Diary of the Plague Year: Day 35 19 April 2020:

I can hardly believe we have been self-isolating for all this time. It has certainly worked though because the death-rate so far is a fraction of the UK’s. Leo & Co seem to be doing the right thing and he is himself has gone back to working as a doc for one day a week during the lock-down.

Had a leisurely breakfast, pottered. Flipped though some art books and, most unlikely,  in “The Triumph of American Painting” by Irving Sandler, found a cutting with a recipe for some rustic bread.

The cutting is from The Times (which I never buy) and is dated 24th March 2006. The recipe is for “very seedy bread” and sounds easy-peasy. It calls for sunflower seeds and, as I bought about a hundredweight in a moment of enthusiasm which are still sitting in the cupboard, it would be a good way of using those up.

I still have memories of the first time I bought a three-seed loaf from the bakery in Neal’s Yard all those years ago …. it was on a day out to London when I was on my art foundation course. Covent Garden was still extremely hip, way before it became a mecca for tourists, Neal’s Yard was the place to go and in front of me in the queue was a beautiful creature all dressed in black with Victorian button-up boots and long peacock blue hair (this was light years before hair-colouring became such a craze).

Paradoxically, for ever after the earthy, country taste of that bread was synonymous with the colour blue, quirky urban glamour and the possibility that life is full of the most unexpected and unlikely juxtapositions. And why not?

Just finished a Zoom chat with R in London. Speaking to friends on the front line is very sobering. London sounds quite frightening with idiots simply not observing the distancing rules which, if you are in one of the vulnerable groups, is too dangerous to risk. My friends are all staying at home as are the fam.  We agreed that when we emerge, blinking, from our sequestration the landscape is going to look very different.

Have another Zoom with the fam this afternoon so had better have some lunch and perhaps a fortifying glass of Bordeaux ….



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