Barnet Libraries have extended the time you can borrow books and CDs to six weeks and you can now borrow 20 items. They have also removed all fines. DVDs will continue to be loaned for one week at the usual charge of £1.60. Any fines due on DVDs from this time will be waived when they are returned. Waterstones staff are also great for recommendations and you can order from their website if you're housebound.

As well as all our local parks and open spaces (for some exercise keeping your distance), we can also access all National Trust parks and gardens for free during this social distancing period. This doesn’t include the buildings (and cafés will be closed), but offers a welcome change of scene and the chance to explore new places.

On the High Street, please note that Iceland is open on Wednesday mornings from 8 to 10am exclusively for the elderly and in Sainsburys it’s for the first hour of trading on Thursdays. Chemists are only allowing in three people at a time (Sadly there are temporary closures like Julian’s Hardware (as Julian is self-isolating), Joie de Vie, but do check with local restaurants about takeaways (Odos are offering them and so will plenty of others). The Old Courthouse Café is open for al fresco drinks and food and are putting up a marquee.

Big news on the food front is that over the past week we’ve had a couple of absolutely first-rate takeaways from new Japanese restaurant Yokoso Japan (next to The Mitre). See our review here.

The owners of The Wilds café are rallying with cooked meals and basics for the vulnerable (please contact them to nominate suitable residents of New Barnet and East Barnet and donations can be made by following this link to JustGiving). Carluccio’s and Pret à Manger (now take-away only) have announced that they will be offering 50 percent discount and free hot drinks for NHS workers.

It’s vital that we support local businesses as much as we can. Something well worth considering is giving your local favourites a pre-payment for future business to help them through these quiet few weeks. They just need to have a note book for logging details.

In the midst of all this is Mother’s Day on Sunday. The Flower Bank and Floral and Hardy have some gorgeous things and The Present is brimful of cards and gifts and are currently handling things and is offering local deliveries.

Hoping you are all keeping well.