Polly has spent much of the last week on a narrowboat, puttering gently around Northamptonshire with friends – some of very long standing, and some new. It’s such a pity she has the artistic abilities of a paving slab: Isobel would have spent the time constructively, painting and drawing and coming up with new ideas. (Although with two new designs out this year, one of them water based, perhaps even should would have taken a break.) The canal-side blossom was glorious and the weather, though variable, was generally kind. Much was discussed, little of it of any use or import, and a great deal of laughing was done. Nobody drowned, or fought, and we negotiated the locks with increasing confidence – sometimes a break is just exactly what you need.