The Studio has been a daily sanctuary this past week or so, tucked away in its solitude with pens and pencils just a Songthrush opera drifting through the window. With the end of the day comes gentle light, lengthening evening time as March stretches towards April and we stretch our muscles as the lowering sun calls us westwards. Westwards along the lane passed the allotments gardens, small patches of determined cultivation eked out between field and lane and woods, long strips of cultivation dating back more than 100 years, marked out on old maps as a long row of pencil lengths stretching half a mile or so from beyond the original railway workers cottages, a small slice of history marking the determined slog of generations of gardeners, caretakers of the soil. Looking through, across the hedge, beside the shed, the earth is tilled, seeds take root so families can be wholesome fed. This atmosphere of normality gives us seeds of hope, helps us forget the empty pavements and near deserted streets, the hyphenated queue outside each shop from which you return in a state of strange delight at the purchase of some previously unwanted prize, something normally overlooked, left unloved upon the shelf, passed by. As the sun dips lower and the last of the allotment plots become quiet and still there is time to stand and stare across the golden reflective mirrored pond, time to savour a moment of pure joy at the unexpected, the last of the fractured sunlight illuminating a flash of orange, a glimpse of blue, as the speeding dart of a kingfisher across our vision quickly flew. Brave little solitary bird, no worries over social distancing for him.