On Day 288 there were scary ghost stories, but not so much wonderful times

I’m going to strive to better document the banality of our pandemic life, including the existential dread seeping between the day to day moments.Today, Ledcat is on vacation so we started the day reading on the sofa together. There’s no “daily” paper published today so she read the pdf version on her tablet. I scrolled through my feedly app.My essay for PublicSource was published so I spent a solid hour sharing it.


Self-promotion is not a sin – Maurie Heidis


I have therapy 2x each week and today was the day. I try to take some time beforehand to prepare whether that’s reviewing recent events or practicing the tools. We put EMDR on hold until after the holidays, but there’s a lot of old pain around this time of year that seeps into our conversations.I do teletherapy in our bedroom because the acoustics are good. I have a little laptray that I slide under the bed when not in use. My Chrome oak is perfect for this use. And I typically have some cats in the room – to keep it interesting.I’ve made a lot of progress this year in spite of everything.

After my sessions, I often take a nap because it’s pretty hard work. Our foster cat, Spencer Cassadine, will join me.Today, I had a brutal headache that ibuprofen could not touch. I can never tell if it’s a migraine or sinuses or tension. It just hurts.

So I slept a little longer than usual.I woke, slipped into my barn coat and went down the street to feed the feral kittens, Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. Ledcat made dinner – just pasta. The cold air helped my headache some. I know we need to trap them soon, an obligation that hangs around my shoulders. I hate trapping. But its part of the job.

After dinner and The Reid Report on MSNBC, we decided to watch a new holiday tradition – the BBC Christmas Ghost Stories. Ledcat has been fascinated by the “scary ghost stories” from the song

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. So I set out to find the ghost stories Brits told one another. I was delighted to discover the BBC had produced a series of these stories. So we tuned in tonight for a trial run and it was great.

As a Christmas treat in the late 1960s and 70s, the BBC produced adaptations of ghost stories based on the works of MR James, the Cambridge academic and author of some of the most spine-tingling tales in the English language, which were broadcast to terrified viewers in the dead of winter. This was a tradition that was briefly revived by the BBC between 2007 and 2010.

They can be found on YouTube. A box set is available on Amazon.We love thrillers and suspense so it was a treat.

I’m pleased with myself for doing two new rituals this week – lighting a yule log on the Winter Solstice and watching this series. Having something new helps tamp down the sense of loss. But those losses are there, subtle moments of grief, loss, and fear that it will never be the same now that novel mutating viruses have leapt into human beings.

We willingly make the necessary sacrifices, but watch the vocal minority undo our hard work with their callous selfishness.But that’s not new. The pandemic has exposed truths about our society, not created them. Running away from truth is an American Standard.

So we end our day as usual with books, music, and cats.

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