Wednesday 17 June

I have been much challenged recently thinking about the future of cultural life in England, or indeed, in the world. The Times paints a gloomy picture of orchestras and choirs folding, theatres and concert halls closing, galleries and museums going bankrupt. For everyone employed in the arts, the outlook is grim, it would seem. Even my own modest attempts to tread the boards or to deliver lectures have no prospect of resuming, and I do feel enormously saddened by that. But some people have made courageous attempts to keep going, and one such is the Tapestry Chamber Choir. Here singing You Are The New Day:

Bottom left is Mark Harmer, not only a talented musician, but a whizz with IT and has stitched all these individual recordings together. I think it is brilliant, and has certainly sustained the singers, and now us, the audience. Congratulations.

I looked after the nearly two year old grandson this afternoon. His current obsession is “bike”. Daddy takes him out on a little seat on the front of his bike, in helmet of course. Today he wanted to parade in the helmet. He put it on, it fell forwards, and he promptly walked into the wall. I have to say I laughed till I cried. He didn’t hurt himself I should add. When the thunderstorm finished we went to the park. Heathrow now seems to be pretty busy so we had the endless cry of “plane”.

On the way there, I drove through Mortlake. There is an enormous refuse tip there, and the queue of cars was being marshalled along the main road. Halfway along I passed a sign, saying 45 minutes wait from here. People must be seriously short of things to do if they can queue for one and half hours to go to the tip. Eat your heart out Debenhams and Selfridges.

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