Friday 5 February

The good news is that neither of us has experienced any side effects from the AstraZeneca vaccination. Just need to sit out 3 weeks till we can go out to play, feeling reasonably immunised. So feeling energetic, I did a class called Body Balance, which is very good for me, for balancing on one leg as I climb over stiles.

The weather was remarkably mild and spring like, 12C in this area. Snowdrops, crocuses, hellebores all in full swing. I went for a walk in Kelsey Park in Beckenham. Along with many other people out enjoying the spring sunshine. The park was originally part of the Kelsey Manor estate, but the house was demolished years ago, and the park is maintained by Bromley Council. There was this rather odd construction

which we thought could have been an ice house. On the lake there were many birds, including a considerable number of herons who were busy making nests on the island. We then walked through what might be termed Old Beckenham, with some very fine houses, called Kelsey Lodge. Something which has been very interesting during lockdown is finding out more about the immediate locality. The London area is fascinating because it is an amalgamation of so many different villages and towns, each with its own identity. That’s why the London Loop walk which we completed a couple of years ago, was such an eye opener. 150 miles around the perimeter, very carefully planned to go through commons, parks, along canals: I really enjoyed it.

I then decamped to Barbara’s garden for a socially distanced cup of tea, in order to admire the beautiful array of snowdrops and crocuses. The photo does not really do them justice. There were also two wonderful pink camellias.

However my enthusiasm for spring may shortly hit the buffers as snow is forecast on Sunday and it is undoubtedly going to be very much colder. But the daylight is increasing, I was out of doors till gone 5pm and this cheers me up no end.

I heard this today and thought it was just stunning. It is a hymn to the Virgin Mary in the Quechua language from South America. Composed before 1622. This is just a very short version, there are longer versions available, but just to give you a taste. So unusual.

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