Thursday 28 January

I have spent the whole day with a two year old, and what has been a true delight is to realise that the simplest things give him enormous pleasure, which in this time of lockdown and restrictions is something we could all learn from. In the park we came across an almost melted snowman. I put some snow on his hand and he watched it disappear. “Again!” So we repeated the exercise. Such excitement and happiness. He is acquiring vocabulary fast and it is like living with a little echo, he copies whatever you say. A salutary lesson for anyone learning another language: just live with the people, listen and repeat!

I have barely caught up with any news today but it all seems to be about vaccinations. I still have not heard about mine but I guess the day will come. Not that it will mean liberation but hopefully that will come in time. At the moment I feel that I am marking time. I am OK, my family and friends are OK, but anything other than a day to day existence is not possible.

I am reading John le Carre’s Absolute Friends, part of which is set in late 1960’s Berlin. I went there as a student and the fevered atmosphere of student rebellion, the beginnings of the Baader Meinhof group, all strike a chord. It was a very heady and somewhat scary time, which I actually enjoyed very much. So remembering my studies in Germany, I have chosen Brahms’ Academic Festival overture.

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