15/03/21 UK Deaths: 64. Harborough Infected: 67. Germany and Italy joined Norway, Netherlands and Belgium in halting the use of AstraZeneca’s corona-virus vaccine after reported blood clotting incidents. Having listened on the BBC World Service to the Norwegian Medic responsible for pausing the vaccinations, admitting that the incidents of blood clotting were normal occurrences in the population, I think the politicians are being over cautious. But as always, only time will tell.

16/03/21 UK Deaths: 110. Harborough Infected: 64.  Denmark to temporarily halt the use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. The European Union’s medicines regulator has said there is “no indication” that AstraZeneca’s vaccine is the cause of reported blood clots. Pun: The plot thickens.

Quote of the day: Only clots to fear are the ones believing AstraZeneca Covid vaccination lies.

17/03/21 UK Deaths: 141. Harborough Infected: 62. The European Union has threatened to restrict exports of Covid-19 vaccines to guarantee it has enough jabs for its citizens, as the UK passed the milestone of 25 million jabs.

MONOTONY, it was time to get out of the house and see if there was still a world out there beyond the TV screen and garden. A short drive to the 9th-century village of Winwick and a 5.5-mile circular walk taking in the partly deserted medieval settlement of Elkington was just the ticket! Today the village consists of several rather grand and pretty houses, but by far the most impressive is Winwick Manor itself.

Our route took us north through the now-familiar soggy fields, its rolling countryside filled with green lanes, rivulets and sunken valleys, it was a refreshing change from our daily view of Farndon Hill and Welland Park. Passing by a large tree next to a small brook, eagle-eyed Sue spotted a  not so surreptitiously hidden geocache in the hole within its trunk. We hadn’t planned on a hunt, but a find is a find. As we passed through Elkington I checked the Geocache App and discovered there was another cache and it didn’t take us long to find it, even though the ‘hint’ was incorrect.



Turning south, it was now my turn to make a discovery. Glancing down, I spotted a ball-shaped object emerging from the side of the track we were following. A farm vehicle must have disturbed its resting place. I dug it out and was surprised to find that I had found a 16/17th century stone shot/cannonball, possibly/hopefully an artefact from the nearby Battle of Naseby. What a find!

Our path now took us to the Union Canal and the Jurassic Way long distance path. Apart from one passing barge and a series of well-dug badger setts we encountered little until arriving back in Winwick. As is usual, we pause briefly to wander around the cemetery of the ‘closed’ church of St. Michael’s, sited next to the manor house before completing our circumnavigation. Church records show that during a period in the 16th century there were many more marriages performed in the church at Winwick than there were eligible bachelors and spinsters in the parish. The inevitable conclusion is that runaway couples eloped, not to the famous blacksmith’s forge in Scotland, but quiet little Winwick.

During the afternoon I began to remove the soil from the greenhouse in readiness for replacing it with a fresh batch. Sarah spent the day down in the allotment while Lee continued the renovation of his van.

Alice’s first painting.

18/03/21 UK Deaths: 95. Harborough Infected: 60. Only 5 million doses, out of 10 million Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines ordered from India-based SII, will arrive in March in the U.K. CEO Adar Poonawalla said the holdup stemmed from the Indian government temporarily stopping exports.

19/03/21 UK Deaths: 101. Harborough Infected: 56. A total of 660,276 vaccinations were administered nationwide on Thursday. Britain will pilot using COVID-19 certificates to re-open sport to fans. Europe begins using AstraZeneca’s COVDI-19 vaccine again after the EU drug regulator confirms its safety.

This news headline made me chuckle: Italian army accused of foul play after tank accidentally fires rounds into the chicken farm – The Italian army is in a flap after one of its tanks accidentally fired shells into a chicken farm during a night exercise, killing dozens of birds.

20/03/21 UK Deaths: 96. Harborough Infected: 59. Police clashed with anti-lockdown protesters today as thousands of demonstrators descended on central London. I suppose every society has its selfish and gullible idiots, it is their manipulators who should be held to account.

As it promised to be a fairly decent day, during the morning I potted on 40 tomato (Speckled Roman) plants in the greenhouse, before settling down to an afternoon of watching rugby. In complete contrast to last weekend, Leicester Tigers lost to Exeter and so did England against Ireland. To cap a disappointing day of sport, in the evening Wales were defeated in the dying seconds of their game in France, and finally, England lost the deciding T20 cricket to India.  With the day’s optimism gradually tumbling into ruin, it didn’t surprise me when early evening Jamie rang.

He and Ruth had decided on a walk with the dogs around Pitsford Water, however, they arrived back at the car park 7 minutes after its closure time and discovered that they and a few other cars had been locked in. At the time, Sue was picking up an order of fish and chips for our Saturday pre-Netflix film treat. Unfortunately for the castaways, I had watched the rugby that afternoon with Jim who had kindly brought with him several beers, which now prevented me from picking them up. Sue was not best pleased when she arrived back to discover the situation, but did her duty and got back into the car and rescued them. Regrettably, they had to leave Ruth’s Mercedes in the car park overnight.  By the time Sue arrived home I had long since eaten my cod, chips and mushy peas (while hot), after the micro-wave had done its job on Sue’s portion it was too late to watch a film, so we put the TV on. 

Charlotte managed to spend some time with her ‘girls.’

20/03/21 UK Deaths: 33. Harborough Infected: 62. The UK has seen the third consecutive day with a record number of COVID vaccinations after 873,784 people received a jab over 24 hours. The European Commission again threatened to block vaccine exports to countries including the UK. Some 41 million vaccine doses have been exported from the EU to 33 countries in six weeks, Mrs von der Leyen said, including more than 10 million which have gone to the UK. The news follows a warning from Pfizer, who told the EU not to block vaccines to the UK, as it relies “heavily” on vital ingredients from Yorkshire. There is no choice, there has to be an amicable solution to this impasse. EU politicians through their sloth or ineptitude have found themselves at the rear of the queue and it will cost many thousands of lives. All parties must now stop the threats and work together to defeat this pandemic, their rhetoric must stress cooperation, not conflict, and then perhaps people may have a little more confidence that they can lead us out of this mess!

Bright and early, Jamie and Ruth collected the stranded Mercedes from Pitsford Water before dropping off Rocky and Nala at Willow Bank, while they then drove south to a  specialist garage in Swindon to collect Jamie’s car. They returned mid-afternoon to collect the dogs.


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