Thursday 1 October

So here we go, another month of pandemic conditions. Though the strategy seems now to be one of local containment. I see Croydon has 24 cases per 100,000, which is below the national average of 28. And cases are neither hospitalisation nor deaths. I do not underestimate the seriousness of Covid 19, but at the same time, I try to retain a perspective. To that end, I will have my flu jab tomorrow.

I read something interesting about dreams, which always fascinates me, as I dream vividly. It seems that many people are dreaming about hugging someone, having physical contact. And I also read an article about the sense of touch, the most neglected of the five senses. So I gave it some thought. Via the wonders of Zoom we are able to see and hear our loved ones. Our sense of smell can be stimulated by a flower garden, or a favourite perfume. Our sense of taste can be satisfied with a delicious meal and a great glass of wine. But touch? The quadraplegic Times correspondent Melanie Reid wrote very movingly about how her almost total paralysis means she cannot experience touch: just a friendly pat on the arm, a touch on the shoulder, a brush of the cheek. And I guess this is what we all miss during these distanced times, an affectionate embrace. Elbow bumping or namaste does not quite cut the mustard.

I went to the garden centre today. I imagined a little forethought might not go amiss. But it seems that many other people have had the same idea, so it’s the equivalent of the toilet roll shortage but at the garden centre. However I did get some bulbs and some violas, and a gooseberry bush. I really like gooseberries, a bit of an acquired taste maybe.

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