Thursday 30 April

And so the strangest April ever comes to an end. Almost as if in mourning the skies have clouded over, there has been heavy rain and it is very much colder than it has been recently. But to cheer you up, I will include a photo of a bluebell wood which I visited a couple of days ago. Bluebells are a very English phenomenon, I believe. The colour is a spectacular dark blue, almost purple. Our overseas visitors have always been utterly entranced by them.

Like many other people at this time, I have been turning out and tidying up. Today I was on the hunt for a photo of myself at secondary school. They are attempting to make an archive of material, and are looking for reminiscences: anecdotes, photos, stories about the teachers and their idiosyncrasies. I came across my first school report, a prize giving leaflet, and a few black and white photos. I realised with some sadness that 2 of the 4 “girls” have already passed away. I have always kept letters, diaries, postcards, posters, theatre programmes and the like. Probably of no interest to anyone but me, but occasionally it is fun to take a walk down memory lane.

After lunch the cat sat on my lap and proceeded to do her full toilette. She licked her front left paw, her back right paw, her tail, bit of manicure and pedicure, chewed knotty bits of fur with a rather disgusting squelching sound, twisted round and licked her back, dampened a paw and brushed it over her ear. I remember asking my mother when I was a child, how do they know when they’ve washed everything? (This is in the days when children had a bath once a week and otherwise had a “good wash”, which I loathed: I was always interrogated, had I done the back of my neck? Ugh) My mother said, cats just know when they’ve washed everything. I probably thought, I wish children did, or more to the point, the parent supervising.

The earrings today are made of silver wire with a silver bead entwined in the centre. They were made by a friend of a teaching colleague. I believe they were being sold to raise money for a charity. I have quite a few hand made earrings, well, I guess most are really, and it’s so lovely to look at them and appreciate the handwork. It’s like having a hand knitted jumper, or a hand stitched skirt: admiring the skill of the making is so much part of its attraction.

I also turned my hand to culinary arts this morning. I have started a jar of vodka with lemon zest, which will soon turn into limoncello. Very easy to make, recipe on the internet. Except I use a lot less sugar than is recommended because I don’t like really sweet liqueurs. I also made a German apple cake, which was very tasty, consumed later with some creme fraiche. Tonight I made a Jamie Oliver store cupboard chicken curry. This is what happens in lockdown. We all become expert cooks and put on a lot of weight.

Thank you so much for any feedback on the blog. I am enormously touched to find out that I have readers around the world. For once we are all in the same boat, and it seems to have a very unifying effect which can only be a force for good. I truly hope so.

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