It has been a strange time. With no exhibitions planned, and no agenda, odd things have been appearing in my studio. I have been taking snaps of my quarantine butcher’s block, where shopping sits for 72 hours after delivery before I can store it. I also documented my big store cupboard clear out in early March 2020, checking and logging sell by dates. I have a box of essentials plus tinned duck in the wardrobe for Christmas 2020 and 2021. There is a spray cleaner and wipes by the open front door (to save the poor postman). So will use this and see where it takes me. A series of still life paintings that had no relevance in 2019. Also a shameful admission of my own status (a butcher’s block to spare?) when much of the world population has no soap and running water. I have a lot to think about with that. There may be poetry as well as mark making.
Pyjamas, solitary, aloneness not lonely, thinking, reevaluating, worth? Value, people, thinking it all through, us, you, me. Virtual. Global. Islands all but an archipelago of zoom. Not gloom. Confined, restricted but oddly free. Food for thought, and making marks.
ODE TO THE BUTCHERS BLOCK/COVID QUARANTINE
QUAKER OAT so SIMPLE on spare(?) butchers block
Duck deep action gel, one marine one floral fantasy …
Tesco limits items these covid days.
Marine my favoured smell, but once got a three banana delivery,
Reduced from a kilo. Outwitted by my old parallel vulnerable isolated
Mother boasting three packs of five; ready now, green for later, organic.
She was smart.
Three max on any item.
Two small virgin olive oils, substitution, no extra charge, no litres available.
Thank you Tesco.
No milk for tea this week. Marked no substitutions on my hopeful
Three litres of goat milk.
Allergic to cow.
Should have ordered one each of full fat, skimmed, semi skimmed.
Might have got lucky.
Hate black tea and coffee.
First world problem. And the second butchers block.
Sorry you nameless people in overcrowded, impossibly socially distanced
Streets of London.
No soap and water you. Guilt, but not enough. Nine packs of white spelt pasta.
Another allergy. Two of ground coffee. Black.
Suck it up princess.
BURSTING WITH GOODNESS
QUICK TO PREPARE
POWERHOUSE OF GOODNESS?
Wish I could say same of self.
The grapes are opened. Not seventy-two hours yet. Still quarantined.
Quarantined fruit, bursting with goodness, quick to prepare.
Will have to wait.
Rubber gloves, pink, too pink, not my choice.
Febreeze plug in air purifier, lasts 90 days.
Longer than my father.
His leg was rotting. Febreeze helped us through it.
January 2020 so long ago.
Lockdown week eight.
Plus powdered gold. Twenty-five kilos of white spelt flour
Straight from the mill.
I am the lucky one.
All I have to do is stay alive.
Plus a Tesco carrier bag of Tesco carrier bags,
The plastic enemy last year.
So last year.
Go Greta Thunberg, we all are with you still,
Yet the bags my lifeline now.
Not left the house since early March.
Home delivery. Vulnerable list.
I thank you. Applaud you all on Thursdays from my window at eight.
Delivery team front line working.
Will plant my sprouted spuds in them.
Tesco plastic carrier potatoes.
Lockdown dig for victory.
It is the least I can do.
It is the very least.