Day Nineteen – I am not Jane Austen

It’s day nineteen for us, due to the fact we ducked out of civilisation earlier than everyone else. Today is the first day since all this that I have woken up feeling mildly irritated by the whole staying in thing. I say mildly, because I don’t really know what I would do if I went out and I have no burning desire to do anything much except buy myself a small, Welsh cottage, which I couldn’t do even if I wasn’t on lockdown. I might do a few star jumps and the feelings will pass.

I’m only showing off because the trapped nerve in my neck is at bearable levels today.

I have noticed that a few of the old blogging brigade, myself included, have taken to blogging again since lockdown. It feels like the old days. I rather like it. I was talking to my mum about it today and saying that despite my daily musings I feel that future historians will be no wiser as to what the hell was happening if they decide to read my oeuvre. It’s hardly Nella Last. I am recording nothing for posterity except a lot of creative swearing and a host of minor injuries due to age and stupidity.

I thought about it after I got off the phone. I wondered if I should be documenting the life and times of the nation here, and then I thought, ‘fuck that noise.’

I shall be like Jane Austen. Although the poor woman is probably rotating in her grave at the mere thought that we might have anything in common.

When I first studied Austen, we read Persuasion.  One of the things the tutors always went on about was the fact that even though the Napoleonic Wars were raging, she never wrote about them or did more than hint about it in her work.  I always thought that was weird. I mean, she was writing romantic fiction about day to day life. I’m not sure why anyone thought she needed to shove in a few chapters on how the war was progressing. It’s a bit like expecting someone who writes cookbooks to put in the odd chapter on weaving because they are wearing clothes while they cook.

I can’t deal with the news at the moment. I scan it every day and then retreat into my shell. It’s not that I don’t care. It’s that it’s overwhelming and thinking about the sheer scale of what is happening makes me incapable of doing anything and I need to keep going. That’s the only thing I can do right now, find ways to keep going. Maybe that’s how Jane Austen felt too. Who knows? Maybe she thought men with guns were dicks and didn’t deserve the publicity. Maybe she just wanted to think about bonnets because that was manageable. I don’t blame her.



4 responses to “Day Nineteen – I am not Jane Austen

  1. My mother, aged 10, was a refugee from France in 1940. They brought a school friend with them who happened to be a Jewish Bulgarian. My grandfather suggested she keep a diary and in the 70s he gave them to me. God, they were boring! What time she woke up, what was for lunch, where they went for their afternoon walk…

  2. John Ravenscroft

    You’re writing is fabulous. Even the bleak stuff makes me smile (sometimes with a twist of pain). Keep on tapping, please.

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