Sunday 2 May

For the first time for months I managed to go for a Sunday morning swim at Trinity school. I ploughed up and down for 30 lengths, and it felt like old times. I then faced the excitement of Tesco’s. What impinged on me this morning were the constant announcements over the loudspeakers about maintaining a social distance, shopping alone except with a child or a carer, spraying the trolley, using hand sanitiser, mandatory wearing of masks……….apart from the latter, all the rest were cheerfully disregarded. But for vulnerable people, these sort of admonitions are a nightmare. They should be abandoned forthwith, in my opinion.

May continues to be chilly. I read that the orchards of Kent are suffering mightily. The apple and cherry blossom are getting frost burnt. The fields may need to be replanted as nothing has germinated due to lack of warmth and water. Funny old world. But a desalination plant on the Solent could be a good idea. We have lots of seawater and a diminishing amount of fresh water.

But the really good news is that yesterday’s podcast about the making of the Gold Lyre of Ur, seems to be very popular. In the first 24 hours there have been 1370 hits. The Chicago Institute says the average is 800. So we are all tremendously excited. I think next week’s may be even more popular, as the lyre is played, and there is wonderful singing, and I am sure that will go down well.

I heard this, a piece for classical harp, played here by the famous Marisa Robles. It is part of the harp concerto by Carl Ditter of Dittersdorf, which is a name to conjure with, I feel. He was an Austrian composer, a contemporary of Haydn and Mozart. This is the Rondeau Allegretto but the rest is pretty good too. Harps have come a long way from 4,500 year old lyres!

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