Wednesday 17 February

Like many people during lockdown, I have been having very vivid dreams. Last night I dreamed I had prepared a big dinner party, but no one came. I kept waiting, and looking, and wondering if I had confused the day, but in the end it was just a feeling of maddening frustration and disappointment. I will try not to read too much into this, but the final emotions do strike a chord.

Perhaps I have also been affected by the thought that it is twenty years since my father passed away. 15 February 2001. He was a widower, aged 85, and had suffered from dementia for some time. Nevertheless it was a tremendous blow, and I feel so desperately sad for the people who in the current crisis cannot visit their relatives in care homes. Although Dad was a long way away in Loughborough, I was at least able to visit when I was able to arrange it. Never often enough of course. I have inherited a passion for reading and writing from him I am sure, so many thanks, Dad, it has been a blessing.

I did not manage the long country walk I had hoped for today, as the weather was inclement to say the least. But I have been out to get the paper, round the block, round the recreation ground, and managed nearly 3 miles. However my best achievement today was to finish my embroidery, a birth announcement sampler, and this afternoon I took it to the framer’s. I will post a picture when I get it back.

Rod is co-ordinating an anthology of angling anecdotes, and it is a hive of industry round these parts. Cajoling contributors, raising money for publication………I am doing a great deal of proof reading: I am becoming an expert on the names of floats, flies, rods, and if I correct its and it’s once more, I shall scream. Plus punctuation in direct speech. Don’t they teach them any of this in school any more???

My father was a great fan of Gilbert and Sullivan. As a pupil at Portsmouth Secondary, he took part in school productions which were performed in the theatre of the South Parade Pier. He knew many of the songs off by heart and would sing them while shaving. “Polishing up the handle on the big front door” is burned on to my memory. I offer you a song from HMS Pinafore:

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