This week… under lockdown (eight)

There are a number of questions going the rounds this week with a central theme. How keen are you to get out into crowded spaces again?

With lockdown cautiously easing around the world, including here in the UK, it seems that emerging from isolation isn’t quite so simple. Are you undaunted by the thought of crowded airport departure lounges? Will you be rushing to see the latest film at your local multiplex cinema as soon as we’re able? I realise this week that re-entry is an entirely personal matter.

Going on an adventure

A short break in the UK feels entirely comfortable as a first step in venturing out into the world again, as soon as we’re able.

Learn to surf in Cornwall.

Relaxing around a pool is not something I crave at the moment. After weeks of reduced activity, despite my best efforts to exercise at home over the past eight weeks, I’m longing for an outdoor adventure. And I need to give my mind a good work out. I’m naturally curious and like learning new things.

Aerial shot in the morning light of an island located in a fjord/firth in the west highlands of Scotland.

Learning a new skill, in a small group, sounds just the thing. I write a piece for Travel Begins At 40 and I begin to fantasize about learning to surf. I’ve always been fascinated by beekeeping too and a break in Wales learning with beekeeper, Gwenyn Gruffydd, appeals.

In my inbox

Buck House closed for summer

I receive an email confirming what I had already suspected, that the Summer Opening at Buckingham Palace will not go ahead next month. I’ve been a few times now and look forward to the annual exhibition. Last year’s Queen Victoria’s Palace was excellent and I learnt a lot about how the young queen resdesigned the palace to accommodate her growing family. I always enjoy exploring other people’s houses and The Royal Collection is stunning so it’s a win win afternoon out.

It’s always a pleasure too, to take afternoon tea and a stroll through the Queen’s beautiful gardens tucked away in the bustling centre of London. The gardens extend for 42 acres. As I exit, via a discreet wooden door in the wall, I feel like I’m stepping out from Dr Who’s Tardis into the busy city streets.

Hay Digital 2020

Literary Festivals in the UK have grown enormously over the years. Hay Festival is one of the biggest and the best known. It draws stellar names and this year Hay Digital 2020 means you can register for a virtual seat for free. It starts tomorrow 18 May. Browse the programme online, register and receive an email confirmation, and a reminder so you don’t forget! You will also be able to ask questions of the speakers as you would at the real event, and chat to other festival-goers too. #imaginetheworld

Hilary Mantel talks to Peter Florence Saturday 30 May.
A Journey Through a Year of Shakespeare (Or What You Will). Allie Esiri, Helena Bonham Carter and Dominic West

Glyndebourne Open House

The Marriage of Figaro © Glyndebourne Productions Ltd. Photo Alastair Muir.

Next week sees the start of Glyndebourne. They email me to say that the annual music festival is going online for 2020. Festival-goers can drop in at 5pm every Sunday to enjoy (free) world-class performances on You Tube. Glynebourne Open House begins with The Marriage of Figaro (24 May). Don Giovanni (31 May) and Così fan tutte (7 June) will also be available to watch on Classic FM’s Facebook page. You might want to dress up in your gladrags and pop a bottle of fizz at home to get into the Glyndebourne spirit!

Let me know what you plan to do, in the comments or on Instagram or Twitter, once we can all get out into the world again. Have a great week and stay safe and well.

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