Friday 9 April

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, died today aged 99. An event which has managed to knock corona virus news off centre. As attendance at funerals is very limited, I guess it will be the same for him, with a memorial service some time in the future. I imagine he would prefer it like that: pomp and circumstance never seemed to be a big issue for him.

Today I planted the potatoes. And reassembled the hose, as the ground is so desperately dry. It is strange to be watering bulbs in April. But it is also very cold overnight so planting has to be a bit carefully done. Typical springtime weather I suppose.

I have just finished watching the Mexican film “Roma” on Netflix. It won a lot of awards in 2018. It is 3 hours long and at first I wondered if I would stick it out but it is very unusual and the cinematography, all in black and white, is amazing. There are many long slow shots, which is a big contrast to the Hollywood skip and jump technique. The actors were relative unknowns and they seem very much at home in their roles. There is a scene near the end where the maid Cleo rescues two children from drowning, although she could not swim herself. I read that the actress really could not swim and was totally terrified when filming. Somehow the gritty reality comes across.

Tonight a programme about the River Moselle. About the meanders, the villages, the vineyards. It is a very beautiful part of Germany and I have only seen a little of it. It’s at times like this when I think, will I ever have the opportunity to go there, in the future? I know there are plenty of places in the UK to visit, but the idea of confinement, as it is known in French, does bug me at times.

I think I may have quoted this piece before, Vivaldi’s Gloria, but I wanted to end on an upbeat not a mournful note.

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