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Leviticus 205/84: Flattered we are ... by our readers ... and the Brecks ZOOM

Existential Normal has struck a chord or two … You never know when you publish a book what reviews it might get, or from whom they may come. So we've held our bated breath for a week or two. Intriguingly it's created a great deal of feedback, letters, cards even a lengthy phone call. Mathew and Kathryn pronounced it the 'best book I've ever done' by which I assume they've read them all … What seems to have captured attention is its browsability and its pictures … and also its ability to trigger similar thoughts amongst readers to those which Avril and I were having during the first 168 days. Not that they clamoured to learn Gaelic, allude to Steven Poole or commemorate National Days as we repeatedly did. Rather they reminisced about past connections as though the future was less interesting … which of course it has been. The posties haven't delivered yet in Edmonton where Anne was the most dedicated reader throughout its creation but cousin Joan and daughter Susan in Beckenham and Sarah in Huddersfield and Ann in Waltham St Lawrence and Carol in Brackley and Howard in Bognor Regis … have all been in touch. We don't need to repeat here what we said in our Summaries as Corollaries 84/84 and 168/84 as to why we enjoyed it but it bears telling here how the later stages of the lockdowns and restrictions have lost their shine. Going back into full national Lockdown 2 was never the same nor could it be; we entered the second wave with the accumulated knowledge, experience and wisdom of having endured phase 1. We'd been on a journey, ascended a learning curve! All the 'New Pandemic Resolutions' we made to learn a language or to adopt online shopping and click and collect have faded ….. the determination to do as many familiar things as possible grows stronger every day as manifest in the premature lighting up of homes with Christmas trees and much more as Advent has barely begun.
It was Avril's eyes test day at Danes Camp this afternoon. As anticipated she'll need one injection next week but after that has a clear run until January 23rd next year. It was one of the speediest visits ever achieved. My visit to Tesco's to acquire the necessary Drambuie for this evening's haggis supper saw a queue that I was able to blue badge my way up and just be back at Danes Camp in time to bring Avril home for tea.

… and Martin Margulies and the Alan Brecks for ZOOM at 8pm. It was a goodly gathering, some 24 of us preceded by carefully prepared haggis with Drambuie. We dined at 7pm [watching Strictly Come Dancing SemiFinals in two halves!] with the help of the ubiquitous HP sauce; was white wine correct as well? The ZOOM saw and heard a review of the year from Arran and an update on battlefield protection from Martin Margulies - who reminded us how much better at it the US National Parks Service is than we are. Then each of the participants recalled highlights or bizarre moments from their careers with the Brecks … which rumour suggests it went on after the two hours that Martin and Avril and I shared with differing levels of belief. Yet the whole occasion was another instance of how ZOOM can work very well if it's giving scope for light hearted exchanges .. that same lesson once again from IMC's Global Sets we structured 25 years ago!

Published Date: December 12th 2020

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