Wednesday 1 April

All Fools Day: there is a certain irony that we were all probably foolish to think the way of life we had, would last for ever and ever. I do not wish this to sound too depressing: many things will be restored, and at the same time, if we review our lifestyles, maybe good will come out of this crisis. There is certainly less pollution in this area. Very few cars go past, there are some buses and some trains, as people commute to central London for work. There are hardly any planes going over, I am sure the air quality is already better. Perhaps people will also realise that working from home a few days a week is definitely feasible, and in fact, quite agreeable.

I noticed sounds today. Many birds singing, a robin chirruping away in the laburnum tree. When I went out for a walk, I heard lawn mowers, sawing, drilling, hoovering. Everyone catching up on those household tasks for which there is normally no time. The to-do list in every home is lengthening by the day! I managed two hours digging in the garden. I planted the potatoes, hoping it is not too cold.

Another online Pilates class which worked very successfully. I hear from friends about all kinds of fitness groups, yoga classes and similar. Real live classes will become a thing of the past! My cat enjoyed the class too. As I lay on the floor, doing stretches and other exercises, she lay next to me, hoping that I would lie still long enough for her to jump on my back for a lie down. Fortunately I kept moving.

The travel company Trailfinders sent out a fine brochure today. Newspapers have supplements about cruises. I know all these things are set up months in advance, but I am beginning to find it increasingly irritating. Could we just take a break from all this stuff? Holidays are the last thing on anybody’s mind.

My husband asked me if I could mend a hole in his favourite fishing jumper. So I set about darning. Well now, that’s a long forgotten skill. I remember being taught how to darn, I think in my primary school needlework lesson. Anyway, I managed to find a darning needle, and some wool, squirrelled away from my mother’s sewing box which I kept, and the technique began to resurface: drawing the threads gently together and then replicating a type of weaving. I wouldn’t say it’s invisible darning, but it certainly fills a gap.

Today’s earrings are the porcupine quills from Kenya. I have been thinking a great deal about my experiences there, both on holiday, and working as an English teacher in a rural secondary school. If anyone is interested in reading what I did there, I wrote a blog, with photos: Happy days, meeting some amazing people. I have just heard from a colleague there, living in a rural area with a 5 year old daughter, terrified of what havoc the virus may wreak there. Food for thought.

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