April 20th – Again managing to miss the rain, a morning spent in Leicester meant calling in for some shopping on the way home. Heading off the Walsall Road at Leomansley through the new estate on the southern fringe of Lichfield, I was struck, as I always am, by how close and claustrophobic this development is. Consisting of surprisingly large houses interspersed with flats and starter homes, the buildings are drab, square boxes with tiny gardens. Crammed shoulder to shoulder, the sunlight comes through here only in patches, and the sky is a long way up. Odd then, that in the middle, a brook that always flowed here was expanded into a kind of green lung, a ribbon of grass, small trees and water, meandering through the fake Georgian architectural hubris like an unwanted puddle of oil in an otherwise clinically clean factory floor. This place is soulless.