Thursday 19 November

So today sees us through the first half of the second lockdown. There is talk of easing the situation for 4 or 5 days at Christmas, but I am not sure that is a good idea if it presupposes another lockdown for the whole of January.

I went for a walk near Shoreham in Kent. On the hillside there is a large cross carved in to the chalk in 1920 as a memorial to those who lost their lives in WW1.

We walked along the path at the edge of the wood above the cross. There were some wreaths from Remembrance Sunday. From there you look across the village to the church. I find it a very fine, simple memorial, very appropriate for the dead of this small village. We walked through the undulating countryside, damp and muddy from recent rain. But still flowers to be seen, and the trees not totally bare.

This was a rather spooky-looking blasted oak. We met more people than usual today, not only the usual dog walkers, but hikers like ourselves. We reached Lullingstone Roman villa at lunchtime, by which time the rain had become more than drizzle. But we are true Brits and picnicked in the rain. As Wainright said, “there is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” We were dressed for it. The final part was along the River Darenth, clear and pretty, leading back to Shoreham, 8 miles in total. Boot cleaning beckons.

A very disturbing event in Berlin: an estimated 14,000 protestors in front of the Reichstag, declaring that the restrictions are similar to those Hitler imposed in 1933. I think that you may see in many countries increasing signs of civil disobedience. I read somewhere recently that the biggest problem we face is not the pandemic, but fear. We are being stifled and made fearful, and I am doing my level best to remain active and positive, but at the same time to remember those who for whatever reason, are not able to be as energetic and optimistic.

Music is a great solace: I heard this today. I leave you with Schubert’s Impromptu no 3. Amazing.

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