Monday 22 February

The first excitement of the day was a visit to the dentist. I was bracing myself for a new filling as the previous one done in November was a temporary one. However, it is apparently doing such a good job that there was no need. But the dentist did offer a clean and tidy up, although she explained it would be done by hand not the whizzy machine which creates too many droplets. I said that was fine, because I actually prefer the digger and scraper approach, it seems perfectly adequate. So she and the dental nurse disappeared to get head to toe plastic aprons on, and special masks which made them look like deep sea divers. Hilarious: I could barely understand a word she was saying. What worries me more is the huge amount of plastic waste that all this malarkey must be creating. Every NHS establishment must have mountains of stuff. I do hope it is all recycled, but perhaps it is believed to be too contaminated?

I then went off to Knole Park to start a circular walk.

The National Trust is doing a grand job to keep all the parks and gardens open. We did a 6 mile circuit which in the end was more like 7 miles, as we inevitably got a bit lost: Knole is huge and it is quite easy to get disorientated. We walked through Godden Green where there was an amazing dovecot at a place called Little Steading.

Over One Tree Hill, along the Greensand Way, with great views to the south though today was a bit cloudy. Less mud than on recent walks, though there were a few swampy patches. Always good to be out in the open air, restores the soul.

Tonight I watched a British Museum members’ lecture about Sutton Hoo. They had the author of The Dig, John Preston, and the person in charge of the Sutton Hoo collection at the BM. They also showed clips of the Netflix film, and talked about the amount of research which had gone on to make it as authentic as possible. Both speakers had met Ralph Fiennes who played Basil Brown, the man who discovered the buried ship, and apparently he lived and breathed being Basil, even maintaining a Suffolk accent all the time. Both had visited the set and set it was uncanny, even spooky, to experience the excavation, it was so real. I sometimes feel a bit over-Zoomed, but I will keep a look out for the BM lectures, they seem good.

Then I watched a bit of Boris and his new road map. I am not sure that I can keep all the dates in my head, and I suspect they may be changed as we go along. But schools resume on 8 March which had been predicted for ever, and that is very good news. Not good that there is no hairdressing till 12 April. Or libraries, which is infinitely more serious for many people.

I heard this today and thought it was quite ethereal. It is the most famous track from the film “American Beauty” written by Thomas Newman. The film itself is quite dark, described on Wikipedia as a black comedy-drama. I saw it a long time ago and don’t remember it being very amusing. Very dreamy music though.

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