A Week’s Toll

This is life. One minute we have hope and gratitude for what we have. The next minute our hearts hurt.

My friend, Pete’s funeral was today. How did he deserve to die from this virus? There is no answer. To think that he added the official ‘8’ in the one’s place to the UK’s overall death toll yesterday. He was a precious life and he was just one. Times the number by over 18,000 and the unofficial home and care home deaths.

What is this for? Still no answer. Pete meanwhile, I imagine is snickering and causing havoc up there. I’ll always remember he loved the craic. It’s been a long time since I last saw him, but I never thought he wouldn’t be here. Not like this.

Jack goes fishing every night. He’s discovered he has about a ten-minute window where the blue runners strike. It’s a window based on fading light. Too much light and they know it’s a green, rubbery lure. Too little light and the fish likely don’t see it at all. Been catching on average three fish every night, our cap. They taste like the freshest mackerel.

The girls restarted school this week. I am so grateful for the teachers at InterHigh, well-versed in online school. They continue teaching on the Adobe platform, swatting change in its dumb face. Afterwards, the girls have each other in downtime which, as I’ve written before, has its own ups and downs. Still, they aren’t alone. They have each other. Ha! Take that you little a**holes..

Delph turned 13 too this week. Our sweetheart. This is the second time she celebrated her birthday in Barbados. The first was two years ago. Then we had a day out in the Hilton Hotel. We lounged by the pools, sat in the jacuzzi, enjoyed burgers. The staff appeared with an enormous, pre-arranged cake and sang happy birthday to her. But Stevie Wonder’s happy birthday – a great Bajan twist.

This time I made the cake. Truth be told I tried to cheat and bought a cake packet before the lockdown. When I opened the cardboard packaging on Monday, it was full of black, crawling weevils. Urghh. Happens in the tropics. They don’t bite or pose cockroach-style heebie-jeebies, but they are a nuisance. Some people would say extra protein.

I made a sponge cake instead. Surprisingly not too bad. Quest’s oven can be unpredictable, but this time it worked. The frosting was shop-bought. No regrets. You cant make that stuff for the money. The cruisers in the anchorage came and wished Delph happy birthday from dinghy-distance and offered beautiful cards and little pressies.

I asked Delph later, ‘Which birthday was better? The posh one two years ago, or this one where you had no party but we had lots of friends and family sending their best wishes?’

You’ll never guess what she said. This lockdown birthday won hands-down. We wont forget any of it. We cant.

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