Saturday 21 November

I have learned two new German words today, der Lockdown and die Bubble. (German retains capital letters for all nouns, an unusual feature which every so often is a target for reform, but all I can say is, when I read anything without the capitals, it seems very weird and extremely difficult to understand. Paradox.) In French it is confinement, and we think, le bulle, but not entirely sure: please enlighten.

A good deal of leaf sweeping today. As Croydon is bankrupt, I guess we are not likely to see much road cleaning in the immediate future. Squirrels are rampaging, but the fishing line defence appears to be keeping the deer at bay: many thanks Mark for this hot tip.

I made the Christmas cake, yay! I have no idea what may happen at Christmas, speculation is idle, but we will eat the cake anyway. There are a couple of birthdays in January, so it will always come in handy. I no longer make Christmas puddings as few of my family like them, and the bought ones do seem to be very splendid, and it saves on hours of steaming. I like making mincemeat though, perhaps because I tip more brandy into it than would be found in the commercially produced variety.

I have not yet resumed doing regular piano practice or reading La Peste, which were my aims during the first lockdown. And hey, we are more than halfway through the second round. But I do listen to all kinds of music. This is very interesting: Christina Pluhar, who plays Baroque instruments with a modern flair. I have seen her in performance at the Greenwich Early Music Festival, and she and her group are very charismatic.

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