Medical ups and downs.

10/05/21 UK Deaths: 4. Harborough Infected: 10. Covid-19 alert level moves from level 4 to level 3. As from next Monday, people in England will be able to enjoy a pint or a meal indoors, hug their loved ones, return to cinemas, meet outdoors in groups of up to 30 people; and meet indoors in groups of up to six people, or as two households.

11/05/21 UK Deaths: 20. Harborough Infected: 12. Government figures show, there have been over 4.4 million confirmed cases of corona-virus in the UK and more than 127,000 people have died. Pub chain JD Wetherspoon has confirmed plans to reopen all 860 pubs. Under new rules, customers will be required to scan the NHS Covid app at the entrance, and wear masks when not seated. This Vaccine Queue Calculator works for those living in the UK, and predicts when you’re likely to be offered your vaccine doses: CALCULATOR.

On a showery day, the family seems to have succumbed to a variety of ills. It began with Joey suffering from repeated nose bleeds, quickly followed by Suraj contracting a particularly nasty ear infection, requiring a hospital visit and a three week course of antibiotics. Sarah joined in the pain with a wisdom tooth extraction, whilst Charlotte booked an appointment for a sore arm with her first vaccine injection. Both Sue and and I are well!

12/05/21 UK Deaths: 11. Harborough Infected: 17. From Thursday people aged 38 and 39 will be offered Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, rather than AstraZeneca. Margaret Keenan (91), the world’s first recipient of a Covid-19 vaccination, has met a giraffe calf named after her at Whipsnade Zoo. Boris Johnson announced an inquiry next year into the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic that is likely to focus on why the United Kingdom suffered Europe’s worst death toll and one of the world’s deepest economic slumps.

While Sue joined a U3A ramble around the villages of Cottingham and Middleton I ‘supervised’ an engineer install gas and electricity ‘Smart Meters‘ in the house, it took him a casual 2.5 hours. We can now monitor our usage much more accurately (it costs 1p to make a cup of coffee), but the biggest advantage is that I don’t have to read the meters each month and post them online to our energy supplier ‘Outfox the Market‘. During the afternoon I planted some more broccoli and Cape Gooseberries in the vegetable plot, I noticed that the vines have just started to burst their buds, fingers crossed there will be no late frosts!!!!!

Poor Suraj’s ear infection seems to be getting worse and is very painful. Hopefully the antibiotics will work their magic soon.

13/05/21 UK Deaths: 11. Harborough Infected: 19. Boris Johnson said that health officials are “anxious” about the Covid-19 variant first identified in India and refused to rule out the possibility of localised lock-downs to stem its spread. At least six in 10 adults in the UK are now likely to have Covid-19 antibodies, new figures suggest. A vaccine developed by CureVac and GlaxoSmithKline, designed to protect against corona-virus variants, produced a high level of immune response in a trial in rats. I am betting that this vaccine is being developed appropriately for politicians, I guess we mustn’t forget that rats have rights, even political ones!

Today was a mix of sunshine and heavy showers. Sue managed to stay clear of any precipitation on her U3A Nature Group foray to Summer Leys Nature Reserve, created out of an old gravel pit near Great Doddington. As expected there was lots of watery wildlife to see and enjoy.

As an original volunteer to Corona-virus research I have been randomly selected to take an antibody test, and today the test kit arrived. After successfully pricking my finger to extract a small sample of blood and placing it in the Testing Stick I was pleased to discover after 10 minutes of waiting that I did indeed test positive for Corona-virus antigens. It’s reassuring to know that my two vaccinations do appear to have worked! I completed the research questionnaire on-line and sent the result along with a photo of the Test Stick to Imperial College London.

Sarah, Alice and Mia visited the Rothwells to collect some clothing that Sarah had pre-ordered from an outlet in Desborough. On their way home they called in to see us and reported that Suraj’s inflamed ear seemed to have reduced in size. Before leaving I helped Sarah fill the boot of her car with wood-chip for the garden. I am beginning to suspect that Sarah and Charlotte consider that a visit to see dad isn’t complete without touching wood.

14/05/21 UK Deaths: 17. Harborough Infected: 21. The end of the lock-down next month maybe in jeopardy after Boris Johnson warned the surge of the Indian Covid-19 variant had created “the risk of disruption and delay”. The number of recorded COVID-19 infections in India climbed above 24 million .

You know their is a gardening gene in the family when your eldest daughter reports on Messenger, “My very first tree peony head after about 6 years of growing… excited!!!!!” Not sure I could get that excited about a flower, but on researching it appears that, ‘While the roots and seeds are edible, the blossoms can be added to salads, or cooked slightly and sweetened for a treat. They impart a beautiful pink color to jellies and cocktails, and peonies taste just like they smell.‘ So, perhaps they do have a use after all.

We have been waiting for at least a couple of years for Jamie (2 cancelled operations) to be given a date for surgery on his knee, to repair damage done whilst playing soccer. Surprisingly, with 4.5 million procedures in the queue due to Covid-19, he learned today that (fingers-crossed) he will go under the knife on the 28th June. This week has certainly had its medical ups and downs for the family.

On what was a chilly day I found time to help Mike from next door with his garden fencing. I saved him some time by using my sliding mitre saw to cut the tricky angles on the cross-members and support blocks. I bagged the off-cuts for my wood store.

Update on Suraj’s ear infection: The swelling has greatly reduced, indicating that the antibiotics have kicked in. Like a true NHS hero he has continued to work (from home) throughout, I hope that the NHS bosses have taken note of his dedication.

15/05/21 UK Deaths: 7. Harborough Infected: 23 .

A smugly quiet day on which Leicester Tigers beat London side Harlequins and Leicester City beat London side Chelsea in the FA Cup final for the first time in their history. Well done boys, we gave those Londoners one hell of a beating!

Today I discovered whilst researching the Welsh side of my ancestry that my 13th Great Grandfather was a Knight: “When Sir Roger Nicholas Parsonage was born on 1 January 1520, his father, Roger, was 25 and his mother, Agnis, was 25. He married Joane (Joozijne) Gillisse Heuse and they had six children together. He also had one son from another relationship. He died on 15 May 1566 at the age of 46.” He was born in Alvechurch, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire.

16/05/21 UK Deaths: 4. Harborough Infected: 24 . More than 20 million people in the UK are now fully vaccinated after receiving two doses of vaccine. The Government says there is “increasing confidence” that vaccines work against the Indian variant and that those who had been hospitalised with the new strain had turned down jabs. Let’s hope that the governments’ optimism is well founded. I have little sympathy for those foolish enough to reject vaccination. Tomorrow there is a further easing of Covid-19 restrictions and pubs and restaurants etc. will be open to trade indoors. Time will inevitably tell whether this is a rash move and forces a return to lock-down.

Though showers were forecast it turned out to be another quiet day, weather-wise. Beetroot plugs were planted, courgettes and pumpkins potted on and lawns mowed.

Now that Suraj is recovering from his ear infection, Ellis has now come down with Tonsillitis and is feeling very poorly. Unfortunately/amusingly for Harry, he was in the firing line when snuggling up to Ellis and was covered in sick. Ergh!!! Poor Harry.

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