12/04/21 UK Deaths: 13. Harborough Infected: 49. Pub gardens, shops, hairdressers, gyms and zoos have reopened in England, as rules are eased. Shoppers flocked to the High Street, with long queues seen outside many retailers. Millions of Indians travel to celebrate Maha Kumbh Mela despite rising corona-virus rates, the month-long festival will see people travel to northern Indian and take a dip in the River Ganges. I think we know where the next Covid hot-spot in India will be and of course, spread from as the participants return home. Maybe the UK and India have a lot more in common than first thought.
On a sunny and chilly morning, Sue joined the crowds eager to satisfy their thirst for some long-delayed retail therapy. With the schools returning after the Easter break, and the shops opening up I shouldn’t have been so surprised when on my morning cycle ride I passed just one lone walker. It seems my usual company of passing dog walkers, cyclists and ramblers had seemingly forsaken healthy lock-down exercise to stand in line outside shops wearing a mask!!!!!
During the afternoon I met up with Jim and the dogs for a short ramble to Farndon and back. Bridget and Sue had walked the same route a couple of weeks ago and he was eager to do the same, so I volunteered to accompany him. Unfortunately, after a long rugby playing career, he now has troublesome knees and I am afraid that the rough terrain played havoc with them. On returning to Willow Bank to rest awhile in the garden to recover, despite the healing effect of a couple of beers he hobbled home in quite a lot of pain.
13/04/21 UK Deaths: 23. Harborough Infected: 41. Pentagon scientists have invented a microchip that once inserted under the skin will detect if the patient develops Covid-19. And they have also developed a revolutionary filter that can remove the virus from the patient’s blood through a dialysis machine. Can this be true?
14/04/21 UK Deaths: 38. Harborough Infected: 33. A UK study into using different COVID-19 vaccines in two-dose inoculations is being expanded to include shots made by Moderna and Novavax.
Both Sue and I had a busy morning. Sue drove to Kibworth to take part in a historical treasure hunt organised by one of her U3A groups and I drove to Uppingham to meet with John Lee for a ramble which before lock-down2 I had originally planned to do with Sue.
For their historical and natural significance, our 6.5-mile circular route was planned to take in the remains of a Motte and Bailey castle, Wardley Woods and the village of Wardley as well as King’s Hill, but in reality, we took little notice of any of them. After over a year of being deprived of our regular rambles together (vital to discussing and solving this country and the world’s problems), we had much to consider and the sites were passed without any distraction from our debate. It is a route I will repeat with Sue at a later date and I am sure we will pay more attention to its features.
When I eventually returned home, Sue had completed her morning activity and was attending a long-planned hair appointment. It never fails to amaze me how long it takes to cut a female’s hair, on this occasion, it was more than two hours. I didn’t dare ask how much it cost, as when I did on a previous occasion, a defibrillator was nearly employed to revive me!!
15/04/21 UK Deaths: 30. Harborough Infected: 26.
Sarah wasn’t working today so Sue and I took the opportunity to visit the family in Newbold Verdon. We arrived early morning to find scaffolders erecting platforms around the house in readiness for its rendering to be chipped off and replaced. Sarah and Alice had gone to the swimming baths for a toddlers swimming lesson, but Lee was working as usual in his study and handed Mia over for our customary doggy walk.
After a short drive to Bagworth Woods, we set off on a route I had previously walked last spring which took in the village of Bagworth and the lake. Though it was bright and sunny there was a very chilly wind and the shelter of the forest was most welcome. Though most of the trees had yet to burst into life the undergrowth was showing signs of stirring from its sleep; blue-bells, primroses, violets and dog’s mercury added welcome colour to our ramble. Just over an hour of walking, we returned to find Sarah and Alice at home.
After a light lunch, we took time to inspect the garden, taking time to sit on the decking of the garden chalet to chat and give Alice the giggles as we pushed and spun her on the apple tree swing. Keen to see the work the family had been doing on their allotment, accompanied by Sarah and Alice in her pushchair we took a short walk to their plot. As we arrived, one of the allotment holders informed us that there was a large pile of free wood chips available by the entrance. So, borrowing a couple of wheelbarrows and a spade, Sarah and I spent half an hour spreading woodchip over the paths around the raised beds on her plot. Sue amused Alice and Mia while we reduced the pile to ground level.
16/04/21 UK Deaths: 34. Harborough Infected: 20.
Bridget is having a week of therapy at a respite centre in Leicester, leaving Jim with the dogs and house to himself until she returns next Thursday, to give him some company I popped around for a short visit during the morning. He was busy putting curtains up when I arrived but was pleased to take a break, pop open a beer and chat about gardens and rugby.
During the afternoon Sue and I took charge of Nala and Rocky. Jamie and Ruth will be joining an organised ‘Supercar’ road trip in the Cotswolds early on Saturday morning, so the dogs will be staying with us over the weekend. After their evening ‘poop’ walk they settled down with us for our usual Friday cinema night, they proved to be no bother and after a few peanuts went to sleep during the film.
However, Sarah and Lee had a disturbed nights sleep when Alice’s 9th tooth broke through.
17/04/21 UK Deaths: 35. Harborough Infected: 16. The number of people who have died worldwide in the Covid-19 pandemic has surpassed three million.
After an early frost, the day turned out to be warm and sunny. While Jamie and Ruth journeyed to the Cotswolds I took the dogs for a long walk until lunchtime. In the afternoon, the mutts satisfied themselves lying in the sun and watching me sow a variety of seeds into trays and then pot on some seedlings. We stopped briefly to watch the funeral of Prince Philip, but I don’t think they were that interested and wandered back into the garden to sniff the plants. A fine bit of British ceremony that Sue and I hadn’t intended to watch, but it is surprising how a bit of heat on a lazy afternoon can alter your mood.
While Jamie and Ruth were having a picnic in Bourton-on -the- Water, Charlotte and her family were enjoying the delights of Rothwell’s pop-up food market.
Late in the evening Jamie and Ruth called into Willow Bank to pick up Jamie’s crash helmet in readiness for a speed test at Santa Pod Raceway the following morning. The mutts were pleased to see them but didn’t seem too disappointed to be left behind when they left.
17/04/21 UK Deaths: 10. Harborough Infected: 14. More than 9.9 million people in the UK have now received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, while nearly 33 million have had their first dose. India has recorded 150,000 Covid-19 cases a day for the past three weeks.
The finale to Jamie’s ‘Super car’ weekend was a speed test at Santa Pod Raceway. After having the R8’s engine re-mapped a few weeks ago I wasn’t surprised to learn that of all the high-performance cars taking the track, only a Mclaren beat 11.6 sec over the straight mile.
At a much slower pace, Sue rose at the crack of dawn and attended the first car-boot of the year near Saddington. I and the dogs chose to have a lie-in before taking a leisurely walk to Lubenham.
Late in the afternoon Jamie and Ruth picked the dogs up before returning home for a BBQ. Afterwards, Jim came to watch Tigers lose narrowly to Bath. Sarah and Lee were busy planting potatoes in their allotment and I shall be putting my main crop variety in the ground this coming week. Suraj spent the day re-modelling their lower garden, with patio, benches and BBQ.