Thursday 10 June

The sun was shining, I was up early…………….so a rapid trip to Tesco’s. Always worth it, as there are so few people there and I can get round really quickly. I think they are very affected by the Aldi store which is cheaper for many products. But they don’t sell petrol, and Tesco does, cheaply.

This afternoon we absconded on a fishing trip, to Ladycross near Lingfield. Rod was keen to have a long session there, so I geared myself up for a walk. I had the OS map and just created a pleasant meander, across fields of buttercups, through woods, past sheep.

I did not meet many people today, and as I was walking in solitary fashion through a deep dark wood, I thought about the policewoman who had been murdered in a wood in Kent recently. Suddenly I saw a bike leaning against a tree, and no sign of the rider, so I began to feel a bit jumpy. Then I caught sight of an elderly guy sitting on a log, resting. He saw I had a map, and said he was unsure whether to continue on the path which looked steep going down, or to return the way he came. I could hear from his accent that he was South African, and all at once, I heard his life history: living in Port Elizabeth, came to visit his daughter at Christmas here in the UK and got stuck here till the end of June. How he owns a sheep farm in SA, how his house in Port Elizabeth was broken into in 2014, and the shock made his wife ill and she subsequently died…………………….He was such an interesting person, and I decided it is foolish to be nervous when walking alone: in reality I quite like it, because you can focus on the birds singing, the flowers blooming, the waist high nettles, the horse that wants to nibble your backpack..

The beautiful wood where I met the elderly cyclist. I must have walked about 5 miles, and got back to the lake to have a picnic tea. Rod had not had much success, but fortunately landed a large carp before it was time to go home.

I also went to the farm shop in Coulsdon today to buy eggs. I always have a chat with Toby: he likes sea bathing and we compare notes. He and his partner were supposed to be going to Bulgaria for a holiday in a month’s time. “Nah,” he said, “too much trouble.” So I asked him if he had any other plans. “A camping weekend in Suffolk,” he replied, and laughed. Staycations all round this year it seems.

I heard the last movement of Beethoven’s 5th symphony today and thought how exciting it is. The opening few bars of the first movement, dah, dah, dah ,DAH, are so hackneyed, but this is stirring stuff.

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