Wednesday 29 April

A truly amazing day. I received this card from dear friends in Germany, who were worried that I might run out of earrings before I finished the blog. So they sent me this lovely card, with the earrings attached! What an utterly charming idea. The quotation from Oscar Wilde, in case you are not a German speaker, is, “Everything is going to be fine in the end: if it’s not fine, it’s not the end.” An incredible philosophy from a writer I greatly admire, which I feel will sustain me for quite some time.

Needless to say, today’s earrings are the ones above. The centre stones are a quite brilliant turquoise, a colour I like very much in the summer time. Another blog reader has written to ask if I have any “orphan” earrings, in other words, singletons where one has been lost. Regretfully I have a little drawer in my 3 stack earring box, where the orphans live. I do occasionally have a clear out, but it is very irritating, as usually they are specimens with a history and it aggravates me beyond measure to be reminded that some are missing. I have a little silver harp, and I know I lost its partner in a pub when I was wearing a large fluffy scarf, and in divesting myself, must have scattered the earring never to be retrieved. I have another pair from New Zealand, where I bought a pendant and earrings in a brilliant turquoise shell, wore them on a hot summer’s day and returned with one earring. I expect I flung my sunhat down on the grass somewhere.

I will try to add some photos, now that I have my laptop up and running. These are horse chestnut flowers, seen on today’s walk. I wish I could also convey the smell of all the blossom and damp grass, so fresh after the recent rain. The cow parsley is now about 5 feet tall, the bluebells are fading, bright blue comfrey is much in evidence in the margins of the paths and also in our garden. I saw 2 parakeets fighting noisily in the trees: these brilliant green interlopers are now everywhere in south London, to the detriment of the native birds I fear. I read today that hedgehogs are making a comeback, because there is considerably less traffic, so they have a better chance of survival.

I have been watching a BBC4 series of programmes called Museums in Quarantine. Tonight it was Tate Britain, and they focused on very English paintings. Stubbs’ rural scenes, Constable’s landscapes, William Holman Hunt’s picture of stray sheep. I found it very reassuring, a sort of permanence of the English landscape, which will still be there after these difficult times come to an end.

3 thoughts on “Wednesday 29 April

  1. I am writing to you from South Carolina. A very dear friend who lives in Croydon and with whom I correspond frequently via email shared your blog with me. So interesting that although 4200 miles apart, many of our daily experiences during this time of quarantining are so similar. I, too, have been spending hours in the garden, weeding primarily, and enjoying the birdsong. We are blessed with Cardinals, Eastern Bluebirds, Mockingbirds and Carolina Chickadees. Your posts have led me to give thought to the questions of which 3 books I would want on a desert island (but cannot decide! Other than Light in August which is a MUST!) and what do I miss most? The obvious answer to the latter is my children and grandchildren. Beyond that, I must think long and hard. Keep up the good writing and continue to share descriptions of the earrings . . . such fun!

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    1. Dear Janice, How very kind of you to write at such length. I have just spoken to Jill who I know passed the link on. I would guess you are pretty OK in South Carolina, not exactly overcrowded. London is a shade more populated with all that that implies. Do let me know your 3 books. I will look up Light In August which I do not know. Thank you so much for following the blog. I do find it quite therapeutic to write. Jennifer

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  2. Dear Jenny,

    Yes, we are in better shape in SC than in most of the world. As of yesterday, there were at least 5,881 people who tested positive for the virus and 232 have died. We live in the extreme NW corner of the state in a very rural area where there have only been 24 confirmed cases and 0 deaths. One of our daughters lives in the SE corner of the state were there have been 262 cases and 11 deaths. Our other daughter lives in Williamsburg, VA which is also experiencing few cases. Her husband works in the only hospital in Richmond which has CV19 patients, but even there the numbers are much smaller than most of the nation. So thankful not to live in a large metropolitan area in these perilous times.

    As for the books, I had written to Jill after commenting on your blog that I might choose Bel Canto and To Kill a Mockingbird as my other two books, but truly too difficult to choose only three. I have so many “favorites” – A Gentleman in Moscow, Brideshead Revisited, Fair and Tender Ladies, to name a few. Light in August is by William Faulkner and, I think, his finest novel. To me, the 2nd to the last chapter is perhaps the finest writing I have ever read. I hope you will read it and, of course, hope you will love it. Jill may still have her copy.

    Jill and I carry on a very active correspondence and, like you, I feel it is most therapeutic. Not only may I express my thoughts and feelings, but also know I have a receptive and sympathetic audience reading them. She is such a dear and I count the evening we met in France one of the most fortunate events of my life.

    Stay safe!
    Janice

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