Lock-down again!

04/01/20 UK deaths: 407. Current Market Harborough infections: 526. UP from last week: 8. Scotland will lockdown from tonight with schools closed until February. In England everyone must stay at home except for permitted reasons during a new lock-down beginning at midnight and lasting seven weeks, Boris Johnson has announced. All schools and colleges will close to most pupils and switch to remote learning until the middle of February.

In a taped conversation released by The Washington Post on Sunday, Donald Trump asked Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find 11,780 votes,” and help overturn the election loss. Despicable is the only word that can describe this outgoing President.

Sarah’s Covid test result came back negative. Today I started the process of making goat cheese, but the curds (like Donald) are resisting separation from the whey and I may have to abort the batch. This morning when out walking, an excited Harry the greyhound managed to cannon into Charlotte, sending her flying through the air. A painful journey to the hospital confirmed that though not broken, her ankle ligaments were damaged. From experience, I can vouch that Harry is truly the clumsiest of dogs I have ever met, but still very lovable.

05/01/20 UK deaths: 830. Current Market Harborough infections: 517. UP from last week: 93. Tested positive in the UK today: 60 916.

As expected, yesterday’s attempted batch of goat cheese didn’t separate into curds and whey sufficiently well overnight, so unlike Donald I admitted defeat and gave it to Sue to take to Charlotte’s for her hens to consume. While Sue went on a chicken run to Rothwell (returning with a pile of lock-down jigsaws) during the morning, I dug a little more soil and chopped a few more logs (I hate routine, but it has to be!) In the afternoon I had succeeded in making a batch of creamy Cheshire cheese, I am intending to let this one mature a little before eating (we will see how that pans out!)

Lucas, online homeschooling.

After her involuntary flying lesson yesterday, Charlotte is feeling very delicate, her back and legs are quite painful and she is trying to rest as much as possible. Harry is feeling quite guilty and as recompense is refusing to have his treats.

06/01/20 UK deaths: 1041. Current Market Harborough infections: 582. UP from last week: 95. Professor Chris Whitty has said the UK is facing a ‘really serious emergency at the moment’ as one in 50 people are thought to have a coronavirus. China has blocked the arrival of a team from the World Health Organization investigating the origins of the pandemic, claiming that their visas had not yet been approved. This does not look good on China, if you have nothing to hide, why would you not want to co-operate with scientists trying to understand how the virus jumped species into humans?

07/01/20 UK deaths: 1162. Current Market Harborough infections: 503. UP from last week: 110. The UK has more new Covid-19 cases per capita than any other major country in the world, this is nearly quadruple the rate of Italy, Spain and France, only the US has an infection rate nearly equivalent to the UK. This evening, the ‘Clap for Carer’s has been resurrected under the name ‘Clap for Heroes’. With the temperature being -2 degrees at 8 pm, we chose to sit in the warmth of the lounge wood-burner and I triggered the house external alarm for 10 minutes to show our appreciation. Well, we wouldn’t want to burden the NHS with frostbite, would we?

A fundamental rule of democracy is that, after elections, there are winners and losers. Both have to play their role with decency and responsibility so that democracy itself remains the winner.” Angela Merkel. A narcissistic, megalomaniac such as Trump couldn’t possibly understand such a concept. After supporters stormed Capitol Hill, egged on by his rejection of the legitimate 2020 election results, it is not only the right-minded citizens of America who lose but those nations who have sheltered for many decades under the umbrella of its democracy, protected against the nefarious influence of such regimes as in Russia and China. I have little doubt that Vladimir Putin is the instigator and main beneficiary of Donald Trump’s term of office, he has certainly developed subtler skills than those employed during his time as a KGB thug. The citizens of the USA have only themselves to blame and it is only they who can put it right.

Today the temperature did not get above freezing. Dressed for the Arctic, Sue and I drove to Kibworth to follow the Kibworth Beauchamp Heritage Trail. It is one of three trails that wind themselves around this ancient settlement, developed after Michael Wood’s: Story of England
‘Who Do You Think You Are?’, broadcast by the BBC in 2010, as a 6 part TV series (and accompanying book) which told the story of one English village through 2,000 years of history.

We thought that a village walk, along hard surfaces, would be preferable to one of muddy boots and a slog through wet ploughed fields. As it turned out to be, the fields were frosty and very firm, but thick fog prevented any enjoyment of distant scenery. We had made the right choice.

The trail covers 35 historical highlights, starting at the 18th-century coaching inn the Coach and Horses,  situated on the old Leicester turnpike road and eventually finishing a short distance away at a line of cottages called Navvies Row, built to house those working on the construction of the nearby Midland Railway. This trail took us first to the traffic island in the centre of the village, once known as the Bank, or Cross Bank, and was the site of a market cross. It was here in 1221, Henry III granted Walter de Beauchamp a licence for a Monday market. Later, during the early 19th century a statute fair was held for the hiring of servants and labourers. Many of the village’s shops are now clustered around the island and today it was very busy with masked shoppers and traffic. I had printed out the trail description and at each location, we stopped and Sue readout (teacher fashion) what we were looking at. In all, our wandering took a chilly two hours. Back in 2010 we had watched the original TV programmes with great interest and 11 years later we still found it fascinating to visit the locations for real, it was well worth the frostbite!

08/01/20 UK deaths: 1328. Current Market Harborough infections: 608. UP from last week: 160. A third vaccine has been approved for use in the UK. The Moderna jab is 94 per cent effective in preventing disease, including the elderly.

Today, Donald Trump struck an unapologetic tone for the riot he fomented, using a Friday morning tweet to call his loyalists “great American Patriots” and declaring they “will not be disrespected” even after some of them had ransacked Congress and five people died. Surely the ordinary American can see this is a betrayal of their Constitution, “We the people..” maybe now should read, “I the powerful…” Is this not a crime on a scale greater than that committed by Benedict Arnold, the all-around American hero who saw the advantage of becoming British (and why wouldn’t you?) The question is, has America the courage to enact the 25th Amendment, or impeach?  As depicted in Benedict Arnold’s statue near the Saratoga battlefield, they haven’t had much of a leg left to stand on. Perhaps he may follow Benedict’s example, and solve the problem for them and flee to……….?

Today in pictures:

Mr Badger with a full stomach.

Mr Fox came too late!

Jigsaw started.

Hoping for scraps.

I found it like this, honest!

I found it like this, honest!

More rows dug.

A visit to see Jim & Bridget’s lounge









09/01/20 UK deaths: 1035. Current Market Harborough infections: 559. UP from last week: 124.



In November (BLOG: Too many tiers, or is it tiers?) I volunteered to provide blood and stool samples for Covid-19 Research and today I received an email with one of the results.

Your blood antibody result: Thank you very much for taking part in our first flagship study as part of the CSS Biobank. Your blood test did not show a detectable level of antibodies against the virus responsible for COVID-19. We believe this means that you have either not been exposed to COVID-19, or that at the time of testing, your body was mounting a minimal antibody response against the virus (below the level of detection in this research project). It is important to note that if you previously had a positive test but now have a result below the level of detection for this research project, your body’s immune system may still be able to respond promptly and appropriately if you are re-exposed to this virus. Hmmm… mixed feelings……… It would have been brilliant to have discovered I’d had the virus with no perceivable reaction. So, like Sue, we wait for the vaccine and stay safe as best we can.

09/01/20 UK deaths: 1035. Current Market Harborough infections: 559. UP from last week: 124. Tested positive in the UK today: 59 938. Total UK active cases: 834 408. The Queen and Prince Philip were given the vaccine today, the Pope is scheduled for next week.

Today Jamie drove Ruth to buy her new car in Cheltenham. I bet my little Fiesta can carry more sacks of grass cuttings.

10/01/20 UK deaths: 563. Current Market Harborough infections: 508. UP from last week: 127. Britain is vaccinating 200,00 people a day against COVID-19 and is on course for 2 million a week.



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