Now Wash Your Hands

March 2020

Time to panic again. I’ll be taking part in Spring Fling this year. That is, if it goes ahead. We are all trapped in the worldwide virus threat. Living in rural Dumfries and Galloway is like a lovely bubble where the ills of the rest of the world are far away, they are just nightmare items in the news. I am thinking though buying a spare pack of toilet paper, just in case the bubble bursts. Wee squares of newspaper are no good if you don’t have an outside privy.

I have been working on new items. They are still birds and fish, theme and variation, but new variations! My Agent of Fortune has been giving me ideas. Agent of Fortune apparently is male version of the Muse. Some of the ideas we come up with are do-able, some not. Sgian Dhu/Skiing Doo is one I did, Love Rat is another. Heart features in the work…




The virus has now truly got us trapped. Now I know what Groundhog Day is. Week two gone of the isolation and every day seem to repeat itself. Wake up early, Katie out. Back to bed. Get up (why..?), have breakfast. Now what? I have been inventing tasks around the place, in the house and garden. At least I have a garden to potter in. Pottery. Hm. Working has been put on back burner. No inspiration, no motivation. What is the World going to be like after this all is finished? How many people feel comfortable spending money on life’s little luxuries like art?


Some of the early hours of the morning are spent thinking of possible things to do, and when working was still happening, what to start with in the studio. Before I got up today I had solved how to repair the trowel. The handle had become detached from the fork. The greenhouse needed tidying…  After breakfast of coffee and two butteries (and a schluck of Gaviscon) I went out to see what I can do. Trowel was sorted with very strong glue and jubilee clip. I pruned the vine in the greenhouse. I prepared the roof section for a replacement panel. I had replaced one of the glass panels with a sheet of polycarbonate but that blew away in one of the winter storms. I still haven’t found it. The new sheet is a full length one. I’ll wait until the wind calms down a bit otherwise the panel will act as a sail. Not a good idea as I have to climb a ladder to clip it into place.


Another Groundhog syndrome – the radio programme I listen to repeats the same tunes over and over again. I can now name that tune with the first bar and quite often with the first note. I don’t suppose there are many new classics but surely the old masters have composed more pieces that those always played.


In two weeks I have become conditioned to the scare of the virus. The other day I had to smile at myself. I had been talking to someone on the phone and when we finished I washed my hands! My hands are getting very rough. Anyone needs anything sanded – I can do it with my bare hands.




Week three of isolation has started. Some days are better than others. Some days are longer than others. I keep on inventing jobs – anything but cleaning the house. Last week I made a wee shelving unit out of planks of wood I had lying about. The corner next to the studio needed tidying of random items and shelving unit was the answer. I was quite pleased with the result, the construction genius I am. Minimal amount of fixings and it’s still standing. I wouldn’t get a master cabinetmaker’s certificate for it. More like ‘this will do the job’ certificate. I even built in a feature to leave the cat flap usable in case I ever get a cat again.


Today I made a rare expedition to Castle Douglas. I did shopping for three households which is very satisfying. I had run out of bird food and needed decking protection stuff, and human food. I had the decking power washed and it looks like new. I got sunflower hearts, fat balls and mealy worms. No decking stuff. Looks like everybody has a new hobby of outside maintenance. As No 1 daughter’s mother-in-law said, after all this we’ll have clean houses and tidy gardens. Well, my garden is looking good.