Monday 19 April

This was really a landmark day. I went for a swim, in Hampton open air pool (heated to 28C it has to be said.) But first I went for a walk with friends in Bushy Park, an enormous expanse of open land near Kingston. Many people out enjoying the sunshine, which today was up to 18C, it felt like summer time. There are deer in the park and you are warned not to go within 50m of them. Unfortunately the deer cannot read and therefore came right up to us, and would cheerfully have partaken of our picnic. They went into the pool for a drink, which was very lovely. There is a white stag on the left.

The Hampton pool is fantastically popular and I was enormously fortunate to get a ticket. You have to arrive “beach ready” which means with your swimsuit on, there are no changing facilities. It is only lane swimming and you have a maximum of 45 minutes. I managed 20 lengths and felt very pleased, if somewhat exhausted, being very out of practice. I don’t think I have swum for 6 months.

I returned on the train, which was more crowded than one might imagine. But I knew I was on a London suburban train when the guy behind me got out his mobile, and said, “I’m on a train, bruv. See you at Vauxhall in 10.” One advantage of lockdown has been that the trains are very clean, also public toilets. One has to look on the bright side of life.

Another excitement today: I have been approached to do some GCSE German oral work, and some marking. Not sure how the school got my details but someone has squirreled it away since I was an Edexcel examiner. I will have to see if anything comes of the initial overtures, but I feel quite animated by the prospect. So I have been thinking about teaching, and how I (mostly) enjoyed it so much. I give you the OFSTED song:

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