calendars are bastards.

i don’t like Sundays.
but still they come…
reminding me of those times when i shook hands with Death.


first, my father.

one fine sunny Sunday morning in May…

i can still hear my screams:
Kathryn, darling… Daddy’s died” my mum said,
softly,
cradling me in her arms.
was this real? i was 13.
a child. why me? why my Dad?
why, Death, why?
can you tell me that?
why did you take him from me so soon…?
there was still so much i had to share with him:
he should have taught me how to drive;
he should have been driving me to and from the airport;
he should have been there to tease and taunt my boyfriends;
he should have been there to hold Mum in her last days on Earth.
he should have been there, then.
and he should be here
now.
Oh what i wouldn’t give
for one more day with him… because

i didn’t get the chance to say “Goodbye.”

i am sorry, Dad. i am so sorry…

and then, another Sunday morning… my little friend, my dog…

i am sorry, Bonnie. i didn’t know you were as sick as you were.
neither did the Vet.
Saturday, you grew sick. convulsing. struggling, gasping for breath.
“keep her comfortable, make sure she has fresh water” he said.
i slept by your side,
on the kitchen floor,

stroking you, whispering comforting words to you.
you died in my arms, through the night.

i woke up and you were gone.

your lifeless body, cold and stiff.
blood from your nose and ears
on my hands and sweater.
i am sorry i failed you, old girl.
if only i had known you were as sick as you were,

i would have, mercifully, done the right thing by you.
but the Vet sounded hopeful…
he was so apologetic when we took her little body to him,
for cremation.

i am sorry, little one. i am so sorry…

Sunday 16th July 2017. 5am.

i receive a phonecall… “Kathryn, it’s West Park Care Home… it’s time, darling

in a haze of ‘this cannot be happening’
i call my brothers.
i am first to arrive, a lonely vigil, at her bedside.

my Mum had Alzheimer’s and dementia.
i had ‘lost’ her weeks before her physical death.
but we cling on,
with dear life, to prolong things. to anything

i didn’t want her to go.

but i wanted her to go… does that make sense?
i couldn’t bear to see her struggle,

and writhe, her face contort in pain and confusion.
did she know i was there?

was she conscious? did she know she was dying?

could she hear me?
could she smell me?
could she sense my presence?


i hope so…
because that is all i have to cling onto now.
a hope that she felt my love
in her last few hours.

all i could do was sit by her,

stroke her hair,
sing to her, softly….

willing her to go to sleep…

willing her to let go…

was i ready for this? she was ready…
i was not.

Death entered her room at 8pm.
i felt his chill in the air, and

in her gasping and clawing,
in her sweating and writhing,
her fever,
her delirium…

i willed him to take her.
to take her back.
back to those she had missed
so sorely…

all i could do was lie down beside her,
cradle her, as she did me, when Dad died.

whispered goodbyes – could she could hear me?
my words, my heart breaking…

i hope she knew how much she was loved.
and how much she would be missed.

but i was about to shake hands with Death,
he was so close now…
the minute we met,
i felt her heart stop beneath my hand.

a wave of golden light filled the room,
filled my body, like a surge of power.
did she pass through me?

i still hear the sound of my heart breaking,
when my Mother’s heart stopped beating.

every Sunday, at around 8.03pm…

i am sorry, Mum. i am sorry that you had to suffer so much.
i wish i could have done more.
but please…. know that you were loved. and that you are missed,
so sorely…
as i now feel properly orphaned.

the next time i was to shake hands with Death,
i refused to give in.

he was my love, my best friend. but where did he go?

another Sunday. he had been gone for hours. no explanation.

my stomach in ropes, i hailed a taxi to find an open door.

i find him,
in a darkened room,
surrounded by feelings of hopelessness and despair.
he didn’t want to live.

i screamed. again. why?? why???

a letter. empty bottles and empty pill packets.
the longest 22 minutes of my life, waiting…

waiting for that ambulance to arrive…

listening for his breath. watching his pupils dilate.
trying to keep him with me.
trying to keep him alive.

No Death! you cannot take him.

you can’t take him. you cannot take him.
not this one…. no…. no…!

he has a boy. he has a mother. he has a sister.
they need him. i need him.

please let him stay.

you can’t take him!
you CANNOT take him!

i can still hear my voice… my screams, as i find him…
lying, curled up, on the bedroom floor.

pale. like Death.
cold. like Death.

but still breathing. barely.

time slowed down.
it was the longest 22 minutes of my life.
and his life….

his life, worth saving. because he is beautiful.
too beautiful for this ugly world, for sure.

i am sorry. i am sorry that i didn’t see the signs…
those warning signs.

i feel like i have failed you.
your life should have been saved long before you had to resort to this…
this…

but your life was saved.

and for that, i am grateful that i acted upon my ‘gut’ feeling.
grateful that we can have more time together, here.

in this life.
in this moment.

i hope… i love… i remember… i cherish.
yes, we all die, and

ultimately, we all die alone.
it doesn’t matter if our deathbed is surrounded by all that need to be there…
we all must make that final journey alone.
no matter what.
sometimes, we have time to prepare – but in reality, nothing can prepare us.

sometimes, we don’t have time
then spend all our time wishing we had made time.

time is all we have. make the most of your time. this time.
because… they will miss you when you’re gone.

believe me…..

time heals, yes.
but calendars are bastards.

(c) Kat McDonald 2020

image source: Pinterest
Artist: Unknown… but if you DO happen to know who they are, please leave details in comment box…. thank you.
.

when did silence become so loud?

when did silence become so loud?

i lie, awake, in the dark.

i know she’s there…

she’s in every exhalation, every sigh,

in every flicker,

in the corner of my eye,

dancing, like a flame.

i feel the night behind me.

cast iron, clad, a heavy blanket

midnight blue, a black-out.

no stars above,

i’m empty.

medicated.

exhausted,

like a threadbare carpet, or

a wrung out cloth.

Oh Insomnia, please… just fuck off

and follow someone else home.

leave me in this half-life, with no patience

and no joy.

a street light fills my window.

enormous shadows of myself brush up

against the ceiling.

have i left my body, or

am i just dreaming?

(c) Kat McDonald 2020

talking to myself…

what should i do today?

i dunno, Kat, you have options…. go for a walk with your camera, shoot the sky – look at it, it’s beautiful this morning, all red and purple? or you could watch a movie, like that Meryl Streep one about the singer with the shrill voice that Lynn recommended. or you could write something…? you haven’t written anything in a while. or maybe you could get your finger out and write a synopsis and cover letter for sending Life’s Rich Pageant to agents…? or you could play your guitar? you’re always bleating on about how your ambition exceeds your ability, well fucking do something about it… play. practise. play. or you could, of course, go back to bed with Alf, or just continue to mope around in this covid-era depression.

what should i wear?

well, i’m up now. teeth cleaned. i hear sirens. it’s all i hear these days. but hey…. is it cold outside? the sky looks pretty, but it is November now… i guess i should wear some warm layers. who cares? i doubt i will be leaving the house today anyway, and if i do i’ll be sure to stick a mask in my pocket. so sick of this…

coffee? d’you want a cup?

oh yes, please…. that would be great.

what time is it?

it’s 9.12am. why? what does it matter?

i guess it doesn’t matter because time doesn’t exist, does it? i mean, it’s just a human construct by which we cage ourselves. you should make the most of each day. oh… remember you have washing on… the cycle should be finished soon.

i guess so… so back to that question… what should i do today? it’s Friday.

… and we’re back to cages. why do we do that? put ourselves in these cages??

i think it’s so we can organise our days… and what we do with our time. for something that doesn’t exist, per se, it’s a precious commodity. much sought after… more valuable than gold, or data.

hey… Kat… the kettle has boiled!

ok… i’ll be right there. one homemade oat latte coming up.

[i get up from the comfort of the smaller of my two green sofas and slip into the kitchen. i rub my eyes. i check the washing machine. 10 minutes left.]

i’m tired. already…

[i take a mug from the mug tree and coffee from the jar. one scoop. i add cold oat milk, and fill my mug half full]

wow, that’s optimistic of you!

[i top up the mug with boiling water… not quite a latte but equally as milky – trying not to fill it ‘vulgarly full’ – as my late mother would say….]

Fuck. i miss her. but i am glad she’s dead. and not here at this time… she wouldn’t understand. Hell, i don’t even understand what’s going on these days… so much fake news, ‘bought’ news, biased and skewed. i don’t know what to believe these days…

[i take a sip of my coffee and return to my seat to find my cat, Alf, has taken up residency there…]

hey little one… shift!

[i give him a gentle nudge, he vocalises his displeasure with a little grunt. i love this cat. he’s my best friend]

so… Kat… what are you going to do today? will you publish this on your ‘inner focus’ blog? will you whore it around your social media pages?

publish and be damned! a wise man once said… was it Hemingway?

it may very well have been. so will you? i mean…. who would want to read this? it’s the ramblings of boredom.

i may as well. it gives me something to do. i haven’t written anything of worth in a while. this has been a good exercise. in self-discipline if nothing else…

self-discipline… something you haven’t exercised in a while. you’re the world’s greatest procrastinator. care to talk more about this?

what are you? my therapist?

yeah. i could be… but if you don’t want to explore these issues then that’s fine by me. i just thought, you know, while we had the time…

oh back to that again! time! yes. much sought-after time. i have lots of time so why don’t i want to make the most of it? what is wrong with me?

i think what you’re feeling is natural. i think a lot of people, in these strange times, feel the same. going through phases of having zero motivation. i think it’s uncertainty.

let me just enjoy my coffee, please? you know… sometimes i can’t stand being around you.

why’s that? because i speak the truth to you, Kat? you need to give yourself a shake – stop moping and get on with something.

sometimes it’s hard. sometimes i just feel so…. disheartened. dispirited. and i think ‘what’s the fucking point?’. everything is so superficial. nobody cares what i have to say, or write about, or sing about. nobody cares how i view the world around me, or what f-stop i used in a particular photograph i have taken. nobody cares. everyone is too caged, by their own periphery and public personae, to care about my little world. i dunno… maybe i should take a break from social media. it can be a toxic experience.

it’s a double-edge sword. you need it promote yourself…

ha! yeah. okay.

it’s true. you do. i think your imposter syndrome needs a brick to the face. i’m tired of hearing this. i’ve told you before – it’s completely natural, during these strange times of change and reset. a lot of people feel exactly as you do. and i think creative people ‘feel’ it more than most. emotions are in a state of flux right now for a lot of creative people, all around the world, not just you. you’re not alone.

so what do you suggest?

i think you should chill the fuck out. drink that coffee, go for a walk down by the sea to blow away this negativity. then return, refreshed, and pick up your guitar (either one) and finish that song you started a few months ago… the one called ‘i hate you’… pour all these feelings into this. it’s a great song, or has the potential to be… finish it.

right now, i wish i had a million quid.

wow… diversion tactics. you are one hella procrastinator, aren’t you? why? money isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on… it can’t buy happiness, it can’t buy health, or love….?

well it can actually, even if it’s just momentarily. i am just sick fed up being skint. i haven’t worked since February and i am tired of scrimping and scraping. wondering if i will have enough money at the end of the month. that dark day looming when i wonder what i will spend my last £10 on… top up my gas for warmth or buy food. and it will soon be Christmas. and you know how i feel about Christmas… fuck Christmas!

fuck… you really are in a foul mood this morning aren’t you?

yeah. you said it was normal. that i am allowed to feel these things. don’t you ever wonder how long it would take you to spend a whole million quid? i reckon i could do it in a few days, if i really wanted to.

yeah. i bet you could. i firmly believe you.

you make great coffee, by the way… anyone ever tell you that?

no. well, yeah…. but you’re the first to tell me that today. okay. so a walk along the beach? Better sort out that laundry… hang it up on the airer.

ach… i don’t know. and yeah… i will do.

[picks up Fender Jaguar and tunes it… cranks up amp]

maybe you’re right. maybe i should vent this anger and disappointment into that song….

you know i’m right!

*wink*

i guess so… now piss off and leave me alone with my guitars and savagery.

that’s the spirit. you just have to keep creating… vent through your writing… your music. there has never been a time when you’ve needed music most. don’t be so fucking hard on yourself. please. it’s heartbreaking. give yourself a shake and fucking create something. do it for yourself and fuck everything else. but hang that fucking washing up!

i guess. hey… you’re swearing better today, Kat.

*giggles*

(c) Kat McDonald 2020

a fucked up lovesong

https://miaowmcdonald.bandcamp.com/track/a-fucked-up-lovesong

Sunday 19th January 2019 was a horrible day. one of the worst days of my life. it was the day i almost lost someone i love completely. i have never felt so scared, so helpless in all my life. those twenty two minutes, waiting for the ambulance to arrive, seemed like twenty two hours.

i caught a glimpse of a Death, his shadow, his black dog… i fought hard, and won. Death would not take his soul. not this one. not today.

having to come to terms with this trauma and process its reality, and the many subsequent questions, is something i never want to relive.

but from the intense discourse, in the days and weeks that followed, came an overwhelming realisation that my love for this soul was strong. stronger than i ever thought possible.

from this event, this ‘ground zero’, i learned a lot about myself. there was a lot to process. even now, after a year and more, i am still haunted by that vision of Death and his black dog.

although lessening in frequency now, i still have nightmares and panic attacks in the small hours of the morning. i wake up in a cold sweat, cradling myself and reassuring myself it was just a bad dream and that he is safe. but that coup d’œil of what life would be like had i not arrived when i did, still chills my bones, turning them to powder.

living through this has made me appreciate the little things. it’s those little things, that seem insignificant at the time, that really matter when someone is gone. and by gone i mean not just in a different room. i mean gone somewhere where you cannot follow. ever. one day, you will never see one of their two hundred forty one different smiles again, or hear them sing in the shower. and it’s then you’ll punish yourself for not appreciating the little things, like the little kiss on the top of your head as they walk past, or the smell of their hair. even their moods and grumpiness will be something you will miss with a crushing weight upon your chest.

so tell them that you love them now. don’t wait.

listen to them.

be mindful, watch out for them. ask them how they are feeling. let them know you are there.

listen.

listen with your ears, your eyes, and your gut instinct…. it could save a life.

people deal with trauma, shock and grief in different ways. for me, writing is a cathartic process. a compulsion. a necessity. it always has been.

and so, i picked up Julio, my 30 year old Spanish guitar, and wrote a song.

this song… a fucked up lovesong.

SAMARITANS 24 hr HELPLINE > 116 123

(c) Miaow McDonald (music/lyrics)

(c) Miaow McDonald Photography (image)

pink lemonade for a blue girl

Pink Lemonade for a Blue Girl 2

this is a pink song about feeling blue…

it’s a gentle track, with a hint of ASMR about it and, perhaps, an unexpected time signature change.

it’s a song about summer feels… a song about the sea, its melancholy and escape.

“Pink Lemonade for a Blue Girl” is the 3rd of 13 or so songs from my debut solo album, Year Zero.

this song is available to LISTEN TO / BUY on bandcamp miaowmcdonald.bandcamp.com/track/Pink-Lemonade-For-A-Blue-Girl

“Pink Lemonade for a Blue Girl” will also be available on all other digital platforms to download and/or stream… iTunes, Spotify, Napster, Deezer, GooglePlay, AppleMusic, TikTok, Soundcloud, YouTube etc etc etc…

(c)(p) written & performed by Miaow McDonald

engineered/co-produced by Robert Davidson, the ‘Aged Choir Boy’.

Miaow McDonald: Vocals, Guitars, Piano & Synth
Additional Musicians:
Robert Davidson: Drums, Tuned Percussion and odd field recordings
Joshua Jamieson aka CyberneticZ: Accordion

 

 

528Hz: an emotional healing

 

IMG-8320

a light breeze floats in through the open window, toying with the light voile drapes in my bedroom. i feel it, but i am somewhere else.  i am a million miles away.  a million miles high.

i can feel the warmth of healing hands upon my solar plexus.  these are not my hands. i am alone in my room, save for my cat, Alf, asleep at my feet.

then, out of the blue, the tears come.

and they flow from somewhere deep inside me.  somewhere dark.  an emotional dam, breached. a release.  a flood.

“take my shadows” i repeat. a mantra.

i see my mother for the first time in three years and i can feel her hands in mine, cool and soft as i remember them being.  i tell her that i love her.  i tell her that i’m sorry, and that i miss her every day.

i see my father, for the first time in thirty years.  he holds me close. i can smell him.  i inhale deep and upon exhalation, i know everything is going to be okay.

i see my lover.  we are swimming in a deep blue ocean and we embrace, in the water.  like the waves we break through,  i feel a surge of overwhelming love for him.  immeasurable love.  and a longing to hold him.

my hands tingling, my heart feels heavy and i cry.  i cry for loss. i cry in gratitude. i cry with love.

i am filled with an enormous swell of desire.  desire to live.  to really live and savour each moment, because it’s the little things that matter:  every smile.  a scent.  a touch.  a glance.  every feeling.  every word ever said.

i feel like i am bathed in light and supreme love.  and still the tears flow.

tears of complete joy.  joy for having been blessed with the fortune of family and loved ones.  joy for having this complex and yet, paradoxically, simple fortress-like shield of love around me.  love from my family and my lover, my friends that are family, and the natural world around me.

i see trees.  tall trees, stoic and wise.  these giants are beautiful and i cry for them.  i cannot bear to think of a time when i will not see trees again.

stretching out my legs, i feel Alf’s soft fur against the soles of my feet.  i hear him purr in his sleep. i cry for him.  tears of joy for having the privilege of his friendship, and the knowledge that one day, he will be ash in my hands… just like my mother, whose remains (or what’s left of them) are in a small box, in a drawer, by my bed.

i see my grandparents. humble folk, hardworking folk and cry for the feelings of loss.  of being cheated because i never knew them.  but they are smiling.

i see my dear friend, Jess.  my lover’s gran.  i see her smile.  we look into each other’s eyes for the perfect time.

i feel blessed to know these beautiful souls, and to have been bestowed and entrusted with their love, their knowledge and wisdom, their guidance and other gifts.  gifts of smiles, embraces, shared laughter and raised glasses.

but the pain of loss and the knowledge that everything is infinitely temporary shakes my heart.

everyone is smiling, except me.  the tears roll down my face and soak the pillow beneath me.  i squeeze my mother’s hands.  she tells me to let it all go.

and i do.

and i am back in the ocean with my love, and we are kissing.  tears of joy rushing back to the ocean.  it’s like we have found each other again.   i don’t ever want to lose that.

i focus on my breathing and soon become filled with an inner sense of calm and purpose.

i want to live.  live better.  to create.  to live and love.

because love is everything.

 

IMG-8583

Words & Images (c) Kat McDonald 2020

fire with fire

fire with fire idea5

so have you ever loved someone so much it burned?      <<< Shhh.. Listen >>>

 

p.s.

18 months ago, i began to put structure and integrity into a bunch of songs i had written over the past few years, using only chaos theory, my voice, a tenner’s worth of iPhone music apps and Julio (my 35 year old Spanish guitar).

three years ago, it had been an emotional storm: too much illness, too many deaths and one near death.

every day ago, lessons learned.

 

FIRE WITH FIRE is the second single from my forthcoming debut album, Year Zero.

you can stream/download from all major digital distribution platforms, iTunes, Googleplay, Applemusic, Bandcamp, Spotify, Napster, Deezer, TikTok, YouTubeMusic etc etc.

<<< LISTEN HERE, I LOVE YOU >>>

 

 

 

 

Pandora’s Box

pandoras box

spending a summer under a belly of cloud is one thing (actually, it’s to be expected, i live in Scotland, after all) but spending a summer under a Government imposed ‘lockdown’ is not something i ever envisaged having to endure in my lifetime.

but here we are.

we are living history, in the present tense.  and things are tense.

locked down, under house arrest.  only permitted to leave the house to shop for ‘essential’ items and/or to partake in some form of solitary outdoor exercise – keeping a safe 2 metre distance from all other humans at all times.

with that said, i must’ve walked for miles.

life sucks right now.  no work. no pay. having to claim benefits to keep a roof over my head and food in my fridge.  but i’m not the only one.  we have all been stricken by this… whatever it is…

“pandemic” they say.

this pandemic is serious, with serious repercussions for us all.  life will never be the same.

but i have a lot to be grateful for. i have my health and my sanity.

while words like “social distancing” and “lockdown” were once upon a time confined to lines from some Hollywood script they are now in everyday use, uttered by five year olds out for walks in the park with their fearful masked parents.

i wonder (and worry) about the psychological effect of this new ‘norm’ and burgeoning fear being pressed upon us by Governments and the media on the children of this world.

A world where children can no longer play with their friends. A world where they can no longer hug their grandparents.  A world full of rainbows in windows and applause, ringing out from the streets and gardens, on Thursday nights as we are asked to applaud key workers, risking life and limb, it would seem, in our hospitals and hospices.

we were never prepared for this.  were we?

but ‘they’ knew it was coming.  i’ve seen the videos of speeches from the world’s ‘leaders’ and their band of equally megalomaniacal aides.  i have followed this with interest, impartiality, and, to some extent, fear and shades of cognitive dissonance.

i have followed the money trail and i’ve been sickened by what i have learned when digging deep.  deeper than any mainstream government/Gates Foundation-funded media would ever allow.  i suggest you do the same.

so many deaths. so many lies.  lies and fake news.  fake news and lies.  conflicting statistics and contradictory statements from polarised camps of scientists and government lackies.

and rest-assured some people stand to make a fuckload of money from this ‘plandemic’.

but i’ve been a good citizen, i am doing what i’m told as i watch more and more truths unfold.

sitting on my doorstep, sipping iced tea i watch empty trains flit by; i hear birds singing, oblivious to it all; i hear sirens wailing and i watch as storm clouds gather overhead.

i see it. i see it all so clearly.

and i cannot believe what i am seeing.

but i will keep being a good citizen and keep doing what i’m told.  controlled.

but this has changed me.  i can feel it.

this will change everything.  i know it.

our lives will never be same after this and the smoke clears.

i watch as the world, our beautiful world, spins out of control, spilling and contorting into a dark and terrifying place to be.  this is year zero.

is there hope for the human race, or are we marching closer to engineering our own extinction event?  sometimes, i hope so.

the way things are heading that may not be that far away, or as far-fetched as you may think.  again, dig deep.  check sources, who is funding what articles, actions, and casting what aspersions.

open your eyes.  question everything.  follow the money.  don’t believe everything you read in the paper, or see on BBC etc (remember, they were complicit in the harbouring of paedophiles for decades).

it’s hard to know just what is real, and what is spin for profit and power.

all we can do is hope.  hope one day love will prevail and the sun will return to our skies and unite us as a species.

and one day, Orwell will be considered fiction again.

 

(c) Kat McDonald, June 2020

 

 

 

year zero

so this happened…

ambulance_miaow_mcdonald_2020

18 months ago, Kat McDonald, the former chanteuse of Little Buddha and Bedhed, finally gave in to the burgeoning suggestions, from her fellow Pilgrim and lover, that she record the songs she had been writing.  engineered/co-produced by the Aged Choir Boy, she began to record the handful of songs she had been writing.  crafting songs from chaos using only her voice , Julio – her 35 year old Spanish guitar and a tenner’s worth of virtual instrument apps on her cracked up old iPhone.

the past 3 years, for Kat, had largely been teeming with love and moments of joy but they were not without stabbings of grief  as she watched my mother grow sick and die, as she watched her ‘adopted’ gran grow sick and die, as she saw her boyfriend struggle under the duress of a complete mental breakdown, as she held too many hand of friends as too many of her friends’ mothers died, as she struggled financially and now there is this… THIS!

what is this?

Kat finds herself locked down in a weird existential delirium: in the throes of the new and merciless pandemic virus that has its jaws firmly clamped around the world.  a terrifying and yet curiously calming time to reprioritise.  and time to create.

and so, in the wake of the vicious pummelling to her heart and brain, she sought solace in writing songs.  for her, it’s a chaotic, visceral process.  yet cathartic.  “a primal scream at the top of my lungs”, she says.

a release…

after 5 months of deliberating, pacing like a caged leopard, as Kat made mad scribblings of possible album names on napkins or any other bit of paper available, she has finally decided to name it “year zero”.   because that is what it is.

13 songs about this life.  because this is her ‘year zero’

and it is our ‘year zero’ – from hereon in, life will never be the same.

under her creative name, Miaow McDonald, her debut album ‘year zero‘ will be out some time under lockdown……  available on all digital platforms, incl. bandcamp

‘ambulance’ – the debut single from ‘year zero’ and will be released Monday 13th April 2020. available everywhere.

https://miaowmcdonald.bandcamp.com/releases

“a very special thank you to the Aged Choir Boy/fellow Pilgrim (Robert Davidson) for his patience and believing in me, even when i felt like an imposter, i know i can difficult to work with…  “you are my dragonfly” x”                                                                                                                         – Miaow McDonald

 

Miaow McDonald: vocals, guitar, bass, piano, Theremin, synths and responsible for some other sonic perversions and samples.

album cover _ YEAR ZERO

(c) Kat McDonald 2020 – locked down, performing/recording as Miaow McDonald.

whoever would’ve thought an onion bagel with peanut butter, blueberry jam, toasted garlic & chilli flakes would taste so good…

well, well, well.  it’s the end of the world.  for real.  or so it seems, at times.

the bogey man, this time around, is called COVID-19.  a pandemic.  a corona virus.  and it is invisible.  and terrifying.

i have watched it sweep from east to west.  it’s not discerning. it favours not the pretty nor the tall; the rich nor the hirsute; the male or the dog.

it is a new contagion.  a new threat to life as we know it.  worldwide economies are breaking,  thousands of people are dying.  life will never be the same.

i have watched it shut down our neighbouring countries.  Italy. Spain. France.  and i’ve wondered why our limp Governments have been so slow to react.  lock us down, please.  full lockdown.  if you want to ‘flatten the curve’ you have to stop the migration and congregation of people.

today, first official day in lockdown (is it lockdown?) here in Fife, Scotland where we have currently 19 cases of Coronavirus confirmed.  out of a population of close to 335k, that may seem like a blip, but given that you can drive around Fife in 3 hours and that these cases have emerged since March 17th, i would say we have reason to be concerned.

but i had to go out today.  latex gloves on, antibacterial gel in my pocket – like a gun a holster – i ventured outdoors with my boyfriend, Robert.  we needed to get some essentials.  yes, we are in isolation together.  i guess you could call it ‘twice-olation’.  keeping a sense of humour when adrift in unchartered waters is essential.  as is toilet roll, it would seem.  it’s been 5 days and i’ve yet to see any on shelves when i’ve made a trip to the supermarket.  it’s as rare as hens’ teeth!

we got, pretty much, what we went out for: food for us, and food for Alf – our cat.

i have been self-employed since 2012.  now i am not working.

i have had to claim emergency benefits. having paid my taxes for all my working years, i feel thankful that i can do this,  feeling no shame in it, and that my claim has been dealt with swiftly.  i only applied yesterday.  and after a brief telephone interview today,  i should have an emergency advance paid to me by Thursday.  that is a relief!  at least i know now that my rent is covered, for another month anyway, and that i will be able to pay my bills (hopefully).  yes, i have to pay that advance back, but on my terms.  i was not expecting that.

so here i am. no work. all been cancelled or postponed.  how do i stop myself from becoming engulfed in the fear, swallowed up in the mass hysteria and going stir crazy? it’s all everyone is talking about. and rightly so, it is a strange and terrifying time to be alive.  and we are all scared.

and things are going to get worse before they get better. i can see it coming.

so we are doing what we are told. washing our hands.  staying indoors.  not making any unnecessary journeys.  avoiding contact with anyone and everyone. i am not even visiting my family (some are high risk with underlying health conditions stacked against them).  it’s just me, Robert and Alf – the cat.

initially, i had moved in with Robert to continue working on a solo music project that he is producing for me, as i have four new songs that i wanted to lay down.  that was 10 days ago.  we have decided it best that we isolate ourselves together, keeping our shared car in one spot – in case of an emergency.  it’s working out well.  and we give each other space – that is essential.  but it isn’t all that bad, being locked up with your lover and cat.  we have some fun times.  singing in the kitchen, cooking together.  making music together. i have been playing a lot of guitar lately.

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so this is where i wrap this blog post up for today…  it is 1.31am and i am having my supper:  onion bagel with peanut butter, blueberry jam, chilli flakes, toasted garlic and jalapenos.  i know… it sounds weird and disgusting, but i swear… it tastes like hope.

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stay safe people…

 

(c) Kat McDonald – March 2020