Tuesday 1 December

The final month of this unusual year begins. Tomorrow the second lockdown ends and we enter Tier 2, again. I will have to check the finer details but apart from small businesses being able to reopen, I suspect it is not so different from the current situation. I read a very interesting article by Libby Purves yesterday. In it she queried the ability of a government to control who we permit to enter our own homes, unless it is a highly unusual event such as a murder investigation. An Englishman’s home is his castle, so runs the old adage, and if I choose to let my family or friends in to visit me, that is my affair. She said, if a government does not trust us, why should we trust the government? Interesting tenet.

Essentially I spent most daylight hours working in the garden. I feel totally exhausted, but I wanted to make the most of the sunny day. I find it hard going when it is dank and raw. I was weeding, clearing, and planting bulbs. I was accompanied most of the time by the robin. At one point he was sitting in the tree about 6 inches from my face. He chattered delightedly as I turned over the soil.

I was in the front garden, and as people went past, they said hello or stopped for a chat. No-one leapt out into the road to keep a massive distance. It all seemed very normal, in fact more friendly than perhaps would usually be the case. Maybe everyone has a little more time.

I sat in the sun to have a cup of tea periodically, and the saying came into my mind, which seemed appropriate: “sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits.” I thought it was Mark Twain who first said this, but there seems to be some doubt as to its origin, but it is most often attributed to Winnie the Pooh. Love it.

I heard Beethoven’s 2nd piano concerto on the radio this evening, and I recollected that one of the first LPs I ever bought was his Emperor concerto. It is a most magnificent piece of music: a short extract by the mega talented Daniel Barenboim.

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