08/02/21 UK Deaths: 333. Harborough Infected: 355.
We woke to freeze temperatures and falling snow which continued throughout the day. Even a few brief sunny spells during the afternoon didn’t stop the snow flurries and a brisk breeze ensured that if we did dare venture outside, it wasn’t for long.
Today was Mia’s sixth birthday and among other presents, she had a rather natty outfit, just right for icy conditions. Here in Leicestershire, it’s been quite a few years since the children have been able to enjoy such wintry conditions, so the Rothwells chose to go sledging. I have fond childhood memories of weeks of thick lying snow, frozen milk bottles, snowdrift dens and many, many snowball fights. Pre-global warming, in the 70’s we had proper weather up north in Yorkshire!
09/02/21 UK Deaths: 1052. Harborough Infected: 357. Passengers who arrive in England from 33 high-risk countries will have to pay up to £1,750 to quarantine in government-designated hotels for 10 days. Those who conceal travel to the UK from corona-virus hotspots face a 10-year jail sentence, plus there will be a new “enhanced testing” regime for all international travellers, with two tests required during the quarantine process from next Monday. A little late in coming I think, way back at the start of the first lock-down, similar measures were in operation in Cyprus.
Another bitterly cold and snowy day. I had an interesting morning: on my morning bike ride I chose to check on Peter’s car which is parked off-road in Lubenham, it has been there for 18 months while he is trapped in New Zealand by the pandemic. Last week the council had emailed me for Peter’s contact details, they want the car gone as the locals have been complaining. I came across a couple of people chatting amiably near to the vehicle; the lady lived close-by and the man was a gamekeeper from nearby Lubenham Hall. After a brief discussion on the circumstances regarding the car, the topic moved on to discussing the weather, village life and TV game shows. etc. Randomly, the gamekeeper professed to be a past professional boxer and then launched into a story of when he was very young and had been ‘a bad un’. His parents in desperation had both him and his brother ‘exorcised’. It seems they had set fire to buildings, stole and buried jewellery, as well as entertained the idea of shooting and burying relatives. Thankfully, the priest must have known his stuff and the exorcism worked, because up until that moment he seemed such a nice guy. However, when he suddenly professed that he made and sold the best knives available locally and asked if I was interested, the lady made her excuses to leave and so did I. Hmmm, perhaps I should carry a bible in my toolkit the next time I pass through the village, just in case.
10/02/21 UK Deaths: 1001. Harborough Infected: 291.
After the coldest night of the year so far and temperatures rising to just zero during the day, the best place to be was inside with the heating on. At Willow Bank, our only visitors of the day were Jim and Bridget who having returned from three weeks away, parked their car on the driveway until space becomes available at their place. It is Bridget’s birthday tomorrow and we gave her a card and bottle of wine, such a shame that we can’t help her celebrate.
11/02/21 UK Deaths: 678. Harborough Infected: 298.
It may have been a chilly -22° in Scotland overnight, but here in balmy Harborough, it was a mere -8° at breakfast, by the time I mounted my bike for a particularly invigorating morning ride it had risen to a sweltering -2°! I didn’t see many people out enjoying this rare opportunity to spot a few penguins.
Since storm Darcy shifted the jet stream south of the UK and brought down icy Arctic winds, Sue and I have been reluctant to venture out on any rambles. We have satisfied ourselves during the afternoons by researching the Palmer and Crosbie family history using Ancestry.com. On a plus point, we have both found that the afternoons seem to fly by as we discover intriguing incidents and relationships in our ancestors. It has helped to make lock-down tolerable.
12/02/21 UK Deaths: 758. Harborough Infected: 234. The reproduction number, or R-value, of corona-virus, is estimated to be between 0.7 and 0.9 across the UK. A rapid community Covid-19 test centre has opened in Market Harborough today, based at Harborough Leisure Centre.
Another bitterly cold day. Late in the afternoon, we played host to Harry while Charlotte and her family looked at a house in Harborough. They are thinking of moving to a larger property and are seeing what is available in the area.
Late in the evening, both Sue and I received text messages from our local GP practice inviting us to make an appointment for a Covid vaccination. We shall face the needle on the 19th of Feb.
12/02/21 UK Deaths: 621. Harborough Infected: 236. The number of UK adults given one vaccination dose has risen to 14,556,827.
Donald Trump has been acquitted of inciting insurrection at the end of his second impeachment trial. Shame on those disgraceful Republican senators who could not put their country or democracy above their own or party interests. Ironically, the very same democratic process which Trump has repeatedly flouted is only respected when it suits their ends.
Today the temperature didn’t get above -1°, but we had a visit from Sarah, Lee, Alice and Mia and they stayed for a fish and chip lunch.
Jamie, Ruth, Joey and the dogs managed to find some deep-lying snow and went for a strenuous yomp. They seemed to be having lots of fun in the video they sent, but it looked very cold.
13/02/21 UK Deaths: 258. Harborough Infected: 228. More than 15 million people in the UK have received the first dose of a corona-virus vaccine. All children are set to return to the classrooms on March 8.
The temperature today soared to 2°, however, a stiff north-easterly wind made it feel more like -7°! The BBC has promised that by tomorrow the temperature will rise considerably, maybe into double figures, but until it does Sue and I won’t be venturing out.
Seems a bit chilly over there in Blighty, but at least you have snow! Unfortunately we don’t – mind you, it’s 35 years since I last clamped myself to a pair of skis.
Strangely we’re still getting cold nights (min. 4c) but daytime (not wishing to rub it in, of course) today will be 20c. Let the suntan begin!