Thursday 2 April

Today my little friend Chloe celebrates her 7th birthday. It is hard for her to understand that she cannot see any friends, there will be no party, not even a trip to the playground in the park. She will of course have a special day with her family, but I think for small children, the whole business of lockdown is quite a savage blow.

My choice of earrings is a 5 pointed silver flower. I bought them somewhere in the UK when I was on holiday. I have got into the habit of buying a pair of earrings as a souvenir, rather than a plate, a dish, a teatowel. Firstly, they are infinitely more portable, and secondly, I may even use them! Needless to say, I do actually have a rather vast collection now, which is why I have created this activity during lockdown.

The amazing London Loop walk goes past the end of our road, and today I repeated a small section of it. I have in fact walked the entire route, which is a very clever 150 mile long orbital footpath going around London. It took me to parts of London I had never seen before, to places like Cockfosters which were merely names on the underground map. I walked by rivers, canals, through parks and commons: it was fun to see how the places joined together. Today I walked in Sutton, towards the Oaks Park. The footpath goes behind houses, at the edge of a golf course, past fields of horses, and eventually reaches a road. The one depressing aspect is the amount of litter as one approaches “civilisation” Flytipping is a popular pastime round here, and unfortunately I imagine will only increase while the police are otherwise engaged. As I walked along the edge of the golf course, I had a feeling I was being watched. I looked carefully, and there was Mr Fox giving me the eye. He was absolutely bold and unafraid. Glorious in his auburn coat. After about 20 seconds eyeball to eyeball, he turned slowly and wandered back to the bushes. Our garden backs on to the golf course and we frequently see foxes in the garden, also deer, which is rather hysterically amusing in a London suburb.

There is a kind of nothingness about each day, but as time goes on, I guess we will get used to that. Except that today I noticed a considerable increase in traffic and I am not convinced that everyone was heading for essential shopping at the supermarket. How to manage a period of lockdown is a challenge which faces many countries.

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