Monday 12 April

Today we awoke to this wintry scene:

It is my birthday later this week, and I have on odd occasions, mostly in Germany, had a snowy celebration. Just a few days too soon this year. And ironically the day on which pubs are permitted to offer open air service. Bit chilly to sit and have a pint in a pub garden. I went into Coulsdon, and the biggest queues were at the barber’s. Many of the small shops had reopened but not all of them. There seemed to be more people about, quite a few in the charity shops, which I guess will have been flooded with donations, as everyone had a big lockdown clear out.

Nine year old Yannis was telling me how hand sanitiser is becoming a big problem in school. The children are told all the time to use it, and now some of them are developing rashes on their hands, or at the least, their skin is very dry. Plus they are of course encouraged to wash their hands. I don’t use sanitiser when I go into shops. Sometimes I am wearing gloves anyway, but I wash my hands when I get home. I would anyway. Since it seems to have been proven that the virus does not exist on surfaces, and in Croydon for instance, the Covid cases are 9 in 100,00, I do feel that excessive sanitising is doing more harm than good. Poor kids.

I decided today that I would have to throw away most of my Edexcel German examining material. I had great times being a marker and examiner for AL German. My colleagues were tremendous fun, and the teachers and students I met very dedicated. But the examination format is changing, and in any case, the number of AL students of any foreign language are lamentably tiny. So I have to grit my teeth and say, those days are gone. Life laundry, I believe it is called. My friends in France say they have launched into spring cleaning during their renewed lockdown. There’s another task looming: window cleaning, cupboard sorting and the like.

I don’t think I have cited any music by Faure who I have grown to like more and more. This is the lovely In Paradisum from his Requiem. The whole Requiem is worth listening to.

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