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Someone said to me yesterday: ‘I haven’t seen a blog for a while’. I had been thinking the same thing myself, the internal conversation renewed each week or two: ‘I must get down to a blogpost’. I never know how long it will take for the seed of a new piece to flit into my mind and take root. Sometimes, it feels as if it will never happen again. In the past it was easy – I just had to write about what was in front of me, on a walk, in a cafe, pottering in the garden, going on...

I’m trying to work out how I feel about the lockdown easing.  Uneasy.  Funny word, easing. They use it in the rag trade; easing in sleeves so they sit smoothly in the armhole and there’s no unsightly puckering. Or driving; easing out of a parking space or the inside lane to merge into a gap in the traffic. It can all be effortless and safe. The word itself slips easily off the vocal chords, vibrated from the throat to arrive gently at the lips and be uttered with cheeks slightly squeezed almost into a smile, which seems appropriate. Try it. You’ll see...

The new neighbours came for socially distanced tea in the garden on Sunday. We’ve been getting to know them through the hedge at the back or on the front doorstep these last few months since they moved in just before lockdown started. The children, a girl and a boy aged 6 and 4, are friendly, full of chatter and curiosity. They respond to any gesture of ours to welcome them, share our knowledge of the local area, lend them garden tools or give them cuttings from our flowerbeds, with exuberant drawings – or the occasional scrawl. On Sunday, the 6-year-old...

I rarely write a blogpost about politics, at least not in a direct or explicit way. It seems best to leave that to others. Let them scrawl in huge letters across the papers or shout from the airwaves on news bulletins, chat shows or phone-ins. I avoid phone-ins and hear them only in a passive way when my husband has his radio on louder than usual or has forgotten to close the door of the room at the top of the house where he spends his days satisfying his two addictions, painting and current affairs radio. How he keeps his...