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Archive for the ‘walk 1000 miles 2020’ Category

From Oxted to Kemsing

Well,  you’ll be pleased to know I made it. Day 1 done & dusted. In lots of pain and my feet are very unhappy…not sure how they’re going to feel about doing this all over again tomorrow.๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿฅบ๐Ÿฅบ๐Ÿฅบ

So I left home at 6am on the dot  and got to Ramsgate station with 15 minutes to spare.
I reached Oxted at 09:25 and set about finding breakfast. I nearly slipped up and went to Wetherspoons, but left as soon as I realised my error ๐Ÿ˜ฃ๐Ÿ˜ฃ๐Ÿ˜ฃ
After a coffee and toasted sandwich from Coughlan’s bakery I switched mapmywalk on and set off for St Peter’s church where I got my first Pilgrim’s stamp, then it was a hard slog along a horrible road till I intercepted the Pilgrim’s Way.

First destination was Chevening Park where I had to climb a bloody awful hill and then go back down again. From thereon the terrain was fairly flat. I finally reached Dunton Green where I stopped for supper at The Rose and Crown and had a delicious meal of fish and chips.

At just on 5pm I set off again for Otford, a Domesday Book Village, where I crossed the River Darent. What a delightful place. Picturesque with the remains of a palace where Henry VIII and Katherine if Aragon once stayed. The church and palace have links to Thomas Beckett.

Then I had to force myself to walk the final 4 kms to Kemsing & the Airbnb.  I’m aching from head to toe. But I did it ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Walked 26km, 10 hours including stops and saw so many amazing things. Lucky me.

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addendum: I actually started this post yesterday, but got so involved with planning my Pilgrim’s Way walk and Hadrian’s Wall walk that I completely forgot to update and post it. Although theoretically I actually owe you 1000 words, it’s already 22:31 and I really need to get to bed earlier than the last two nights……midnight and after midnight….respectively. So here goes…..

Never one to let a bad year bring me down, despite the downs there have been many ups…my grandson celebrated his 1st birthday, I visited the Isle of Wight for a 2nd time on an assignment; this time I stayed near Cowes, although I didn’t get to do as much travelling as before. We visited the Donkey Sanctuary in March; me, my daughter & grandson to visit his adopted donkey; Ruby…she’s a beauty and a lot bigger than we expected. While there we drove across country to visit Tintagel Castle – which is just phenomenal and a must visit.

7 weeks of lockdown were spent in a beautiful, peaceful village in Somerset where I was lucky enough to be able to walk in the Quantock Hills during our 1 hour of allowable exercise. During said lockdown I reached the grand age of 65 (an age denied to my beloved brother & Mother). I celebrated with my little family via zoom and received some beautiful iced biscuits from my daughter.

During my brief breaks between assignments, I’ve had dozens of happy mornings on the beach with my little beeboo watching him run about picking up stones and feathers and sticks, dipping his feet in the sea and buying him a naughty ice-cream on the way home ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ve visited a few places new to me on work assignments, some good, some not…currently working in Croydon but I have not been out much since I’ve been planning planning planning & now I’m on the cusp of finishing my #pilgrimage from Winchester to Canterbury along The Pilgrim’s Way. Finally. I started this walk in 2018, and then my grandson came along and all thought of being away for any length of time except for work went out the window LOL

And so, 2 years & 12 days after my 2018 pilgrimage ended in Oxted due to injury, I shall restart my journey in Oxted and coddiwomble to Canterbury while crossing rivers, visiting castles, a few palaces, Roman villas, a Carmelite Monastery, ancient stones & churches, some of England’s most historic & ancient villages, towns & cities, many of which are Domesday Book places, the Black Prince’s well, an abbey and a famous Cathedral while just enjoying the freedom of walking from place to place along ancient pathways, across fields, beneath trees, over too many stiles, & no doubt some tarmac.

I plan to see a few sunrises, definitely many sunsets, listen to birdsong & moos, have no doubt that I will cry from pain, curse my sore bones, swear at Pepe (my backpack), laugh with joy, sing a few songs & post dozens of photos.

The planning is 90% complete (as of yesterday – by this evening it was 100% completed), so yesterday I bought a little diary to keep note of pertinent details of each day… especially where I’m meant to be sleeping each night.. most important aspect of each day.

I’m sooooย excited. Finally!! And that will be my 4th long distance walk, but all being well, not my last. My daughter, son-in-law & grandson will meet me in Canterbury in the evening for a celebratory meal. Hoorah!!!

Counting the days.ย  I’d like to give a #shoutout to Tony and Sarah of The Old Alma Inn for their lovely customer service ๐Ÿ‘ and๐Ÿ‘Žto Airbnb for making it so difficult to identify a venue in a specific location and some of their hosts for not updating their calendars.

Alongside of planning the final section of the Pilgrim’s Way, I’ve also been planning my trip to Newcastle……yes!!! I’ll be walking Hadrian’s Wall ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s been a long held dream of mine to walk Hadrian’s Wall and initially when I finally decided to complete the Pilgrim’s Way I thought why not just make it a foursome…..The Pilgrim’s Way, St Cuthbert’s Way, Hadrian’s Wall and the West Highland Way…..bought the books and started investigating costs…..hah! It quickly whittled down from 4 to 2! OMG!! It’s very expensive to go walking in this country. Walking the Camino didn’t cost me nearly as much and the accommodation was wayyyyyy cheaper. Some B&B’s were charging in excess of ยฃ100 per night per person. Absolutely mad. My daughter suggested I camp each night, but no thanks LOL I’m far too keen on sleeping in a proper bed. ๐Ÿ˜‰ So I had to just suck in my breath a couple of times and book regardless, but fortunately by using AirBnB I managed to keep the costs down and the most expensive night was ยฃ41.

Although I still have a gripe with AirBnB and their daft location suggestions, I did after hours of searching manage to tie down all the nights I needed.

I’m planning on visiting Homesteads Roman fort and of course Vindolanda. There are so many amazing places along the route that I’m not sure I’ll have time to visit them all. And of course I’m planning on seeing as many sunrises and sunsets as I can……depending on the weather!

Also did you know that Hadrian’s Wall doesn’t actually march in a straight line from east to west? I always imagined it was pretty straight with a few dents and nooks here and there, but while researching I have found that it actually zig zags like a caterpillar on ecstacy!! Crikey! I really didn’t imagine and as well as which, a whole heck of a lot of it doesn’t exist anymore and the stones have been repurposed for houses and churches. Hah!! So a lot of it is just now in your imagination LOL

But oh what remains looks absolutely amazing and some of places I’ll be travelling through look fantastic. The countryside looks so beautiful.

Now all I need is good weather……says someone who actually lives in the UK and should know better LOL

Next week I’ll be buying new walking shoes, rain pants, and socks….lots of new socks and sorting out my backpack. I haven’t used Pepe in over 2 years, poor thing probably feels neglected. Oh and talking of backpacks, I’m going to use the baggage forwarding service on 5 of the 12 walking days and 4 days will be spent in Carlisle and I’ll walk 2 separate sections over 2 days and bus back to Carlisle at night. Makes sense, especially since accommodation was so hard to find.

And that m’dears brings me to 1058 words…..so hoorah, I’m up to date, albeit 1 day behind. So before it after midnight once again, I shall bid you goodnight, and hopefully I don’t forget to write tomorrow. ๐Ÿ™‚

oh and p.s. did you know that Hadrian’s Wall is a UNESCO World Heritage Site? How awesome is that! another one for my list on Project 101

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Not sure if this is relevant to my commitment to write 500 words a day, or if the subject matter is what The Quirky Coach had in mind, but here goes….basically it’s a rant LOL

A letter to AirBnB after another frustrating morning of searching for a specific location and getting ‘there are 271 locations in your area’ – uhmm, no there are not. For instance I did a search for ‘Aylesford’ – I got a list of 20 venues, none of which are in Aylesford, and some are as far away as Rainham, which is on the other side of the River Thames, closer to London that Aylesford and freaking 25 miles away from Aylesford!! What is the point of that.

I have been a member of AirBnB for some years now and have used it quite a lot. One of the aspects that I have found MOST frustrating is locating a place in the specific area I’m searching for.

Like if I type in Maidstoneโ€ฆ.(which is in England) I get suggestions of places that are absolutely miles away from what I am searching for.
I notice that on most of the venues, the location details are quite obscureโ€ฆ.like it will search for Medway or London for instance. But the locations that are suggested by AirBnB are not linked to what I searched for, but ‘possibly’ in the same general county.

It would be really useful if the hosts could be more specific with their settings: like for instance if I search for a place in ‘Maidstone’ all places that are actually in the vicinity should have the word Maidstone in their description and I don’t have to scroll through each one to see where they actually are. The map is all very well, but it’s cumbersome and not always easy to use.

This has been a source of frustration for me every time I use AirBnb but yesterday and today I have been clicking on so many locations that are not anywhere near the actual town/city I want to stay in.
So if the host could say: Maidstone, Medway, England, UK – it would be really helpful.
Or Aylesford, Medway, England, UK and not just ‘Private Room in Medway’ for instance. Where in Medway. Its like saying a place is in ‘London’ Yeah right! London has 32 boroughs!!

And if AirBnB could fix their location settings so that when I search for Aylesford I don’t get venues in Rochester, or Bearsted, or just ‘Medway’ coming up in what is sometimes a long list of venues. It’s quite tiresome and very frustrating. As you can probably see from this communication.
Perhaps include a setting for search wider area for people who have cars or are not bothered about where they stay.

But as a long distance walker, I have to be in a specific location and not having to travel by train to get where I want to sleep over. If there is no venue in the specific name; like Aylesford (for instance), then rather just have a notification pop us that says ‘nothing available in this location, do you want to extend your search?’, with a km scale like up to 5kms or 10 kms, that would be awesome.
Thank you,
regards
Cindy

I’m trying to plan my walk along the Pilgrim’s Way and it has been an exercise in frustration…for some overnights, I’ve just given up searching and will take the train back to my ‘home town’, stay overnight there and train back the next day. It’s a mission, and will cost extra and some journeys are over 2 hours there and 2 hours back, but it’s either that or not at all. urgh LOL

So yeah, a bit of a rant, but hey….its part of my life and we can write anything we like – sorry guys LOL

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A friend of mine of Facebook set up a writing challenge for September 2020….the idea being to write at least 500 words a day, every day, for September 2020. As she said in her post, 2020 has been one hell of a year and it’s worth recording our thoughts and feelings…or actually anything at all you fancy.

In response to her post I said “I’m in”….and so here I am….my first post for September 2020.

I don’t usually like making these types of commitments because I like to just go with the flow, but since today I finally sucked in my breath and made a commitment to continue and finish (that’s the plan) my pilgrimage from Winchester to Canterbury, I figured I had better just get on with it and be disciplined!! Actually earlier this year, on my 65th birthday I decided that I should start keeping a diary. I have never been a diary person and the diary I started for my daughter began and ended with the words “my darling Samantha” LOL that was over 40 years ago, Shame on me.

I’m not sure why, but I find it sooooo very difficult to just sit down before bedtime and write a few words…..and so much has happened since then that I’ve mostly forgotten about, so I am somewhat disappointed with myself. But because I post to instagram just about every day, I keep thinking to myself…..”Oh, I’ll just check instagram and see what I said on this that r the other day” urgh.

Okay, so I just checked and I’ve only reached 250 words…..waffling on hahahha. Okay so 500 words is actually quite a lot, but hey…guess what, I started planning the 2nd half of the Pilgrim’s Way yesterday and today I booked the first 2 nights accommodation. It’s quite exciting and just a lot terrifying because I had to cut the journey short in 2018 after having 2 rather unpleasant falls. One was DOWN St Martha’s Hill near Guildford and the other was UP Box Hill on the way to Merstham. In both instances I hurt myself rather badly and by the day after I rather limped my way into Oxted and after waking the next day I decided to postpone (not quit) the final stages till I got my back and my leg sorted. That was in August 2018.

Of course since then my ever so beloved daughter has given birth to my absolutely delightful and much cherished grandson, and frankly, any thought of being away from him went out with the bath water!! I couldn’t tear myself away from this gorgeous baby boy, who is now nearly 20 months and an absolute charm….but much as it behoves me to be away from him during my work breaks, and much as I really just want to spend as much time with him as possible, I also need to get this walk done…..or it will be one of those things that I never complete…and my history is already littered with quite a few of those.

So here I am….and I have just reached 500 words. Hoorah!! So in conclusion, I shall bid you goodnight and see you tomorrow night with the next post…..keep me in check with this okay. I need y’all to stand behind me and give me a nudge if I don’t post something. Hope it’s not too boring LOL

Oh and p.s. why not join in….. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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VE DAY 75

What an emotional day. Naturally as soon as I got downstairs this morning I switched over to BBC1. They really do the whole patriotic big commemorative event thing so well, and they didn’t disappoint today.

By 10am I was already in tears. Seriously, I’m almost certain that I’m a reincarnation of someone who lived during the 2nd WW. It never fails to move me – listening to and watching footage from that period.

Whenever I hear Winston Churchill’s voice I literally get goosebumps from head to toe and tears well up in my eyes. I remember my visit to the War Rooms in Whitehall many years ago. I was meandering around the rooms looking at everything when suddenly his voice boomed out over the tannoy with his famous “We shall fight them….” speech. OMG I was rooted to the spot, tears pouring down my face…felt a bit of a twit, but fortunately it’s quite dark down there and no-one noticed.

The Spitfire flypast over the White Cliffs of Dover had me in tears once again, and how magnificent the Rex Arrows over London….oh how much I would have loved to see them for real.

Damn you Covid-19…

During my break I walked around the village capturing images of the decorations and bunting, and one street really got into the whole thing with flags, and bunting, tables and chairs out on the front of houses, tea sets and scones, champagne and the National Anthem…I chanced upon that just as it rang out from a huge speaker on someone’s lawn ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘ God Save the Queen ๐Ÿ‘ธ๐Ÿป โคโค

I got in a decent 3.49km and managed to walk along as many cut through as I could find…..added to my Hadrian’s Wall challenge ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜€

This evening’s programmes were equally as moving with snippets of interviews from around the country…its really impressive to realise just how many 100+ year olds there are in this country.

The Queen’s speech at 9pm was equally as moving and as always she was perfect; her look, her words, her delivery. How lucky we are to have her.

I compiled a short video of all the decorations and hope you enjoy it.

Stay safe, and long live the Queen

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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 ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘ 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 ๐Ÿ•ฏ

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 ๐Ÿฅฐ . 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 ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜„

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 ๐ŸŒ• so beautiful

Nearly a full moon

Take care folks….

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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. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜ฃ๐Ÿ˜ฃ

I finished 2 projects today ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘ 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 ๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ˜œ, 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 ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘ 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 ๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ˜œ 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 ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿฅฐ

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 Aprilโ€ฆ.especially consider that they bumped up the number of tests done, with tests sent out but not yet confirmedโ€ฆa typical ‘pull the wool over your eyes’ strategyโ€ฆa 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 toastโ€ฆ.half marmite, half marmalade. So eating the first halfโ€ฆexpecting marmalade, but kept thinking hmmm it tastes so much like marmite? Had a closer lookโ€ฆseems I smothered the marmite half with marmalade ๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช we had a place in South Africa called Taraโ€ฆ.if you’re looking for me, that’s where I am ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค”

Happy 100th Birthday Captain Tom ๐ŸŽˆ

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 Mooreโ€™s 100th birthday with a special postbox in honour of his incredible efforts to raise money for the NHS. The postbox is painted โ€˜NHS blueโ€™ and includes a golden balloon and birthday greetings in honour of Captain Tomโ€™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 ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ฎ and they have the audacity to include the word ‘cottage’ in the name….๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช 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 3ย  kms and that makes me a ‘trail blazer’ on the Hadrian’s Wall challenge๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

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 canโ€™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 ๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช

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. ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ

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 ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿป 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 ๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช), 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 ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค”

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 ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

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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