Wednesday 10 February

Still bitterly cold but it was very sunny and not snowing, so I went for a walk in Lloyd Park. I have written about the park before because it is such an asset to Croydon, a huge open space not far from the centre, undulating, in parts wooded, some playing fields, and most importantly a cafe, which is doing take away food and drink. So Barbara and I started the day with a very nice coffee. The car park was very icy and I was beginning to wonder if it was such a good idea. I do not wish to land in hospital with a broken wrist. But in fact walking on the snow-covered grass was not at all slippery. The bigger problem was where total quagmires were almost frozen over, invisible, but giving way once stepped on. Wonderful to be out on such a lovely day. We agreed, we both feel quite out of sorts if we are not able to go out of doors every day and take a walk of some description. Good for body and soul.

You would scarcely believe you are in the heart of a London borough, but that is something London does well: public parks.

This afternoon I ventured to Aldi. Ah a woman’s work is never done. I never cease to be amazed at the mobile phone calls which people conduct in public. Today a lady regaled all and sundry with details of a polyp found on the colon: “oooooh dreadful operation, dahlin’, under for 5 hours instead of two, now I got 2 staples in there, in the bowel, y’know.” Yikes, do we all need to know this? All the stores trying of course to drum up interest in Valentine’s Day, closely followed by pancake day. Festivities this year are inevitably going to be dining at home. And don’t even think of booking a summer holiday, according to Grant Shapps. Grrrr, you can’t stop me thinking.

As a family we are vying with each other for snow pictures. This from my sister in the Peak District:

And this from my niece, intrepid cyclist, in Edinburgh.

I heard this today, I think for the first time. Andante for clarinet and orchestra by Alice Mary Smith. An undiscovered delight. And then I started to wonder, why are there so few women composers? Or conductors. There are many brilliant soloists, orchestral players, singers, but few composers. Alice Mary Smith lived from 1839 – 1884 and wrote two symphonies and a large number of choral works both sacred and secular. So come on ladies, a new lockdown activity, write your first musical composition.

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