Wednesday 22 April

Any eagle-eyed reader may have noticed that I did not mention earrings yesterday. This was because unusually I did not wear any, as I seemed to have been allergic to one of them. Today I have been contented with very simple peridot studs. As lockdown stretches ahead of us, I still seem to have a box full of earrings to sustain me.

This April is predicted to be the warmest on record, which is conducive to spending a great deal of time outdoors, but also means the garden is desperately dry. I cannot remember having to do as much watering as I have to do at present. I was joined by two robins, who I guess must be a pair, as they are very territorial and do not allow others on their patch as a rule. They twittered around as I spread compost on the vegetable patch. There have also been many butterflies alighting on the bluebells and the apple blossom. I was thinking about the Chelsea Flower Show, how normally the exhibitors would be excitedly preparing for their big moment in May. It is going to be a strange year without these landmark events: Wimbledon Tennis, the Edinburgh Festival, Glastonbury and many others.

This afternoon we had a long conversation, at a safe social distance, with two neighbours who were passing by on their daily walk. This has been one noticeable advantage of lockdown, the fact that people have time to stop and chat. I feel that the community in our road has become a great deal stronger: we are all looking out for each other and are not afraid to ask for help or advice. It will be interesting to see if we all return to our rather frenetic existences after this crisis is over.

The highlight of the day was to go to the fish and chip shop. I noticed recently that it was open, for one customer at a time, and thought it would be a little treat. And so it was. Money was handed over at arm’s length, fish and chips were packed into a bag and perched on the counter for us to pick up. We brought them home to the garden and dined like kings. I think the last time I had fish and chips was last summer in Brighton, when I had an Austrian friend staying here. It is somehow the taste of a summer holiday.

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