Wake this morning thinking affectionately of the spring in the grounds of Jervaulx Abbey which bubbles up below a stone sill installed by the monks before scampering away underground somewhere as it has done for I suppose a thousand years.

I’m cheered by this as I am, even if only in recollection, by the spring at the top of the Raikes near Wilsill in Nidderdale which I first saw aged six in 1940.

Adult chat in lady in mob no-89

None of this I minded, but blue was not a good colour; it was too cold and for a while I thought I had ruined the room and would have to paper it, which was the last thing I wanted.

Then, as an experiment I tried some yellow stain on a small patch and this turned the wall a vibrant green, too strong I’m sure for many people but for me ideal, so that’s how I did the whole room.

On parade (on King’s Parade in fact) just after ten, where the calming presence of Richard Lloyd Morgan, the chaplain of King’s, waits to shepherd me to the Senior Common Room.

It’s already crowded with dons, some, since it’s the university sermon, presumably heads of houses.[*] I manage to avoid a chat by settling into a corner to con my already much conned text, though I’m still not sure that what I’ve written is what’s expected or whether it’s too long or even if I can make myself heard.

In 1969, having stripped the walls down to the plaster I stained the sitting room blue, using a polyurethane stain.

The plaster was the original lime plaster put on when the house was built in 1840.

I never quite understand why they are happy to sit on a panel with the likes of Farage, Boris Johnson, Jeremy Clarkson et al.

Their reasoning would, I imagine, be that this gives them the opportunity to have fun at the expense of Farage and Co. But the impression an audience comes away with is that actually nothing much matters and that these seemingly jokey demagogues are human and harmless and that their opinions are not really as pernicious as their opponents pretend.

On my walk I pass the Primrose Hill Community Library, which is closed to borrowers today but open for children, who throng the junior library, some of them sitting with an adult presumably learning to read, others in groups being told stories and at every table children reading on their own.