Friday 24 July

Have you ever wrestled with a roll of cling film? I have one where the edge has begun to stick, so as you unroll it, the sheet becomes narrower and narrower. At first you think, it doesn’t matter, I only need a small piece anyway. But I have now reached the point where the ravelled bit is greater than the unravelled bit. Que faire? I think I will just have to bite the bullet, throw it away and buy a new roll.

Today I returned to Beckenham Place Park for another swim in the lake. This time there were more people there, word has gone round how lovely it is. The birds who have made their home there, seem indifferent to the swimmers, and there are nests at the margins with baby coots, baby ducklings. The water temperature was 19C which is very pleasant. Tim came, not to swim, but for a walk in the park, and was interested to see a community garden where produce was being grown on straw bales. Strawberries, tomatoes. I bumped into a former colleague from Westwood High School, who I have not seen for at least 10 years. She very graciously said, “you look just the same, you look so well.” and I wondered if this is the new greeting: congratulations, so you have survived the pandemic!

This afternoon we did some more cutting and sweeping, and after dinner, decided the moment had come for a bonfire, as it was mountainous. One piece of newspaper, one match and whoosh.

Now you would think that as it is very dry, that it would burn out with great rapidity. But no. We came indoors about 10pm, and it was still burning gently. I looked out of my bedroom window at 11pm and it was still flaring. So I put on my fleece and went down with the hose. I can see now the problem firefighters have. The water boiled as it hit the flames. I stood there for quite a while and it seemed to diminish. This morning I went out at 8am and the embers are still smouldering. Wow, success!

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