I finally caved and sent David a light, friendly text. We should all be reaching out, shouldn’t we? Be able to put things into perspective. Be the bigger person. Help each other.
‘Hi Dave. Hope you are OK. I’d invite you to self-isolate with me, but a) you probably wouldn’t want to and b) you have a cat, and Gracie can’t be trusted. Look after yourself. Liz’
A few days later, I got this: ‘Hi. Me and Prudence are well, thank you. I have been self-isolating for some time. I’m surprised at your suggestion, as I seem to annoy you so much. And I don’t want to get in the way of your Great Love. Do you not realise how upsetting it was to read that? X*’
Do we notice the fatal flaw here? The yawning omission? Hands up, anyone? You at the back! Yes! Nowhere does he ask, ‘And how are you?’ My girlfriends have been asking how the animals are, how can they help, have I read this or that or seen Knives Out (brilliant, though I had to watch it twice to work out the plot). But not him. Not one thought about me. I’m wondering if he is a narcissist (traits: inability to empathise, apologise or find fault in themselves); I do seem to attract them. Typing an ‘X’ you don’t mean should be made illegal.
Anyway, I’m upset as on Saturday Missy the collie injured her paw, which meant emergency stitches at the vet. She has to wear a giant inflatable collar to stop her licking the wound, and on Sunday evening it got trapped in the flex of my glass table lamp and it smashed to the floor. I bought this lamp in 2006 from Atelier Abigail Ahern in Islington. It has stayed with me through everything, the only thing of value I haven’t sold (though I did sell its twin on Ebay a few weeks ago, BC**). It was somehow symbolic, prophetic. Of course, I shouldn’t care about a lamp, but it was the final straw. I sent a photo of Missy in her collar to David. ‘Is that a rubber ring? Blimey, I knew it was wet up in Yorkshire, but still…’
All my coping mechanisms – browsing property and Net-a-Porter – have been stripped away; all I google now is ‘fresh bread’. I see how shallow my aspirations have been, especially when I get an email from a luxury brand, telling me, ‘Work from your soft office in luxury cashmere loungewear.’ A pair of cashmere trousers costs £650. And you think, ‘Are these people insane?’ And, ‘Doesn’t cashmere bag at the knee and go bobbly?’ Far better is the email from My Wardrobe HQ, whose van in London is idle and so is offering to deliver essentials. When this is over, won’t we remember the brands that did the right thing? The people? I’ve not had a single family member make contact. For my part, I have told my vet I can bring pets to and from the surgery for anyone who’s old or scared.
I’ve also broken the habit of a lifetime and constructed a home spa in my bathroom so I don’t go into a decline, grooming wise, and become even more depressed. And so, for the first time since I was 19, I have dyed my hair at home. It wasn’t easy, as the plumber disconnected my shower in November and hasn’t been back since, so in order to wash my hair I have to sit in the bath and use a jug. Having rinsed the dye this way last night, I discovered I was then sitting in a soup of black water, and so am now nicely tanned all over; always a plus. Also I didn’t have to chat to anyone about whether I have any nice holidays planned.
The self-inflicted extreme Hollywood waxing, though, didn’t go to plan. Oh, that I had done more yoga! I bought the Boots own brand, which is very sticky. So sticky, in fact, I am now sealed. Down there (Dick Emery curl of the mouth). All I can say is it’s lucky I’m single! I did my underarms, too, so currently can’t wave! Thank the Lord I’m not Royal! Also, Mini the collie wagged nearby, so a segment of tail is now bald. She keeps giving me mournful looks…
* So David is still stalking me digitally; he obviously saw that I was planning to visit the Hunk in Australia
** Before Coronavirus