Some of the positive outcomes of these difficult times have been the little kindnesses shown, the friendships forged and the communities built.
I'm sure we all have examples of moments, gifts or gestures which have stirred our emotions and built our sense of hope and good will.
In my street, when one of us has been baking, we've offered each other portions of pudding or slices of cake. We've shared shopping deliveries, and I've been treated to surprise drops of flour, eggs (and chocolate) on my doorstep. There have also been book deliveries, of course, and book swaps - I know of one street nearby where they have a box at the end of a drive for leaving or picking up your next read.
We've all found, I'm sure, different ways in which we can make someone's day a bit better, and have been moved and delighted when we've been on the receiving end, reassured that we've been in somebody's thoughts.
So I'd like to say a huge thank you to the people who've been in touch with me lately about this newsletter.
When my original purpose of writing was clearly redundant, with all the author visits I'd organised having to be cancelled, I was reluctant to drop all contact but didn't want to be an intrusion!
I've been thrilled, then, to learn from many of you that my messages and recommendations have proved helpful. It's certainly been a good discipline for me each week, and getting such positive feedback proved a great comfort when life had changed so radically. Thank you!
For the time being, though, we are all having to make do with Zoom for our author talks and discussions.
Take a look at the Virtual Primadonna festival here. Originally planned to take place in a field in Pettaugh, Suffolk next weekend, now you can hear from authors such as Kit de Waal, Stella Duffy, Dorothy Koomson, and many more, via your screen of choice, and it's free.
And tomorrow evening I hope you'll join me for this month's book group discussion. We'll be talking about Benjamin Myer's 'The Offing' from 8pm, with general chat from 7.45pm. Please reply to this email so that I can send you the log in details.
I'm afraid I'll have to continue with the Zoom book group for the foreseeable future. If you are in or near Woodbridge, do continue to buy your copy from Browsers Bookshop. But I am on the look out for other options as I know many people find Zoom quite challenging, so please keep reading!