22/05/20 The UK’s corona-virus death toll has increased by 351, according to the latest government figures. The rise in the 24 hours up to 5pm on Thursday takes the country’s official death toll in hospitals, care homes and the community to 36,393. Priti Patel announced two-week quarantines will be imposed on new arrivals to the UK from 8 June with a £1,000 fine for anyone who breaches the measure. Passengers will have to fill in a form providing their contact and travel information so they can be traced. It won’t apply to people coming from Ireland, medics tackling COVID-19 and seasonal agricultural workers. I predict that these regulations will soon change.
Over my morning coffee I watched a rather informative video of the grossly uninformed, it is worth watching: Trump Supporters attending a Rally
A very windy day. As the country starts to moderate lock-down it was noticeable that there seems to be many more people and traffic about. I saw people playing tennis in the park and as I finished off my cycle ride returning through the town centre, the restaurants and fast food outlets, though still closed, had their lights on and people busy doing ‘something’ inside. I think, the statistics mentioned in the first paragraph are a salutary warning that we shouldn’t be taking our foot off the brakes just yet.
We had a small amount of rain during the night but not enough to warrant leaving the vegetables without a drink from the hose. The paths got a much needed mowing too. Encouragingly the grape vines seem to be stirring into life (again) a few buds have appeared among the crispy remains of their last attempt at life.
23/05/20 Britain today announced 180 more corona-virus deaths, taking the official number of victims to 36,573. Boris Johnson’s chief adviser has said he “obviously” won’t resign amid claims he breached the Government’s restrictions by travelling to Durham during lock-down . Dominic Cummings said he acted “reasonably and legally” when he travelled more than 260 miles from his London home, despite travel restrictions being in place. We can all understand that it is a nightmare situation (given the present circumstances) for any parent to be faced with when your partner falls ill and you are in charge of a small child, but a man with his connections, influence and supposed intelligence could surely have arranged for his child to be kept safe from infection at home in London, without all three having to travel to his parents in Durham. His actions are wrong on many levels, but more so for the arrogance displayed in not acknowledging that he has broken the guidance stressed daily by the government he advises. In the past he has been accused of hypocrisy, a trait exhibited throughout his career. He has to go.
Today was Sarah’s birthday. Charlotte travelled to Newbold Verdon to be with her sister and share a bit of ‘girl’ time for the first time since lock-down began.
Jamie and Ruth visited Bradgate Park and enjoyed a walk on a blustery, showery day.
Except for Sue fetching the newspaper we didn’t leave the house at all. I wrestled many hours with a problem to our internet connection and didn’t solve it until the middle of the afternoon.
During the evening we watched ‘The Siege of Jadotville‘, a film on Netflix. A true story of Irish UN soldiers in 1961 sent on a peacekeeping Mission to Katanga, Africa and how they defended their outpost. Outrageously, Charles De Gaul sent troops (French mercenaries) to protect their mining interests (uranium) in the Congo, resulting in them attacking the Irish troops and shooting down and killing the Secretary-General of the United Nation’s plane on his way to negotiate. The affair was hushed up until 2004. Shocking true story, well told.
24/05/20 36,793 people have died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community after testing positive for corona-virus in the UK as of 5pm on Saturday, up by 118 from 36,675 the day before. Boris Johnson has defended Dominic Cummings after reports emerged that he broke corona-virus lock-down rules for a second time. After university (BA History), Cummings moved to Yeltsin’s post-Soviet Russia from 1994 to 1997, I do wonder what he got up to whilst there? He now advises a British Prime-minister who seems to want to defend the indefensible in order to retain his advice and no doubt influence. Am I rumour mongering or, does this look like another Guy Burgess scenario? He has to go, purely on the basis that with his immense self regards he displays a complete lack of regret that he broke the ‘spirit’ if not the rules that the rest of us are expected to abide by.
The twelfth Sunday of Lock-down was yet another quiet one at Willow Bank. Sue went shopping at Lidl and then busied herself constructing Sunday lunch. I had an aborted start to the day; forgetting to switch off my mobile, I was awoken by several ‘pings’ from the almighty Messenger as Sarah and Charlotte conversed together at 4am! Unable to get back to sleep, I eventually got up and made breakfast at 5am. Around an hour later I went back to bed and slept until 9.15am. I lethargically spent the rest of the morning planting beetroot and moving the sprinkler around the garden. Fully satiated, after lunch I tackled a loathsome job I have been putting off for weeks, painting three fence panels! I have decided to do no more than three a day of the several million still left to do (seems that way), on those days I can’t find anything more interesting to do. Yawn………
Charlotte and family went Comfrey hunting into the wilds of Northamptonshire to make a liquid fertilizer. High in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium it makes a cheap and excellent fertilizer for all plants, though it does smell exceedingly vile. Sarah and Lee spent most of the day putting posts into the ground to hold their freshly painted trellis. The job was made all the more difficult due to the concrete base of previous posts having to be dug out. I was surprised, that with such efforts, the baby Sarah is carrying didn’t decide to greet the world a week early!