If you follow me on Twitter, you will know that I have developed a bit of a thing for Regent’s Park. The glorious open spaces and the sheer peace of the place have been a welcome respite from the physical and psychological realities of lockdown. My daily visits have become a highlight, because — and yes, I am going to deploy the obvious metaphor — these past few months have been anything but a walk in the park. Obviously it’s all relative, and I count myself as one of the lucky ones given that I and my loved ones have remained healthy and safe, but still… I, like everyone, am very cheered by the prospect of getting back to some version of ‘normal’.

It does finally feel like we are heading that way. The mood certainly has become a little more optimistic. I have begun to receive tentative enquiries — might my study door be reopening in the foreseeable future? Yes, I do think this is now a realistic possibility. This feels like an appropriate moment, therefore, to put on record my thanks to those very special people whose support has seen me through to this point. You know who you are, and I hope you already know how grateful I am. Nonetheless… To everyone who has recognised (and in some cases, shared) the challenges of enforced solitude and called, or sent messages — thank you so, so much. I’ve appreciated every single well-chosen word, card and gift. As for the people who have made financial contributions, and the others who have offered to do so, it’s hard to find the words to express how profoundly moved I have been by your kindness. Thank you all.

To those who are asking about reopening, it’s simply too soon to be certain about when that will happen. My sense is that it is likely to be sometime in early July, but let’s see. I certainly will make an announcement when the time comes. Meanwhile, I am keeping a priority list for those who are keen to be at the front of the queue. If you would like to be added to that list, email me at strictlymissbrown@hotmail.com and I will contact you in due course.

Anyway, back to my lovely park. I am planning to make the most of our returning freedoms and spend more time there (and less in front of my computer) in the coming weeks. I am keen to relax and rejuvenate ahead of reopening, so I will be taking a break from Twitter, and whilst I will still very much welcome emails, please bear with me if I take a little longer than usual to respond. For now, no news from me is good news!

I am very much looking forward to seeing you all in the (not too distant) future. Stay safe.

Miss Brown