Breaking news! The Queen has joined us in Windsor.  We haven’t actually seen her (the castle has been closed) but we have a panoramic view of the castle, and can see the Royal Standard flying proudly in the breeze.  I can’t work out why, but knowing the Queen is nearby is somehow comforting.

We’ve made a list of everything in the freezer and, even though it’s a small freezer, discovered some things we’d forgotten were there.  They must be so chuffed to receive official recognition at long last, even to the extent of being included on a list ready to be crossed out when they are devoured. Other gripping news is that I discovered green fly on our solitary rose plant out on the terrace.  We are up on the top floor, one of the highest places in central Windsor, there are no gardens anywhere near us, how can hundreds of greenfly know we have a rose?  We have snails too.  Do they spot our terrace from the street below and slither up the outside of the building?

I’m still struggling to cope with the digital version of the newspaper (I was going to say master the digital version of the newspaper but I realise mastery is a very long way off; struggling to cope is definitely nearer the mark) . Unlike scanning physical pages and, at a glance, seeing everything on offer, clicking on individual items means that I don’t  see what I don’t see. I know this to be true because my wife asks if I’ve read something particularly interesting which alerts me to the fact that I haven’t read it because I didn’t know it was there.  I shall persist.

My wife and I have ventured out for some brisk walks keeping well clear of other people.  This turns out to quite easy (avoiding people, not walking briskly!) because there aren’t many people out there.  We have a circuit that includes a section of the long walk in Great Windsor Park.  Even dog walkers seemed to have disappeared but perhaps pedestrians will increase once the schools have closed.  When I was at school (hundreds of years ago), the headmaster occasionally announced a ‘free half’ (in other words, we had the afternoon off)  and the elation that ran through the school was palpable.  I find it hard to imagine what the reaction would have been if he’d announced a ‘free term’ and no exams.

I very glad to hear that supermarkets are ‘drastically’ to cut product ranges  (notice I didn’t split the infinitive.  I only point this out because no one seems notice/care anymore).  I easily succumb to choice overload and having fewer choices will suit me fine.  I have never needed 60 types of sausages or 20 styles of pasta.  Apparently Morrison’s  are reducing their bakery lines from 17 to seven.  Seven?  I’ve  only ever needed one; wholemeal.  Come to think of it, since we recently acquired a bread maker, I don’t need any.

We watch the telly, rationing the amount of news we watch.  We watch Boris rashly promising we’ll ‘turn the tide’ on Covid-19 in 12 weeks and saying he’ll see his mum on Mothering Sunday.  I  have become a fan of the weather forecast.  Whatever the predictions the forecasters are so cheerful with no mention of the wicked virus. The advertisements on the commercial channels are similarly unaffected by the crisis. They are a glimpse of the way things were, say, a month, no, even a week, ago − far removed from contemporary reality.

You must admit this virus is damned cunning.  Fancy being able to infect some people in such a way that they have no symptoms and don’t know they are spreaders. Fiendish.

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