#LockdownDiary – One of many – Day 27

#LockdownDiary – One of many – Day 27

Day 27

I spend the day at my computer. From 8am to 5pm, as a work day, I sit at my desk and type away at the keyboard. I am not cataloguing, updating images, or even replying to customers. Instead I am editing a zine I’m working on. I’m experimenting with GIMP to transform some of my photos into illustrations. I doubt this skill will ever come in useful at work but I have found a couple of tools that might be.

I design the zine with Pages, the software widely inadequate for the task and yet somehow freeing thanks to its restrictions. I don’t have to think about all the possibilities, there is only a handful of choice. I select a template that suits the mood of my texts and copy/paste the words from one software to another. I hack and slash each chapter, deleting all the useless prepositions and conjunctions I am fond of adding. I delete too many ‘began’ and ‘start’ and rewrite the sentences they were in. I doubt my writing is any good in spite of the reassuring words from my partner.

I enter full screen and observe the layout. It is pleasingly book like with a massive capital letter at the start of my chapters and illustrations peppered throughout. I’m struggling to find any relevant photos for the chapter on being a lesbian in a foreign land. I scour my folders of photography but nothing strikes me. I will have to come back to it another time. Five o’clock strikes and I’m tired.

I turn the computer off and head outside. It’s cool today. I am still wearing shorts but I need a hoodie to keep myself from shivering. There are stains on it but I don’t care. I walk through streets I am beginning to know like the back of my hand and breathe. I can feel the mental exertion of the day slipping away. The last of the warm rays from the sun melt away the tension in my shoulders. There are barely any people out.

I only walk a short loop. Dinner still needs to be cooked and I am hungry. I avoid the Tesco Express where people are queuing. I don’t think I have seen it free from people once. I pass the post office and remind myself that this is our closest one. My partner will need it to renew her car tax.

I think of the card my nephew has received today. My sister sent me a photo of the envelope but hasn’t told me what my nephew thought of receiving a letter. I hope he liked it. I have never written to him like that. It felt strange to write this way, the words surprisingly difficult to find. In the end, I decided to write as if he was an adult. I told him of the book he chose for me, of the Pokémon game I had been playing. I asked him about the books he is reading and the games he plays. I hope he will write back.

On the welcome mat, a letter from a friend is waiting for me. I will open it tomorrow. For now, it waits with the New Scientist, Garden Answers, and a few packs of Splosh refills.

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