Tuesday 4 August

I was out and about quite early today, no hardship in this sunny weather. I went with my neighbour to Epsom where he dropped his car off, and then he came back with me, and he and his wife came and had coffee in the garden, and attempted to put the world to rights. Interestingly we all said we had given up on watching the TV news, and merely picked up the latest headlines from an internet site. I think we are all suffering from lockdown fatigue and simply cannot absorb any more information. We go about our daily lives in as safe a manner as possible, and so be it.

This afternoon Rod and I went to the farm butcher’s to lay in a few supplies. The butcher was extolling the delights of his home-made sausages and burgers, plus the quiches, pork pies and something he calls trucker’s pie, which certainly looks pretty solid. I commented he was an excellent salesman. He laughed and said, “Madam, put it like this, if I were a car salesman, you’d each be walking out of here with a Ferrari!” Good line, eh?

I meant to say that yesterday I was very excited to buy some new clothes in Tesco. I knew that this year I had not bought one single item of summer clothing, or shoes, or sandals, nothing. So I went wild in the aisles and bought a hoodie, a top, a pair of trousers and a swimsuit. I am not a great shopper really, but I realised most of my summer clothes date from when I was in Kenya a while back, and one can get a bit fed up with wearing the same things. Of course all the changing rooms are closed, but exchange is a possibility. There was no stress about riffling through the racks and pulling clothes out to hold against oneself. I read that some shops were “quarantining” items after someone had touched them, which seems a bit of a nonsense.

I have been picking blackberries in the garden and stewing them with a Bramley apple to make a compote to go with my muesli. I always thought blackberries were a September fruit, they seem to ripen earlier and earlier. We also have a few Victoria plums. I love plums but this year the tree has been very poor. Probably too little water, and poor pruning, by me. I think having spent much more time in the garden this year, that I have been much more aware of subtle changes, which is fun. I am becoming best friends with Mr Fox, who slinks across the garden as I finish watering. He is a bit of a thin looking animal, perhaps the runt of the litter. He too is probably suffering in lockdown: no restaurant bins to raid.

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