Life meanders on inside our silk cocoon (can you meander inside a cocoon?  Probably not, but you get my drift).  We do our exercises, we sit outside on the terrace, we phone/email  people, we read, we play Rummikub, we watch the tellie, we’ve even started to get Ocado deliveries.  My wife continues to make snazzy face coverings, I continue to churn out colourful watercolours.

Clearly we will have to emerge from this cocoon one day but right now it’s ‘traa dy liooar’ (Manx for ‘time enough’).

I have completely adjusted to reading the newspaper online.  Unfortunately I have become addicted to the comments from readers that follow each article, so reading the paper takes twice as long as it used to.  It’s fascinating to see the diversity of reactions to the same piece.  I have yet to pluck up the courage to comment myself but I’m warming to the idea.  Mind you, I did write a letter to the Times about Boris Johnson’s U-turn over the NHS surcharges for immigrant staff, but it didn’t appear. Poor timing, it coincided with the outbreak of the Dominic Cummings’ fiasco.  Also, I have a sneaking suspicion that whoever decides which letters to publish, only appreciates the ones I write that are trivial, about croquet for example (not that I’m suggesting croquet is trivial, just that my letters about it tend to be − an important distinction!).  For the best part of three years my hit rate with the Times was so high that I had started to think of myself as their unofficial croquet correspondent.  So, it was silly of me to try my hand at a sensible letter.  But was it sensible?  Here is the full text:

Sir, Congratulations on resisting the temptation to gloat about the government’s U-turn (Change of Heart, Times Leader, 22 May).  Surely we want our politicians to listen to counter-proposals, recognise their merits and have the courage to change their minds?  The alternative is intransigence and self-justification. Mistakes, whist best avoided, are inevitable and being seen to learn from them is admirable.

Never mind, at least it’s ready for me to resubmit when/if Boris sacks Dominic.

As it happens I’ve been busy composing another letter this morning, to the CEO of the Nationwide Building Society. It’s about the pigeons that continue to get trapped in the fenced off area adjacent to us that houses the air conditioning units for the Nationwide branch downstairs. I’m asking him to arrange to have a new net fitted. Of course, I’m sure he will never see my letter. A dutiful minion is sure to intercept it suspecting it’s one of those spoof Henry Root letters. I’ll let you know if I get a reply.

I still venture out on my bicycle doing increasingly longer rides and giving pedestrians a wide berth.  Not so my wife.  The last time she left this building was on 16 March.  I offered to drive her to Durham but she declined.  I’m waiting to have my cataracts done, so perhaps we should do a trial run to test my eyesight?  To Oxford and back, that should do the trick.  We could even sit on a bench by the river before making the return trip.  But wait, I’ve just remembered my car battery is flat.  Phew, a narrow escape!

People ask me if I’m missing the things we used to do in our previous life, often going to Wigmore Hall for example.  But, strangely, the answer is no, not when I know they aren’t happening and that there is nothing to miss, if you see what I mean.  Until a few days ago this applied to playing croquet at Roehampton but, damn it, socially distanced croquet is now permitted, so I’m starting to miss it!

Did you know that ants have access the internet and can read?  In my last blog I foolishly boasted they had been vanquished. They immediately retaliated by launching a second attack!

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