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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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Today is Monday 8th June 2020.
Boris Johnson announced 10 days ago that the lockdown would ease a little from Monday 1st June and we will be able to meet in an open space as a group of up to 6 people 👨‍👩‍👦👨‍👩‍👧 (not from the same household). Social distancing must still be priority and we must still keep 2 metres away ⛔️🧍🏻‍♀️➖🧍🏼‍♂️

Face coverings are now recommended in all enclosed areas 😷 to help protect you and others. They don’t have to be medical masks but just something to lessen any chance of catching or passing on germs. 🦠

The main message is still to keep washing your hands 🤲🏼 It’s recommended you don’t wear 🧤gloves but do use anti bacterial wipes, sanitizers or even better wash your hands 👏🏼

You are now allowed out of your homes to do shopping but also to exercise 🚴🏼‍♂️ as much as you want in an open space and currently with one other person from another household 🎾

Those shielding are still being advised to stay home and stay safe for now 🏠🧓🏻

On Monday Primary schools reopened 🏫 for Nursery, Reception, Yr 1 & Y6 ages only. They will prioritise the key workers children & the vulnerable first. You will not be fined for not sending your child/ren if you chose not to do so. Secondary schools are due to open to year 10 & 12 on the 15th June.

For everyone else parents are home schooling 👩🏼‍🏫 and teachers are doing remote learning using the internet. BBC bitesize is being used to help teach children who don’t have work or who want more help etc.

Some non essential shops will re-open from 15th June but details are yet unclear 💸 Takeaways are now open and some restaurants have adapted to offer takeaway services 🥢🍴

Last Thursday evening was the last 👏🏼👏🏼 for the NHS staff after 10 weeks of doing so. Standing united on our doorsteps, balconies and/or through open windows applauding and cheering for all our amazingly brave NHS staff 👩‍🔬🩺 who so courageously and selflessly battle to try and save as many lives as possible ❤️

The Excel in London (known as the NHS Nightingale hospital) currently hasn’t been used yet and has now been closed and will stay dormant until it is needed 🏥

There is still a shortage of PPE 😠

The new way to chat with friends and families has been by using apps like Zoom & MS Teams 👩🏽‍💻🧑🏾‍💻as well as the usual Whatsapp and FaceTime.
Live experiences are now available to watch anything from a live theatre performance 🎭, a safari 🐘🐅🦒 or an interesting chat in a museum 🦖

Petrol ⛽️ prices are currently £1.04 per litre for unleaded and £1.11 for diesel.

The current statement from the government has changed from Stay at Home, Stay Safe to Stay Alert, Stay Safe ⚠️

We are working towards lowering the “R” number and keeping it below 1. As long as we keep doing that then lock downs will ease 〽️We are currently between 0.7 & 0.9.

Tape on the floors at supermarkets & shops is a normal sight now 🏬 to help distance shoppers 🛒 from each other. Essential service workers & NHS staff are given priority in supermarkets at certain times.

Limited numbers of people are allowed inside shops🧍🏼‍♂️➖🧍🏼therefore queuing outside the store doors is the norm, 2 metres apart ✅

Businesses were told to continue to work from home unless unable to, then as long as the safety measures are in place, you may return to work 🚫

The Government is paying 80% of wages to all employees across the country who were furloughed due to Covid-19 💷 Furlough has been extended to October with employer contributions starting in August which some companies are unable to take advantage of so redundancies loom 😔

Cruise ships 🚢 are at anchor ⚓ while they’ve paused operations. Many airlines are still grounded ✈️ but any travel abroad must now be followed by two weeks quarantine 🔒

Parks are now open for exercise but playgrounds remain closed 🏃🏼‍♀️

You are advised not to use public transport unless necessary and if you do, then you must wear face covering 😷 A maximum of only 20 people are allowed on a bus at any one time.

No masses are allowed as churches ⛪️ 🕌 are still closed 🚫

Weddings 👰🏼🤵🏻 family celebrations 🥳 are cancelled for now.

Funerals ⚰️ are limited to only 10 guests 😪 all socially distanced so lots of funerals are now being shown online.

Entire sports ⚽️ 🏉 🎾 seasons have paused.

Premier League football ⚽️ has just been announced to continue from the 17th June behind closed doors. Golf⛳️ has now restarted in 2 balls. The Olympics have been postponed to 2021🥇🥈🥉

Concerts 🎫 tours 🚌 festivals 🤹🏻 entertainment events 🎭 are all cancelled and all theatres are closed for the foreseeable future.

If you are fortunate to have a neighbour who is a singer or in a band 👩🏼‍🎤 then you might be lucky enough to get some free entertainment live from their driveway or balcony👂🏽

Panic buying 🛒 of toilet paper, flour and pasta happened in the early days but now all are readily available again.
Manufacturers, distilleries and other businesses 🏢 have switched to make visors, masks 😷 hand sanitizer 🧴 and PPE 🧤

Fines have been established for breaking lockdown rules.

You are still not allowed to visit or stay anywhere else other than your own home 🚷 but you are now allowed to drive to an exercise place (like a bigger park area) but preferably within 25 miles of your home 🚐 Public toilets🚽 aren’t open yet so don’t venture too far!

Seeing people wearing masks 😷 and gloves outside 🧤has become “normal”.

Air pollution has improved ☁️ Rivers are running clear💧 City & traffic emissions reduced ♻️ You now hear constant birdsong 🐦🎶 It feels like the Earth 🌎 is healing again…..

Until some people spoil it, forgetting how precious ALL life can be 🚶🧍🏿‍♀️🐴🐟🌳 and leave the area not as it should be, but covered in their rubbish no matter how big or small 🤬

Press conferences are held daily from either the PM 👨‍💼 or other government 🏛 officials. Daily updates on new cases, recoveries, and deaths ⚰️

Total cases: 6.6 million

Total recovered: 2,729,955

Total deaths: 393 000 – 40,465 in the UK 😢

This is Covid-19, Novel Coronavirus 🦠 declared a pandemic by WHO on March 11th, 2020.

Why do I write this status?

One day it will show up in my memory feed and will be a yearly reminder that life is precious and we should not take life or those and the things we love for granted 💕

In these past 10 weeks, I have learnt that I can do without many ‘things’ but people, experiences and memories are to be treasured 💛

Be thankful and be kind to each other always 🥰

Stay Alert, Stay Safe ❤️

I’m adding this to my status so that every year it will pop up on my memories so I will NEVER forget the way the world changed in 2020 🌍

I cannot take the credit for this post as I copied it from somewhere else but it is so true!

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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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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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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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Another quiet day, although I have noticed more and more vehicles driving by, as well as which I can hear more traffic on the nearby dual carriageway. What a shame. I know life has to go on, but sad to know that soon we humans will be back to polluting the planet.

I’ve started a handwritten diary as well as the online daily Lockdown blogging, and I compiled a list of words that for me have so far defined 2020

Lockdown, Covid-19, coronavirus, disinfectant, hoarding, supplies, social distancing, rainbows, clap for carers, NHS, China 🤬🤬, pangolins, wet markets, pandemic, PPE, hand washing, quarantine, self-isolate, testing, masks, unprecedented, Zoom, facetime, deaths.

It’s possible there may be more, because God knows, we have no idea what is waiting for us in the future…just look how 2020 has played out so far. 😥😥

I signed another petition today demanding that the government refrain from bailing Richard Branson’s Virgin Airlines out using tax payers money….seriously. Hasn’t he heard of banks? They do loans, but of course he’d have to pay interest and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t want to do that. If this poxy Tory bunch bail him out it will be a travesty, and then fuck it, I won’t pay any more tax because I am damned if I’m working an extra 3 weeks every year to bail his billionaire ass out. If he can’t run his business in profit, then he shouldn’t be in business. And if he gets bailed out, then so should every damn business. I used to have a modicum of respect for him, but when a billionaire who has a feking island to live on puts his hand out for my hard-earned taxes, is when I say……I’ll leave that to your imagination. Suffice to say, I’m disgusted. 😡😡

Oh hey, I joined an online virtual challenge to walk Hadrian’s Wall over the next 6 weeks. I really just wanted the badge 😁😁 Of course I’d much rather walk it for real, but that will have to wait. Meanwhile this challenge will get my lazy ass out the house and walking instead of sleeping during my break 😂😂😂 If I am to do the Camino next year with my sister, I really need to start training again. 🚶🏻‍♀️🚶🏻‍♀️🚶🏻‍♀️

I do miss my walking poles though…talking of which, you’ll never believe where they pitched up….at my daughter’s address!! Thank goodness I asked the lady who posted them to me to put the return address as my daughter’s address. So they didn’t get to me in Somerset after all. Oh well, 2 weeks to go.

Hello Gemini!! Wish you were here 🤔🤔

Well that’s it for today…hope you’re all well and keeping safe

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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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EARTH DAY 20-26 April

Okay so this is a few days late and its already half way through, but this process can be applied to every week of the year going forward if people really mean that they want to change..

I’ve attached the guidebook link for your convenience. http://www.beforeitstoolate.earth/7-day-guidebook.html#

IMAGINE! if we all applied this process to our week, every week!! What a difference we would see…

There’s lots of chatter on social media about NOT going BACK to what was our normal pre-Covid19. This is a simple way to make the changes we must/should/could/have to make in order to avoid the consequences of a continuation of our previous destructive lifestyles. Of course there are millions of people already making massive changes and have done so for years, but we have an opportunity now to really step up for the sake of future generations.

Earth Week

Some good has come of our sudden change in behaviour during 2020, but largely the environmental problems we’re facing globally do still exist. The world’s reaction to this health threat has proven that we are capable of adapting our behaviour in a way that benefits the planet, but the real test will be what happens when this crisis is over”. See the Facebook link for more information.

https://www.facebook.com/297605497404/posts/10157333191372405/

I heard a snippet on the One Show last night about the SpaceX satellites that were being launched by Elon Musk, so I did some research and found that we’d be able to see them between 2am and 5am this morning…so at 3.35 I slipped quietly out the house, walked up the hill to the Mound and found a decent spot. My efforts were rewarded and I saw 23 satellites go by….boom boom boom…so fast and evenly spaced..amazing. I also saw 4 shooting stars 🌠🌠🌠🌠from the Lyrid meteor overhead till the 26th ☄☄☄☄ and besides the hundreds of stars 🌌 I could see the big dipper 😃😃👏👏👏

Look up to the heavens tonight…In an additional treat for skygazers, a SpaceX rocket launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida will be visible over the UK. Around 15 to 20 minutes after its scheduled 2030 BST takeoff, the rocket and its payload of 60 Starlink satellites should be “quite visible”, according to MeteorWatch. Well, at 8.15, once again traipsing up the hill, I climbed right to the top of the Mound and waited…..to no avail 😥😥😥 nothing and nada….no 🚀 to be seen. But!!!! I had phoned my daughter to tell her about it and hoorah, they saw it

Soooo tiny, and apparently sooo fast!!

How thrilling is that!! Apparently he’s sending the satellites up in batches of 60 and there’s going to be 12,000 in all for now with an eventual total of 42,000!!! 😱😱😱 can you imagine 42,000🛰🛰🛰s in the sky. Seems insane and apparently its causing quite an upset in the astro community. I’m pretty certain he’s not bovvvered 🤪🤪🤪 The aim is to provide cheap Wifi for everyone in the world.

Other than that its been a quiet day, I went for a lovely walk this afternoon..the weather had been so amazing but I did see a dark haze on the horizon, so I suspect that we may see some grey skies soon.

A quiet nook

We had a grandparents facetime with the boo again today….he is so cute and just carries on with his day, popping over every now and then to look with bemusement at all the faces 🤪🤪 It was nice coz they all sang happy birthday to me ☺️☺️ which was quite unexpected…

So even though I didn’t see the spaceship, I did see a fabulous sunset

Btw did you notice what I didn’t do in my post last night or tonight for that matter??? I didn’t bitch about the inept, useless, incompetent, dishonest government 🤪🤪🤪

Night folks, stay safe…keep social distancing and washing your hands…don’t let Covid-19 catch you out.

Ohhh k just heard the 11pm chimes on the clock tower….time to 😴😴😴😴

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3 weeks ago, 21 days seemed interminable…and yet suddenly here we are, but with the possibility of another 2 or 3 weeks, I’m certain there are a lot of very unhappy people.

Like I said before, my life is no different to what is my normal in my job, so lucky me, this hasn’t been difficult and I’m still being paid.

Well no more difficult than ‘normal’ when you’re looking after an elderly person with various physical issues and dementia. Its emotionally and mentally draining and I always leave the latest assignment absolutely drained. So far, except for the first 5 days of living hell, the current position hasn’t been too bad.

I didn’t go out at all over the weekend, took the government’s request to stay home seriously and didn’t leave the house since last week, except for a brief walk on Friday night. I stepped out into the courtyard this evening to empty the dehumidifier and it was so quiet and so cool that I decided to take a quick walk to the top of the hill …. I’m so glad I did. Although it was already 8.30pm and getting dark, there were enough street lights to guide me. Perfect weather for walking; cool with a stiff breeze. The sky was absolutely clear and I could see Venus, and caught the tail end of a lovely sunset.

It cleared my head and left me feeling invigorated.

On the news….a possible 3 weeks extra lockdown!!! This virus has really taken a toll and its heart rending to hear of people’s stories, about loved ones lost. I personally feel obligated to hear them out…although I know it’s not, but its so terribly sad and the circumstances are awful. Thank God my friend has recovered and is now home with his wife and daughter. They missed their 30th wedding anniversary while he was in hospital, but thankfully they will get to celebrate many more. ❤❤

I’ve been in touch with my long-standing friend in America and thankful that they’re all well, although living far apart from her 3 sons and 2 granddaughters, they too keep in touch via facetime. I’m not always a fan of technology, but this is one time its certainly come into its own.

Of course the conspiracy theories are flying left right and centre and since I’m a closet conspiracy theorist 🤣🤣🤣 I’ve shared a few articles and boom….Facebook have rapped me on the knuckles!!! 😱😱😱😮😮 They’ve really stepped up their fact checking and actually I don’t mind their little ‘naughty girl’ messages coz it doesn’t help to share stuff that’s not true or accurate…that’s what caused Brexit here and an orange swamp thing risen to become President of the US… so yeah, I deleted the two offending articles and will henceforth only share newspaper articles by bonafide rags 😉

One of the best things to come out of this pandemic is clear skies…I don’t know if you’ve seen any of the images of Delhi, and Los Angeles to name but two major cities, but wowwww, the drop in pollution is extraordinary. Nature is getting a chance to breathe. Sadly of course, once we’re out of lockdown, its going to be ‘business as usual’ and we humans are going to continue polluting and destroying our home. I know there’s a huge determination by people to try and change things so we don’t go ‘back to normal’ but it’s not enough. Big business and corporations have made us slaves to technology. There are a minuscule number of people who can or are able to self-support or even have the knowledge of how to live without the support of big business. Can you imagine the majority of westerners; British, American, European citizens suddenly rushing out and slaughtering lambs or chickens for Sunday’s roast? No, its not going to happen.

The majority are going to go straight back to where we were before and people are going to continue buying junk from China and fast-fashion produced by slaves in Bangladesh or Africa and rubbish to plaster over the void in their lives. Its a really sad state of affairs….

In other ‘news’ My walking poles are still missing in action and according to the tracking are still in Weybridge. 🤔🤔🤔 time to call in the troops. But hey, how marvellous is our postal system in the UK…we’re still getting mail delivered 👏👏👏👏

So here endeth my diary of a lockdown. I’m going to go back to my regular routine of posting willynilly 🙃🙃😜 and stop boring y’all with my meandering thoughts. Okay don’t cheer so loudly I can hear you 😂😂😂

Seriously though

Stay safe

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At the start of this lockdown, we were told it would be 3 weeks; 21 days, and therefore we would have been 5 days from the end…but with the number of deaths mounting and the daily number of infections increasing day on day, I very much doubt we’ll see the end of this before end April.

Personally, I’d be quite okay with another week or two of lockdown…it’s giving nature a chance to flourish and the planet to repair itself. However, the impact of this is going to be horrendous for small businesses. So many sad stories emerging…and its only going to get worse. Frankly I think it’s going to be a long uphill struggle for years to come and many are going to fall through the cracks.

Meanwhile, trying to distract myself from the TV and the news and bloody Facebook 🤨🤨🤨I’ve been reading a lot….did I say ‘a lot’!! Bit of an understatement really 😂😂😂 I finished the 5th book today. I thought I’d read 4, but no….its 5 in just over2 weeks….hmmm. Although this job started off really badly, things have settled down and now I have more free time, so I’ve been reading…a lot

Talking of the job, I’m halfway through and from tomorrow its countdown and I’m on the downward slope.

Andddd talking of slopes 🙄🙄🙄 I didn’t go out today during my break; too many people about, so instead I had a lovely long snooze and went out for half an hour this evening at sunset. I walked up the hill and onto the ramparts of the castle where I saw a stunning sunset. Not many people about thankfully, just a few dog walkers.

Sunset over the Quantock hills

I did another quick video for my grandson so he could see the sunset where I am. The Bristol Channel looked a fabulous shade of blue on the horizon and of course I could see the coastline of Wales in the distance.

The Bristol Channel

I had the best delivery from the mailman today….a postcard with a photo of the cutest little Easter bunny you ever did see ☺️☺️👶🏻💙🥰

The cutest bunny ever ❤❤

We also had a very brief hello via facetime earlier this evening and it’s such a joy to see that gorgeous little smile. He’s such a little busy bee and doesn’t sit still for long before he’s off…here and there. Apparently they had a bit of a drama in the garden this morning…he was walking about with barefeet in the grass because he’s outgrown his shoes, and poor wee poppet stood on a thorn 😪😪😪 ouch. Too painful for words. Children give you grey hair 😉…..worth every one.

I was delighted this evening to get a reply from the albergue in Arcade where I stayed one night on my Camino. I’ve been really concerned for Miguel and his family but thankfully they’re all well, although really struggling with the terrible situation in Spain. I’m looking forward to seeing them again when my younger sister and I walk the route again next year.

So other than that, nothing much happening….I’ve got the grandparents WhatsApp facetime tomorrow to look forward to, which is always fun….4 adults all talking over each other due to time lags and the grandson looking bemused 😂😂😂

Its so quiet outside and just before I got into bed I stood at the bedroom window and just enjoyed the pure stillness….all I could hear were the faint sounds of the farm animals and the rushing water in the nearby brook. But what amazed me was that I could smell the very strong perfume of honeysuckle….not sure where its growing but the perfume was so strong. The benefits of no traffic….

Folks, I hope you’re all well and keeping safe. It was lovely to get a message from America on my Instagram today 😃😃😃

Take care everyone…wherever you may be and remember – April’s distance is May’s existence. Be safe

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