Tuesday 14 April

Today I am experimenting with adding a photo. I have felt so far that there has been nothing worth photographing, but this afternoon I was totally entranced by this ornamental cherry. I have a very sentimental attachment to trees like this, because my parents had one in the garden, and as children, we had a swing attached to it, and I would idly sway back and forth, looking up through the pink blossom at the blue sky, and daydream. So a trip down memory lane for me. I am managing pretty well to keep up my step count: yesterday 3 miles, today 2.5. A few more miles by the coast, or through the countryside would be even better……..but trees like this in nearby roads are a great compensation.

Today’s earrings are made of lapis lazuli, and come from the Oriental Museum in Chicago. Rod bought them for me when we were visiting this amazing place. Some of you will know that I am very committed to the Gold Lyre of Ur project. A group of us have built a playable replica of the most ancient stringed instrument, the precursor of the harp, from Mesopotamia. Over time I have become a performer, dressing as Queen Pu Abi, speaking the poetry of these ancient times, accompanied by the lyre: I have a costume and jewellery, much of which is made of lapis lazuli, a wonderful blue stone, found only in Afghanistan. So these earrings have a very special significance for me, and remind me of when we were able to give performances or talks about what we do. Anyone remaining curious can find out about us here:http://www.lyre-of-ur.com/

Tonight I phoned a very elderly distant relative. She lives alone since her husband died last year. She has a vague idea that something awful is going on, but still wants to know when I will come and visit. I explained that I can’t, but the next moment she had forgotten. I know she has good neighbours who will keep an eye on her, but she tells me that she likes to pop down to Sainsbury’s for a pint of milk. It occurs to me that she is far from being the only elderly person who just about copes at the best of times, but this is truly an incomprehensible situation for them. We told her not to open the door to strangers, and now strangers are constantly knocking, offering to help. What a dilemma.

Wonderful to receive feedback from the readership: keep it coming!

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