Tuesday 28 April

A different kind of day: it rained. You could practically hear the garden gulping down the moisture. Just wonderful. The potatoes have put up a few leaves and seem to be sprouting before my very eyes. It was also much cooler, rather a change from the summer time temperatures we have been enjoying recently.

I had reason to go to the GPO and to Boots this morning. Very few people around because of the rain. But what I observed was how on edge some of us are. There was a very kind and friendly man on duty in the post office, behind a glass screen and wearing latex gloves. As the lady in front of me left, she berated him for wearing gloves, “I hope you change those gloves very frequently.. And anyway, it’s much better to wash your hands!” And in Boots, a man came in and stood there, pointing at some things, and seemingly very confused about what he wanted, then tried to pay with his Boots card, and I thought, this is indicative of how frazzled everyone is becoming. I saw about 10 people and 2 were patently on edge.

I slept badly last night, so after lunch I thought I would award myself a siesta and read the newspaper. I read about half of it, and then an hour and a half later, woke up. This is life as a retired person, I decided. No rush about anything. In the past I have always been very active, rushing about doing things all the time. I am well aware that things are so much more difficult if you have to juggle jobs, small children, shopping, cooking, dog walking…….but perhaps I should now just relax into retirement. Although when I saw small grandson on a video call this morning, I realise how much I miss being able to go over and look after him.

We went out for a walk this afternoon despite the drizzle. The candle-like blooms on the horse chestnuts were bent over in the rain. They looked quite sad. I saw the lime trees were in blossom too. The little flowers were just about forming what we as children called the fairies’ drumsticks. We called briefly on neighbours to check that all was OK with them. They pointed out that long-tailed tits were nesting in a tree in their front garden, and sure enough, we saw the adults fluttering in and out, and making a bit of a racket because we were standing too close.

My earrings are large triangles of mother-of-pearl shell. They are very lightweight and swing and glitter rather nicely. Summer time earrings really I suppose. I have had them a long time, and am challenged to remember where they came from. I realise that under normal circumstances I have about 10 pairs of earrings which I regularly wear. This exercise is very jolly as it forces me to review my entire collection!

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