8 May, in the year of our Lord 2020
Up very betimes, my pattern of sleep disturbed these days, whether for lack of routine or solitaryness of circumstance I know not. People reporting dreams of unnatural vividness, and I too. This morning with the cats, as sociable as ever though feathers inside my house by the ice container. No corpse but Banjo not breakfasting, as if suspiciously full. (I know not how he doth it, lacking all upper teethe.) By letter arrived my Spanish Exercise, corrected by my teacher Iñigo el Vasco, and I downcast, for my endeavoures are now for four years and as I do learn, the equal I forget. And so outside, entending an hour for my other Exercise, but the lane thronged by coaches without number or order and a rabble shouting complaintes. Over the hubbub, the Physician in Diseases of the Integument, Venus and the Pox maintains I missed my chance not to join his ‘Clap, Rash And Plague’ Service. I told him he should sack his copywriter if that was what he was calling it, and why the uproar if all to plan? It seems they still turn people away for lack of scarves. I inquired of Mr. J. MacSporran, still in full belted Scottish plaid and muttering of money down the bleedin’ drain, as to the health of his wife, she self-isolating in the attic the while. But it is naught to do with the plague: she cannot stand his constant practise of the Pipes.
Dinner at noon, and after did read in the gazette that today is a holiday for ‘VD Day’. Again to the Physician, since he down my lane and this up his street.
‘What means this VD Day?’
‘It is not that!’ he says. ‘It is “Victory over the Dutch” Day, as you of all people should know.’
‘Very funny. You will be telling me next that you have hit your target.’
At supper, word from Mr. M. Jones, who in Lock Up and seeking solace in wine hath unearthed a type of steele worm for drawing a cork, though to his bafflement it works anti-clockwise. I know little of Natural Science and Mr. I. Newton’s book the most ridiculous I ever did read in my life, I understanding not three lines together from one end of it to the other, but I do remember something to do with water, plug holes and the Equator, so will suggest that it may be designed for bottles from the Antipodes – or that he should turn the bottle upside down to do the job. He hath also moved from his kitchen to paint his study, but is scornful of the last owner his repairs and has had to newly ‘box in the pipes’. I replied by the Messenger that although nothing guaranteed Special Distancing more than the Pipes, boxing them in was probably best all round, as I was sure my lady MacSporran would agree. Late, a return message saying only ‘A different kind of pipe’, which is odd for I did not know he smoked. And so to bed.