Thursday 5 November

And so the second lockdown begins. Today is my daughter-in-law’s 40th birthday so all the festivities planned are on hold. Not that there was a lot, but even so. The same for everyone of course. No discriminatory tiers.

I went into Coulsdon this morning and it seemed pretty normal except that the little coffee shops and the small businesses are all closed. I have been trying to shop as locally as possible to support them but ironically now that they are closed, I will be driven back to the big supermarkets which sell everything.

One success today: we have 2 spare monitors and 2 keyboards, kicking around from when computers were replaced. So I put them out on the pavement saying, please take, and one monitor and one keyboard have already gone. I find it very satisfactory to be upcycling something. There is a lot of faffing around to prepare things to sell on ebay or similar, and the doorstep approach seems a good alternative.

I did start on one lockdown project which is to spend more time in the garden. It was very sunny and I did some digging and leaf clearance. My neighbour lit a bonfire, and I suddenly realised that it is Bonfire Night, so I lit one too. There is no shortage of fireworks round here, really massive ones which are spooking the cat. I find it hard to believe that they are all private displays in someone’s back garden.

As a child we used to make “bonfire toffee” with dark treacle. It was absolute tooth-cracking stuff and we loved it.

Today’s CD is Four Ballades by Chopin played by Angela Brownridge. I love Chopin’s music, he must be one of the most talented and versatile composers for the piano who has ever lived. In my time I have played some of his waltzes and nocturnes. To say they are challenging is an understatement, but so satisfying. I have to declare an interest in Angela. She attended Loughborough High School, although a few years ahead of me, she lived in our road, and our two families were good friends. She perhaps never really hit the big time, but has made a career in both performance and teaching. I attended a concert of hers about a year ago, and had a chat with her. I guess she will be currently “resting.” Link here to find out more and hear her playing.

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