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THE COVIDIARIES - DAY 25 - 10th April 2020

My turn has come around again, has another week really passed already? What strikes me today is that it’s Good Friday, the sun is shining, yet we must venture no further than our own gardens.

What’s more, the forecast is pretty good for the entire bank holiday weekend, the beaches are empty when they would typically be full of grockles, yet we locals are unable to take advantage of them either. Isn’t it ironic?

It also occurred to me that I haven’t devoured a single hot cross bun this year, how can this be? I think these seasonal treats are the sort of thing that you purchase on a whim when shopping and as I haven’t visited a supermarket (or any shop for that matter) for nearly three weeks it has only crossed my mind today. As I think I may have missed my window of opportunity I will certainly diarise the fact that I need to eat twice as many next year. There is encouraging news from Fremington Parish Council. Although the annual Easter Egg Hunt at Fremington Manor (where we sang this time last year) the Easter Bunny will be “doing the rounds”. He must under no circumstances be approached and it has been made clear that he will be using this activity as his one form of exercise for the day and will be accompanied by members of his own household.

Since last week I’ve finished reading “The Remains of the Day” (fabulous) by Kazuo Ishiguro, completed “Paris Echo” by Sebastian Faulks (disappointing ending) and am about halfway through “Enduring Love” (compelling so far) by Ian McEwan all excellent recommendations. You may remember me commenting last week that I was feeling slightly uncomfortable about reading during the working day. Suffice to say (revelation number 1) I’m now settling into the concept that, yes, it is OK to read a book… anytime. Revelation number 2 came today. After spending the beginning of the week struggling to read my Kindle on my sun lounger, today I discovered that the Amazon Kindle App on my phone is in Paper White format, who knew that? so now I can sunbathe and read at the same time, I call that a result! Just remind me why we want things to get back to normal? Maybe this is will be my new “normal”, just so long as the weather holds anyway.

I’ve continued to exercise daily, long solo walks to Instow, a couple of runs (now that the drugs are working to keep shoulder pain at bay and the hamstring is well on the way to recovery), and a couple of road bike rides. As I’ve said before, I’m really not sure how well I’d be coping if this little luxurious respite from the home were to be withdrawn.

An observation in the sand dunes at Instow, where the appearance of the beach has been changed by the construction of fenced areas to create further dunes led me to wonder how much change we will see in the environment when this is all over. Whilst this change on the beach is intentional and manmade, I have read that the view of the Himalayas is as perfect now as it has been for 30 years and I think we have all seen how clear the waters around Venice are now that the cruise ships are no longer docking there. Some good has to come from this.

I’ve had a couple of successes this week. On Tuesday I finally managed to speak to someone at EasyJet and I’m “reliably” assured that a refund is now winging its way back to my credit card account. In addition, the accommodation company in France have also promised a refund (not so confident about this one, but I remain optimistic). It doesn’t make up for my lost skiing holiday, but at least I will have my money back. Remind me to ski in January next year and not wait until Easter.

This week’s garden project has been to stain the fences and shed and to re-pot a few root bound plants. Slee’s of Braunton came up with the goods with the wood stain and brushes and a couple of other “essential” bits and pieces. I hope that when this is all over, people remember the small, local businesses which are going the extra mile to make life just that bit easier for us all. I also know that many people are ordering meat, fruit and veg from local suppliers, who will deliver to the doorstep. The garden seems to be changing daily, the clematis has an abundance of buds and will be stunning in a few days and the tulips have flowered in the last couple of days – it’s lovely to see all the colour coming back after the winter.

Tuesday saw another Zoom Choir rehearsal. I really look forward to the couple of hours we spend together, having a laugh, but also getting some serious learning under our belts. I wonder what Angels will really sound like when we all come together. How funny was it when we sang “Make You Feel My Love” unmuted? It was so good to see Ann in New Zealand and to have Tammy join us again from Australia. Furthermore, several former choir members have joined us and we seem to be growing in number each week which is amazing.

I wonder how Sue our pianists online teaching is going, we love hearing her conversations with Colin during rehearsals. Wednesday morning saw the Committee meeting, also via Zoom. No real plans were made, but lots of loose ends were tied up.

So, what’s new in Choir world? News is a bit sparse at the moment as I think we’re all spending time outdoors.

Today sees the release of Jamie Lonsdale’s album, Footprints, and we’ve all been asked to do our best to promote it to family and friends. Jamie deserves for the album to be successful after the time and effort he has invested in it. His passion for striving to create a collection of beautiful music was evident and his own military background made our involvement even more poignant. It’s such a difficult time to be promoting new music, so let’s all do our bit. Thank goodness for social media.

Beth gave us the good news that, all being well, the Hexham Abbey event is postponed rather than cancelled. Celia, the organiser has shared a beautiful sunset photograph of the Abbey to whet our appetites. Let’s keep our fingers crossed, not only is this going to be a wonderful concert in a stunning setting, but also the perfect opportunity to spend quality time together and to showcase how professional we are as a Choir.

Jane S has put out a plea for other Choir members to write a diary piece occasionally to give Sarah a rest, to date Estelle and Hayley have offered their services – welcome on board ladies.

Until next Friday…….


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