Sunday 5 April

I was reminded today of one of my AL English texts: The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock by T S Eliot: “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons”. During this lockdown a certain monotony creeps in, measured out with cups of tea and coffee, and probably during the evening with glasses of wine. I read somewhere that the mantra is, fat or fit. It is only too easy to reach for another chocolate biscuit.

However, I have been exploring more footpaths in this area, and rediscovered an area known as Little Woodcote. Walking up beside the golf course which is at the end of our garden, I followed a path I have rarely bothered to note, and it took me across fields with a remarkably rural aspect. We are truly on the very edge of Greater London. Although yesterday I could see the arch of Wembley Stadium in the far distance, so both town and country. I am currently managing nearly 3 miles a day, 8,500 steps. If we have to succumb to the French system of not leaving the house for any reason, except with a permit to go to the shops, I will suffer greatly. I am extremely fortunate, I know, to have a large garden, but the thought of only being able to do a large number of circuits of this, is not a jolly one.

Technology enabled me to see all the family simultaneously this evening, and it was just delightful. It is frustrating not to know when we are likely to meet again, but somehow to see everyone is a little reassuring. Everyone seems to be bearing up extremely well in these odd conditions.

Today’s earrings are Charles Rennie Mackintosh in silver, given to me by a friend for my 50th birthday. I am having a great deal of fun selecting a different pair each day, and recollecting their provenance. Perhaps my equivalent to J Alfred Prufrock should be, “I have measured out my life with earrings.”

Two other achievements today: I played the piano for a while, something I have vowed that I will make more effort to do. I should really exert myself to learn some new pieces but I tend to repeat the ones I know fairly well. The piano was tuned recently, and has a mellow sound, certainly better than the carbon fibre Phoenix piano in the Fairfield Halls. Hideously plastic sounding, no resonance at all. I also managed to read some of La Peste. I have decided that this period will give me the opportunity to resurrect my knowledge of French, and chose the novel by Albert Camus, with a slightly macabre sense of humour. (The Plague: check it up on Wikipedia) The first chapter relates the infestation of rats, and then the death of the first person from what appears to be plague-like symptoms: people start talking about l’epidemie, and you know what is going to happen. But I am regarding it as an academic exercise and sit with my dictionary making notes. It’ll be fun.??!!

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