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Yesterday I picked some elegant yellow tulips from the plot, at home I put them in a green vase. Today they are open showing their faces, so different. Wide and expansive, black centres pointing like small explosions.

Yellow seems a happy colour, of sunshine and warm spring days. But what comes into my head is a song I learned at girl guide camp all those years ago about being sick: ‘Green and Yeller’. Is this the pandemic influence on my mind? The colours of jealousy and disease. People are reading plague diaries again. This is my plot diary, my daily writing. On a walk with Refugee Tales last year, I picked up and saved an oak gall to make ink. In the paper today, the country diarist describes how he has pounded his jar of galls to a powder, mixed in gum arabic and some iron to produce blue black ink, a permanent ink, he says that Leonardo would have used to sketch.