Living in Lockdown – 5

The death toll in the UK reached a frightening 1019, however putting it in perspective, over the last 24 hours another 832 passed away in Spain. However, the NHS England medical director Prof Stephen Powis says if the death toll in the UK is kept below 20,000, “We will have done very well”. There is still a long way to go.

Luckily for us, we are not led by an unprincipled,  egocentric megalomaniac such as Donald Trump. He seems to have no compunction in sacrificing the lives of his citizens, in pursuit of his own personal gratification and agenda. When Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) called President Trump last Sunday, he delivered a blunt message: “If you reopen the nation’s economy too early against the advice of public-health experts, you will own the deaths from the novel corona virus that follow.” Sadly, he doesn’t have a track record of listening to advice. The question is: after the pandemic will the world be measuring its economies against the dollar, rouble or the yuan? Those of us who are still here, will see.

This morning, over my ‘wake-up’ mug of coffee I read a short story attached to an email that Ken Hayes had sent me yesterday. He is a published author of children’s stories centered on some delightful creatures called The Dorps. I knew the story would be well written but I would never have guessed the subject of his story. Intriguingly, Sue and I are part of the plot and much of the action is quite true, though it does have a rather unexpected twist at the end. The story is titled: The journey took an unexpected turn. It can be viewed by clicking on the link and downloading.

At the beginning of the week I downloaded a COVID Symptom Tracker App created by Guy’s & St. Thomas’ & King’ college and suggested by Ruth on the family Messenger group. Each morning I input some brief details into it. It is my small effort to combat Covid-19.


Sadly, the Air Ambulance landed in Harborough to day. There was a fatal collision during the morning off Great Bowden Road, a woman was pronounced dead at the scene. No other cars were involved and Police are appealing for witnesses. From the photos of the incident on Facebook, the paramedics can be seen kitted up in virus protection clothing. Their crucial job has become even more hazardous.

On brighter note, Jamie got up early this morning and made bread buns for Ruth and Joey. Observing the required social distancing (we stayed in the house, they remained outside) during the afternoon they kindly came to bring us a leg of lamb for Sunday lunch. Afterwards, Jamie fired up the quad bike stored in our garage and gave Joey a very noisy ride up  and down the drive. Before leaving, the three of them played football on the lawn.

I don’t usually ride my bike on a Saturday, the day is reserved for watching rugby. However, this morning I did cycle to my allotment and pick around 20 or so leeks before doing a bit of weeding and a small section of digging. I counted that as my daily outdoor exercise, they day was bitterly cold so I found jobs to do around the house for the rest of the day. I did watch the Tigers v Harlequins play in the 2012 Premiership Final on BT Sport in the afternoon. Tigers lost, but it was an excellent game and though I knew the score, I have selective amnesia when required and kept hoping, right up to the final whistle, that this time we would win.

During the evening we pretended another cinema visit and watched the Two Popes on Netflix. I enjoyed it enormously, though Sue just about managed to stay awake, muttering throughout that too much had been covered up in real life and glossed over by the script writers. 

29/03/20 A much brighter start to the day, or is it because the clocks went forward an hour last night and it just seems that way? Thinking you have had an extra hour in bed, even when you haven’t, must be uplifting to the spirit, surely?

Seven hundred and fifty thousand people have so far volunteered to help the NHS and their communities through this pandemic, the humanity shines though in these dark times and they deserve the recognition and support of us all. 

An email from my step-brother David, highlighted another problem of Corvid-19. He lives with his wife Genya for most of the summer months in their property in Bulgaria. He usually drives there through Europe, but of course with borders now closed he is unable to do that. He also has to be in the property by the end of the year or else he will lose his right to Bulgarian residency. Hopefully, things will be back to normal long before that. Thankfully they have a property in Yorkshire.

A rather chilly day kept Sue and I inside again for most of the day. I had decided to open the cheese making kit that Jamie had bought me for Christmas, but it meant a shopping trip into town for 4 litres of full fat milk. First stop was the Co-op, they had no milk. B&M had just two litres, luckily both full fat. I struck gold in Tesco who had lots of full fat and little else. Yes, I could make cheese! Just in case of a cheesy disaster I bought a block of cheddar.  You always need a plan B. I was very surprised that I didn’t have to queue, especially at Tesco. A fully masked assistant standing by the doorway  informed me that I was limited to just 3 items of the same kind, but as I was only after two bottles of milk I wasn’t worried about being strip searched!

Returning home, while Sue started Sunday lunch I cut up a load of dry wood in readiness for the cold weather  forecast over the coming week. It would have to be my exercise for the day, far too cold and windy to cycle today. Cheese making began in earnest after lunch. Following the supplied recipe was quite easy, apart from milk, a large pan and a colander the kit contained all that was needed to make my first Mozzarella. The quantities and timings have to be exact but Google Home helped out greatly and in just over an hour I had lots of little Mozzarella balls. We had some of them for tea, yummy! All I can say amusingly is: Blessed are the cheese makers!



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