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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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So today we had my ‘virtual’ birthday tea and cake. My daughter and her hubby and son joined me on WhatsApp facetime with their tea and chocolate cake and I had all the essentials for a party during a pandemic lockdown

The cake was bigger 2 days ago 😂😂😂
Social distancing

Even though the network reception was dastardly as usual, it was a fun time…we’ll get to do the party for real when I visit in May. 🎊🎉🥂🎉🎂

This has probably been the most amazing spring that I can recall in the UK for the last 18 years….Being in lockdown has curtailed my walking explorations to 1 mile from home,  but it hasn’t curtailed the prevalence of subjects for photos…☺️☺️☺️ 

In a way, because I’m not trying to cover as much ground as possible within my allotted 2 hour break, and taking my walks at a slower pace, its given me the opportunity to observe my environment at a more leisurely pace and notice the plethora of beautiful flowers on my routes. And that’s the long-winded way of saying I’ve seen a lot of beautiful flowers on my walks 😁😁😁😊 Here’s a short video

Spring 2020

Watched a programme on BBC2 this morning. The industrial revolution and the Victorians may be lauded as so ‘progressive’ but the reality is that the Victorians were terribly destructive, especially in the ‘colonies’ and industry has destroyed the planet….and the animals have suffered the most. There’s no such thing as man’kind’….of course there are many people doing wonderful things with love and caring and compassion and they don’t get the credit they deserve, but ‘mankind’ is a misnomer.  Humans are so terribly destructive. Yes, we’ve built amazing buildings and constructed incredible cities and technology has made our lives better (worse) and science has made some incredible progress, but it has all been at the expense of nature and the natural world. Our demand for cheaper, and more and better is destroying the planet. The Victorians killed thousands upon thousands of tigers in their quest for land, destroying the tropical forests in their wake…and we’re still doing the same thing today…in the name of progress.  We are a stain on this planet, the ultimate virus.

Oh and the ultimate ‘moron in chief’, that orange swamp thing across the pond…has suggested that you can get rid of the virus by drinking disinfectant 😱😱😱😱😱🤬🤬🤬

There you go donny, take a nice deep breath

I truly cannot understand the mindset that elected that ….I don’t even know what adjective would suit him best…but what I really cannot comprehend, is that seemingly intelligent people are prepared to stand by and say nothing while he spouts his own brand of insanity…they are complicit…..power hungry, soulless individuals….

I went for a lovely walk this evening to the top of the mound…hoping to see the most recent of the Starlink satellites; SpaceX…..but unfortunately there was too much cloud cover and the sky too light to be able to see them. As for the clouds…there’s a cold front moving in and it was a lot chillier than yesterday….still beautiful though.

And on that cheerful note I shall bid you goodnight. I can’t quite believe that I am actually still blogging, and that we are still in lockdown.

Oh yes, one last thing…..I saw this in The Times newspaper today…finally a use for the skeletal pencil 🤨🤨🤔🤔

Not much use for anything else…

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Goodness me….day 31. I never in my life ever imagined such a thing would happen ….although we can still go out for exercise etc, it still feels totally surreal.

Went outside for  the 8pm to clap for carers and saw something I haven’t seen for quite some time….contrails. a plane!! I can’t recall seeing a plane for weeks now so was quite surprised to see this. I just read this article and I think we are  certainly for the foreseeable future, going to see less planes than we are used to.


https://www.traveller.com.au/travel-and-covid19-say-goodbye-to-economy-class-as-the-golden-era-of-cheap-travel-is-declared-over-h1nkai

I got into a bit of a spat a few days ago about Richard Branson wanting a bailout….and of course I complained bitterly, especially considering he’s a billionaire…so today a friend of mine sent me this 😂😂😂👏👏👏 the website is fake btw….

Brilliant 🤪🤪🤪

So today was my 65th birthday!! 🎂🎊🎉 and I am so surprised that I got this far 😂😂😂 I’ve decided that in honour of this milestone I should keep a diary….so let’s see…I’m not very good at keeping a diary, but you never know…..

They my daughter and family, sent me a delightful box of decorative biscuits from biscuiteers…almost too good to eat

So pretty
Gorgeous tulips from the lady who does our shopping.

I got to chat to my daughter and grandson this morning and we had planned a virtual afternoon tea and cake via facetime, but the wee cherub fell in down the outside stairs and gashed his head….so instead they dashed off to A&E to get him checked over. So perhaps tomorrow…

A virtual birthday
Awwww 😥😥😥😥💙👶🏻

Other than that, a quiet day….had a snooze during my break and caught up with my paperwork, did my chores and that was it really.

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Happy Birthday Queen Elizabeth II 94 today…I was lucky enough to see her in Windsor for her 90th birthday, and have her walk right in front of me 🥰🥰🥰👏👏💚💚 the Queen.  Sadly there’s no gun salutes or Trooping the Colour this year…looking forward to 2021….

I found this awesome book for my grandson today 😀😀 Its amazing and since the theme in the nursery is space, this will fit right in.

The universe works in mysterious ways….I’ve been so worried about travelling next week and inadvertently contracting the virus and possibly passing it on, or the incoming carer bringing something in with her….so today I got a call from the agency to ask if I could stay on here for another 2 weeks as the incoming carer is ill (has a bad cold) and is self-isolating, as well as which my next job has been cancelled because that family want their carer to extend her stay as well. So there it is….no travelling next week, but sadly it also means I don’t get to see my family….

I saw this on one of the Camino pages today and thought I’d share it with you:

Johnniewalker Santiago posted the following on the Camino Discussion Group this morning. For those who might not have seen it, he has given permission to post his communication with John Brierly here. It’s well worth the read!

LETTER FROM JOHN BRIERLEY:
CORNAVIRUS AND THE CAMINO, OUR LAST WAKE UP CALL
Two years ago I asked members of the group to send me questions that I would put to John Brierley in the second interview with him I’ve published. I’ll re-post the questions and answer soon. We keep in touch with each other and I asked him for his thoughts on our current situation. This is his reply. He invites us to engage in a useful and loving dialogue about the issues he raises.

Dear John
You sound well and lock-down seems to be proving a creative time for you! So here is a response that might, or might not, stimulate some creative thinking amongst our pilgrim family.
… I trust that once the world comes out of this pandemic we will, collectively, want to do things differently – but there is much talk of getting back to ‘normal’ which would be a travesty. Consensus reality and the status quo is literally now killing many of us and the earth support systems on which we depend. At best we are looking at a severely diminished quality of life over the near horizon. We have to find a ‘new normal’ by way of an elevated consciousness — not only for us but crucially for the generations that follow. These are portentous, perhaps pompous and certainly presumptive statements. Even if you see them as holding some truth you might legitimately ask, what has any of this to do with the caminos de Santiago.

I have always believed that the camino holds a key to a fundamental re-appraisal of how and why we live our lives. It was this conviction that created caminoGuides and this remains its only raison d’être, it has no other purpose nor ever will. Providing my publisher doesn’t go bankrupt (many may) a new guidebook to the Camino Invierno will go to print later this year. I attach a draft introduction which offers a reflection on the positive potential of the Coronavirus to help bring about the change that is needed if we are to learn to cooperate to face the challenges that are now on a global scale. (see below)

The real challenge is just around the corner and it is not coronavirus! I see this pandemic as just a wake up call that we may, or may not, heed. All the signs at the moment are that we are going to miss this opportunity just like we missed previous wakeup calls. We bailed out the banks in 2008 and now look set to bail out the oil and aviation industries with vast sums of public monies while offering paltry sums to small sustainable energy and business enterprises. As Greta Thunberg asks, ‘where are the adults?’ Our collective thinking is juvenile at best and often infantile. Eldership is nowhere to be seen but we need to find it urgently and perhaps it lies closer than we think… in ourselves. Rabbinic sage Hillel the Elder asked the rhetorical question, “If not me, who? If not now, when?”

I was a little concerned at the severity of the draft (below) until I listened to an interview with David Attenborough yesterday where, for the first time, he says this is it — no further chance to kick the can down the road. Coronavirus is our last gentle wake up call, the real threat to our collective survival is just around the corner. Pass on what you think might be useful to generate useful and loving dialogue so that we might better forge a new path going forward.

The Coronavirus brought with it much grief and its impact on many levels will be felt for years to come. This is no less true for the camino as in any other sphere of life. Pilgrim infrastructure and albergues that took decades to put in place are struggling to survive, some have already closed permanently and others will follow. The virus was named by the World Health Organisation as, ‘…an enemy against humanity’. This is an unfortunate epithet because, from Gaia’s perspective, humanity itself has become the most destructive force on the planet. If the devastation that arose from this pandemic brings about a paradigm shift in human consciousness it may yet contain a blessing in disguise. For at least a generation we have, collectively, lived beyond the means of the planet to sustain us and all of life that surrounds us. We are not the only sentient beings that occupy the earth and we have wilfully and woefully ignored the plight of nature herself. Now, today, we can change the way we think and act. We can move from fear to love. We can choose to respect each other and the natural world that is our home. We can… but will we? Each of us is part of the whole we call humankind and artificial borders can separate us no more. Indeed they never have but only in our deluded and limited understanding of the nature of reality. Coronavirus taught us that we are all part of the same delicate balance of life on earth. Will we heed its warning or revert to business as usual … until the next crisis strikes again?

“We have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers.” Martin Luther King Jr.

The photo shows the medieval bridge A Ponte de Taboada. This is the point where the Winter Way joins the Camino Sanabrés. Both, in turn, connecting with a larger network of caminos that link us with the rest of Europe and, by extension to every nation on earth. The great insight of the First Nations has always been to remind us that, Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself… we may yet find we are brothers after all.

Blessings…
John Brierley

Certainly something to think about….do we really want to go BACK to where we were before?

I had a fab walk this afternoon…such a beautiful day

And I popped out quickly this evening to watch the sunset

And I can’t quite believe I’m still blogging 29 days later….😀 stay safe folks 🌈🌈🌈

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Well, here we are….day 28 of lockdown. What a surreal 4 weeks this had been. I don’t even know what to think anymore.

I’ve pretty much given up watching the news because it infuriates me beyond measure. I simply can’t watch them trotting out the same excuses anymore.

I read an article in the Sunday Times shared by a friend, and truly the list of failures is appalling. I know Bozo considers himself to be something of a Churchill reincarnation, but truly, beyond both being racist….at least Churchill was decisive.

Johnson should have stuck to either writing witty articles for the papers, or continued his career as a travel presenter. His ‘finest hour’ came and went with the 2012 Olympics… He sure as hell is not a leader. Like the orange swamp thing across the pond he talks in sound bites….although we should be thankful we can at least understand what our clown says….

Talking of across the pond….it takes a serious level of stupid to behave the way those idiot protesters are behaving. One can only hope that Darwin’s theory is correct and nature will seek out the stupid….

For some weird reason, today just flew by…..I wasn’t particularly busy and I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary, but suddenly it was 9pm….I seem to have hit the jackpot lately with my client’s meals…she’s eaten just about everything on her plate the last 2 days. Its really gratifying when the people I cook for enjoy their meals, so its been nice to see a clean plate. I also hate waste and throwing food in the bin is anathema to me. Albeit into composting, its still a waste.

Unfortunately my brother-in-law is back in hospital with further chest pains, which apparently he is not meant to be having after they inserted the stent, so that’s a huge worry. I’m concerned for my sister…they’ve been married for decades and have been joined at the hip since they met….so this is particularly stressful for her. I had a look see for flights to SA in the event I need to go, but the UK is listed as a ‘high risk’ country and citizens are banned from entering the country…at least for now.

The irony of a 3rd world country considering a 1st world country as a health risk has not escaped me….

Shoe is on the other foot….

Its extraordinary to me that to date they have only had 58 deaths

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/south-africa/

I remember my scepticism when Ramaphosa put the country into lockdown….I’ve had occasion to eat my words. For such a poor country, and with so many millions living in close proximity to each other,social distancing is like as wishful thought…but he acted decisively, he acted fast and there was no mucking about with going out for exercise or walking the dog….it was Stay at Home or else….draconian perhaps but its worked. They’ve been on lockdown for almost the same length of time as the UK and yet their death rate is so much lower it doesn’t even warrant a percentage. “South Africa’s lockdown was imposed before a single death had been recorded and has been ruthlessly enforced by the authorities ever since”.

However its not all rosy in the country and they’re experiencing severe food shortages and rioting…

Besides which the projections for Africa as a whole are not good. The worst is yet to come.

Anyhow, that’s me for today…I’m off to bed now. I had a restless night last night, so hoping I don’t have a repeat. As I’m lying here it’s so quiet out that I can hear a tanker hooting in the Bristol Channel….oh and I haven’t seen any shooting stars yet…I live in hope 😃😃🤔

Take care folks. I’ll post the Sunday Times article right after I’ve posted this in the event you’re keen to read it. Be safe…..wherever you are in the world.

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Just another day in paradise….

Whatever you do….don’t forget the meteor shower over the UK this next week https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/18382169.lyrid-meteor-shower-visible-uk-tonight—see/?ref=fbshr

“It is the oldest known meteor shower still active and was first observed in 687 BCE. As they come through the atmosphere, the meteors reach speeds of 50kms a second, but most will burn up before reaching the surface of Earth.” Thankfully the weather has improved and we have clear skies so I’m hoping I get to see this!!!

Actually it was a lush day after all despite a grey start. So much do that I went out for a walk and managed a decent 3.56kms.

Lush all round

My daughter phoned just as I got to the mound and it was amazing to chat to them again 🥰🥰🥰 and so thrilled to hear my grandson say “Granny!!” properly this time 👏👏👏💙👶🏻 He is such a little charm. Cannot wait to see him again.

My little boo 💙👶🏻🥰

On my way back to the house I spotted some more free books, so added a few to the collection 😉🤣🤣

I read so many interesting articles today that my head is swimming. Not least of which was about China. Seriously if the West doesn’t wake up soon, the Chinese government is going to own the world. https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus-ends-chinas-honeymoon-africa-205217380.html?soc_src=community&soc_trk=fb

I’m thrilled to note that the chap, Chris, who is walking the coastline of the UK to raise funds for SSAFA has smashed his target of £100k 👏👏👏👏

https://www.facebook.com/chriswalksuk/videos/655847218318343/

Absolutely brilliant. I’ve been following his story for some months now and he is so inspiring with his determination and goodwill. Magic.

Other than that, nothing much else happened really. Covid-19 is wreaking havoc and the debates etc etc etc rage on. The orange swamp thing in the WH is completely off the rails in the US, while in the UK Bojo is still in hiding while different ministers are being wheeled out of the cupboard, dusted off and trotted out to stand in front of the camera and say whatever it is that they say….none of it means anything anymore and most certainly, any trust that may have existed is gone. The results of their actions are becoming increasingly obvious and it’s an ongoing farce. Promises are broken quicker than they are made. Urgh.

Anyway, it will play out the way its going to play out…..life will never be the same again….

Oh wait….I found my favourite sweet at the shop today 👏👏👏👏👏

Bonus!!!

All the best folks stay safe

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