Monthly Archives: April 2020

20200420 – Lockdown Random Ramblings and Rants

Well it looks like we’re going to have Fiona and the kids for the next few weeks. Kurt goes back to work on Tuesday (21/4/20) and will be frontline interviewing and dealing with the dregs of our society, those with the scroat gene and having to go out to deaths in the home. Obviously more at risk than most and is concerned about bringing Covid-19 home so they’ve decided it would be safer if Fiona and the kids came up here. Low risk to us and even lower risk to them. We’ve all been isolating / distancing for 3 weeks now.

On top of that, dealing with three kids on her own, Fiona will probably end wound up tighter than the girdle of a baptist minister’s wife at an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast. At least up here she can share the mayhem.

Seems common sense to us all. Quite looking forward to it. Will we cope? Will my wine rack cope? Be interesting a few weeks from now looking back. Just off to kiddy proof the house and fit a padlock on our bedroom door – our bolthole sanity sanctuary and shelter.

Had to pick up a click and collect of wine from Waitrose. Bloody hell, no queues to get in and as few shoppers as muslims at a midnight mass on Christmas eve. Definitely the place to come and shop. No need to social distance it’s empty.


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Pennsylvania’s decision to close liquor stores under the state’s coronavirus restrictions has reportedly led to scores of its own residents crossing state lines to stock up on booze.

But Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Monday aimed to put an end to those trips into the Buckeye State, calling the cross-border liquor runs a “health hazard,” according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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Oh the joys of grandchildren, milkshake all over the coffee table; someones breakfast smeared over the back of my iphone; a 3 year old dragging a brain impoverished cocker spaniel around the house on it’s lead; a baby scaling the stairs and then sat at the top taunting us; a six year old wandering around with no clothes on.

How lucky can we be. We’ve a lot to be grateful for. We’re well fed, warm, safe and plenty to keep us on our toes. Yes, this lockdowns a tad inconvenient but there are billions of people who would just love to be suffering our deprivations.

Kids mither to watch Frozen 2 but it’s only on Disney Plus in America. VPN into Disney plus America and we get to watch it for free.


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Iran: “Islamic medicine specialist” says camel urine cures coronavirus

Here’s a quote from CNN for the tree huggers who worship at the shrine of organics:

“A majority of the views right now is that (the virus) is natural — it was organic,”. Oh well that makes it ok then, we’ll have two of them, wrap them up in old newspapers and pay 47% over the odds.

Turns out my free year’s subscription to the Wall Street Journal has come to an end. So now it’s going to cost me £10 a month. On top of that I’m paying £5 for the Times. Yet for £9.99 I can have a subscription to Apple News plus which also gives me access to the Wall Street Journal and the times as well as many other magazines and newspapers. Seems like a no brainer especially when you consider that I can share it with five other members of my family.

Wow, fish finger butties for tea. The one good thing about this lock down is the sparsity of vegetables for tea.

First Asda delivery. Pretty good, but how will Wendy cope not being able to read the sell by dates on cans of beans before she buys them?


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Let’s talk about B&Q. The only major store that has a 1 hour wait time to access their web site; sends out an email that at the top tells you they will contact you and at the bottom tells you your stuff is ready. Simple clear wording would eliminate this contradiction. What a total screw up this company is. No excuse just all that is bad about IT. They should hand their IT director a brown envelope.

Of the top 25 US National Parks there’s still 7 of them we’ve not been to. Amazed that Zion is not in the top 5.

Yoga and exercise is going well. Thankfully the exercise video reminds me to keep breathing. I wonder how many people have died because they forgot? Exercise is getting a tad too easy, I think by next week I’ll be looking for something more strenuous.

Now I know things are bad, started improving my French each morning.


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The virus that shames China.

A typical day in the PPP Plague:

08:00 – get up, good breakfast, tea and read The Times, WSJ and Apple News.

09:00 – more newspaper and The Times crossword.

10:00 – coffee and deal with admin, screw ups, complaints and the like.

11:00 – more coffee and digitise old photos.

12:00 – sort out decking, patio, drive and varnish adirondacks. Plus any other tasks.

13:00 – more yard work.

14:00 – coffee and read.

15:00 – walk

16:00 – coffee and read

17:00 – Exercise and yoga.

18:00 – tea

19:00 – TV and wine until bedtime.

Busier than a $2 hooker on half price night. How exciting is all that. Thankfully we never watch the news, too depressing, especially BBC News.


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The World Health Organization is asking European government officials to restrict citizens’ access to alcohol during the coronavirus pandemic.

“At times of lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, alcohol consumption can exacerbate health vulnerability, risk-taking behaviours, mental health issues and violence,” the WHO reasoned on its website. “Alcohol does not protect against COVID-19; access should be restricted during lockdown.”

Now I know Trump was right to suspend conributions.

Using conservative figures and assumptions, a report by Derek Scissors of the American Enterprise Institute estimates 2.9 million total cases in China, rather than the total of about 82,000 Beijing reports. If Mr. Scissors is right, the number of cases that China has concealed is greater than the total number of cases reported in the rest of the world.

Now we’re out of our 14 day lockdown at least we can shop for ourselves.

Experienced our first ever click and collect from Asda. Got most of what we ordered, no substitutions and best of all they had all 7 bottles of wine I chose. Pretty neat way to shop.

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What a gourmet week it’s been the best Welsh Rarebit and baked beans ever; black pudding and beans; at long last Wendy makes Macaroni Pudding; and now, after mithering and chunering away for two weeks, pilchards on toast for tea tonight – happy as a baby in a barrel of tits.

Can you believe this:

Replika is a #1 chatbot companion powered by artificial intelligence. Join millions talking to their own AI friends!

Replika is the chatbot for anyone who wants a friend with no judgment, drama, or social anxiety involved. You can form an actual emotional connection, share a laugh, or get real with an AI that’s so good it almost seems human.

Three films on Netflix Wendy doesn’t want to watch, “contagion”, “pandemic” and “Inferno”. I wonder why?

Northerner terrifies Londoners by saying Hello:

20200406 – The Weeks Fly By

Well another cracking week has just flown by. Plenty to do and still not finding much time to read.

Random missive again this week.

Plague Doctor from ancient times.

More gorgeous weather means more walks. Today, Lexi and I, do the Belthorn Heritage Trail. Bloody nightmare to follow, badly signposted, probably mapped out by blind dyslexic on pot. At one point I’m doing an SAS scramble under barb wire. Some really steep sections that get the heart pumping and the sweat flowing. We survive and enjoy it.

China’s efforts “a deep propaganda campaign” intended “to obscure the fact it caused the virus in the first place”.

Wow another day of sunshine. Great walks around the village. Even had the patio doors open, afternoon tea on the patio. Why if we had a barbecue we could earn some extra points toward our US Greencard and have a barbie for tea.

You know the World has gone mad when you’re in a virtual queue to go onto the B&Q DIY website:

Number of users in queue ahead of you: 263663
Your estimated wait time is: more than an hour

Only the demented IT industry could dream this up.

For some reason I really am getting fed up with TV. It’s all so bland and about exciting and stimulating as watching someone clean the fluff out of their belly button. It’s not that we’re watching anymore than we used to, still don’t watch any TV before 17:00. Really need to move to a new regime of no TV before 19:00.

There’s a lot of aholes (Ignoring the lockdown, litter louts, my favourites parking in disabled slots and a wealth of other anti-social behaviour that society can do without), so thankful I don’t have a Walther PPX with me as I think I’d be in clink for what I would consider justifiable homicide. Had my Sig Sauer out yesterday for practice in the back garden but somehow I don’t think an air pistol would cut it when it comes to dealing with those with the scroat gene.

Still live in hope of escaping on the 2nd June. Forever the optimist.

Well plenty of projects to keep me busy. Started learning Canasta this weekend. Bloody hell that scrambles your synapses, need to be a Philidelphia lawyer to cope with it.

The week still seems to be going quickly by. Still plenty to do and even started reading and some more AI research. Will we survive the singularity – I doubt it. Another cheery thought for the day.

For Lent I’ve decided to give up socialising.

Good to see that the kids have finally come in useful after all these years, they do the shopping for us. Quite like that aspect.

Get out every day with the dog – spaniel without a brain. Still struggles with the complexity of the “sit” command. Walk to heel no chance, it’d rather choke itself.

Wendy keeps busy with her knitting. Click of needles is driving me nuts but if she runs out of wool then I think it’ll be even worse, I’ll need ear defenders.

Spoke to some friends in San Diego. It sounds dire down there with gestapo enforced draconian lock down.

Well at least the scourge of communism seems to have ceased stalking the USA. So it’s just down to Biden. Do you think he’ll be able to remember his name? Amazing all these know it all’s who constantly criticise Trump. Whatever he does they’re critical. Same over here. I wouldn’t like to be in any leaders shoes. With so little fact and science they can’t do right for doing wrong.

Digitising photos is progressing well. My new toy, a power washer complete with scrubber, has arrived. Now I can scrub all that mould off the decking. Sadly I’ve run out of decking so I’ll have to make a start on the patio and then the drive. Dread to contemplate the water bill. Probably end up so poor we’ll have to borrow money to buy water to cry with

One of the many good things in all this is local foodshops delivering to our village. So far this week we’ve had a meat deliver, a fish delivery and fruit / veg delivered, god knows why.

Missive to local council:

As part of our daily exercise we’ve been walking around Belthorn. What a disgrace all the roadside litter is. Who are these scroats who seem to think it’s ok to chuck their litter out of the car.

Anyway as sadly there’s no way we can have these arseholes in society put down I am prepared to do something about it. If you can provide me with plastic bin bags, a picker up device and a mechanism for the filled bags to be picked up then I’m prepared to collect the rubbish as part of my daily exercise. I’ll also try and mobilise others in the village to safely take part.

Of course you don’t get a response from them.

Well the one good thing about this social distancing, I can walk over 1.83 metres in front of Wendy without getting moaned at. Unless of course there’s a hungry horse in the field.

Too rare sights today, a Hillman Imp, I had one when a teenager, and what I thought was a humming bird but apparently you don’t get them in the Uk, not surprised too cold and windy. I suppose it might have been a hummingbird hawkmoth.

Forgive me for I have sinned. Two exercise walks today. Waiting for the knock on the door at 04:00 tomorrow morning.

Whoever said that Dog Groomers are not an essential service has obviously never had to groom a woolly bear of a cocker spaniel with a years worth of knotted fur. It has only taken us four days and now we have enough fur to make four well stuffed cushions.
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Rare sight today, a beautiful hawk hovering ready to dive.


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One police force has even been fining people for buying alcohol as it’s classed as non-essential – how crazy is that.

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Can’t believe I’m saying it, but after experiencing the overcrowded Japanese, like rats in cages and now the daily walks in Belthorn due to Covid, we’re really appreciating how luck we are to live in a countryside village. Mind you good weather does help.


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Options to sue the Chinese government over its initial response to the coronavirus outbreak have been set out in a paper by a neo-conservative think tank.

Beijing, if found in breach of any of a series of international treaties, could be liable for compensation running to trillions of dollars, according to the Henry Jackson Society (HJS).

The UK alone would have a potential claim for £351 billion from the Chinese state which the think tank says failed to be sufficiently transparent or to contain the outbreak soon enough.

It says the failures breach at least two clauses of the International Health Regulations to which China is a signatory. Action could take place in the International Court of Justice, Hong Kong courts or at the World Trade Organisation, claims the body.

Sue them.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/sue-china-for-coronavirus-outbreak-says-think-tank-bjgv0lf5r

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Rare sight today a butterfly.


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Surely the next big threat comes from the breakdown in food supply chains. Albeit from worldwide sales and export of staples like rice or grain. Or from illness in essential services, or people not turning up to work or homeworkers not being able to carry out subsidiary functions in the supply chain. Watch this space it does not take much to cause chaos. Cheery thought.

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Wow the village pond had a visit from a Heron today. One of the many delights of village life.


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Health Warning – this is a really long missive and if you’re a tree hugging, PC, snowflake then you’ll hate it.

Oh how I hate that word organic. It’s been totally hijacked by the PC snowflakes and is as bad as the word woke. The word “organic” originally refered to any molecule that contains carbon or relating to or derived from living matter. But no longer, now it refers to overpriced food that the PC snowflakes seem to think is better for them, more tasty and is environmentally less damaging.

So as I have a bit of time on my hands I thought I do some investigation as to the benefits of so-called “organic” food. Here is a few of the articles I found from a search on google.

NHS Study – https://www.nhs.uk/news/food-and-diet/organic-food-is-no-better/

“The researchers say that there is no evidence of a difference in nutrient quality between foodstuffs produced organically and conventionally.”

ZME Science – https://www.zmescience.com/other/science-abc/organic-food-science02092015/

“A Consumer Reports analysis found that, on average, organic food is 47% more expensive than regular food. The USDA numbers are similar. Of course, organic food is a bit more expensive to make than regular food, but a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that it’s only 5-7% more expensive, so the price difference is not really justified; it also means that organic farming has become more profitable than regular farming. In other words, from a price point of view, organic has become a synonym for luxury.”

“There is very little scientific evidence to support any health benefits for organic products. In fact, there is growing evidence that a diet rich in organic products isn’t actually better for you.”

“A 2009 meta-analysis (a study of other studies) said there was no nutrient difference in organic versus conventional foods.”

“….little significant difference in health benefits between organic and conventional foods, as well as no consistent differences in the vitamin content of organic products.”

“Oxford university analyzed 71 peer-reviewed studies and observed that organic products are sometimes worse for the environment.”

“Usually, organic products require less energy, but take up more land – 84% more land on average. Per unit of product, organic produce generates higher nitrogen leaching, nitrous oxide emissions, ammonia emissions and has more acidification potential. The yield is also generally lower (55% less in England, for example). Besides, a recent study found that because organic agriculture is now done mostly by big corporations instead of not local producers, and the lower yields combined with the intensive use of machinery means that overall, in terms of emissions and pollution, organic agriculture is usually worse than conventional.”

“A study found that organic food is, on average, worse for the climate. The reason why organic food is so much worse for the climate is that the yields per hectare are much lower, primarily because fertilizers are not used. This leads to greater land use which in turn, increases carbon dioxide emissions.”

“When the Soil Association, a major organic accreditation body in the UK, asked consumers why they buy organic food, 95% of them said their top reason was to avoid pesticides. Also, because organic food is completely non-GMO and therefore some plants are less resistant, in some cases, more pesticides have to be used (organic pesticides, but still pesticides) — and the difference between organic pesticides and regular pesticides is not that big. In fact, it’s the fact that organic pesticides come from natural sources, and are not processed, but they sometimes contain the exact same substances as regular pesticides.”

“But the bottom line is that if you want healthier foods and minimize your environmental impact, you should buy local.”

FSA

“Organic food is no healthier and provides no significant nutritional benefit compared with conventionally produced food, according to a new, independent study funded by the Food Standards Agency. “

Let’s look at taste. Does “organic” food taste better. Here there seems to be yet another myriad of answers but a study of 10 reports shows:

The Nature of Food – https://medium.com/the-nature-of-food/does-organic-food-taste-better-dd5e2b2e166d

“In this experiment, vegetables (lettuce, spinach, arugula, mustard greens, cucumber, tomato and onions) were grown using conventional and organic methods. Blinded participants evaluated taste, finding no significant difference, except in tomato, where conventional tomatoes were slightly preferred (although this may have partially been due to difference in ripeness).”

Interesting, so if you still believe that “organic” food is better for you, better for the environment and tastier please carry on paying 47% over the odds as I’m sure it helps keep down the price of my “unorganic” food.

20200330 – Lockdown, Journal Of a Plague Week


Sorry no time for daily blog, pictures, rant and jokes, so just a rambling weekly missive.

As soon as we got home we were into 14 days lockdown. Mind you everyones supposedly locked down any way.

Started exploring all the footpaths around Belthorn. We’re appalled at the amount of litter on the roadsides. It’s just disgusting, too many scroats around. What is wrong with these people who just think it’s ok to toss their rubbish out of their car. Thankfully I’m not allowed a gun over here, I don’t think I could be responsible if I encountered a litter lout.

Daily walks (averaging 3 miles a day now), exercise and yoga regime has been quite successful. Getting into it and feeling some benefit. Sadly Lexi (an 8 year old cocker spaniel that we have half shares in with our son, for some perverse reason we seem to have the rear half) seems to be suffering from arthritis. An hour into Saturdays walk and I thought I was going to have to carry her home. Turns out the vet has said a maximum of 40 minutes walk. No one told us.

Day 5, armed with OS app and iPhone, still exploring the ancient footpaths around Belthorn. Today’s was somewhat obscure and difficult. I think the last person to walk this was Heathcliffe back in the 19th century. Wendy got bit by a horse. At least she’s stopped worrying about Covid as she’s now worried she’ll get rabies. It’ll be the first case of rabies from a horse that didn’t even draw blood.

Amazed at the weather so far. Hardly any rain, very rare for Belthorn, but everyday there’s been a howling wind. How we yearn for the sun and calm of PC.
 
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Yeah, the bees are back. Hardly saw any all last year but they keep popping up so far this year.

Thankfully we never watch the news but I do read the Time and WSJ each morning. Waste too much time on this. Really must spend less time reading the panic, gloom and doom from the news papers – they’ve a lot to answer for as the cause of panic in the current crisis. New rule – ignore any article that seems to be an opinion.

There seems to be a growing realism that this lockdown can’t go on forever, the cost in lives and the economy could exceed the lives lost through the Chinese virus. If we don’t have a vaccine then perhaps herd immunity is the only way forward – need to get R0 less than 1. Sweden’s lack of lockdown is interesting. Perhaps the answer is gradually reduce lockdown on the less at risk, but keep the elderly and people with serious medical risk conditions locked down. An interesting, perhaps realistic, but seemingly heartless comment is that most of the deaths would have occurred in the near future anyway as in the main they seem to be the elderly (that’s us) and people with chronic medical conditions. Is this natures grand cull.

Another interesting WSJ article (https://www.wsj.com/articles/is-the-coronavirus-as-deadly-as-they-say-11585088464?mod=article_inline) on the percentage death rate. Points out that we have no reliable data on how many people have the infection therefore coming to a percentage death rate is impossible. Based on what scant evidence we have it could even be as low as 0.1%, well below flu levels, and whilst that is no comfort for those who have lost loved ones, nor does it make Covid a non-issue, it would question our reaction to it. Just goes to show how little we really know about it but I’m sure when it’s all over the political inquisitions and hindsight blame mobs will be baying for politicians blood.

Great this having all our food delivered by Kurt. I knew he’d come in useful one day. Wine and brandy seems to be evaporating – it must be the Angels share. It seems that wine is the latest fad panic buy, everyone needs it to keep sane, fortunately Kurt got four bottles for me today, so just 47 left – should keep me going a couple of weeks.

And wow it looks Fiona now has strong flour – gold dust – and of course a packet for us. Yeah, homemade pizzas for tea!

Local butchers, fishmongers and fruit n veg merchants have all shown enterprise and arranged deliveries to our local village. And no they’re not ripping people off. Let’s hope after all this is over, people remember, and they still prosper.

Wow this week has flown by, still not found time to read a book or improve my French. On top of this I’ve accumulated decades worth of projects that I’ve never got started, but they’re all on my Covid list. You can’t rush these things, takes years of careful planning – more haste less speed. Got quite a few photos digitised. That project seems to be going well. It’s awesome being reminded of all the things we did with the kids. Ross seems to be in every photo so far, hardly any of Brett, and Kurt’s not even been dreamt of.

Victors been a pain this week – Victor is our pet robovac who meanders around the house, in a drunken stupor, supposedly vacuuming. He’s got stuck at least twice and sent out distress signals. Then he attacked the nick nacks on the hearth.

Meanwhile Wendy keeps clicking away with the damn needles. In between that she’s trying to groom Lexi who looks like a giant teddy bear with all her fur. Now she’s got a mohican down her back and just needs her sides and legs shaving.

I’m still sticking with the first three laws of retirement – no alcohol, naps or TV before 17:00. The alcohol one can be a bit of a bitch and during this plague I think it’s time we avoided TV before 19:00.

Meanwhile:

The Queen is doing a televised address to the nation on Sunday night, in response to the coronavirus crisis, is only the fifth time the monarch has given such a speech in her 68-year reign. Not exactly rushed off her feet then.

While her Christmas Day message is an annual event, only rarely has she made rallying speeches at key moments in the life of the nation – predominantly at times of crisis and grief.

Now at a time when the UK faces what the prime minister has described as the “worst public health crisis for a generation”, the Queen is addressing the nation again.

Overall a good rousing speech.

Personally, whilst I’m all in favour of the monarchy and think our Queen has done a brilliant job, I am disgusted thats she’s not come forward before now to rally the nation. It’s the least she could do. Mind you I also think that when she’s in residence at Buckingham Palace she could at least pop out onto the balcony every few hours and give a regal wave to all the tourists.

Well a sumptuous bottle of 2016 Claret to look forward to tonight. That should help me reset my body clock and get a good nights sleep.

Missing PC and all our friends already. Hopefully just 57 days before we’re back in paradise. Always the optimist.

If you’re not comatose by now, well done, at least you’ve survived my rants.

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When all this is over I’m sure we’ll have learnt so many new ways that will make the World a better place.

But remember my guiding principle when I worked:

There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order, this lukewarmness arising partly from fear of their adversaries … and partly from the incredulity of mankind, who do not truly believe in anything new until they have had actual experience of it.

20200328 – Homeward Bound Sadly


Saturday

Goodbye to our daily view of the mountains.

Whilst Wendy packs I get sent to Walmart for more 3.4 ounce TSA approved brandy bottles and another large plastic storage box, only $4.98 that is amazing.

Say goodbye to all this.

Drop a red cross food parcel off at B&M and say our good byes. We’ll really miss them.

New plastic box is rapidly filled with yet more stuff and then after lunch we go down to the garage lockup. Wendy wants to sweep out the mouse droppings. It would have been a smarter idea to do that before we deposited most of our stuff.

Booze box, new plastic box and everything but the kitchen sink is put in the cupboard. At least my wine and whiskeys are safe.

Then in the evening it’s a spot of TV, no alcohol, and early to bed. We have to be up at 00:30.
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What a delight it is to have so many awesome American friends. Offers to take us to the airport – make sure we go! The phone hardly stopped ringing with calls from well wishers; sorry to see us go; safe travels. Two sets of friends even provided us with masks to wear on our journey. Offers of accommodation in Park City if we got stuck. Best of all has to be offers of sanctuary from ICE in Wisconsin; “come stay with us in LA”; “come stay with us in Houston, we’ve plenty of red wine”, such a tempting offer.

We truly appreciate all the kind words and offers of accommodation.


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Sunday

An empty Salt Lake airport.

Off down to the airport. Turns out we could have left an hour later as the checkin doesn’t open until 04:00. Roads and airport are pretty desserted. Fastest TSA transition ever, despite not be Pre-check cleared. You would have thought by now the AI systems would know us and view two frequent flyer geriatric grndparents as zero risk – best not get me going on the lack of profilling, woke snowflakes strike again.

Sunrise down there.

Flight to Dallas is pretty uneventful. Only about 30% full and 25% of the passengers are Mormon missionaries. I think Wendy has inflamed the passions of the smartly suited and booted Mormon missionaries as she puts on her flight socks at the airport. Alas no food or drink. We socially distance ourselves by moving into the premium economy seats, well away from everyone else. Air hostesses don’t seem bothered by it.

Most Americans at the airport don’t seem to comprehend social distancing and haven’t a clue how far 6 feet is. Probably the very same ones who want to drive up my exhaust pipe.

Monorail all to ourselves.

6 hours to pass at Dallas.

Flight to London is about 50% full. Another AA experience, on board food has to be the worst ever and is worthy of a separate rant below. Fortunately after two glasses of wine, a few swigs of Wendy’s brandy and some sleeping tablets I manage to sleep through most of the 9 hours. Best way to travel and so much cheaper than business class.

Morning.

London Heathrow is busier than Dallas but there’s nowhere open for food. Most of the passengers seem to have a problem with social distancing – perhaps they’re all Americans.

Last flight up to Manchester is a 35 minute BA flight. Another one of our least popular airlines. At least AA and BA get us there and manage not to loose our luggage.

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American Airlines (AA) and British Airways (BA) have to be our most hated airlines.

Let’s start by talking about the so called food served by American Airlines:

  • A salad of two slices of tomato and a desiccated lettuce leaf had all the appeal of a dose of norovirus.
  • The chicken pasta was revoting, tasted like the bottom of a bird cage, what there was of it. I’d have rather eat my own earwax.
  • The bun was dry, stale and would have been best redeployed as a door stopper.
  • The only thing tolerable was the cream crackers and plastic cheese.
  • Breakfast consisted of yoghurt and a spoonful of granola that looked like sawdust dropping from a saloon bar and a small dried up fig biscuit. The orange juice was at least tolerable.
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    I wish we’d just bought a Subway to eat on board. At least the red wine was tolerable.

    Now lets move onto American Airlines staff:

  • The help desk staff at Dallas were pretty useless as they couldn’t confirm whether there was food being served on the London flight and were just too lazy to bother to find out. Heaven forbid I should interrupt their little tête-à-tête.
  • All staff, both ground and more so the flight attendants, looked like a bunch of rag a muffins.
  • Uniforms were scruffy, looked like they needed a good dry clean and were certainly not uniform as they all seemed to be randomly dressed.
  • Most of them wandered around with a face like a constipated bloodhound! Not a smile or friendly comment to be had the whole trip. I’m sure they’d all had a lobotomy with all the social skills of a rabid badger.
  • It was quite obvious that they really didn’t want to be there and these damn passengers were just a pain in the arse.
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    While I’m on a role, let’s just comment on how cramped the cattle class seats were, you’d have teeth marks in your knees. We had to sit in them for takeoff due to their crap attitude to customer care. Finally got back into our extra leg room seats.

    American Airlines, not a pleasant experience at all. Management has to be complemented on their total lack of customer care training and managing to recruit such a bunch of social misfits. Along with NCL and BA they have now been added to my No Travel list.


    Monday

    Pick the car up from Hertz, they provided a nice Kuga automatic, free with my points.

    Finally arrive home about 12:30.

    Spend the afternoon unpacking, getting everything working again, trying to remember how the TV and other overly complex TV subscription services work in UK rather than USA location mode.

    Pilchards on toast for tea – I’ve been yearning for them for months. Some TV and a couple of world class german beers, topped off by my awesome extra old Martel XO Cognac. All followed by a good night sleep.

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    Our TSA experience at Salt Lake was just typical.

    We’re not Pre-pass approved this time. So it’s everything off and out, including shoes. I leave my plastic belt on and the full body scanner shows it up. The TSA agent asks me to take my belt off and I go through the body scanner again whilst he holds the offending belt that assumedly is a bomb threat. How kind of him to hold the potential bomb threat for me. This organisation couldn’t organise a shag in a brothel with a fist full of fifties. No wonder 70% of all tests on their efficiency show that they fail to detect the threat. It really is about time they started profiling and stop putting our lives at risk through woke political correctness.


    Tuesday

    Isn’t that what Facetime is for.

    2nd day of quarantine. So what did we do? It’s only Wednesday as I write this, and it’s so rememberable I’ve already forgot.

    Drove over to Preston to return Hertzmobile. Got well and truly lost. Sorted paperwork out and routine admin. Cleared my desk ready for action. Sorted photos ready for capture.

    Yoga.

    A no alcohol evening and some pretty mundane TV.

    Is this how it’s going to be for the next few weeks? Need to get into a routine. Fortunately we get Lexi, Kurts brown cocker spaniel, delivered to our door tomorrow. She’s a lovely dog, great with the kids, but seems to lack a brain. 8 years old and has only just learned to sit. We have a 50% share in her but for some reason we seem to have the rear half.

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    Finally a word from our Chinese Virus infected leader