Hello my darlings. The days are blurring into one and other. I’m thinking of Nuala, who manages a medical building and is worried about how her tenants will get through this difficult time. Nuala talks to her grandchildren Aiden and Aoife (pronounced EE-FA, one of my favourite names) every day, and worries about her husband, who insists on going to the bank in person because he’s old school that way. Karen is also working from home in her basement office, and plans to make the Eggplant Parm on Thursday when she gets her grocery order. Pam is a dental hygienist and as such isn’t working right now, but just underwent her first round of chemo for BC, so a huge shout out to Pam (RIGHT Pam?) Lori, Lydia and Roberta are just happy that I’m out there, and everyone is concerned about my gel manicure. I’m going to deal with it tomorrow and will report back.


There are none so blind as those that will not see, or, as Ronan once suggested, there are nuns so blind they are Nazis. Are you the one in five Canadians who doesn’t think social and/or physical distancing is integral to our survival? ARE YOU? Those are the stats from a study done last week, where 16 percent said they thought the COVID19 crisis is being blown out of proportion, and 20 percent said it has no impact on visits with friends and family. I hope things have changed in the 4 or 5 days since that poll was done. Like vaccinations and the wave at sporting events, it only works if we all do it.


Lord knows it isn’t easy. Families are split, friends are distanced. Last night, we celebrated Aidan’s birthday via Skype. He is holed up in Muskoka at Jamie’s family cottage, so we opened a bottle of Champagne, called him on Skype, and wished him many happy returns:


Mo’s family [PHOTO: Maureen Holloway]

Just so you know, it is virtually impossible to get photo approval from my offspring, so I hit upon a perfect solution: I won’t ask for it. This means I have to take secret photos of them, paparazzi style. I’m thinking of investing in a zoom lens.


I walked the dogs today, and apparently spring did not get the memo about staying inside, because the trees are just starting to bud. The tulips are poking out, as are banks of snowbells and the odd flash of pink heather. I listen to audio books when I walk, and, for some perverse reason, I’ve selected Stephen King’s “The Stand,” his epic novel of a post-apocalyptic world decimated by plague. I’ve read it before, but this is the complete, uncut version, with 500 pages of previously unreleased material. It clocks in at almost 48 hours. If I walk the dogs 5 days a week, it will take me about 10 weeks to finish it, and by then we should know if “The Stand” is non-fiction. Kidding. I’m kidding.


Finally, for YOUR reading pleasure, you might enjoy this letter, written by F.Scott Fitzgerald to a friend while he and Zelda were quarantined in the South of France in 1920 during the outbreak of the Spanish Flu. Enjoy with a glass of absinthe:


Dearest Rosemary,

It was a limpid dreary day, hung as in a basket from a single dull star. I thank you for your letter. Outside, I perceive what may be a collection of fallen leaves tussling against a trash can. It rings like jazz to my ears. The streets are that empty. It seems as though the bulk of the city has retreated to their quarters, rightfully so. At this time, it seems very poignant to avoid all public spaces. Even the bars, as I told Hemingway, but to that he punched me in the stomach, to which I asked if he had washed his hands. He hadn’t. He is much the denier, that one. Why, he considers the virus to be just influenza. I’m curious of his sources.

The officials have alerted us to ensure we have a month’s worth of necessities. Zelda and I have stocked up on red wine, whiskey, rum, vermouth, absinthe, white wine, sherry, gin, and lord, if we need it, brandy. Please pray for us.

You should see the square, oh, it is terrible. I weep for the damned eventualities this future brings. The long afternoons rolling forward slowly on the ever-slick bottomless highball.

  1. Z. says it’s no excuse to drink, but I just can’t seem to steady my hand. In the distance, from my brooding perch, the shoreline is cloaked in a dull haze where I can discern an unremitting penance that has been heading this way for a long, long while. And yet, amongst the cracked cloudline of an evening’s cast, I focus on a single strain of light, calling me forth to believe in a better morrow.

Faithfully yours,

  1. F. Scott Fitzgerald 

*Turns out this is bogus, or rather, it’s a parody written by American author Nick Farriella for the humor site McSweeney’s earlier this month. Still funny though.


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