Living in Lockdown – 41

02/07/20 The number of corona-virus deaths in hospitals in the UK rose by 44. Greater Manchester Police has cancelled all leave to ensure it can mount a “significant operation” as pubs reopen on Saturday, the area’s mayor has said. A wise move I think and should probably be followed by other cities this weekend.

A pleasant day where forecast showers threatened but thankfully failed to live up to their promise. Another row of leeks and beetroot were successfully planted and I solved the problem of Chromecast not co-operating with Netflix. That was my day.

Protection in a tin.

Sue did a spot of shopping and brought back a couple of Brokleby pies, one of which we had for our evening meal. We once went to one of their pie making courses and developed a liking for their range of delicacies. She spent much of the afternoon with brush, bucket and trowel in hand, worrying the weeds around the house and garden.

Charlotte travelled up to spend the day with Sarah and Alice in Newbold Verdon and to help out in the garden. She took Harry with her as company for Mia.

Lucas had an interesting idea for a school project. He developed an emergency Covid-19 tin can!

Last week I spent some time watching our two male pheasants fighting for dominance on the driveway, it ended with the old one being usurped by the younger and being chased away. The old gentleman lost quite a few feathers in the battle and I didn’t see him again that week. The victor was seen escorting the female and her chicks on several occasions on the other bank of the river. Today, when I spread the grain under the Scots pine the young one was there as usual, waiting, I noticed that he couldn’t put one of his feet down and hopped in pain to feed. A little later I spotted the elderly pheasant sitting by the grain with feathers splayed out aggressively. Advancing into the undergrowth it soon became apparent that the young and damaged usurper was in there hiding. After a bit of circling and posturing, the young pheasant took to the air, reluctant to continue the feud whilst at a disadvantage. Whether the injury had been caused by a previous skirmish or by accident I do not know, but normal service has again resumed at Willow Bank. The old gentleman didn’t seem overly concerned that his mate and new family had readily took up with his arch enemy, obviously male pheasants must be very forgiving of their female partners.
03/07/20 The UK’s official corona-virus death toll rose to 44,131, with another 137 fatalities confirmed overnight. Officials in Brussels have approved Remdesivir to treat severe cases of Covid-19, just days after the US effectively stockpiled the world’s entire supply. The experimental drug was originally created to treat Hepatitis C but proved ineffective. It was also used against Ebola but proved ineffective in treating that too. However, it has found to be more successful in treating respiratory illnesses such as Sars, Mers and the new corona-virus.

Sleepy Alice.

A cold wet and windy day. Friday is usually my 3 hour cycle day and despite waking late (8am) and a hateful southerly wind I chose to stick with routine. To my satisfaction, I came across just one dog walker and a lone cyclist.

After lunch I visited B&M to replenish my dwindling supplies of liquid refreshments and fat balls for the bird table. While I was out re-stocking, Charlotte arrived to drop off a bicycle that needed some attention to its brakes and gears, before I returned she had left to visit her friend Christine who lives in Harborough. She had just been discharged from hospital and was in desperate need of a lot of TLC. I spent the rest of the afternoon making a curry for the evening meal.

Sue used this miserable excuse for a summer’s day to catch up with replying to all the emails that had built up in her in-box over the last few days.
04/07/20 A further 67 people have died after testing positive for corona-virus in UK hospitals on a major day of lock-down easing, 44 198 people have now died across all settings in the UK as of 5pm on Friday. Many pubs in England threw open their doors at 6am to welcome back punters, while others queued outside salons and made a weekend getaway, leaving motorways jammed. Extra police have been drafted in to Harborough to prevent any trouble and stop people from locked-down Leicester coming to town as pubs prepare to re-open this weekend.

Published today on Facebook:

We have been out visiting our pubs today to establish their plans and operating practices
Please review the following to avoid unnecessary travel and disappointment

all of our open venues are operating a pre-booked table service. If the venue and tables are fully booked you will not be allowed in the premises


many venues are not opening


Identification (photo with address) will be required to gain entry. You can be refused without it


most venues are operating on reduced hours and will be closed by 9pm


if you are asked to leave by the staff please leave. If you refuse then we will help you leave


the ‘pub experience’ will be very different to how it was. There will be social distancing. Toilets will be one in one out. Most seating will be outside. If it rains you will not be allowed inside to shelter

Please enjoy the weekend but act with consideration to those around you.
There will be plenty of us to keep an eye on things.

Smile for the camera.

Baby frog?

A cool and windy day. Besides the usual supermarket pavement queues, ‘Super Saturday’ saw lines of punters outside the hairdressers and pubs in Harborough town centre from 8am. I can’t help thinking that this mad rush by some to ‘normalise’ their lives is understandable but I fear carries a risk that I at present do not wish to accept. Charlotte, in response to news of this fever to visit the pub, eloquently put her thoughts on our family messenger group, “The way I see it: my decisions affect those around me. I have my family, Lucas who is high risk (only one kidney), my parents who I like to pop over to see for a few minutes every few weeks, mum who has scarred lungs from multiple episodes of pneumonia, my brand new niece I want to cuddle and my work/clients who are all high risk. The decisions I make have an effect on every one of these people and I choose to put them above my own needs. I’ve been invited to birthday party’s, street party’s and to the pub this weekend but I have turned everyone down. Boring maybe, but then what is fun about lock-down? I choose not to take unnecessary risks with my life and those I care for, instead I accept there will have to be a new life we all need to adjust to, if there is an after.”

Well, what did Sue and I do today? A tall elderberry tree growing through the hedge got a severe clipping and the snapdragon seedlings I have been nurturing, were planted out in the raised border. I picked and shelled a row of peas and tied and supported the grape vines. I also managed to have a look at the bike that Charlotte brought yesterday, fixed the brakes and gears and gave it a good lubricating. After filling the washing machine and hanging out the clothes, Sue returned to her tapestry and made inroads into finishing the intricate picture, originally started by Doreen. During the evening we watched the film ‘WASP Network’, it tells the true story of Cuban spies in American territory during the 1990’s. A complicated story, not told very well.
There has been 106 days since I started this daily recording of the effects of the corona-virus on the Palmer family and though it has nowhere near finished wreaking havoc on the inhabitants of planet Earth, I think it is about time that I return this blog to more significant family events and experiences rather than commenting on ‘shelling peas’ or ‘pheasant fighting’ and a less regular publication. On the front page of this blog I excuse myself, ‘by commenting on issues beyond that of the family that I feel a need to remark on.’ Well corona-virus has been thoroughly commented on and it is time I did less. Hopefully, Trump inspired, it will magically disappear.

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