Wednesday 14 April

I sit here next to a shelf full of guides: Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, to places I have been to, or had the intention of visiting. There is one for Brazil, where I might have had a a brief teaching opportunity, one for Cuba which Rod would like to visit, one for South Africa, where we had a trip booked last year, one for New Zealand which I would love to revisit. I am now beginning to have a dull feeling of resentment, that I am forever trapped? Prince Harry feels trapped, but perhaps we all are. I am a bit of a restless soul and like visiting new places and meeting new people. I keep saying to myself, there is plenty of the UK which I have not yet seen, but a little niggle remains.

Great sunshine but chilly. I planted some strawberry plants, in the hopes that neither the frost nor the deer will get them. We seem to have a particularly industrious squirrel who is busy excavating holes in our lawn. Well when I say lawn, I mean meadow, which is at least 50% moss. The birds are twittering madly and that is a great delight. It reminds me of living in Kenya, where the birds of the Lake Naivasha area are an ornithologist’s dream world.

Study Sheds Light on Evolution of Plumage Coloration in African Starlings |  Biology |

I remember seeing these spectacular characters and asking what they were: African starlings. Put our little creatures in the shade.

I am very excited that I have a theatre ticket for 3 September, a very postponed performance of Leopoldstadt, by Tom Stoppard. I did not imagine that it would be restaged. I also hope that some Prom concerts will be reinstated. Live performance: I have missed you so much. I read that lunch and dinner bookings in the chilly open air are massively oversubscribed. People are just desperate to do something sociable and different from staying at home. Otherwise we will become like rats in a cage and start eating each other!

If you have never come across the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, they are very entertaining. I have seen them live in performance, and it was truly hilarious. Their version of Pinball Wizard is also great, but just voices, no ukuleles, which you should hear if you never have done before.

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