01/03/21 UK Deaths: 104. Harborough Infected: 199.

In complete contrast to yesterday, we met up with Sarah, Lee and Alice in Welford for a short walk on a very misty and bitterly cold morning. Not surprisingly we met a few people braving the miserable conditions on our 1.8-mile amble with a single Geocache find. They returned with us to Harborough for lunch before collecting a car boot full of Council wood chips and then progressed onto Rothwell for a short visit to see Charlotte and her family.

Today the schools released their lists of new intake and thankfully both Ellis and Joey got their first choice of secondary schools.

02/03/21 UK Deaths: 343. Harborough Infected: 195.

03/03/21 UK Deaths: 255. Harborough Infected: 211.

Late in the evening, we had a visit from Jamie, Ruth and Joey. They had kindly baked a coffee and walnut cake for my birthday (tomorrow) and brought a card and present. We started on the cake and opened a bottle of this year’s meagre vintage of Vinallo’ whilst watching a TV programme of Ben Fogle’s visit to Chernobyl. Jamie and I had made a similar trip a couple of years ago.

Happy birthday, granddad.

04/03/21 UK Deaths: 242. Harborough Infected: 202.

The week so far has been cold, damp and misty and today was no exception. Despite the weather, Covid, the budget, cricket and rugby, the clock continues to tick and yet another year has rolled by. Today is my birthday and the weather witches didn’t see fit to provide even a little bit of sun to brighten up a day I usually try to avoid by jetting off to somewhere nice and warm. Late morning, Charlotte and Harry brought some cheer to the day when they popped around to bring a card and presents. Judiciously they also brought a car full of wood for the wood-burner, which was appropriate as we were down to our last basket of logs! As they left, I helped Charlotte fill up the boot of her car with wood chip (for the hens), then set about keeping the chill at bay by cutting up the wood she had brought.

05/03/21 UK Deaths: 204. Harborough Infected: 178.

Another bitterly cold day, but it hasn’t stopped my tomato plants from popping up in their heated propagator, bringing a promise of warm sunny summer days and red juicy fruit on delicious salad plates! Buoyed by their magic, Sue and I chose to ignore the chill and follow the Mowsley Heritage Trail, beautifully described in the booklet that we had picked up from the telephone box in the village last week.

We parked next to the 13th-century church (St. Nicholas) and were pleasantly surprised to find that it was open. Fortunately for us, the church organ was undergoing a major restoration and the restorer was busy inside at his task. We arrived just as he was taking a coffee break and he was pleased to chat with us about the work and some of the difficulties he was having.

Leaving the church we passed through the Maltings onto Dag Lane before completing a circular route, taking in the roads and paths that made up the medieval village boundary. The booklet is well written, describing exceptionally well the buildings of note that we passed. Besides being a pretty village it has a fascinating history which can be told through its architecture, it was well worth the effort braving yet another miserable Covid day.

06/03/21 UK Deaths: 158. Harborough Infected: 120.

07/03/21 UK Deaths: 90. Harborough Infected: 81.

Another Covid week has gone by and it has been largely a depressingly dull and chilly one here in the Midlands. The park, town and roads are much busier than they have been all winter, masked citizens wrapped up well against the cold seem determined to get out of the house either for shopping or exercise, but sadly no real and meaningful contact with others is permitted. This world is in limbo, eager to return to normal but it doesn’t yet know-how. Tomorrow we are taking the first tentative steps to normality by opening up the schools, plus a relaxation of the rules by which we can meet with one other person, not in the family. Who knows what the result of this will be? Maybe right, maybe not. But the frustration of having your movements restricted for such a long time is tangible, it is starting to feel like a prison sentence. Please, please get it right this time. I want to go on holiday.

The first sign of spring – tadpoles!

Smile, please.

Doesn’t this dog feel the cold?

Jamie and mates.

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