Tuesday 7 April

I have to admit that I was very rattled by hearing that Boris Johnson had been admitted to intensive care. It seems to emphasise only too clearly how vulnerable we all are. And so it was with some trepidation that I ventured to the supermarket at 7.15. I am only going to go once a week, less if I can help it. But it was all very orderly and disciplined, and I am only mystified by the things which I cannot get: this week, celery, lasagne sheets and dried chick peas. Toilet rolls a-plenty!

I decided to tackle the ironing, one of my least favourite household tasks. Then I thought, why do I bother? I go nowhere, see no-one, does it matter if my blouse is creased? But, remember the TV show, Keeping Up Appearances? It somehow rang in my head. And then another thought. In Nairobi there is a huge slum called Kibera. An estimated 1 million people live there. And yet I came past and saw young men and women emerging ready for work in the offices, in neatly pressed crisp blue shirts, ready for the day. I asked one of my teaching colleagues there in Kenya, how they managed that, when electricity is a rare commodity in the slums, unless hijacked from a festooned overhead cable, and she told me that they have irons in which you put hot charcoal, and then you get a crisply ironed piece of fabric. So I faced my steam iron with some humility.

I have various indoor tasks lined up for a rainy day, but damn it, it is sunny every day. So much so that I shall have to connect the hosepipe in order to water the garden, an irony after such a wet winter. We managed another 3 mile walk today, and “met” a couple of ladies also out for their constitutional. We compared notes on walks, farm shops, and the state of play in the local hospital, as one of the ladies was a retired nurse and midwife, and still has many contacts. Inside info is no jollier than anything you read in the press. Maintain your social distance.

My earrings today are silver loops, given to me by my colleagues when I retired from the local college. I wear them often as they are the sort of thing which go with any outfit. But since any old outfit is what I wear all the time now, what’s the odds? No need to buy clothes, shoes, make-up, perfume……although I think I will dress up for the next Zoom call, as it is the birthday of two friends, so one should Keep Up Appearances!!

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