Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘lockdown’

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 πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ 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 πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„ 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 β˜ΊοΈβ˜ΊοΈπŸ‘ΆπŸ»πŸ’™πŸ₯°

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 πŸ˜ͺπŸ˜ͺπŸ˜ͺ ouch. Too painful for words. Children give you grey hair πŸ˜‰…..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 πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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 πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ

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

Read Full Post »

And now its beginning to feel interminable…

I’m used to this type of situation, it’s my job and for 2-3 weeks of every month I spend my days in ‘lockdown’. But even I’m being to feel squashed. I still get my 2 hour break between 2-4pm and the occasional shopping trip, but it’s the worry…..

Worry that I may inadvertently touch an item or object that’s infected. I’ve never washed my hands so much in my entire life. You have to think twice before picking anything up, opening a door or a gate…

Plastic and metal have become the enemy, and its just bloody bizarre having to avoid people all the time. I mean I know we’re all being awfully polite about it, but it feels odd.

Going into the store is like Noah’s ark….we go in 2 x 2.

Of course there are a lot of positives…the air is clearer, there’s less pollution and less noise, and animals are beginning to roam the streets in the absence of humans. And humans on the whole are just being bloody amazing….every day you read about how people are stepping up and helping others…..just incredible.

I pushed myself out the door at 3pm…having caved in to flopping on the bed initially and feeling quite lethargic. I decided to explore the town more fully; strolled up the main street and diverted into each close and street as I walked. I discovered a pathway and following that it brought me to a delightful secluded glade with a stream bubbling on its busy way.

It was at this point that my phone rang and suddenly my day got brighter….it was my daughter and my grandson. Such a gorgeous smile for Granny πŸ₯°πŸ‘ΆπŸ»πŸ’™ My daughter had bought him a full length swim costume and he was running about barefoot playing with his toys in a tub of water and the little sandpit they got for him. He was ever so busy back and forth, babbling away in his little squeaky vocabulary. I miss him so much.

A pretty little glade

Certainly brightened up my day. The rest of my walk was uneventful and I continued rambling here and there and eventually found myself at the back of the mound, so climbed to the top and did a couple of circuits of the castle, collecting sheeps wool as I went. I’m gathering quite a decent amount.

Then it was back to the house. Even though I’m really really used to being indoors for much of my life I’m beginning to find it a tiny bit claustrophobic. There’s bugger all on TV unless you enjoy repeats of everything from cooking shows, to those endless property programmes. Seriously, what do we pay our TV licence for…mind you having said that I don’t pay for a TV license…the client does πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€” but you know what I mean.

However, on the bright side, I did find a ‘repeat’ of Robson Green on his travels around the coast. No hardship watching that…he is serious eye-candy πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ˜ƒ That smile….

The news on the otherhand is just grim. I’ve been rationing my viewing time to lessen the depressing effects of the spread and results of this virus. I worry about my friend who is still in hospital and wonder when or who will be next. The stats are shocking.

But my son-in-law sent me a lovely video earlier, playing the tune ‘Over the Rainbow’ that reminded me we are living through history….my grandson will learn about this time in school one day and we’ll be able to tell him about it firsthand. Not sure that’s of any comfort to those who have lost loved ones….

There’s meant to be a pink full moon tonight….but guess what??? After 5 days of clear skies at night…..yup, its overcast. Typical πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ You can always depend on the UK weather….if there’s an eclipse or a special moon, its sure to be overcast. πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„

We may not be able to see the moon…but look at those tulips

Its wonderfully quiet outside and I can hear some cows mooing in the distance. Talking of cows, how absolutely tragic that so much milk is being wasted and thrown out. Most assuredly they can do something better than that? Freeze it? Make cheese. Give it to care homes or food banks? Surely???

Read Full Post »

As you may have noticed (or not πŸ˜‰) I did indeed miss a couple of days last week. I started writing articles and then got reading the latest book and voila, before I knew it, the 11pm chimed on the clock tower and it was time for lights out. My day starts quite early, although I have managed to push it back by 30 minutes after gentle persuasion. Nonetheless, I will finish them off ….just not sure when.

So here we are…day 14 of UK lockdown almost gone and the statistics are terrifying. And our esteemed PM has only gone and got himself into hospital. Hmmm. πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€” I wonder, if while he’s being cared for by the nurses, he thinks back to 2017 when he and his Tory cronies DENIED these very people a wage increase. 🀬🀬🀬

UPDATE: I just saw on Facebook that Johnson is now in ICU.

Seriously, if this government doesn’t now, after this pandemic is over, give these people AND all the other many many services keeping this country running an increase in wages/salary, then may they be damned forever. Its been proven beyond doubt that it’s not the bankers, or the hedge-funders, the politicians or the lawyers etc etc who keep this country running. No it’s the apparently low-skilled and definitely underpaid KEY workers….nurses, carers, doctors, police, ambulance personnel, post office workers, truck drivers, bus drivers, garbage collectors and so on sho have been the champions, who have kept the engine going. They all deserve a wage increase.

Cheers to them all πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™

I was shocked to my boots to discover that one of my dear friends is in hospital on a ventilator….christ I can tell you, my heart nearly stopped. Thankfully he is still communicating via Facebook, so not critical, but whewww. It really brings it home when someone you know is ill with this horror.

In other news I have been feeling ever so glum the whole day and didn’t even go out for my usual walk. The reason being that under normal circumstances I’d have finished off my current assignment today and would have been arriving back ‘home’ round about now…..this event would have preceded the joyful reunion with my beloved grandson tomorrow. But, instead due to the lockdown I am in fact still 243 miles away πŸ˜”πŸ˜”πŸ˜”

However I did get to chat to him this evening via WhatsApp facetime and it was wonderful. He’s such a joy and so very very cute….blowing me kisses without any prompting…it just made my day. I got to chat to Mummy and Daddy too and it’s so lovely to see them. 3 weeks and counting……❀❀❀

Grocery shopping has become a bit of a minefield what with all the plastic. Our shopper dropped off about 6 bags of items I requested, and it took me 30 minutes and multiple handwashes to unpack the bags, spray and clean everything down (even the bread packet and bagels were sprayed with flash and washed off πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ€”πŸ€”) then dried and packed away. Urgh. It used to be fun unpacking groceries, now it’s like each item has the potential to kill. I said I was going to be paranoid about this bloody virus…. If only there was something we could spray over everything that would highlight if there were any particles of the virus on the surfaces. You know like they do in CSI….

Potential death traps

Actually talking of plastic, I do truly hope that manufacturers are going to step up their efforts to reduce the amount of plastic packaging (pollution) still being produced. But I won’t hold my breath!!!

I came up with a genius idea for my client’s newspaper. Her family were worried about the virus being on the cover, so I’ve been removing them for the last 2 weeks. However I heard that Hester kills the virus, so I’ve been ‘baking’ the papers on the Rayburn before delivery in the morning… clever no!!

Baking the newspaper πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


I did the same to some books I acquired and my magazine

Although I haven’t been watching as much TV as normal, how lovely it was to see the Queen last night on TV. Our one constant in all the mayhem. Long may she reign πŸ‘ΈπŸ»β€

Btw have/do any of you wear masks when going out? I haven’t quite gone that far just yet, although I do wear gloves in case I have to open any gates on my perambulations. But it may just come to that what with the number of infection cases escalating. Talking of masks, the D/N visited today and she’s quite pleased with the state of my client’s wound. Yayyy me.

So anyhooooo…..here we are, end of day 14 of lockdown with 7 to go. Who knows what the future holds……

I hope the bull can read πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰ hopefully our politicians adhere to this premise 😁😁

Take care folks and be safe. I hope you are all safe.

Read Full Post »

I just read this on a friend’s timeline and thought I’d share it because it is absolutely accurate.

Borrowed
Okay, time for a Public Information Announcement on behalf of Police Officers throughout the UK.

We’re in the midst of a global pandemic, the likes of which hasn’t been seen in our lifetimes. The agreed and sensible advice from Scientists and the Government is to STAY AT HOME to prevent the spread of this highly infectious disease; simply to stop our Healthcare System becoming overwhelmed, resulting in unnecessary deaths.

This advice has been replicated around the world:

β€’ In India, Police use large sticks to beat people for venturing outdoors.
β€’ In South Africa, Police have fired rubbers bullets at crowds outside a supermarket.
β€’ In Peru, those who flout government restrictions can be jailed for up to three years.
β€’ In Saudi Arabia, they can be jailed for five years.
β€’ In China, people regularly “go missing” for defying the state.
β€’ In Spain, the Army are on the streets.
β€’ In New Zealand, if you ignore advice they deport you.

Yet, the most scathing headlines are saved for Police Officers in the United Kingdom.

In these troubled times, those absolute b*stards that make up our Police Force(s) are:

β€’ Encouraging people to go home, or in many instances, driving them there.
β€’ Shopping for the elderly/vulnerable when they have no-one else to turn to.
β€’ Trying to maintain Law and Order.
β€’ Moving out of their family homes to keep their families safe.
β€’ Trying to keep communities together.
β€’ Dealing with ALL THE USUAL CRIME that they normally do, i.e. Domestic Violence, Burglaries, Thefts, Drink Driving, Drug Dealing, etc etc…and still have to meet performance targets.
β€’ Having to cope with SCUMBAGS who are deliberately coughing or spitting at them, whilst claiming to have Coronavirus (amongst your daily assaults on Police)

… and when all that fails, they can report people for summons or issue them with a Fixed Penalty Notice! 😲

However, this does fail to address a few key points…

Why is action even required? If people LISTENED to the advice and stayed at home, it simply wouldn’t be.

This ISN’T a Police State. Not even remotely close to one.

If you want examples of that, try some of the other countries mentioned above. You’d have a shock when you start bleating about your Human Rights only to find a Copper beating you with a hefty stick before hauling you off to jail.

Ironically, the fact that you can BE such a difficult selfish individual in this country is largely down to the fact that the Police are usually around to keep you safe – no matter what stupidity you’re bleating on about. It doesn’t matter if they agree or disagree with you – you will find them defending your right to protest – stuck in the middle and receiving hatred and bile from both sides, regardless.

So, back to the fickle Media.

One day, there’s a terrorist attack and you’re all heroes…

The next day, someone else is told that they can’t do something – and you’re all suddenly Facists.

Last week, it was widely accepted that the Police needed to do MORE to enforce “social distancing” measures.

So they did.

This week, people who aren’t used to being told “no” are up in arms that their civil liberties are being restricted.

If EVER there was a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” scenario – this is precisely it.

The Public AND the Press need to decide exactly WHAT they want from their Police. Never has there been a better time to do so.

“Journalists” sit behind their desks, safe in the knowledge that any negative, inflammatory, Police-related, attention-grabbing headlines will garner hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of clicks – baiting people into crappy articles that spew an anti-Police rhetoric – and any resulting discussion just further increases the reach of the articles; all in all, an Editor’s ideal scenario!

So they continue to do so, not giving a damn about force morale and having little or no clue about what it takes for a person to put on a uniform and go to work – SIMPLY TO HELP OTHERS – and be hated for it regardless of what you do.

One thing is quite clear. Every piece has a hero and a villain. The Media have set their stall out early on with this one. The NHS will clearly (and rightly so) be put on a pedestal for weeks or months to come. Police on the other hand are the cheap shot; easy to depict as the bad guys, because that’s all they ever are.

Will this fall on deaf ears? Probably. But there’s always the slightest of chances that people will read it, take a step back, and just MAYBE consider what they would do if they were in your boots.

Ultimately, this whole situation sums up policing in this country.

People want you to do their dirty work. They want you to deal with things so that they don’t have to. And they reserve the right to criticise you, whatever decision you make.

You don’t have to be mad to be a Police Officer….

… but it sure bloody helps.

The message is simple – Stay at home; do not meet people outside your household.

Read Full Post »

As we enter the 2nd week of lockdown it seems that finally the message is getting through to the last of the laggards. People are staying home πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

Thankfully I love reading and although I was only expecting to be here for 2 weeks, I brought 3 new books with me. I can’t tell you how often in the past I’ve worked in homes bereft of books!! How do people not have books to read??

As it turns out, I’m going to be here for 5 weeks!!! And bonus…unusually for me there are hundreds of books in this house, and most are by authors that I enjoy…so I have a huge selection and choice to keep me going.

I finished the 1st book a couple of days ago and started reading another of my favourite authors…Lee Child. The Midnight Line features Jack Reacher and as with others in the series it doesn’t disappoint. I read until 11.30pm last night and until I couldn’t see anymore πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ it’s a page turner.

I had the joy of a facetime call with my grandson this morning πŸ’™πŸ‘ΆπŸ»πŸ’™ He’s ever so cute and developing so quickly. Apparently he’s started calling me nan nan πŸ₯°πŸ₯°…still finding it difficult to say Granny πŸ‘΅πŸ» Its an absolute joy to watch his development and I’m in awe of how much he has grown and changed in the last 14.5 months. From a tiny, helpless baby dependent on us for his every need, to an adorable toddler with a very determined mind of his own….and if he’s deterred…he has a bit of a meltdown…a real drama llama πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜ It’s so cute.

I had a fabulous walk today. I retraced my steps from yesterday and went a wee bit further. The weather was perfect for walking. What a beautiful area of the country….although my time is limited, the Quantocks are right on my doorstep and I am so lucky. I only passed about 8 people today, we all waved, said hello and asked if we’re doing good…all in very good spirits. The path I followed runs right next to a bubbling stream and at one stage I was inspected by a very energetic little dog who had no clue about social distancing πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Countrywide the news is not good. This horrible thing is spreading so fast now and as fast as its spreading so our government is lagging behind. You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time. If nothing else, being in lockdown gives us a better chance to scrutinise what our government is doing and they’re not doing too fantastically. The medical profession are begging for PPE and other supplies, and the current spokesman stands there and talks πŸ‚πŸ’©. The current crisis is fully in their hands.

So here we are, at the end of another day and I am thinking more about how much I have to be grateful for….others feel the same way too

Take care folks, stay safe

Read Full Post »

So not only was today a ‘stone’ day but I also have no network.

Being a fresh air fanatic sometimes has its downside…if the temperature drops during the night you wake up freezing. Okay maybe a slight exaggeration, but yeah, damn cold. It was 3 degrees this morning!!!

I saw on Facebook a couple of my friends mentioned snow in their neck of the woods!!! Really?? Although it was cloudy here we still had intermittent sunshine. But evidently things were a bit different elsewhere.

I didn’t go out during my break for my usual walk today; just too tired so I slept instead. The clocks went forward today and required an earlier start to the day and besides that I’d had a bit of an upset in the morning that just tipped me over the edge and into a depressed mood.

Thankfully my client has been very pleasant the last 2 days and that has relieved some of the stress, but the news is so depressing and apparently we’re going to have even tighter restrictions…so tomorrow I’m out for my walk regardless.

I had a lovely chat with my sister in Cape Town this afternoon which was lovely and they’re bearing up okay… their lockdown is even more severe than ours and people are not even allowed to walk their dogs. Although it has affected everyone in the country, in a weird way the white South Africans are now getting a taste of what life was like for black and coloured South Africans during the apartheid era. Being restricted to their homes, freedoms curtailed, arrests for breaking the restrictions…I’m waiting with bated breath for what will be an inevitable blow up.

I’ve started a new book; The Midnight Line by Lee Child featuring Jack Reacher. I enjoy these types of books and of course reading takes your mind off everything. This is also one of those times that I wish I had access to Netflix, but no such thing here and the programmes on TV are terrible.

Perhaps I should get back to my book…

Anyway, another day has passed and life goes on…for some of us anyway. The rise in the number of Covid-19 deaths is quite terrifying. Its Its really hard trying to comprehend all of what is happening and it all feels like a very bad dream.

In case you were wondering the reference to the ‘stone’ day its from the John Denver song “Some days are diamonds, some days are stone.”

So take care and stay safe

Read Full Post »

Lovely sunrise this morning. Twas a beautiful day in Somerset although as the morning has gone on, so more clouds are building up. That rain they were talking about perhaps…

“With the new day comes new strength and thoughts”. Eleanor Roosevelt

I popped out to the store as usual just to get more milk and bread. My client goes through lots of milk each day and I’m concerned we’re going to run out. Especially after seeing this posted in the walk 1000 miles group this morning:

Not sure how accurate it is, but considering the pattern of infection in other countries it makes sense. So far we haven’t had any cases (that I’ve heard of) in our neck of the woods, the closest being Taunton. But this thing travels fast, so…

This is a text from an NHS worker

“As of tomorrow, do not leave home for bread for anything! Because the worst begins tomorrow as the incubation date is met and many people that are positive with the virus start to peak!! It’s at this time other people are most vulnerable! so it is very important to stay home and not to be in contact with anybody, even members of your family if possible!! Being very careful is very important and very crucial at this time!!

As from tomorrow we are going to see the start of the peak of those that are positive, then there will be two weeks of calm and then two weeks where it decreases.

  • What happened in Italy is that they neglected the contagion period and that is why all the cases turned out together and so badly, plus they didn’t know what they were dealing with *.
  • And finally, please do not receive visits from anyone, not even from the same family. This is all for the good of all. * WE WILL BE IN THE MAXIMUM STAGE OF INFECTION.
  • DO NOT HOLD ON TO THIS MESSAGE, PASS IT ON TO ALL YOUR CONTACTS *

So forewarned is forewarned/ and better safe than sorry…

Isn’t it ironic that the very people who are meant to be leading the country during this time have tested positive and have clearly NOT been following their own advice.

To avoid watching any further depressing news I’ve been watching Call the Midwife….so much more palatable.

My daughter has given me permission to share the WhatsApp image she captured yesterday during our grandparents call. The wonders of technology

My lovely family πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ’™πŸ‘ΆπŸ»

I had a spot of luck this morning…on my way back from the store I happened to notice a box of stuff on the bench near the clock tower. Looking closer I saw a note from a local farm; Inwood Farm, saying to please help ourselves to the items..free in order to not waste. I took a few boxes of chocolates and 2 boxes of biscuits and one packet of tortilla wraps. How lucky is that. There were quite a lot of items so I hope other people also got to share in the windfall.

All I wanted to do was sleep this afternoon after a bout of wakefulness in the early hours, but I forced myself to go out for a walk since if indeed the virus infections are going to peak next week, we may go into total lockdown and be unable to get out. So making the most of it. I managed 2.4 kms… This area is so gorgeous

Nether Stowey Castle from across the road

I followed part of my usual route and then crossed the road and climbed to the top of the next hill. This is reminding me more and more of the Camino πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ It was very cloudy, windy and cold up there but oh, the views…with a fantastic view of the castle. From that elevation, 140.3 metres I could see Steep Holme Island in the Bridtol Channel. Stunning.

Nether Stowey Castle

The steps leading up to the field reminded me of Box Hill and the fall I had that put an end to my pilgrimage in 2018.

Steps

I’ve just finished reading a brilliant book: The Mermaids Singing by Val McDermid, one of my favourite authors. It’s the first book where she introduces Tony Hill and Carol Jordan of Wire in the Blood TV series. Now I’ll have to follow the editions and reread some of the later books I’ve already read.

Altogether a good day.

Hope you all had a fab day and are taking steps to remain safe. I suspect things are going to ramp up quite a lot over the next couple of weeks so please observe the protocol for keeping safe and try to not get the virus.

The very best to you all

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

A Polish odyssey and other stories

The all too infrequent adventures of an Englishman in Poland and, as it says, other stories...

The Art of Blogging

For bloggers who aspire to inspire

ExploreOurWorld

Travel, Adventure and Exploration

The Partying Traveler

Survival of the Littest

retiredmartin

On permanent exploration of places, pubs, people and new music.

Ruth's Coastal Walk (UK)

Coastalwalker.co.uk - walking around the British coastline, very SLOWLY.

Raising My Rainbow

Adventures in raising a fabulously gender creative son.

A Guy Called Bloke

Storytelling My Life For You!

the traveller's path

The blog of L.A. Smith, writer