Tuesday 21 July

It was very much back to the gardening today. It was warm but not too hot. Tim alternated between weeding and hedge cutting. I swept up the bits and put them on the bonfire which is now becoming mountainous. We had a discussion about “bonfire” in French, and Tim thought just feu, which indeed it is. I said in German it would be either Gartenfeuer or Lagerfeuer, but this is more camp fire. Then we speculated about the derivation of the word bonfire and it transpires that although Dr Johnson assumed it came from French, hence good fire, this was wrong. It is in fact from Middle English and means “bone fire”. It did not specify what bones but I guess it could be a kind of funeral pyre. So there you are, the interesting conversations one can have whilst gardening.

In the afternoon Tim went off exploring: he is very fascinated by the number of footpaths in this area, how green it is. I went in to Coulsdon and noted how “normal” everything seemed to be. A couple of shops had notices reminding people that from Friday face coverings are compulsory, but few people had them today, and no-one leapt off the pavement to maintain distance. I called on my neighbours for a cup of tea and we decided that most people are doing what they feel comfortable with and there is a wide spectrum. We have friends who have just flown to Switzerland for a holiday. Apparently the plane was almost full and they are having a spectacularly good time in Kandersteg. Others barely venture out of their house or garden. It may take a long time to adjust. I still feel sad that the libraries, theatres, lidos by and large remain closed, so for me, lockdown has not ended.

This evening we sat in the garden till quite late, and Tim played the guitar. It is my very old guitar from uni days and although he has put new strings on it, it is hard to keep in tune but I have to say it is still lovely to hear. When we came indoors, we continued watching “Staged”, for me the second time around, but just as hilarious as the first time.

One thought on “Tuesday 21 July

  1. The bonfire sounds impressive. It reminds me of when I set fire to a great heap of garden clearings and nearly set light to the neighbours oak tree. It was a bit close for comfort and it had brown leaves on one branch for ages!
    Do make sure the wind is blowing away from your neighbours 😬


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