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“How else should I think, they don’t even consider me human.”

The Refugees Journey.

My name is Farid, I was an anaesthetist at the Damascus hospital, it was a job I loved and proud to be.

That all changed though one night, my world stopped and it still hasn’t started. I was lay in bed trying to sleep, we lost a patient on the table and it was hard on the whole team. I just lay there wondering what more we could have done. Then it hit, there was no noise immediately but then everything collapsed around me, followed by the noise of the explosion, I tried to get up but I had to get the rubble off me, I couldn’t see because of the dust and my ears were ringing. I felt blood coming out of my left ear, the pain told me my eardrum had burst.

Then the panic set in, my family Bushra my wife was next to me, my heart broke into as many pieces as the apartment, my beautiful wife of 15 years was lying there, eyes open, not moving. I reached across to find a pulse but knowing I wouldn’t, I sat there for what felt like an eternity holding her and screaming but I could not hear my screams. I had to lay her back down to look for my children, I went to my sons Mahdi’s room but there was no room only a hole where it once was, I could not find him and desperately turned to my daughter Atifa’s room, it was a scene of desolation but her cot was still there, she looked out from the side, silent and afraid, less than 12 months old and she experienced this. I picked her up and held her close but she made no sound, no attempt to hold me back, I had to get us out of there before anything else happened. We went outside and we walked into what was now a war zone, my beautiful city Damascus pummelled into the ground in the matter of hours. I grabbed an emergency worker and told him of my wife and son, they told me that right now they are only concerned with the living.

Day 4: We are in a camp, it is packed out with people and we are in a rudimentary shelter of canvas. My daughter is still unresponsive, I have tried to get medical assistance but there is none, I make sure she has water and food when it’s available. It can get cold of a night, I wrap her up as well as I can and hold her so we both can keep warm. We are going to die here, many already have, we have nothing, what we had lays in the ruins along with the bodies of my family. I cannot make contact with anyone I once knew, I have no idea if my brothers or mother have survived. My sister is safe, she is a doctor in the UK and has been there for many years.

Day 8:
Still nothing changes here, many are now with disease and are dying, we shall die too should we remain. I spoke to the others, they tell me the whole of Syria lies in ruin and many millions are now dead, the country has been lain to waste, there is nothing left for anyone apart from disease and starvation. They are heading out tomorrow to try and get safe haven in Europe, they will make their way to Turkey and then through Greece but their only means of transport is to walk. The distance to Turkey alone is around 800km and will take us over a week but what choice do I have, stay here and die with my daughter or try to get to sanctuary and possibly die on the way.

Day 17:
We reached the boarder of Turkey yesterday, myself and my daughter have not eaten for three days and our water ran out over a day ago. Nobody in the convoy had any apart from an old lady who gave us a few dried crackers she had but they were impossible to eat without water. They have us under arrest at the boarder but they are giving us food and water. A few people from some organisation have been around and given us more clothing, I can at least get my daughter a little warmer now. She is still unresponsive but they had a doctor come see me, he thought it was down to the shock and she should eventually come around but if not I would need to get further medical assistance. Given my current situation that wasn’t going to happen any times soon. A man from the organisation had found some nappies for me, I removed the rags that was once my shirt from Atifa and put her in a clean nappy, she was red raw with a rash but what could I do?

Day 26:
I don’t know how long we have been walking for, the days are blurring into one. We managed to escape the compound in Turkey or they just let us go I’m not sure of which. We have to just keep moving, finding food and water where we can, they say we have to just keep moving, sleeping under any cover we can find along the way. My daughter has started to respond, she reaches out for food and water and I give her what I have, sometimes I give her nothing because that’s all I have.

Day: Unknown.
The hours become days, the days become weeks and the weeks feel like an eternity now. Where once we were 70 plus strong there is less than a dozen left. Some just disappeared, some just walked off some just didn’t wake the following day. We have seen the worse in humanity, cursing at us, some driving at us and we are run from the road, the names they call us saddens my heart, they do not know me, they do not know of the life I once had. They treat my daughter the same way yet she is innocent but they do not care. We also saw the best of humanity, the farmer that let us sleep in his barn and the next day fed us all before we left. The drivers that drove us for parts of our journey to save our feet getting worse than they already were, the angels who tended to us, gave us medicine to keep us strong, food and water so we didn’t perish on the route.

They came to us one day offering passage to Calais now only a few hundred miles away but the money they wanted was more than I carried, over 6 months wages from home. I had little money but I hoped it would pay for the last leg of my journey were I simply could not walk. I had to refuse and take my journey on foot again but I left as soon as I could, I feared for our lives from these men.

We moved on, I carried Atifa either in my arms or on my shoulders, even though she was small the weight became unbearable at times. We did it though, we reached the last camp in France, there were tents upon tents but it was filthy, rats scurried around and their was a stench in the air, I knew this stench though, I carried the same smell of the forgotten and the abandoned. She approached me, a woman aged before her years, she asked me from were I came and I told her Damascus, she came from Aleppo or what was left of it, she was all that remained of her family, she lost everyone and everything, they had a bakery in the family for over 50 years, gone in one night witH one bomb, only she got out of the ruins, 12 members of her family perished that night. I gave her a hug, it was all I had that I could give away.

“You need to leave right now” I was shocked and looked at as to why I should go. The baby, if the authorities find her here they will take her from you. I started to panic, what could I do? She asked if I was planning to get across the channel and I told her of my sister who lived and worked in the UK. Could I pay she asked, I told her I had some money, she guided me into her tent and told me to wait, was I being foolish? I had told this stranger I had money, what if she had gone to get some men to rob me.

I was at the point of panicking and running when she returned, with her was a man, medium build but a scowl on his face, once again I was afraid. She told me he can get me over the channel today but at a price. I went to introduce myself and he said no names, then asked how much I had. I told him what I had in Syrian pounds and he snorted and told me my money was near worthless now but it might just get me across the water, I told him about Atifa my daughter and he just said no, not enough money for two. I took in a deep breath and picked my daughter up to make my way. He told me to wait and walked away speaking on his phone. A few minutes later he returned, said they could take the both of us but my daughter would have to stay on my lap for all of the journey so we only take up the room of one. I agreed, I had no choice, he put his hand out for the money, again I started to panic, what if he just went and I never saw him again. I told him I would pay when we were on the boat, “no pay, no boat” he said and turned to walk away. I had no choice, I was at the mercy of stranger, what else could I do but give him the money. He told me to wait here, he would be back in a little while.

Time passed like an eternity, all the while I’m thinking I have made a mess of any future we might have had. There was nothing more I could do. A van arrived at the camp and he jumped out of the passenger seat, “come” was all he said and I climbed into the van with Atifa. Inside there were other people, we all looked and smelled alike, unkempt and desperate. We travelled for a hour or so and we came to a stop and told to get out. We were on a beach and in front of us was a small rubber dingy in poor condition, way too small for the amount of people they are going to put on it.

They told us to hurry and get in the boat and put on the life jackets, as I grabbed one there was none for my daughter and I asked where it was. We don’t have one that small, put her inside yours, that couldn’t work, I put it on but left it untied in case anything happened. We had been in the boat for a while when someone remarked about the water getting in, they spoke to the driver and he just shrugged. A little while later and the passengers are trying to bail the water out, the driver said not to worry he was making good ground. I wasn’t happy and took my life jacket off and put it around Atifa and tried to tie it as best I could.

I kissed my daughter and told her everything would be alright when the world spun. Suddenly I was in the water and trying to get back to the surface, I had taken in water and my lungs were burning. As I breeched the surface it was horrific, people shouting and screaming, the boat upside down with a tear right along the bottom. I looked around and a few people hadn’t made it then I remembered Atifa and I began to splash around screaming her name, I saw the life jacket first and swam over to it but it was empty, she was too small but please, please, please say she is alright. Then I saw her and I couldn’t get my breath, she was floating in the water, not moving, face down. I ushered all my might to get to her, pulled her to me and turned her over but as soon as I did I knew my little Atifa was gone, the sea had taken her after all she had been through this was the one thing that took her from me.

I screamed and held her close, I’m not sure how long I screamed for or how long I was in the water, I wondered if I should simply let the water take me too, I had nothing left.

I felt the hands on my shoulders as they hauled me out of the water, they got me on board a ship and someone came to speak with me, he said he wanted to take my daughter to care for her, I said no and held her tighter. He leans forward and felt for her pulse but we both new he wouldn’t find one. He was British, it took me a few minutes to fathom out his language, he asked if there was anything they could do, I just shook my head and said no. He placed his hand on my shoulder and looked at me. He pulled me forward and gave me a hug, he said nothing just held me close and I cried, I could not stop the tears from falling, I cried for the loss of my family and friends at the hands of an enemy we did not see, I cried for the destruction of my city and my country, I cried for the many miles we had travelled and the scorn we had met because we had become homeless at someone else’s hands. I cried long and hard.

A few weeks later and I’m sat at my sisters table, she had managed to track me down and bring me home, my daughter now buried in a foreign land and I’m struggling to come to terms with anything.

“Are you OK?” she asks.
“No, I have lost more than anyone would believe, I’m not even 38 and my whole world, my life has been ripped to shreds, I have no one left apart from yourself yet even now they call me a fucking immigrant, tell me to go back to a country that no longer exists because their government sold the arms that killed my fellow man. I’ve applied for a position in a hospital that I’m confident of getting but I’m still not worthy of being here. I heard some of the British said we should have drowned in the channel. Well my daughter did and I sit here wondering would it have been better if I had too.”

“Don’t think that way”

“How else should I think, they don’t even consider me human.”

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If I say I’m really tired, that would be an understatement 😜😜

So tonight I shall keep it short.

I’ve spent way too much time reading articles on Facebook and trying to keep up with developments and news, but my brain hurts. It’s all just going round and round, and at every turn the bloody government hack things up. PPE from Turkey- fail. Tracing app – fail. Care homes – fail. And the number of deaths keep going up.

I feel quite sad that we’re unable to celebrate VE Day tomorrow, but I dug around my client’s cupboards and found a flag that I shall hang out the window tomorrow. I saw a few out on other houses

So the current full moon is known as a flower moon and is the last supermoon for 2020. I took a walk up to the mound this evening in the hope of seeing the moon as I did last night but it was nowhere to be seen 😔😔🌕 Instead I got to see a spectacular sunset…bonus.

Late update 😀😀 I was already in bed and noticed how bright it was outside, so gown and slippers on and quietly down the stairs and outdoors to see the moon!! 👏👏🌚🌚 obviously not brilliant photos, but I’m happy I saw it

Apparently my grandson has started counting, but he’s decided that 1-7 are worthy of no more than a giggle, and goes straight 8, 9, 10 🥰🥰🥰👏👏

We had our weekly clap for carers again tonight and it was lovely to see everyone out. I was going to use my client’s bell, its huge and makes a noise, but I chickened out 🤣🤣🤣🐓🐓🐓

I did however go pit for a walk this afternoon but spent so much time on the phone with the agency trying to sort out my next job that I ran out of time to go far. I did see the lovely rainbow in the header photo though…🌈🌈🌈

Take care all…..catch you tomorrow

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Don’t miss this!! https://www.meteorwatch.org/iss-international-space-station-times-uk-may-2020/

So enjoyed watching Sir Keir Starmer at PMQs today. Wonderful to listen to calm, reasoned questions with no bluster or sulky undertones. I did enjoy his question on the statistics….he prempted Johnson’s reply and had his rebuttal ready 👏👏👏 in the form of a hard copy of the government’s own figures. Hah!!

I watched the BBC1 Michael Ball tribute to Capt. Tom Moore and cried all the way through. I think that, above all else, has defined the true spirit of people, and how one person can become the hope of a nation…he will go down in history as the little light in the darkness of this time 🕯

It was a fantastic day in Somerset, so I took myself out for a walk, followed my favourite route and along the way I stopped off at the corner of quiet contemplation…..at that point we had a grandparents facetime with the boo. He was meant to be eating his lunch…but that went by the wayside with all the attention 🥰 . I am so grateful to my daughter for these calls, they have kept me sane.

My corner of quiet contemplation

afterwards I walked around the mound, first the ramparts, then the moat, then I climbed to the top of the mound for a stunning view of the countryside. I will miss this very much.

Another 3.5km to add to my Hadrian’s Wall challenge 👏👏😄

The best news today was that Richard Branson’s begging bowl was not filled with money from the public purse – money that is needed for the public. However, my sympathies go to the 3,000 staff he is now effectively kicking out of his company. Let’s bear in mind that these same people have enabled him to continue to live on his private island, in the luxury to which he is ‘entitled’, but of course it’s not convenient for him to now support those same people, despite him falling into the category of ‘billionaire’. He has argued that the billions aren’t lying around in a slush fund, but rather tied up in paper shares….and of course there’s no opportunity in these difficult and trying times to convert some of those into cash in order to support his staff. He offered to put his island up as as collateral for the required loan from the government, so why not do that in order to support his ‘valued’ staff. I used to admire RB, but when a billionaire puts his hands out for a loan from the public purse, is when my respect goes down that stinky drain. I have 2 of his books in storage….when its suitable, I shall have a bonfire…they’ll make good kindling.

And so to bed perchance to dream….

Before locking up tonight I stepped out into the courtyard and saw the moon 🌕 so beautiful

Nearly a full moon

Take care folks….

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I really really need to finish working soon…..I woke up this morning straight into a full-blown panic attack. Scary. I struggled to breathe and my heart felt like it was going to jump out my chest. I’m not sure why!! Is it because I’m beginning to feel really closed in (despite being able to get out for walks), or is it my underlying stress of travelling next week? I don’t know. Or is it because the true reality that life post-lockdown is never ever going to be the same again, is starting to sink in.

Frankly, I’m really glad the planet is getting a chance to recover, that pollution levels are down, and the skies, rivers and seas are benefiting from less traffic, and animals are enjoying the freedom of less humans. But it’s the underlying fear of being in contact with ‘other’ people who may or may not have been exposed to the virus, the fear of inadvertently coming into contact with a smidgen of the virus left by someone else on a bus rail, supermarket trolley, underground escalators and so on. My grandson, although he doesn’t know it yet, is going to grow up in a world where hugging and playing with his school mates is going to be fraught with anxiety, a world where he will be wearing a mask….the most sinister aspect of this whole scenario (besides the virus itself), the worry of hugging my daughter and son-in-law when I visit – the inherent possibility of inadvertently passing the virus on, of entering someone else’s house….are they as hygienic as what I am? Do we still hug family when we see them again? Do we allow anyone to kiss us…even on the cheek? Being tactile could be the death of them or me!! Fortunately I’m not a very sociable person anyway and seldom go to places of high-density gatherings anymore, but there are still times when BC-19 we could just freely and easily mingle….especially the many wonderful London events I used to attend. Will all the amazing historical events go by the board? The annual traditional events around the country? Will I ever get on a plane again? All of these thoughts jumble around in my head…day after day. I leave here next week. I know I’ve been absolutely militant about keeping the house as uncontaminated as I possibly can (even upsetting the district nurses as I’ve said before), but I’ve got to work again…a new client, at new premises….has that environment been kept sterile? And then there’s the fortnightly travel from ‘home’ to work. I feel like just decamping to a remote island 😜😜😜

The fact that the UK’s death toll is now the highest in Europe doesn’t help either. And I’m not even sure we can trust that the government is giving us the full picture. They did a sneaky job of not reporting the care home deaths in the first few weeks, leading us to believe its less than it was….I’d rather it was less, much less, but to under report the true situation is just dishonest.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/uk-coronavirus-death-toll-highest-europe-cases-covid-19-italy-spain-a9499181.html?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook#Echobox=1588669521

After all the misinformation and inconsistencies he has made so far in relation to the true number of deaths (under-reported) and the correct number of tests done by 30th April (over-stated), I for one will treat this statement with the suspicion it deserves: “Health Secretary Matt Hancock said there is “high privacy” in the coronavirus contact-tracing app.” So no go app… https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/breaking-uk-now-highest-coronavirus-21975258

I won’t be downloading it. I simply do not trust anything they say, anymore.

Anyway……

I didn’t go out today, decided to have a sleep instead….either read or sleep in times of trouble 😜😜 and afterwards I had a marvellous facetime call with my little family again….my grandson, albeit only 15 months old, is very astute. Normally either my daughter or son-in-law will give me a call and the boo will be with them or running around….but today Mummy was in the bath when she called and added Daddy and the boo to the call….he found it absolutely hilarious that he could see her in the bath and on the phone…..he immediately picked up the absurdity of the situation and went into gales of laughter. At one stage he closed the door between himself and the bathroom as if to say “I’m not getting involved in this silliness “. He’s such a divine child. We laughed so much at his reaction.

I’ve been watching the BBC1 programme ‘Life and Birth’ 🥰🥰🥰 its so extraordinary watching those babies being born, I cry each and every time. It truly is a miracle. Each time I see that little life come into the world, I’m reminded of the extraordinary day my grandson was born….being there to watch him make his way into the world, was an experience beyond all others. Truly we are blessed.

And that’s it really…a relatively quiet day…..cooking, cleaning, preparing cups of coffee and….et al. I love routine, but its beginning to wear on me now….5.5 days…

As a matter of interest, if you have the time, I’d be interested to know whether or not you would download this new app they’re talking about?

Take care folks and be safe.

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Never in my wildest imagination did I think that when I started blogging my Lockdown mullings and meanderings, that 6 WEEKS later we’d still be in lockdown! And as yet no definitive date for easing.

My ‘work’ lockdown ends next Monday and once again, despite looking soooo very much forward to my family, I’m approaching the date with trepidation. 🤔🤔🤔😣😣

I finished 2 projects today 👏👏👏 1 small and 1 large.

I walked all the streets, roads and closes on the west side of the village during my break today- hoorah

Which brings me up to 24% of my Hadrian’s Wall challenge completed.

Anddd finally after 38 hours of knitting, spread over 16 months 😜😜, I finished the baby blanket my daughter ordered in 2018…..its been a huge undertaking and I didn’t realise just how much time it would take. I could have finished it months ago, but as it got bigger, so it got more and more heavy and my hands would ache after a few rows. The pattern rows took 8 minutes to knit from one end to the other, and the plain rows 5 minutes. But now its done and I’m so proud of it. It looks amazing… different perhaps to what was expected, but I added my own little twist by using up the oddments of wool I had left over from all the little cardigans I so lovingly knitted for my grandson’s layette. I’m not sure that people who don’t knit can really appreciate just how much goes into a hand-knitted item. It was a labour of love. I’ll post a photo of the full blanket once my daughter has seen it.

Knitted with so much love

And talking of birth and babies….I just love love this story 👏👏👏 https://www.channel4.com/news/wild-stork-chicks-to-hatch-in-uk-for-first-time-in-over-600-years

I chatted to my sister and brother-in-law in Cape Town this afternoon. He’s making steady and good progress recovering from the heart-attack he had last month. Although considered a mild attack, its still knocked them for six and they are both in recovery….

I told my client today that I would be leaving next Monday and she’s quite upset. Bless her, she thought I’d be here till after lockdown is lifted…and at least 5 or 6 times today she’s asked me “what day is it you’re leaving?” and when I remind her, she says the same thing “that’s awful, I’m really sorry you’re leaving I’ve really enjoyed having you here. ” Its really interesting, but she has absolutely no recollection of the first 5 days….I’m still traumatized 😜😜😜 But I’m glad its all worked out well in the end. I try to never leave on a bad note, although that does sometimes happen…mostly cause I don’t tolerate abuse….regardless of the situation, and sometimes it isn’t even the client but the family who are the nightmare. Thankfully not in this instance.

I’ll miss village and the quiet easy days in the countryside, although I suspect that once lockdown is lifted, its not going to be quite as ‘sleepy’ as it has been the last 6 weeks. Already there’s been an increase in traffic and the nights are not as quiet as before. The neighbours have been lovely too, and today one of the ladies dropped off some lovely cupcakes

But on the upside, I’ll be seeing my family, and that overrides everything else 🥰🥰🥰

I saw some beautiful flowers on my walk again today and got to wondering which flower has the smallest petal …..I did some research and found this “The world’s smallest flowering plant, the Wolffia Globosa, has come in to bloom at the Tsukuba botanical garden in Japan. The plant, more commonly known as Asian watermeal, is so small that to the naked eye it is impossible to tell if it has flowered” – not quite the smallest petal, but the blooms weigh the same as 2 grains of salt. Wowww

One thing I am looking forward to as well is breakfast at our favourite cafe; Beaches in Broadstairs….

Meanwhile: Couldn’t agree more!!! Support small local businesses. I refuse to support Amazon as a matter of principle, but I’m going to double my efforts to support local businesses going forward

I’ve been following some really interesting articles about Covid-19 and our not so esteemed government. Hmmm. The fan is beginning to spin and the spin is not working too well…

“The countries that moved fast have curtailed the epidemic. The countries that delayed have not. It’s as simple as that.”

Dr Richard Horton, editor in chief of The Lancet medical journal, is even more damning: “The handling of the COVID-19 crisis in the UK is the most serious science policy failure in a generation.” https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/biggest-failure-in-a-generation-where-did-britain-go-wrong-20200428-p54o2d.html

“In the past 24 hours, ministers said just under 76,500 tests were carried out, a drop of more than a third on the 122,000 tests carried out on 30 April.” – let us consider that Hancock didn’t promise to continue with 100,000 tests a day AFTER 30th April….especially consider that they bumped up the number of tests done, with tests sent out but not yet confirmed…a typical ‘pull the wool over your eyes’ strategy…a one trick pony. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-52522936

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/04/rival-sage-group-covid-19-policy-clarified-david-king?CMP=share_btn_fb

https://www.politicshome.com/news/article/coronavirus-government-complains-to-bbc-boss-over-panorama-show-about-ppe

In closing…. point #1 especially

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Okay so perhaps the term should be changed from lockdown to lockup…

Okayyyyyy. Time to call the men in white coats. 1 slice toast….half marmite, half marmalade. So eating the first half…expecting marmalade, but kept thinking hmmm it tastes so much like marmite? Had a closer look…seems I smothered the marmite half with marmalade 🤪🤪🤪 we had a place in South Africa called Tara….if you’re looking for me, that’s where I am 🤣🤣🤣🤔🤔🤔🤔

Happy 100th Birthday Captain Tom 🎈

It’s so cool the the Post Office has recognised Capt. Tom with his own blue post box. Reminds me of the Olympic 2012 gold post boxes…I hope he gets out to see it.

“We are celebrating Captain Thomas Moore’s 100th birthday with a special postbox in honour of his incredible efforts to raise money for the NHS. The postbox is painted ‘NHS blue’ and includes a golden balloon and birthday greetings in honour of Captain Tom’s 100th birthday. The special postbox is located on Bedford Road, MK43 0LA in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire close to where Captain Tom lives.”

Although it was quite overcast and misty today, I pushed myself out the door and went for a lovely walk around the village…I decided that since all the country paths would likely be a muddy quagmire after the rain…I’d walk around the village and along every street, road and close on the east side…I can say for sure, some people are definitely not in the same boat…crikey some of the houses 😮😮😮 and they have the audacity to include the word ‘cottage’ in the name….🤪🤪 I didn’t photograph the houses, but I did capture some colourful flowers….can you imagine such colours and just how tiny some petals are. I loved the caterpillar face. I got in just over 3  kms and that makes me a ‘trail blazer’ on the Hadrian’s Wall challenge👏👏😃😃

The tone of the Covid-19 stories are starting to become more accusatory. Started off with the general tone of confusion and dismay, then informative and riven with horror as the number of deaths and infections escalated, and now…slowly they’re becoming increasingly questioning and accusatory…. Covid-19 has laid bare the longterm failure of our collective governments to build a secure economy and future that is fair for everyone.

Two sides of the same coin…different headlines, different stories….same difference….look at who our countries are run by!!

When Covid hit, the United States was also among the vulnerable, and the virus has exposed so many of its long-term ailments – its income disparities, racial inequality, democratic sickliness, inoperative government, toxic polarisation, decline of reason, the downgrading of science, the lessening of its global influence, the absence of global leadership.

Britain has not been exceptional in much, except in its refusal to inform and debate with the public over lockdown. It has behaved like an old-fashioned centralist bureaucracy, with ministers and officials mouthing slogans and giving orders. What is the matter with the government? Why can’t we sit on a bench?”

And on the subject of PPE – I do hope that there will one day be a time of reckoning – I will sign every single petition that calls for a public enquiry .

Ending on a more positive note – how cute is this : helping hedgehogs.

Again today we caught up on facetime and it was a party…I finally figured out how to capture a screenshot…so here’s the blur kissing Mummy

Now to sort out my expression 🤪🤪

Take care folks. There’s talk of UK schools opening on 1st June. Way too soon in my humble opinion, and from the comments on Facebook, many parents feel exactly the same. The 2020 school year should just be written off…let the schools open on 1st September and start over. All that’s going to happen is an increase in stress, fear and unhappiness….and children who are already emotionally affected by the whole situation are now going to be pushed to catch up, causing even more stress. Its mad.

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So this is what Lent feels like…I haven’t had physical contact with a single person for 40 nights and 40 days. May as well live in the desert…

I suddenly realized today that I haven’t had any physical contact with anyone since 22nd March when I said goodbye to my daughter….its bizarre. I’m quite a tactile person and even when I was walking the Camino on my own in 2017, I still had loads of hugs from fellow pilgrims, albergue owners and sometimes just a fist bump with a random stranger.

Much as I’m really glad the earth is getting a chance to heal, I’ll be glad when lockdown is over, although I suspect that hugging and fist bumps will no longer be on the agenda. How awful its going to be, to be afraid of hugs. 😭😭😭😭

I just hope that we won’t lose much enjoyed hugs between family. Talking of family I had a delightful facetime with my daughter and grandson today. Gosh he’s adorable. I was talking to him and blowing him kisses, so he took the phone away from his Mummy and walked around kissing my face 🥰🥰🥰💙👶🏻 oh my gosh it was so cute. All I could see was his forehead and the adorable curl on his head…my daughter was beside herself with laughter…he’s a real charm.

My days in Nether Stowey are numbered now, only 9 to go and I’m off….although of course, all being well I’ll be back in July. Weirdly I’ve been quite happy here and although I’m desperate to see my family, and I’m really quite tired now (and sick of meal planning 🤪🤪), I’m quite sad to go. It’s a lovely area and once we got past the initial issues, I’ve gotten on quite well with my client. I am not looking forward to the journey though. Its going to be long…I just hope there will be trains 🤔🤔🤔

I’ve started a new book; The Pure in Heart – Susan Hill….one of my favourite authors. So this will be the 9th book I’ve read since being in lockdown.

Had a lovely long walk today; 5.4 kms. I just felt like I really needed to stretch my legs, and the area is so beautiful its hard to resist…although of course I have done quite a lot of that 😂😂

My sister mentioned that the SA government has now started on phase 4 ; a lifting of the lockdown is in progress…means they can now actually go out for a very short walk. It all seems very organized and puts our shambolic government to shame

To see how the number of deaths is mounting is quite terrifying, and seeing how the government is putting a spin on everything is disgusting. I’m so sick of their dishonesty. Even one of the most fundamental issues of getting a grip on this virus; testing, has had their warped spin applied

https://www.hsj.co.uk/quality-and-performance/revealed-how-government-changed-the-rules-to-hit-100000-tests-target/7027544.article#.Xqw3EoFpNi4.facebook

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/01/ministers-accused-of-changing-covid-19-test-tally-to-hit-100000-goal

I truly hope there will be a public enquiry and that certain members of the party will….I’d like to say hang, but I guess that’s a bit harsh…however if you consider the number of people who have died due to their incompetence…well…perhaps drawn and quartered might suffice.

Piers Morgan wrote a very accurate piece on the Covid-19 timeline and how the Tory government seriously missed so many red flags….while our emperor was cavorting with his latest piece of fluff, Rome, so to speak was burning….or in this case the UK. And now we have the 2nd highest number of deaths in the world, the most shambolic distribution of PPE and a bunch of bald-faced liars who pump up the numbers to make it look as if they’re being ‘successful’. The day of reckoning will come. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8275365/PIERS-MORGAN-Boris-boast-wants-death-toll-tells-real-story.html?ito=facebook_share_article-bottom

I’m not (usually) a Daily Mail reader and I’m not actually a fan of Piers Morgan, but by golly he’s hit the nail on the head.

And do another day goes by…who knows what the future might hold. With all the saber-rattling going on in the White House, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw nuclear warheads flying overhead between Beijing and Washington one of these days.

Stay safe folks…

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Actually I think we should just stay in lockdown…the planet is getting a chance to recover.

I went for a brief walk today and created a collage of all the rainbows in the village

Hope

Millions of pink flamingos in Mumbai; According to the Bombay Natural History Society, there has been a 25 per cent increase in flamingo migration since last year…

https://www.ndtv.com/mumbai-news/amid-lockdown-thousands-of-flamingos-turn-creek-near-mumbai-pink-2216701

Because the world has come to a standstill in many places and humans are staying inside, the environment is benefiting in different ways. One of the best examples is what recently took place in eastern India……

https://didyouknowfacts.com/undisturbed-sea-turtles-laid-60-million-eggs-on-indias-beaches/

Article after article report of amazing recoveries in the natural world….even dolphins in the canals of Venice.

It’s an absolute shame, that once lockdown is lifted, the natural world will once again suffer for the greed and carelessness of humans.

I read an article posted by the Natural History Museum:

“Rampant deforestation, uncontrolled expansion of agriculture, intensive farming, mining and infrastructure development, as well as the exploitation of wild species have created a “perfect storm” for the spillover of diseases from wildlife to people.”

https://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/news/2020/april/we-will-face-worse-than-covid-19-unless-we-protect-nature.html

Unless we protect nature…hmmm

I sent my grandson a letter today, just a brief glimpse into a world of which he us blissfully unaware….a letter telling him a little of what is happening. What I wonder will this world look like in 20 years time? What kind of world is he going to grow up in? Certainly it will be vastly different to the world he was born into. I’m hoping a lot of good will come out of this pandemic and that humans will stop abusing animals, and trotting out the same old shit….”if God didn’t want us to eat animals….” it’s a pathetic excuse to turn a blind eye and look the other way ‘I did not see, therefore it does not exist’ – well shame on us….I think we’ve kinda fucked up the ‘guardians of the earth part ‘.

Its been a weird kinda day….neither here nor there. The statistics though are terrifying. Oh and Bozo had a baby

So yeah…..

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Gosh, I’ve been so weepy today, its absolutely ridiculous. I am tired, that I know for sure…working 35 days without a break, even though I’m not especially busy, is tiring. I’m really grateful I’m not in a more physically demanding position.

It all started off when I saw the photo of all Capt. Tom Moore’s birthday cards ☺️☺️☺️👏👏👏 over 125,000 so far and they’re still coming….I’m guessing he won’t be reading mine then 🤪🤪

Image from Facebook..some of the birthday cards
Absolutely extraordinary

Then I saw the fantastic mural created by Bradley Scott Windows – it is stunning.

Capt. Tom Moore

After that I read an article that said he was definitely going to get a RAF fly-past for his birthday, which would include a Spitfire; not the Spirit of Kent, but close enough ☺️ https://www.itv.com/news/2020-04-28/raf-flypast-for-captain-toms-100th-birthday/

and then to add to all that, a photo of him with 2 Guinness World Book of Records Certificates….it seems he’s been accepted into the Guinness Book of Records for 1. Being the oldest person to reach #1 on the music charts and 2. Raising the most amount of money for charity – as an individual.

So much wonderful news in one day and I just cried. ❤❤❤

We’re so used to seeing sad, and shocking and terrible news these days, that any good news is overwhelming.

Had a wonderful facetime conversation with my daughter and grandson during my break today….he’s growing up so fast now and the changes are amazing. He always gives me the most beautiful smiles and that just makes my day.

Seems I’m a Trail Blazer 😂😂😂 completed 9kms today and that takes me to 17kms down and 127 kms to go to the end of Hadrian’s Wall….its been raining today so I tracked my kms indoors instead of my daily outdoor excursions. Its amazing just how many kms I walk in a day when I’m working. At other jobs I’ve done well over 12kms on some days, and most of that is climbing up and down stairs 🤪🤪🤪 I forgot to put my phone in my pocket a few times today, so probably did more than 9kms, but hey, I’m good with that.

Hoorah…making progress

Now if only I was walking the route for real. Post-lockdown goal….watch this space 👀👀👀🚶🏻‍♀️👣👣

The only other person I’ve spoken to today besides my client and my daughter was the District Nurse. Poor girl nearly jumped out her skin when she wanted to close the door behind her….as she went to put her hand on the latch I shouted “don’t touch that, I’ll do it” 🤨🤨 I’ve kept the virus out the door for 5 weeks now, I’m not having anyone touch anything in this house if I can help it.

The 1 minute silence at 11am to remember the many, 140 plus, NHS staff and Carers and other frontline staff who’ve died, was so poignant and very sad, my heart aches for their families 💔💔💔 Their deaths have all been totally unnecessary and completely unacceptable. This government has much to answer for. I wanted to shout at the TV when they showed those hypocrites Johnson and Gove et al standing there with their heads bowed. Bloody hypocrites. They’ve been cutting funding and selling off the NHS for years, refusing to increase junior doctors pay just a few years ago…and now they stand there for all the world as if they are innocent. Gahhhh. I hope there is a hell….

Other than that, it’s been a quiet day. I’m trying to not watch the news anymore and I definitely cannot watch the daily briefings🤬🤬🤬….the TV is not mine…and I can’t afford to replace it….

I read that New Zealand and Australia have tentatively lifted the curtain slightly on their lockdown….let’s see how that goes. Hopefully no 2nd wave as predicted.

That’s it for today. I’m quite impressed that barring a few days, I’ve kept up my journal this long. I’ve never blogged this often before…

Goodnight and stay safe

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5 weeks!!! 5 weeks of lockdown. Who the hell would’ve guessed on 01.01.2020 that this insane situation would exist. It’s all my fault actually…its my normal policy to NOT work over New Year, my firm belief being that whatever you’re doing on New Year’s night is what you’re going to be doing for the rest of the year…..so since my normal job entails working for 22 hours out of 24 (a type of lockdown) for anything from2 weeks to 6….see…I was working, and now I, along with millions of others are in proper lockdown…for 5 weeks so far. I have 2 to go, so lets hope that by then it’ll have been eased somewhat. I am soooo looking forward to having my time to myself again…albeit only for a week 🤪🤪🤪🤪

Had a wonderful conversation with my daughter this morning and of course I got to see my delightful grandson. He is such a joy. I felt really sad that I’m not on my way back, but still here for another fortnight….sigh. I do miss them all so much.

I had a wonderful walk again today, still sticking within the government guidelines, but not as long as yesterday….instead of walking around the mound 3 times, I only walked around twice 🤪🤪

Going up

Day 2 of the Hadrian’s Wall challenge and I completed 3.7kms

I watched the BBC Panorama programme tonight and all I can say is that I’m totally totally disgusted with how the Tory government has manipulated the statistics and information to suit their narrative. They’re a disgrace.

As for another disgrace…saw this article in the paper this morning

🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

This pernicious nation is the virus

And on that note I shall bid you goodnight….stay safe and please please don’t be travelling around the country unless its for work or an emergency. Visiting places across country for exercise is unacceptable.

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