, listen to their voices
      • or to have your pain and other horrible symptoms be brought under control so that you suffer less but never see them again?

The crisp, white, empty beds in hospices all over the country bear mute testimony to the answer.  

On top of all the months they have already spent shielding alone in their bedrooms, wistfully gazing out of their windows, the terminally ill do not want to continue to also die alone.

Notes:
¹ What is a non-urgent medical procedure anyway? Surely, you either need the procedure (in which case it's urgent, so that you can stop suffering and be healed), or you don't need the procedure at all (in which case it should have never been suggested to you in the first place).

Lockdown Diaries III, Day 7: A Miserable Christmas

What with people not being allowed to visit their loved ones for Christmas – except if the loved one was dying – and, while we’re at it, not being allowed to get marry either – except if the bride or the groom was dying – coronavirus made for a pretty miserable Christmas for lot of people.

(Like those lorry drivers for example stuck in the UK in their lorries.)

Recommended Reading for a Miserable Chrismas:

So… here’s a reading list to consider while you’re stuck in your freezing lorry, in a hospital/hospice/care home without visiting hours or alone in a flat with the enormous turkey that the family who were meant to eat it can only admire via Facetime…

  • Les Miserables by Victor Hugo 
  • Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
  • The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare 
  • Father Goriot by Honoré de Balzac
  • Germinal by Émile Zola

As a particular favour to all those trapped lorry drivers who cannot just pick a book off the shelves, most of these books are old enough and famous enough to be available for free online reading on Project Gutenberg! 🙂

Lockdown Diaries III, Day 3: View from the Forbidden Island

Photo by Kelli McClintock via Unsplash

Since we became the pariahs of the world, with countries refusing flights and ferries from the UK, there developed a long queue of lorries outside Dover – all those lorries that can no longer drive onto the ferries that no longer sail… The hardship for the British drivers is one thing but I’m really sorry for those foreign drivers who were on the last leg of the journey back home in time for Christmas and instead look set to spend their Christmas in the freezing cabins of their lorries, far from home and lacking even basic amenities, like toilets, although one would like to hope that the authorities will sort something out for the stranded drivers ASAP, if they haven’t done so yet!

Recommended Reading from the Forbidden Island:

It seems appropriate to read books about miserable castaways, shipwrecked and marooned sailors and the like and luckily world literature has plenty to choose from!

  • Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe 
  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (set aside some cheese for Ben Gunn this Christmas)
  • The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne
  • Two Years Vacation by Jules Verne
  • The Lord of the Flies by William Golding 
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  • The Island by Robert Merle
  • The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor by Gabriel García Márquez
Links:
Ten of the most vivid accounts of being marooned in literature (The Guardian)
6 Famous Castaways (History)

Lockdown Diaries III, Day 1: Christmas Cancelled

Here we go again.

The government actually had to invent a tier 4, so that we could be put into it.

Christmas is officially cancelled and the rats are flying the sinking ship. Er… I mean people are abandoning London (and taking the virus with them), although personally I’m not willing to criticise anybody without knowing their circumstances – let each settle with their own conscience whether their journey is justified. I can imagine circumstances in which it would be; like visiting your dying mother, for example.

The government is disgusted, of course. I’m not sure what they expected, announcing at 4 pm yesterday that nobody is allowed to go and see their family for Christmas, with the rule coming into effect from midnight: Predictably, everybody mobile enough packed their suitcase and boarded the next train out. 

Recommended Reading for the Latest Lockdown:

  • A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe (I’d say the title speaks for itself)
  • The Decameron by Boccaccio (people entertaining themselves in a 14th century lockdown in Italy)
  • Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (for those who can’t do Christmas without soppy stories)
Links:
⇒ You can read the official rules for this latest lockdown here. (And yes, it does say you can still visit your dying mother. That's about the only thing you can do, in fact.)

Poetry Underfoot

In London, you can come across random poetry in the most unexpected places. Poetry on the Tube is well known by now and has been copied by the public transport systems of other cities, such as Budapest. But how often do you walk down a pavement and find that you’re walking over poetry?

London South Bank:

Richard Sheridan was a playwright at the end of the 18th century; and his comedies still play on London’s stages… well, when they are not closed for coronavirus, that is.

Lockdown Diaries II, Day 27: Biased

After an inordinate delay, the bus at last turned the corner and pulled up alongside the pavement. A few people got off, a few others got on. I was among the latter. I got shoved onto the platform, the conductor vehemently pulled a noise plug and the vehicle started off again. Whiel I was engaged in tearing out of a little book the number of tickets that the man with the little box was about to obliterate on his stomach, I started to inspect my neighbours…

(Biased from Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau)

And here’s my effort:

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Thank God! The bloody lockdown is finally over! Well, sort of. But I am declaring it to be over, and never mind the remaining restrictions. The main thing is, as far as I’m concerned, that tomorrow my swimming pool will open again and I don’t care about the rest. Of course, the government – idiots, the lot of them – might yet change their mind and put us back under lock and key again.

But I’ll deal with that when it happens!

Over to you. 🙂

Writing Challenge:
Just a reminder that you can join in this writing challenge, based on Exercises in Style by French author Raymond Queneau, by writing an entry (post it in the comments section below or, if you prefer, on your own blog and link to my relevant post) using the prompt from Queneau each day.
More information in the original post here:
Lockdown Diaries II, Day 6: With Raymond Queneau
Have fun!
Recommended reading:
Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau

 

Lockdown Diaries II, Day 25: Official Letter

I beg to advise you of the following facts of which I happened to be the equally impartial and horrified witness.

Today, at roughly twelve noon, I was present on the platform of a bus which was proceeding up the rue de Courcelles in the direction of Place Champerret. The aforementioned bus was fully laden – more than fully laden, I might even venture to say, since the conductor had accepted an overload of several candidates without valid reason and actuated by an exaggerated kindness of heart which caused him to exceed the regulations…

(Official Letter from Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau)

And here’s my effort:

Sunday, 29 November 2020

Dear Sir,

I wish to bring to your notice the following facts relating to the – shop selling ethnic food in the neighbourhood of -.

Sir, this shop occupies an extremely small floor space and in accordance with the COVID restrictions currently in place in the said locality, is forced to limit the number of shoppers on the premises. On the 29th of November, this resulted in an exceedingly long queue outside of the aforementioned shop.

I’m happy to inform you that all customers, none of whom were English, queued outside in an exemplary British manner, waiting for their turn without grumbling. I myself witnessed this, being part of said queue for fifteen minutes, with my younger daughter, whose behaviour upon this occasion proved a credit to her upbringing.

In the sincere hope that the COVID restrictions will ease in the very near future, 

Mrs So-and-So

Over to you. 🙂

Writing Challenge:
Just a reminder that you can join in this writing challenge, based on Exercises in Style by French author Raymond Queneau, by writing an entry (post it in the comments section below or, if you prefer, on your own blog and link to my relevant post) using the prompt from Queneau each day.
More information in the original post here:
Lockdown Diaries II, Day 6: With Raymond Queneau
Have fun!
Recommended reading:
Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau

 

Lockdown Diaries II, Day 24: Visual

The general effect is green with a white roof, oblong, with windows. It isn’t as easy as all that to do with windows. The platform isn’t any colour: it’s half grey, half brown if it must be something. The most important things is it’s full of curves, lots of esses as you might say…

(Visual from Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau)

And here’s my effort:

Saturday, 28 November 2020

From my bed the first thing I see in the morning is the curtains. They are red and the light, even winter light, makes them translucent, making the whole bedroom glow in soft warm red. 

The room I spent most of the day on other hand was anything but softly glowing red. It is a little dark, because the window is partially obscured by the furniture; it’s such a small room that it only has room for one item of furniture, which is a high bed, with the desk and a one-seater sofa fixed underneath and this is straight in front of the window. The sofa is blue as are the curtains.

It was such a grey day outside that I had the desk light on most of the day and in the afternoon, when I curled up with a book on the sofa, I turned on the colourful LED lights that are stringed along under the bed. It cheered the room up a bit.

Over to you. 🙂

Writing Challenge:
Just a reminder that you can join in this writing challenge, based on Exercises in Style by French author Raymond Queneau, by writing an entry (post it in the comments section below or, if you prefer, on your own blog and link to my relevant post) using the prompt from Queneau each day.
More information in the original post here:
Lockdown Diaries II, Day 6: With Raymond Queneau
Have fun!
Recommended reading:
Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau

 

Lockdown Diaries II, Day 23: Retrograde

You ought to put another button on your overcoat, his friend told him. I came across him in the middle of the Coeur de Rome, after having left him rushing avidly towards a seat. He had just protested against being pushed by another passenger who, he said, was jostling him every time anyone got off…

(Retrograde from Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau)

And here’s my effort:

Friday, 27 November 2020

I had just spent a couple of hours this afternoon tagging family photos in the computer, before I settled down to write today’s diary entry. It took longer than planned because this had been a holiday in Seville at Easter, a few years ago and I got seduced by some of the videos. I remember we got up at 3:30 am on the last day in order to see the procession of Jesús del Gran Poder go by – and the evening before we had been out till late at a flamenco show…

Earlier the postman brought a pushy letter from our health service, telling me – yet again – to protect them by not being ill. Yes, sir! I’ll just snuff it then and trouble the undertaker instead!

Before I got annoyed by the letter, I had spent the morning going through the motions of a boring weekday in lockdown. Yawn. The most interesting event of the morning was, frankly, seeing Young Friend of the Elephants off to school…

Over to you. 🙂

Writing Challenge:
Just a reminder that you can join in this writing challenge, based on Exercises in Style by French author Raymond Queneau, by writing an entry (post it in the comments section below or, if you prefer, on your own blog and link to my relevant post) using the prompt from Queneau each day.
More information in the original post here:
Lockdown Diaries II, Day 6: With Raymond Queneau
Have fun!
Recommended reading:
Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau

 

Lockdown Diaries II, Day 21: Litotes

A few of us were travelling together. A young man, who didn’t look very intelligent, spoke to the man next to him for a few moments, then he went and sat down. Two hours later I met him again; he was with a friend and was discussing clothing matters.

(Litotes from Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau)

Well, I have to admit that the title of this particular entry by Queneau had me baffled. I always prided myself on my vocabulary, English included, but litotes was not a word I’ve ever came across before and the entry was not giving me any genuine clue (although with hindsight the first sentence is a clue). I had to resort to the dictionary:

litotes, noun
ironic understatement in which an affirmative is expressed by the negative of its contrary (e.g. I shan't be sorry for I shall be glad).

So there you are. And here’s my effort:

Wednesday, 25 November 2020

I wouldn’t call today a boring day… It was positively interesting. Can’t complain, really.

I got up, had breakfast, worked at the computer. For variety on a working day that’s not bad.

The lunch was nothing out of the ordinary: just a creative combination of some leftovers, but quite delicious.   

The weather? Mustn’t grumble. It was positively balmy. You could almost see the sun… if it wasn’t for the thick layer of clouds.

Over to you. 🙂

(In my opinion, this one was surprisingly difficult!)

Writing Challenge:
Just a reminder that you can join in this writing challenge, based on Exercises in Style by French author Raymond Queneau, by writing an entry (post it in the comments section below or, if you prefer, on your own blog and link to my relevant post) using the prompt from Queneau each day.
More information in the original post here:
Lockdown Diaries II, Day 6: With Raymond Queneau
Have fun!
Recommended reading:
Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau

 

Lockdown Diaries II, Day 20: Haikai

Summer S
long neck trod on toes
cries and retreat

station button
meeting

(Haikai from Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau)

Well, here’s my effort:

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Morning light
catching up with friends
sitting outside

afternoon gloom
tea ‘n’ smiles

Over to you. 🙂

Writing Challenge:
Just a reminder that you can join in this writing challenge, based on Exercises in Style by French author Raymond Queneau, by writing an entry (post it in the comments section below or, if you prefer, on your own blog and link to my relevant post) using the prompt from Queneau each day.
More information in the original post here:
Lockdown Diaries II, Day 6: With Raymond Queneau
Have fun!
Recommended reading:
Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau

 

Lockdown Diaries II, Day 18: Auditory

Quacking and letting off, the S came rasping to a halt alongside the silent pavement. The sun’s trombone flattened the midday note. The pedestrians, bawling bagpipes, shouted one of their numbers…

(Auditory from Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau)

Well, here’s my effort:

Sunday, 22 November 2020

Woke to the loud buzzing of a bumble bee as it kept banging against the window pane behind the curtains. Out on the field behind the house a dog barked. I turned over and put the pillow over my head to drown the noises out but it did not work. I heard the splashing of the shower from the bathroom next door. Then phone pinged: the taxi to pick my sister up to take her to the airport had been allocated. I got up.

In the kitchen the kettle gurgled as the water came to boil. I turned on the coffee grinder, it sounds like a tiny pneumatic drill; suddenly I couldn’t heard a word that was said on the radio.

Then came breakfast: the ticktocking of the toaster, the banging of spoons on the shells of the boiled eggs, the tinkling of knives and forks on the plates. Dumped the plates and cutlery into the sink, and opened the tap; the water splashed over the plates. Then the taxi driver pinged my phone again to let us know he had arrived. 

My sister dragged her suitcase down the stairs, bang-bang, on each step. We said good-bye, she got in the taxi, slammed the door. The car moved off quietly. We shut the front door and put the chain on. It rattled.

Over to you. 🙂

Writing Challenge:
Just a reminder that you can join in this writing challenge, based on Exercises in Style by French author Raymond Queneau, by writing an entry (post it in the comments section below or, if you prefer, on your own blog and link to my relevant post) using the prompt from Queneau each day.
More information in the original post here:
Lockdown Diaries II, Day 6: With Raymond Queneau
Have fun!
Recommended reading:
Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau

 

Lockdown Diaries II, Day 17: Telegraphic

BUS CROWDED STOP YNG MAN LONG NECK PLAIT ENCIRCLED HAT REPROACHES UNKNOWN PASSENGER NO APPARENT REASON STOP QUERY FINGERS FEET HURT CONTACT HEEL ALLEGED PURPOSELY STOP YNG MAN ABANDONS DISCUSSION FOR VACANT SEAT STOP …

(Telegraphic from Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau)

Well, here’s my effort:

Saturday, 21 November 2020

UP LATE QUICK BREAKFAST STOP PLAYED SCRABBLE WITH SISTER SHE WON STOP LONG LINGERING LUNCH WITH WINE AND NY CHEESECAKE STOP LAZY AFTERNOON PLAYING COMPUTER GAMES STOP WEATHER STINKS BRING CHEESE STOP

Over to you. 🙂

Writing Challenge:
Just a reminder that you can join in this writing challenge, based on Exercises in Style by French author Raymond Queneau, by writing an entry (post it in the comments section below or, if you prefer, on your own blog and link to my relevant post) using the prompt from Queneau each day.
More information in the original post here:
Lockdown Diaries II, Day 6: With Raymond Queneau
Have fun!
Recommended reading:
Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau

 

Lockdown Diaries II, Day 16: Passive

Midday was struck on the clock. The bus was being got onto by passengers. They were being squashed together. A hat was being worn on the head of a young gentleman, which hat was encircled by a plait and not by a ribbon…

(Passive from Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau)

Well, here’s my effort:

Friday, 20 November 2020

I was woken up late by the ringing of my mobile – I was being called by the nurse who had been told by the doctor to call me. I was asked if I was feeling well and she was told that I was feeling as well as could be expected under the circumstances. 

I was made breakfast by Mr Anglo-Saxonist (a boiled duck egg and soldiers); and all the food was eaten by me. Then the breakfast dishes and crockery were put into the dishwasher, which was run. 

Overtaken by laziness, I spent the next few hours playing SimCity.

After lunch, the Scrabble board was got out and laid on the table and a mind-boggling game of Scrabble developed in Hungarian which was won by my sister…

Over to you. 🙂

Writing Challenge:
Just a reminder that you can join in this writing challenge, based on Exercises in Style by French author Raymond Queneau, by writing an entry (post it in the comments section below or, if you prefer, on your own blog and link to my relevant post) using the prompt from Queneau each day.
More information in the original post here:
Lockdown Diaries II, Day 6: With Raymond Queneau
Have fun!
Recommended reading:
Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau

 

Lockdown Diaries II, Day 15: Negativities

It was neither a boat nor an aeroplane, but a terrestrial means of transport. It was neither the morning, nor the evening, but midday. It was neither a baby, nor an old man, but a young man…

(Negativities from Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau)

Well, here’s my effort:

Thursday, 19 November 2020

I have slept neither well, nor badly last night. I didn’t get up until late, not at midday though, it was still morning. I had neither coffee, nor hot chocolate with my breakfast; instead I had tea. 

I didn’t go out, not even into the garden but I did look through the window.

At some point, I went into the bedroom of Young Friend of the Elephants, although I really didn’t want to. In there I felt there was a lack of fresh air, so I thought I’d open the window. I didn’t open the small window because I didn’t want to climb up on her bed to access it but opened the big window instead. No warm air came in, only cold. I can’t say I was surprised.

I didn’t have anything urgent to do, so I didn’t do anything. And although it’s still not the evening, I think nothing of interest will happen today, so I’m not going to write anything more…

Over to you. 🙂

Writing Challenge:
Just a reminder that you can join in this writing challenge, based on Exercises in Style by French author Raymond Queneau, by writing an entry (post it in the comments section below or, if you prefer, on your own blog and link to my relevant post) using the prompt from Queneau each day.
More information in the original post here:
Lockdown Diaries II, Day 6: With Raymond Queneau
Have fun!
Recommended reading:
Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau

 

Lockdown Diaries II, Day 14: Cross-Examination

“At what time did the 12.23 pm. S-line bus proceeding in the direction of the Porte de Champerret arrive on that day?”
“At 12.38 p.m.”
“Were there any people on the aforesaid bus?”
“Bags of ’em.”
“Did you particularly notice any of them?”
An individual who had a very long neck and a plait round his hat.”

(Cross-Examination from Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau)

Well, here’s my effort:

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

“Who was present in the house on that day?”
“Well, we were all there in the morning, obviously.”
“Could you please specify whom do you include under the term ‘all’?”
“Well, my husband Mr Anglo-Saxonist, my younger daughter Young Friend of the Elephants, my sister and myself.”
“Are all of these normally residents of the house?”
“No, only three of us; my sister was visiting.”
“I see. And what happened in the morning of that day?”
“We got up… Young Friend of the Elephants went to school. Mr Anglo-Saxonist travelled to Lancashire for the day. My sister and myself played Scrabble in Hungarian.”
“What were your reasons for playing Scrabble in Hungarian?”
“I wanted to find out if it was easier or harder than in English.”
“And what conclusion did you come to?”
“It’s much harder.”

Over to you. 🙂

Writing Challenge:
Just a reminder that you can join in this writing challenge, based on Exercises in Style by French author Raymond Queneau, by writing an entry (post it in the comments section below or, if you prefer, on your own blog and link to my relevant post) using the prompt from Queneau each day.
More information in the original post here:
Lockdown Diaries II, Day 6: With Raymond Queneau
Have fun!
Recommended reading:
Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau

 

Lockdown Diaries II, Day 13: Olfactory

We bypassed day 12 of the lockdown diaries yesterday, as it was the day of the weekly quote, and hearing from me once a day I’m sure is more than enough for any of you! 🙂 But now we carry on, still in the style of Raymond Queneau:

In that meridian S, apart from the habitual smell, there was a smell of a beastly seedy ego, of effrontery, of jeering, of H-bombs, of a high jakes, of cakes and ale, of…

(Olfactory from Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau)

Well, here’s my effort:

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Got up to the smell of freshly baked bread, wafting upstairs from the kitchen. What a marvellous thing it is to have a bread machine! No work involved, you just get the lovely smell waking you every morning! I had breakfast, drank my tea and Mr Ango-Saxonist came down to have his coffee; I have to tell you that tea can’t compete with coffee in the olfactory sense. The smell of coffee triumphed over everything, even the smell of fresh bread.

We cleaned the house today between bouts of work. The dust got up my nose while I was dusting; it has a, you know, a really dusty smell? There’s no better word to describe it. The hoover smells dusty too, I swear. And the smell of bleach was overpowering in our tiny bathroom; it’ll take hours to go away. But the end result is that everything is spick and span and bright and fresh.

But Young Friend of the Elephants is just about to come home from school; we always have tea together. It’s time that I went and put the kettle on and put the cakes on the plates – she baked some fairy cakes on Sunday, and we’re going to finish them off today. I’m leaving you imagining their sweet smell. 

Over to you. 🙂

Writing Challenge:
Just a reminder that you can join in this writing challenge, based on Exercises in Style by French author Raymond Queneau, by writing an entry (post it in the comments section below or, if you prefer, on your own blog and link to my relevant post) using the prompt from Queneau each day.
More information in the original post here:
Lockdown Diaries II, Day 6: With Raymond Queneau
Have fun!
Recommended reading:
Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau