Thursday 8 April

One of the things I make is kefir. This is a kind of yogurt which is supposed to be very good for you. I got the starter culture from a friend, and it is still going strong. If you go on holiday, you can freeze the culture, and then defrost and crack on. I was reminded of the ginger beer culture which we had as children. There would be a craze and suddenly everyone was making it and splitting up the starter sediment and passing it on. There was also something called friendship cake. It contains yeast and lactic acid bacteria so it keeps growing. It is apparently known as the Herman, or German friendship cake, and was originally a kind of fruit bread made by the Amish people.

Everyone seems to be waiting for Monday when more shops open, and one can get a haircut. It seems that in Switzerland the hairdressers have never closed, even through lockdown. It’s odd how each country has a different interpretation. Some lucky people are going for a self-contained, self-catering holiday from Monday. I guess they may even get a meal in a pub garden, though I failed to get a booking in April: everything already fully reserved.

I only discovered recently that Rimsky Korsakov had an illustrious military career: he was in the Russian Imperial Navy and ended up as the inspector of Naval Bands. His love of the ocean is apparent in many of his works, as here in Scheherazade. Even if you only listen to the opening…..

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