A first

Well that’s a first. I’ve been looking out over these fields for 20 years now. Never seen flood pools appear on this side of the field. The temporary field lake has friends…

We all need friends.

The pandemic is effecting everyone especially our children. Yes schooling has been disrupted but there is something far more important. For almost a year those all important childhoods have been largely put on hold. Fewer opportunities to meet up with friends (in many cases absolutely no friend contact). Stringent limits. Sports and hobbies frequently cancelled. Cinemas and play areas closed. Opportunities to explore and push boundaries prohibited. No holidays. No trips out. Too much timed cooped up with parents.

9 months and counting. That’s a sizeable chunk of childhood. They don’t get that time back…

That’s so sad.

March

This is NOT today. Just needed some sun. Needed some fresh air and a different view.

This photograph was taken on our last outing before lockdown mode started way back in March.

Back then Covid was a headline but still only one of a number of main stories. It was very much carry on as usual and nothing to see here. A handful of National cases but everything was apparently under control. The Government insisted that Lockdowns would never be required here due to the countries world class response.

So on this walk we had taken the dog with us. A new local walk. In my mind I was planning to return the week after. Drop Hawklad off at school and 15 minutes later I could be running along this track.

But the first tell signs were already starting to appear. As we approached field gates Hawklad refused to touch them. I was asked to try and open them using a stick. When we got back home we both had to wash our hands for minutes. Full change of clothing required.

A couple of days later our family lockdown started. Then one more week later the national lockdown started and schools closed.

Our world shrank and the remains that way today. This wet and windy January day. Seems a very different world now.

Hard life

It’s a hard life…. And yes that sofa has been shredded by cat claws.

It got just a little harder, certainly on the hands, knees and back of the trousers…..

The only trip I get out a day is to walk the dog on the back farmers field. It’s normally just me, a dog and the sheep. But over the last few days one or two other walkers have appeared. This has changed the dynamics for Hawklad. Now he is not comfortable with me walking with the dog down the short, narrow alleyway to get to the field.

So the only way to keep venturing out is to climb our back fence AND then deal with the barbed wire obstacle.

Too high to step over. Do I jump or crawl under it.

Yep life has just got that little harder. Definitely more risky for the back of the trousers and what they are covering…..

Not happening

Still waiting for the above freezing weather to arrive. It should be here soon. Potentially a short respite before the really cold air arrives again at the weekend.

The covid vaccination programme is up and running here in the UK. It’s still a mess with most over 70s still waiting a first jab or being told that the follow up jab is being delayed. That doesn’t apply to the PMs Dad who has already had his second one.

I will become eligible probably after April. Hawklad…….

The UK Government stance is that under 18s will NOT get vaccinated – no exceptions unless serious life threatening underlying medical conditions exist. Children are deemed to be of lower risk to serious covid complications and are not a government priority. They have not asked the vaccine manufacturers to test on under 18s. Only Pfizer has conducted any tests on the under 18s. Two of the manufacturers are about to start some testing safety and effectiveness on children in the US.

So where does that leave our little family. In Limbo.

I will at some stage probably get vaccinated but that doesn’t mean that I can’t carry the virus. Hawklad is not likely to get vaccinated at all. So as we stand our self imposed lockdown will have to continue indefinitely. That includes me even if I do get the jab.

The return to the world is NOT happening.

Right minds

The sun shines down on a land run by a PM who is a complete and utter …………

So two week ago the so called PM castigated the leader of the opposition (probably one of the few adults left in Parliament) for saying the country needed to go into stricter controls to stop a crisis turning into a disaster. Now two weeks later the hospitals are on the verge of collapse, at least 7000 more people have lost their lives due to covid and a mutated virus is out of control. He complains about a mutated virus from South Africa yet Britain is still one of the few countries not doing any regular covid checks at airports. Most flights check in without even any guidance being available. But tonight the PM decided to kind of act. Actually it’s hard to tell amongst the bluster, lies and false promises. Far too many IFs for my liking. Again we got the ‘we are on the final stretch, it will be great in a couple of months’ line. He’s said that every week since February.

For 6 weeks we are basically allowed out of the house once for exercise, to food shop, to work.

Schools are closed until well into February just 8 hours after he told parents they were completely safe and they had an obligation to send their children into those very schools.

I’m open minded but who in their right minds would vote for this clown.

Goodbye

It’s almost goodbye to 2020. Well that was a year. I blame one person for everything…

Boris Johnson on the 31st December 2019 “This is going to be a fantastic year……”

What an absolute Numpty. I guess it was for him and his cohorts in terms of corruption and feathering ones own nest.

But for the rest of us it was a challenge. I could have used so many other words here but let’s go for the one I can spell. I’m not going to go on about the obvious things this time. Let’s just hope that 2021 is better. This year has not exactly set the bar that high but let’s not tempt fate. I will leave that up to our so called leader.

But here’s the thing about 2020. It’s been truly horrid and tragic for so many. It’s been tough for our little family but let’s also remember the positive stuff as well. So many people have demonstrated what a wonderful, caring and beautiful world it can still be. Old friendships have strengthened. It’s also brought truly wonderful new friendships which have enriched my life.

We can do this.

Happy New Year. ❤️

To be or not to be

So finally an announcement on schools. Then follows the inevitable confusion, lies and burying heads in the sand. Best summed up by

  • The independent expert scientific panel urging schools to not open as it is not safe,
  • The governments own expert scientific panel demanding schools to be closed as they are not safe in the current environment,
  • Then our so called PM announces that schools are completely safe, it’s people mixing outside of schools which is the problem.

The upshot appears to be that secondary schools will stay shut for a few more days. Most secondary children are expected to be back by the 18th January. By that time a team of volunteers will then oversea a mass virus testing exercise for all pupils. Some schools will stay closed longer but the government won’t say which ones. Most Primary schools will open on the 4th January as normal.

Ok…. I would not be filled with so much cynicism if any Government announcement wasn’t worked out on the back of a cigarette packet and it wasn’t accompanied by a tirade of lies.

Anyway different people are saying different things. Clearly some of the Government including the PM haven’t read the Government’s own policy. So many questions are being ignored. For example why are the schools for younger children staying open when others are closed? Are those children and teachers somehow mysteriously protected? Why are face masks required in public places but not in the classroom? Any person working with children has to be officially vetted yet that’s been dropped for the Covid testing programme. Is that safe? The covid test that will be used is problematic, doesn’t have the greatest accuracy and is difficult to self administer. So how is that going to work with pupils self administering the test in a large group with unqualified volunteers and teachers who have little medical experience? No mention of Special Schools – what do they do? How are schools going to fund the infrastructure required to set up the covid testing. Why are the Government refusing to promote online education for those that it would suit?

Many more questions but you get the picture. It’s a mess…..

Puddings

Where are our biscuits……

So today my country finds itself cut adrift. Many countries have closed their ports, tunnels and airports to us. That’s what happens when you mix an even more pesky variant of Covid with clueless, self deluded, only interested in themselves numpties who couldn’t manage a snowball fight.

Dolly and her biscuit munching woolly friends would do a better job than that prat called Boris and his cronies.

So yep we are cut adrift as a nation. All I can think about is why it took so long for this to happen. Countries like France should have done this years ago. We are not exactly going to be missed. Must be time for Yorkshire to join Scotland in declaring independence and ditching this madness. Let’s celebrate that thought with a large portion of Yorkshire Puddings. I’d rather talk about those puddings than the other puddings who are in charge,

Chickpeas

So the government has known that the new strain, the even more pesky strain of Covid has been here for weeks. In that time it has issued travel warnings and banned travel to other countries that had the slightest whiff of this strain. But it failed to mention that we had it all that time. It encouraged people to meet up and plan for a largely restriction free Christmas. Allowed people and businesses to make plans. Hurled abuse at those who dared to mention that easing restrictions might be a mistake. And then at the last minute they have cancelled the Christmas easing and have hit millions with further restrictions. How do some people still think that these people are fit to lead us. One rule for us and another rule for them. Making a priority of making making millions for their friends and themselves.

Avoiding making decisions, ignoring facts and putting things off to the last minute never works…

I’ve had a supersized bag of chickpeas propped up on the kitchen sideboard for weeks and weeks. The bag is opened at the top. Wide open…..I should have put the chickpeas into a large container. Or resealed the bag. Or moved them somewhere safe. Oh no. I’ve left them there. Courting kitchen floor disaster. Well this morning it happened. As I tried to clean the work surfaces I spectacularly elbowed the open chickpea bag. Given how far it went into the air it might as well have been a NASA Saturn 5 rocket launch. Strangely given an opportunity to escape, chickpeas will not refuse the opportunity. They are everywhere. On the floor. Under units. In the sink. All over the work surfaces. I’m wearing a few. Actually some found their way into the toaster. Even some foolish souls dived into my training shoes. Not content with that, they enticed the pets to spread the chickpea invasion to other parts of the house. Mayhem.

If only I had done something sooner. Now you could argue that I’m just as bad as the government for letting this happen. Well maybe not. I don’t get paid handsomely for doing this. I don’t get advice from top scientists and logistical planners. I don’t have a duty of care to look after millions. Decisions over my 3kg chickpea packet do not impact of the life and health of a country.

Yes I’m a muppet but I’m not wilfully negligent…..

Changes

Tis the season for cobwebs.

I don’t know what it is but my car is a particular favourite haunt for the spiders round here. As I’m not driving the car much these days I’m pleased it’s found another use.

Today’s high point was a visit to the vets for the dogs annual inoculations and to check him out as he’s been sneezing a bit for weeks. It’s changed a bit since the last visit.

You now can’t just turn up and you can only attend during your allocated time slot. When you arrive you have to stay in the car and phone to let them know that you have here. I was informed another pet was being seen and we were next up. I had to wait until the red light above the front entrance turned to green before we could enter the building. I was met at the entrance by someone dressed like an Astronaut to ensure I had a mask on and that I had used the hand sanitizer. As I ensured high levels of hygiene, Captain Chaos was happily rolling about in the mud and other unmentionable items. Don’t know why I bothered combing him.

Once inside we were ushered into a tape marked area and told to wait for the vet. The Vet also dressed like an Astronaut promptly arrived and stood behind another marked line on the floor. After a few questions the vet carefully stretched over and took the Cap’s lead and led him into the treatment room. From behind the door I listened to the mayhem. Items knocked over as someone went exploring. The telltale growl as the Captain sees the needle. Definitely dog for you have another thing coming if you think that massive sharp thing is coming anywhere near me… Then the Yelp and Crying – he’s not the bravest fella.

A few minutes later the Cap bursts out of the door and he’s officially in ‘out of here’ mode.

As I try to prevent the dog from destroying the front door the vet tells me that he needs some medicine. The expensive medicine is handed over through a new protective screen at the reception. It’s back home to then immediately phone the Vet up to pay the bill – only telephone payments are currently accepted.

At least somethings stayed the same. The poor potted plant in the waiting room was well watered again by the Captain. It’s a tradition…..