Friday 9 October

I bought some plums in the supermarket recently, and as ever, they are sold when being far from ripe. I keep checking them, giving a little squeeze, and as I did, I remembered my grandmother’s saying, “as hard as a beggar boy’s heart.” I have tried to find out where this originated, but it would appear to be either very localised (Portsmouth area) or very idiosyncratic. I suppose nowadays it would be regarded as very non pc.

I had a couple of letters to post so decided to extend my walk to one of our old lockdown one hour treks. Now whatever happened to those? We all resumed our normal busy lives I suppose. I walked due north along footpaths at the edge of the golf course. I came across what appears to be a massive excavation by a badger. It certainly has been very busy,

As I walked to the main road which goes past Oaks Park, I reflected on the increase in traffic since the early days of lockdown when we first discovered this walk, and there was virtually not a car in sight. Now absolutely roaring.

I looked into booking tickets for the Artemisia exhibition at the National Gallery. It is proving to be fantastically popular and many days are already sold out. I think this just goes to show what a huge hunger there is for cultural activities. I believe some music venues are coping by having repeated performances throughout the day: this seems like a good idea. Friends of mine in Germany told me about their local orchestra which was performing at 10.30, 1400 and 16.30. A short programme of just over an hour, no interval, everyone able to socially distance. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

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