Monthly Archives: May 2020

20200501 – Grandkids in PPP Lockdown.

Random thoughts and rants from PPP plague lockdown. Sorry no particular sequence just jot them down as they occur. Sadly no religious commentary but will start back with a vengeance on the next blog.

Esther pokes the dogs eyes.

Jasper has junior monopoly and loves to play it, unfortunately, it seems to last forever, fortunately, thanks to Fiona we manage to escape it for 3 days, but eventually, it catches up with us. Can you believe that Nana cheats against a 6-year-old. Neat really, she keeps sneaking money back into the bank so that she runs out of money and escapes early.

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Wakey, wakey, rise and shine – a typical start to the day

7:00, start of another day of hostilities from the grandkids. Beatrix wakes from a good nights sleep in her unicorn bed in our bedroom. Seems to be the best way to get her to sleep rather than her waking every hour to torture Fiona with sleep deprivation.

The kids then all mount a dawn raid on us, despite threats from their mother to leave us in peace. They soon tire of that and bring their guerilla tactics to bear on their mother. So we get to lie in bed for our last hour with some semblance of peace before having to face the terrible trio. Jasper torments Beatrix; meanwhile Beatrix plots and connives to drop Jasper in it; Esther exercise her lungs by screaming for attention. It’s just open Street warfare as they resist, disrupt and terrorise.

Jasper’s drawing posted in the village.

Jasper escapes with the iPad upstairs; Fiona shouts for him to come back down. Then we hear the classic “if you’re not down these stairs in three seconds you’ll be on the naughty step. I’m counting. One, very long pause; two, even longer pause“. Jasper saunters down the stairs just-in-time to beat the three second deadline.

8 o’clock comes and Alexa reminds us that it’s time to gird our loins to get up and face another day of open warfare. It’s a bit like 1917 hearing the whistle blow to get you up and out of the trenches to face another exhausting day of hostilities.

Time for a relaxing breakfast with Esther putting her new 4 teeth to good use by trying to eat my leather armchair, when that is banned she moves onto to trying to eat the lounge door. So the day begins.

But in reality we are loving it and making the most of our grandchildren.


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A friend saw one of the Pat Condell Youtubes and help remind me of how awesome they are. I’ve therefore gone back to the beginning of his 180+ rants and will add the best to this and future blogs.


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How I hate this message:

“This site uses cookies click to accept.”

Painting with Beatrix. Paint everywhere.

Thanks to The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that requires websites to disclose the use of cookies. Worst still is the websites that install cookies and yet ask for approval on every page. You’d think the least they could do is use the cookies to stop harassing you with the question on every page. Better still you think there could be a “I don’t give a damn” option in settings that just accepts all cookies and bypasses the question.

Do I give a damn about cookies? Just more wasteful snowflake shite from the gobermouches (lovely old insult, Irish term for someone who likes to meddle in other people’s business. Everyone knows a busybody, right?) in the Evil Union. Extra click more, energy and wastes time, and all for what. Let’s hope when we’ve finally escaped this nonsense can be cast into the dustbin of useless shite.

When you have as much hair as I have it’s great to have your own personal hairdresser (Fiona) on tap 24 hours a day. A No 2 does the job.

This week’s Panorama was a classic example. In recent weeks, many frontline NHS workers have been short of personal protective equipment (PPE), thereby putting them at unacceptable risk when treating COVID-19 patients. Leaving aside the fact that there is a global shortage of PPE and other countries are struggling with the same problem, the responsibility for managing stockpiles to cope with pandemics lies with the NHS and Public Health England. Neither of these organisations received any criticism from the Panorama team. The title of the programme was not “Has the NHS failed its workers?” but “Has the government failed the NHS?“. Nor was it mentioned that the majority of those interviewed were left-wing activists with an axe to grind.

One of the programme’s main allegations was that “the government” took COVID-19 off the list of High Consequence Infectious Diseases (HCID) in March 2020, thereby allowing “the government” to weaken the guidelines on PPE use. This, it suggested, was because “the government” had failed to buy enough PPE to go round.

Bike riding with Jasper.


But the decision to take COVID-19 off the HCID list was not made by politicians. It was made by Public Health England and their equivalents in the rest of the UK, with the Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens in agreement. The guidelines on PPE use by health workers may have been “weakened”, but the guidelines are set by Public Health England, not politicians. And the procurement of face masks, gloves and gowns is not the personal responsibility of Boris Johnson or Matt Hancock, but of officials in the NHS and Public Health England.

Far be it for me to defend the government, but in the absence of any evidence that politicians actively discouraged stockpiling of PPE, it seems to me that at least some of the blame for the shortage should be laid at the door of the people working in procurement at multi-billion pound organisations who are specifically tasked with stockpiling it. But no, let’s just blame “the government”.

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Village living can be great, yes that’s me saying it. We have awesome open views, the countryside to ramble around and then to top it all a villager has an excess of rhubarb, so he’s kindly offered it free to anyone. Brings back childhood memories of fresh rhubarb and best of all gooseberries – now they are rare.


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Now I’m an avid Apple fan after suffering over 20 years of crap from the evil empire (MIcosoft) when I worked, but Apple really need to get their act together. They seem to have caught the Microsoft disease. So many frustrations and poor HCI from a company who supposedly prides itself on being great on design.

I think this is just typical:

Why is the time on the top left on an ipad and iphone, yet on the top right on a Mac and MacBook.

Just sloppy lack of good design and consistency. Just one of the many stupid frustrations with Apple.

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The highlight of the week is a trip to the butchers to collect our meat order. How sad is that.


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More from Pat Condell:


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Yet another of my frustrations with the sloppy wankers who sling together web pages these day:

You sign up to a web site that is obviously for 18+ year olds yet the dropdown box starts at 2020 and you have to scroll down to your age. How many 1-year-olds do they expect to sign up? Just another symptom of the lack of thought that goes into software these days.

Today’s learning, curry spoils the taste of brandy. Especially very hot curries.

7th May – Jaspers birthday party:

7 years old. The years have flown by.

Jasper’s 7th birthday.

Fortunately it’s a warm sunny day, for Belthorn it’s as rare as a Taliban wearing a pinny and washing the dishes for his wife.

Nanas made a cake and we sit on the back patio to open presents, cards and blow out candles on a number 7 cake. Kurt sits 12 feet away on the deck. No party but at least most of his friends have got cards and presents to him. Kurt’s done a great video for him, very funny, and he’s added loads of video birthday messages from friends and family. An awesome 20-minute production.

We bought him a kiddies Fitbit. He manages to clock up 16,000 steps.

Then he has sandpit time, football, bike ride and finally a walk down the fields.

Not quite what he was hoping for but overall not a bad day.

Just so lucky.

BBC’s stupidity with two new series, one Scottish and one Irish. Both with accents that you need a chainsaw to cut through. More chance of understanding rapid fire French and yet no subtitles. What is wrong with these people. Clueless.
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Yes I know this lockdown and distancing is shit but compared to being sent off to war in the 1940’s, it’s an absolute doddle having to stay home with plenty of food, wine, entertainment, safe warm and dry.

It reminds me of the time two years ago when I bumped into one of the great American philosphers of the 21st Century. There I am hobbling across a very snowy Park City Mountain Resort car park on a pair of cruthces when I bump into this intellectual giant. He’s sat on the back of his truck and asks me what’s happened. I tell him I was taken out by a flying scumboarder. I’ll never forget the words from this sage:

“Shit happens. Suck it up.”


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More from Pat Condell:


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More on the Fiasco from China and their attempts to screw the World:

https://video.foxnews.com/v/6154317313001

It really is about time we recognised them for the enemy they are.

All this lock down makes me feel like a Dalek whose plan to conquer the world was frustrated by a staircase.

More of Frozen 2 with Beatrix. Elsa’s my favourite but she’s so flat chested.

Not more Princesses, no more Disney. Never a drop of blood, never any real violence, not a flash of nipple and certainly no sex. Just what the snowflakes ordered. I think they need an alter ego production company.

Victors on the loose. Victors our robot vacuum cleaner who we’ve anthropomorphised by naming him after my hero Victor Meldrew.

Beatrix.

When we were in PC coping with the panic buying of bog roll I remember sacastically plotting with Wendy how to create a new lunatic panic on coffee filter papers. Couldn’t think of any item more unlikely to be so sought after. Somewhat ironic but it now seems that panic buying Coffee filter paper has come to be a reality as people are using the coffee filter papers as virus filters in their home made masks.

I share the pride but am uneasy with the zealotry. This religion allows no doubters. Criticising the NHS is blasphemy; questioning the way it is run heresy. On the 70th birthday of the NHS a few years ago, a poll found that 77 per cent believed the NHS “should be maintained in its current form” — not, I imagine, because they think the status quo is perfect but because change of any sort has been cast as the slippery slope to destruction, privatisation, and Richard Branson cashing in on your gall bladder removal.

The crazy hour with the kids is normally 18:00 to 19:00 when they’re more hyper than a pack of wild dogs on a three legged cat, but for some reason tonight they’ve started at 17:00. Let’s pray it still only lasts for an hour.

Must still be reasonably fit from Park City as a walk up the village is done quite spritely without getting out of breathe.

Oh the joys of a 1 year old smacking you on the shin with a metal bar.
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VE Day celebrations:

VE day homework with jasper. Then football.

Varnish our Adirondecks.

VE Day celebrations – afternoon tea.

I know it may seem trivial and a tad childish but as a BREXITer I took great delight to see VE Day described in many sources, especially America, as “Victory Over Europe”.

Our celebrations started with a walk down to the village Cenotaph to hear someone play a trumpet voluntary – of course we all kept our distance. Just another one of the brilliant aspects of living in a village.

Then we listened to Winston Churchill’s speech from VE day, followed by afternoon tea – well wine – with scones and jam out on the drive. Fortunately the weather was warm and sunny.


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A message to all our Negative UK Press – including Laura Kuenssberg of the BBC, Robert Peston on ITV, Beth Rigby of Sky, Piers Morgan on ITV, James O’Brien – LBC, BBC News in general and all the other negative UK press.

I just couldn’t resist.

Journalism is missing the “mood” in this great country of ours – the United Kingdom. We do not want or need blame.

We do not want constant criticism of our Government who are doing their very best in a very difficult and unprecedented global emergency. This crisis is not of their making, there is no precedent of how to best handle it and I’m sure everyone is doing their level best to get it right.

But time and again we see our negative press trying to trip up our politicians instead of asking questions that will provide positive and reassuring answers for all of us.

They got the “mood” wrong in the Referendum, Brexit, General Election and now this Coronavirus crisis.

We want and need a constructive contribution to the national effort to help us out of this crisis. We need hope, optimism and faith, with less negativity and more positive support from these journalists. It is time you all changed your negative and political rhetoric for the health of this nation and start supporting our Government.

Don’t we just love it. Early morning coffee and newspapers, the dog has a barking fit, while the grandkids have a bout of lunacy, laughing, screaming, dancing and tormenting one another, in the midst of Jasper doing his maths homework with Fiona. Then Fiona shouts at Japser “Stop playing with your willie”. Hilarious times, just brightens the day.

A typical day with Grandkids in the time of the PPP Plague:

07:00 – Grandkids start their daily hostilities, exercise their vocal chords and visit us to make sure we’re awake. The daily joy begins.
08:00 – get up, good breakfast, tea and read The Times, WSJ and Apple News.
09:00 – more newspaper, Times crossword, Jasper’s homework and projects.
10:00 – coffee and deal with admin, screw ups, complaints and the like.
11:00 – more coffee, improve French and short university virology course to try and understand viruses.
12:00 – hike with Fiona.
13:00 – read, football with Jasper and Beatrix.
14:00 – coffee and read.
15:00 – walk with Wendy, Jasper and Beatrix.
16:00 – coffee and read
17:00 – Exercise and yoga. Wine time.
18:00 – tea – assuming I can survive this long
19:00 – TV and wine until bedtime. And perhaps a little brandy.

I really do have to exercise restraint to obey my laws of retirement – no alcohol, sleeping or TV before 17:00. New regime even consists of alcohol free day every other day. Times are hard.

Football (I hate it) with Jasper and Beatrix.

Meanwhile I learn a valuable new skill, how to dress Beatrix’s doll.

Signed up for a free 1 month trial of Britbox. Great being able to watch “One Foot In The Grave” and the “Royale Family” again. My heroes. But don’t think I’ll be paying for this when my months up.

Another highlight of the week, Asda victuals delivery between 12:00 and 14:00, and of course a few bottles of wine to replenish diminishing stocks. Down to my last 48 bottles.

My god you forget how tiring a 1 year old is. She’s into everything, especially things she shouldn’t have. It’s just hilarious to watch and a great exercise in remaining calm. I’m quite impressed with how I’m coping and how calm I manage to remain. Never a moments respite unless she’s asleep. Will the house survive?

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Amazing never a dull moment. The days just fly by. The weeks just fly by. Despite it all we’re so lucky to have the grandkids here.

Gourmet highlight last week.

Gourmet highlight this week, hopefully, will be Pilchard Fishcakes.

Miserable and rainy day so no walks with Fiona, or the kids and no football, how sad, just have to settle for exercises and yoga, boring. Todays highlight, I get my mountain bike back, complete with rear puncture. Oh well give me something to do, I’ll try and fit it in with my busy schedule. Just watching the “Gruffalo Child” with the kids for the 3rd time. By way of a change they’re fighting. Bugger, it’s a no alcohol day. How will I cope.

Need to sort out 2/6/20 flights back to PC. It seems that Donald doesn’t want us back and Boris doesn’t want us to leave. Let’s hope we can get back in July.