14/07/20 The UK has recorded 138 corona-virus deaths in the past 24 hours. the Government announced that people must have their nose and mouth covered when going shopping or risk a £100 fine from July 24.
With concerns for security the government has banned the purchase of new Huawei equipment by UK telecoms operators from the end of 2020. Legislation will ensure the complete removal of all Huawei kit from 5G networks by 2027.
Armed Police were deployed and a Police helicopter scrambled after two youths were confronted by a man holding a shotgun in a field in Market Harborough yesterday.
The White House has claimed the rest of the world views the US as a “leader” in the corona-virus pandemic despite leading with record-level Covid-19 cases. It is probably true that most of the free world did once see America as an important influence and a leader in world affairs, but that was before DT took office. Since then, his constant barrage of outrageous rhetoric and actions has relegated his country’s standing to that of a distrusted and dangerously comical pariah in the eyes of many in the rest of the world. Today’s example: US Hospitals will be forced to bypass the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and send all data on patients infected with Covid-19 to the Trump administration under a new order beginning on Wednesday. Surely DT wouldn’t manipulate the data to give the impression that he is successfully tackling the pandemic? Would he?
Today Sarah, Alice and Mia visited Willow Bank for the first time since Lock-down. It was a cool, dreary day with spits and spots of rain at regular intervals. She spent a couple of hours with us under the shelter of a parasol in the garden with a brief interlude to fill the boot of her car with more wood-chip to add to that already spread on the flower borders back home. Earlier, Sue had taken family friend Linda, to Kettering to buy a new Cooker, hob, and washing machine from Curry’s and returned home just a few minutes after Sarah arrived. I had already had my lunch with the animals so they had a small pizza each for lunch. They left to meet Sarah’s friend Chloe, for a walk in East Carlton Park. Afterwards they travelled to Rothwell to see Charlotte before returning home.
16/07/20 The UK has recorded 66 corona-virus deaths in the past 24 hours.
A dull cool morning was followed by a pleasantly warm and sunny afternoon and evening. Thursday evenings was traditionally the night that I met up with a few of my past rugby chums to play pool and sink a few beers, but COVID-19 put a stop to that. Some of them have been meeting up on line using the ZOOM platform to chat and drink whilst in the comfort of their individual living rooms, I chose not to, preferring to watch an on-line theatre production or film with Sue instead.With the easing of restrictions, the ‘gang’ met up this evening in Jim Crawford’s garden for drinks and nibbles.
Though some hostelries are now open in Harborough, there appeared to be few customers enjoying a drink as I cycled through the town to get to Jim’s. Our usual watering hole and pool venue is one of those establishments choosing to remain closed.
Despite in the past being quite familiar with each other (playing, touring etc.), through distancing and not being ‘up-to-date’ on each others circumstances, the atmosphere had a slight edginess to it. None-the-less, we soon eased into the usual banter and the evening was entertaining, not finishing until midnight.
17/07/20 The UK has recorded 114 corona-virus deaths in the past 24 hours. British scientists developing a vaccine against COVID-19 won’t make the jab in the United States in case the Trump administration insists it is used to protect America first. The UK government is building a medicines stockpile worth almost £100m, to boost supplies of vital drugs ahead of a potential second wave. Nearly 100,000 mink will be slaughtered at a farm in Spain after seven staff and most of the animals tested positive for corona-virus, health authorities have said.
Sarah and Lee lee have bought themselves a large van which they plan to convert into a camper-van, it is a project that Lee has had on the back burner for quite a while. Coupled with an allotment and a new baby I envisage they will have their hands full for a few years to come.
18/07/20 The UK has recorded 13 corona-virus deaths in the past 24 hours. The UK government has halted the publication of the daily number of deaths over concerns that “statistical flaws” might be rendering the data inaccurate.
Today the next door neighbour replaced 7 of his fence panels and offered them for fire wood. In true Yorkshire fashion I squirreled them away in expectation of a hard winter and a possible second wave of corona-virus.
Late afternoon, Sarah, Lee, Alice and Mia visited. They had been to East Carlton Park to meet Chloe (again) before visiting Charlotte and family in Rothwell. They picked up even more wood-chip before leaving for home.
19/07/20 The UK has recorded 27 corona-virus deaths in the past 24 hours. The UK is “absolutely confident” Russian intelligence is behind an attempt to sabotage or steal vaccine research.
20/07/20 The UK has recorded 11 corona-virus deaths in the past 24 hours. The Covid-19 vaccine being developed at the University of Oxford is safe and induces an immune reaction. The Government has signed deals for 90 million doses of promising Covid-19 vaccines, with more in the pipeline.s
Apart from dog walking I spent the afternoon and early evening setting up a home cinema on the patio. Finding suitable leads and connections to provide the projector with internet access and link it to my new soundbar purchased yesterday, was the most time consuming. I tested the system using just a large white sheet hung from the side of the house, obviously not as good as a proper screen but it works well enough. Albeit with good weather, Sue and I should now be able to show our Amazon video to the family and keep within the guidelines of social distancing. Hopefully, in the future, when sport returns to normal I will be able to invite friends around for some alfresco evening, rugby matches. Fingers crossed.
Jamie, Ruth and Joey returned late in the evening from their ten day holiday to Gran Canaria. They seemed to have had a fabulous time with lots of activities and not a lot of chilling out with book and beach. We shall return their animals sometime to morrow, the creatures seemed to have settled down well to the routine at Willow Bank and no doubt we will miss their company.
21/07/20 The UK has recorded 110 corona-virus deaths in the past 24 hours. Professor Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, has warned that the chances of a “highly effective” vaccine being ready for distribution by Christmas are “very low”.
Just before lunch, Sue and I packed up my Fiesta with the paraphernalia supplied by Jamie to look after Rocky, Nala and Maddie and took them back to Desborough. Jamie was in Sutton Basset at work, Ruth was working from home and Joey was upstairs engaged in schoolwork when we arrived. The dogs seemed pleased to be home, sniffing suspiciously around the rooms, no doubt affirming familiar smells and checking for anything alien that might need to be barked at. Maddie made no comment and quickly disappeared. Free of canines we returned home, pleased to be released of the need to check our feet at every change of direction in case we squash a paw or two.
After lunch Sue caught up with a load of washing and I picked a row of shallots and dug up a row of potatoes, filling just the one sack. Last year each row produced two large sacks of spuds, damn that late May frost! Millie the three legged cat magically made an appearance (now that the dogs have gone) and sat with me, purring under the apple tree while I washed the potatoes and then stripped the shallots of their dirty outer layers.
Kim Kardashian West has publicly addressed her husband Kanye’s mental health issues following a series of erratic statements in recent days. She wrote on Instagram: “As many of you know, Kanye has bi-polar disorder. Anyone who has this or has a loved one in their life who does, knows how incredibly complicated and painful it is to understand.” This is a guy that is running for President!!! Surely, after prising Trump out of office (hopefully retiring him to a secure prison cell) the nation wouldn’t be mad enough to replace him with someone psychotic? Would they?
23/07/20 The UK has recorded 53 corona-virus deaths in the past 24 hours. Luton and Blackburn and Darwen have joined Leicester, which was subject to the UK’s first local lockdown.
We have suspected that the kitchen refrigerator has been faulty for quite awhile, it hasn’t been cold enough to keep the milk fresh so yesterday and today we have been checking its temperature at various settings. Though everything appears to work and it sounds OK, it doesn’t chill. Today we ordered a replacement, to arrive on the 31st. The charlatan now sits outside the garage, like Trump, awaiting disposal after promising much, delivering little and proving to be anything but cool!
There was another Thursday evening meeting of the ‘old rugger gits’, this time Sean played host providing BBQ chicken legs to compliment the available refreshments. The proceedings were brought to a close by a brief but heavy shower.
24/07/20 The UK has recorded 123 corona-virus deaths in the past 24 hours. Today face masks became compulsory in shops and and other outlets on penalty of a £100 fine.
Accusations from the US and UK that Russia recently tested anti-satellite weaponry in space are “distorted“, Russia’s defence ministry says. From a country whose government is well practiced in distorting the truth, I find this incident quite sinister and should certainly be seen as a threat to every nation that has aspirations in space.
We were woken at 5am by the bedside phone ringing. Usually, a call that early is only bad news, so we both immediately went into full-awake mode. On answering, the call disconnected. Later I checked the number and discovered that it originated from India. Was this a cold call from an Indian Take-away in Delhi I thought? It wouldn’t have been the first time that my sleep has been disturbed by an ‘iffy’ curry!!
Early afternoon I made a visit to the dentist. Last week Sue mad a plum crumble with custard and I discovered to my great pain that she had neglected to remove the stone (seed) from just one of the fruit. One of my teeth gave intermittent pain throughout the week and convinced I had chipped a tooth I made an appointment to get it fixed. Despite Corvid-19, arranging a consultation was no problem and as expected I had to answer a lot of questions as to my present state of health and then informed I was not to arrive early and would be waiting outside the premises until they were ready. Though this was officially the start of the compulsory wearing of masks in establishments, I was not required to do so. I didn’t wear mine as it seemed a bit of a nonsense considering why I was there. All the staff were heavily ‘armoured’ with all the PPE you could possibly imagine.
After listening to my tale-of-woe, the dentist looked inside my mouth, tapped a few teeth and looked confused. “Better take an x-ray and see what is going on,” she said, “There might be some infection at the base of the root.” Looking at the X-ray on the screen I had to admit they looked perfectly OK. Extraction or a root canal was offered, but only if the pain carried on into next week. She didn’t look convinced that there was anything wrong. “It may be that you bruised the tissue around the nerve biting into plum and it will settle down,” she crooned sympathetically. I agreed and sheepishly left. Damn you molar! Was it the threat of having your innards drilled or being yanked out and consigned to a medical disposal bin that decided you’re not going to give me any more pain? I’m waiting……..