Even when it rains, I look forward to the most routine of expeditions. Today for example the paper boy failed to deliver the paper. I saw him cycle forgetfully by. Why do I miss the paper? Not because I need to read the news. I already know what's going on, courtesy of the BBC Radio 4 or the BBC website. And I can guess at most of the opinions of which in the paper is full. I need the paper because I have got used to one of three sudoku which it contains. My day is not complete until I have tackled it. So, and this is the point, ungrumblingly, I set out across The Grove in the rain to pick up the paper from the newsagent. And I enjoy every moment of the walk. Familiar though it is, there is always something to look out for, which is one of the benefits of writing a blog like this one. As I walk through the drizzle I notice the birds are unusually active. A cat is perhaps on the prowl. The crows are calling. One sits on a TV aerial. Another chases a pigeon in a far from good natured way. On the way back I look up at a starling on a branch and I notice the hints of purple and green on its feathers - a sign of summer on its way.
When I was at school, with very few exceptions, the teachers seemed to make subjects like chemistry as boring a possible. Or perhaps the fault was mine. Either way how much I missed! I have since caught up in a general fashion with physics and chemistry to which I find totally fascinating. Today I watch on BBC Iplayer Prof Jim Al Kahili describing how the elements were discovered. He takes us through their history, with all the false starts. From the earth, fire, air and water beliefs of the ancient Greeks, to the discoveries of Henry Cavendish, Joseph Priestley, Antoine Lavoisier and Humphrey Davey. Next week, the Periodic Table. I can't wait.