Monday 4 May

I went for a walk in a slightly different part of Croydon today, and came across this delightful fairy garden. It seems that it is a popular pastime to paint stones and leave them in conspicuous places in the woods. Here the local children had all got together with their stones and created a wonderful habitat for the fairies. The bluebells were still just about in flower, there was masses of cow parsley and hawthorn blossom. Usually this would be the May Bank Holiday but this year it is on Friday, as VE Day. But today would have been perfect weather, unlike the traditional Bank Holiday downpour.

My earrings are tiny gold heart shapes, with a small amethyst in the centre. They were given to me many years ago by my school friend, and I think were from an antique shop. They seem Edwardian. I fear she could ill afford them at the time, but they were for a special birthday. I don’t wear them very often as I am afraid of losing one, but help is now at hand. I have been pointed in the direction of, and have ordered, some special earring backs which prevent said objects from escaping. So hopefully the days of orphan earrings are numbered.

Another exciting event today was the arrival of a magazine called Old Africa. It is posted to me every other month from Kenya. It is stories of East Africa’s past. When I lived there for a short while, I became very interested in the local history. The school where I was teaching had been a farm, owned by the Mackenzies, who left in the 1960’s when Kenya became independent. There are many of these old farmsteads in the Rift Valley, some still occupied and operational, some derelict. I met some of the people whose families had lived there for years, and the stories were all fascinating. The magazine draws on old photos and anecdotes which former residents submit: about schools, football teams, safaris, old cars, life as a vet, all human life is there. It is very entertaining and encapsulates a period of history about to fade away. I look forward every time to the magazine’s arrival.

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