Category Archives: Uncategorized

20200519 – We’ve Survived.

The 3 terrorists.


We’ve survived. No I’m not talking about Covid-19, I mean 7 weeks with our 3 grandchildren (1, 3 and 6). They all left today (8/6/20) with our daiughter-in-law, it’s oh so quiet and we’re just getting back to normal. Track pad is back on my chair arm, drinks are on the coffee table, ornaments and lamps are back in place, the TV’s having a rest even though there’s a kiddy meal still spread all over the screen.

Out for a stroll.

Well Tuesday 2/6/20 we should have been jetting off back to paradise, but alas Donald doesn’t want us and Boris doesn’t want us to leave him.

It’s alright having a retirement commandment that forbids drinking before 17:00 but when your daughter-in-law is around, who desperately needs wine by 16:00 in order to cope with 3 rug rats, it means the bottle can be empty by the time you get to it. Need to adapt and sin.

Just watching Contagion, the perfect film to enjoy during this Covid-19 pandemic. Helps if you can stay awake but a lush bottle of Carmanera makes that difficult. Try a couple of brandies to see if that helps keep me awake.
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Wow our immune system is amazing. Complex, fine tuned but amazing. So much going on in there to fight off virus and bacteria. You also have to be amazed at the world of bacteria and viruses. It even seems that viruses known as bacteria phages may even come to our rescue in fighting off anti-biotic resistant bacteria.


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An excellent rant on the religion Islam.


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Another target from the “should have squad” of armchair hindsight experts.

Facebook is going after PragerU! They claim to be an open forum, yet label content as “false information” simply because their “fact-checkers” disagree with it. And now Twitter is having a go at Trump.

What is happening to free speech? Why can’t people post what they want on social media. If you’re offended by it or don’t like it then tough titties, just ignore it. As we keep telling our grand kids “sticks and stones…….”. Just move on. Who says we have a right not to be offended. Of course the religion of pieces and permanent offence (Oh dear have I offended someone) has a lot to answer for with their incessant bleating about islamophobia – a non existent nonsense concept.


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One of Madame Farage’s creations. All she needs now is a guillotine.

My online university Virology course and YouTube videos hav been fascinating. It’s just amazing how our immune system works. Just to remind myself and always useful to know in case you’re asked. SARS-Cov-2 is positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus (or (+)ssRNA virus) is a virus that uses positive sense single stranded RNA as its genetic material. Single stranded RNA viruses are classified as positive or negative depending on the sense or polarity of the RNA. The positive-sense viral RNA genome can serve as messenger RNA and can be translated into protein in the host cell. Positive-sense ssRNA viruses belong to Group IV in the Baltimore classification. Positive-sense RNA viruses account for a large fraction of known viruses, including many pathogens such as the hepacivirus C, West Nile virus, dengue virus, SARS and MERS coronaviruses, and SARS-CoV-2 as well as less clinically serious pathogens such as the rhinoviruses that cause the common cold.

Hiding in their tent. Keeps them quiet for 10 minutes.

Nothing like it when all 3 grandchildren kick off at once. I’ve made a recording of the ear shattering excruciating noise so that when they’ve gone home and we’re starting to miss them – June 1st 2026 – we can play it back to remind us of the “happy” times we had. If any young couple want it as as very effective incentive for contraception then we’ll gladly let them have a copy.

This was Jasper’s English homework today. Aimed at 6 year olds, let’s see how you cope correcting this:

the morning went very quickly indeed mainly thanks to detective jane, who was amazing wearing their own badges the children talked about how to use clues to help find a missing person or item they looked at the different patterns made by footprints and took their own fingerprints with special ink

Oh dear. 3 of us spent 15 minutes on this. There should be 5 capital letters, 2 full stops and one exclamation. See answer and rant at the end of this blog.

Bloody hell only 639 calories burnt today, thats one short of the 640 needed to polish off a bottle of red wine with no weight gain.

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Bubble chasing.

What a wonderful opportunity this covid19 pandemic provides for companies to provide even crappier call centre service and wait times. Whilst I appreciate times are difficult they are certainly milking it for all it’s worth, instead of seeing it as a golden opportunity to improve work practises. Work from home. Free up costly office space. Improve employees lives. Improve service. Larger available labour force to choose from. Cut down the need for more roads. Reduce pollution.


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An excellent rant on the religion Islam.


Amazed at my own gourmet aptitude.

One of my better results todays.

Great bike ride today, 3 miles downhill was a doddle. 3 mile back up hill and I’m cream crackered, the last 200 yards is a heart attack simulator. I feel like I’ve been rode hard and hung up dry – powfagged. Certainly not a PCMSC ride, I can think of one grouse on wheels who would be whining all the way down that I’m going too fast and all the way up that it’s just too difficult for a leisure ride. She’d be ratting me out to the club no doubt.

Well great news archery is back open. Suitably socially distanced of course and sadly out doors, but better than nothing. Let’s try two days this week. Still no pickle ball.

Coronavirus loading mothers with washing, cooking and home schooling

So cute. As if butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth.

Bedtime for the rug rats. Beatrix loads her roll along suitcase with Barbie doll, 16 Disney Princesses and peeing baby doll (yes it can pee), then trundles off to bed with suitcase in tow. Then at the crack of sparrows she trundles out of our bedroom with suitcase in tow. So cute.

More inane maths homework with Jasper. These teachers just sling together repetative questions with some badly worded questions that are confusing even to an adult.

Kids playing hide and seek. Nana shouting “no you’re not hiding in the fridge, get out”.

Fiona shouting at Jasper, “Get your clothes back on.”. This child seems to love wandering around in the nude.

Crammed in the paddling pool. Still, keeps them happy.

So much for a strict no TV before 17:00 law of retirement to only end up with constant “Oh Bear”, “Barbie Toy”, “Hungry Caterpillar”, Disney galore and other kiddy favorites all day.

19:00, hostilities haven’t ceased and they’re still all going wild, wound up like a fart in a skillet.

20:00, hostilities still haven’t ceased and they’re still going wilder than a pack of wild dogs on a three legged cat. Fiona’s polished the wine off but she’s still not chilled enough. I find it an interesting exercise in remaining tranquil as I enjoy watching them play and can marvel at how they learn. Best way to deal with the trauma, although noise cancelling hearing aids would be a great idea, then you could just turn them off, the kids that is.

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Where is the track and trace app that ministers were boasting about?

It has been delayed and downgraded from a central part of the system to the “cherry on the cake”. Officials hope that if and when it is working, technology will speed up tracing of contacts and pick up those who names you do not know, for example those who have been nearby on public transport.

Why have we tried to write our own app when Apple and Google have provided one for free. Spending millions on what will inevitably be a battery flattening failure. Worst still it’s the NHS that’s responsible for it. Have they not learnt anything. I wouldn’t trust the NHS to write a simple “Hello World” app.


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Well it seems like swearing can be good for you – especially when dealing with the software and websites written by 12 year olds who probably can’t even tie their own shoelaces. The technical term is the “hypoalgesic effect of swearing,” best illustrated by a 2009 study in NeuroReport by researchers at Keele University in the UK. The work was awarded the 2010 Ig Nobel Peace Prize, “for confirming the widely held belief that swearing relieves pain.” Co-author Richard Stephens, a psychologist at Keele, became interested in studying the topic after noting his wife’s “unsavory language” while giving birth, and wondered if profanity really could help alleviate pain. “Swearing is such a common response to pain. There has to be an underlying reason why we do it,” Stephens told Scientific American at the time

Beatrix on her new bike.

Read the “Hungry Caterpillar” to Beatrix for the Xth time, followed by 30 minutes excruciatingly boring maths homework with Jasper and then assaulted by Esther in an attempt to share the reading.

How a 1 year old improves its immune system. Brushing the dogs backside with her toothbrush seems to help. Gross! Hmm… this dogs tail doesn’t taste too bad either. Meanwhile Lexi just lies back and enjoys the attention.

Picked up my mountain bike from Kurt’s. Joy, it has a back wheel puncture. Fix that and then get my exercise for the week trying to pump the tyres up with a midgets hand pump.

Yet another PPP creation from madame Farage.

Putting the rear wheel back is as difficult as herding cats. Takes 30 minutes of cussing and fiddling to get it back. Why is it that most mechanical things are just so badly slung together, no thought for ease of maintenance.

It is hard to avoid the suspicion that the unions don’t really care about the data. They are doing what they always do: holding the government to ransom with children used as bargaining chips. In the midst of a crisis, it is particularly shameful.

What the friggin hell is vegan milk and vegan butter? And now we have vegan friendly hand sanitiser gel! Vegan burgers and steak was enough. If you don’t want meat fair enough, but why do you then want simulated meat? The World is going mad.

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Considering it’s an alcohol free day I’m quite pleased with how I’m coping and enjoying the grandkids.


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Guess where the Black Death plague came from? Yes, you guessed, it’s China. It looks like they’re still at it. Whilst I don’t accept the theory that SARS-CoV-2 was created as a weapon I do believe that it was a natural virus that escaped from a lab. It seems too much of a coincidence to me that the only high level lab in China, where bat virus were being studied, is located just 8 miles from the epicentre of the pandemic.

Here’s a tale of the Chinese regimes cover up:

Answer to the English test:

The morning went very quickly indeed, mainly thanks to Detective Jane, who was amazing! Wearing their own badges, the children talked about how to use clues to help find a missing person or item. They looked at the different patterns made by footprints and took their own fingerprints with special ink.

I just cant believe how ludicrous this is. To expect a 6 year old to know that detective should be a capital D because it’s in front of a name, whereas normally it would be lower case. What the hell is going on in our education system to expect such trivia? We only solved it as a guess and researched it on wiki. Even English teachers get this wrong. Someone needs to get a grip. This is KS1 for gods sake.

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Special Rant to highlight the stupidity of these protesters. Nigel Farage just highlights the facts:

But then again I don’t suppose any of these thugs and scum of the World are really interested in the facts or common sense.

What is their objective other than causing chaos, violence and spreading the virus. If it turns violent then water cannon, perhaps with a dash of bleach to help kill the virus, rubber bullets and tear gas. No problem with sensible legal peaceful protests, but they are breaking the law, putting us all at increased risk. Why should our police be subjected to this violence. Also find it interesting that I haven’t seen any articles saying why this black dude was being arrested and why it took 4 police officers to hold him down. Why? Because they’re all shit scared of being labelled racist.

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.

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

    20200324 – Summit County Kicks All Visitors Out


    Tuesday

    Lazy start to the day.

    Happy cyclist are even happier now the snow has nearly gone.

    Debate leave or stay. Stick with plan A, fly home on our original return date, Virgin and Delta have both confirmed our 16/4/20 flights. If they fail and we have to stay our travel insurance will cover us, as it’s beyond our control, just have to worry about ICE breaking down the door at 04:00. The government has changed its advice from stay to come home. All our kids think we’re better off here.

    Go for a walk with B&M. Start off with the intention of a stroll around ghost town (AKA Park City) but it starts to snow – so much for the weather forecast.

    Drive back down to the old Barn where it is glorious sunshine. Have a stroll back up to our place for coffee and biscuits.

    After lunch, I set out for a walk in the snow down to Willow creek. Only see one person in 3 miles. A very quiet and snowy world.

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    We’re warm; dry; have plenty of food and water; have the Internet and books; can chat and see our kids and grandkids, even play connect 4 with them; have plenty of places to go for an awesome walk; have plenty of good friends around; and last but by no means least have plenty of wine, bourbon, beer and brandy. On top of that we have our health. What more can we wish for?


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    Well the press continue with their stories of gloom, doom and panic. You don’t seem to get many good news stories. In fact the cynic in me suspects that the situation in Italy is improving dramtically as we’ve not had any Italy panic stories for several days now.

    Interestingly I wondered what the WHO recommendations were. They seem to be saying the usual but their distancing recommendation is 3 feet, not 6. No mention of stay indoors. CDC recommends 6 feet but again no mention of stay indoors. Their comments on international traffic would also seem to support Boris in allowing flights from Italy and China.

    “WHO continues to advise against the application of travel or trade restrictions to countries experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks.

    In general, evidence shows that restricting the movement of people and goods during public health emergencies is ineffective in most situations and may divert resources from other interventions. Furthermore, restrictions may interrupt needed aid and technical support may disrupt businesses and may have negative social and economic effects on the affected countries. However, in certain circumstances, measures that restrict the movement of people may prove temporarily useful, such as in settings with few international connections and limited response capacities.”

    “Travel measures that significantly interfere with international traffic may only be justified at the beginning of an outbreak, as they may allow countries to gain time, even if only a few days, to rapidly implement effective preparedness measures. Such restrictions must be based on a careful risk assessment, be proportionate to the public health risk, be short in duration, and be reconsidered regularly as the situation evolves.”

    “Travel bans to affected areas or denial of entry to passengers coming from affected areas are usually not effective in preventing the importation of cases but may have a significant economic and social impact.”

    “Several countries that denied entry of travellers or who have suspended the flights to and from China or other affected countries, are now reporting cases of COVID-19.”

    Common sense and science led advice seems to be a scarce commodity these days.


    Wednesday

    Lazy mornig. Talk to the kids. Play Connect 4 with Jasper.

    View from dining room this morning.

    It’s snowing all day so little chance of my daily hike.

    Send our shopping list to Fiona. She laughs at the contents with frequent outbursts of “No chance”, “are you joking”. Great isn’t it when we can get the kids to our shopping for us. At least there are some benefits to this PPP.

    Under normal circumstances, I’d rather walk through Tehran in a star of David tee shirt than go to the supermarket. However, when you’re going stir crazy every little outing helps. So I drop off a bottle of Jamiesons for my mate Shaun at Hertz who looks after us so well, and then it’s Freshmarket with Wendy. I have to push the trolley to save her back.

    In the evening we’re off round to B&M’s for dinner.

    Then it’s the final episode of Tyrant, but bugger me if we don’t fall asleep through the last 20 minutes so we have that delight to come tonight.

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    Interesting old train on my snow walk.

    “More than 160 migrants were caught crossing the Channel yesterday as fewer French patrols and warmer weather prompted an upsurge in attempts to enter the UK.

    Border Force intercepted and brought to Kent 95 migrants in six separate incidents, one of the biggest ever daily totals since growing numbers started to make the journey two years ago.

    A further 74 people were caught by the French authorities and returned to the port of Boulogne.”

    Why are we bringing any of them into this country? They’ve come from France so are economic migrants, not asylum seekers. Why don’t we just return them to France or first flight back to where they came from, and if we don’t know where that is then Syria will do.

    I’ve no doubt the snowflakes among us, just like Merkel, will want to welcome them with open arms and put them up at the Ritz. Open borders will not work. About as crazy as a soup sandwich, pots for rags.


    Thursday

    At least the cows are well fed.


    Stuck in all day as it’s snowing.

    Debate what to do now that they want all visitors to leave by 1st April latest. Wendy whittles and doesn’t know what to do. Stay until 16th as per plan A or leave ASAP. The decision is in my court. As we’d be here illegally after 1st April – see rant below – this would invalidate our travel insurance. Fortunately, we spot a couple of BA flights for just $550 on Sunday so go for that.

    A bottle of wine and some bourbon helps end the day. We finish watching “The English Game” on Netflix – good watching.

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    COVID-19 Pandemic within Summit County : JOINT PUBLIC HEALTH ORDER STAY-AT-HOME

    Section 8. Visitors. Visitors to Summit County are directed to return home immediately upon the issuance of this Order, no later than April 1, 2020, by the fastest and safest available means…….

    My favourite old barn from the other side.

    Well that’s Plan A screwed as our insurance will not cover us because we’ll be here illegally after 1st April. Time for Plan B. Fly home American Airlines, not our favourite airline, via Dallas, Heathrow and then to Manchester via BA, certainly not our favourite. If it wasn’t for the insurance I’d have stuck with Plan A.

    No taxis in Blackburn so Kurt offers to drop a car off at Manchester airport, but it’s cheaper (free with my points), a lot less hassle and risk if we get a hertzmobile to home and return it the next day. I know non-essential travel and all that but it’s a lot safer all round than trying to get a taxi or a bus or a train. Let common sense prevail. In the event of getting stranded at Heathrow then Brett will either drive us home or loan us his car for us to drive home.

    As soon as we get home we’ll be in a 14-day lockdown.


    Friday

    Drop the Walther PPX off at Mikes. He’s totally pissed with all the PPP.

    Another awesome sunny day walk in the fresh snow. I’ll miss this.

    Then we take all our stuff, and boy oh boy do we have some stuff, around to the lockup at our summer residence. Turns out there’s plenty of room and the boxes are just great to pack it all in.

    After dinner, I take our winter clothes, skis and shoes over to Hal’s for storage, along with a red cross parcel of all our excess food. Carol also had some masks for us, great to have so many good friends. Sadly we did a big shop on Wednesday because we thought we’d be here until 16/4/20, Plan A, but alas no so a lot will be wasted. Thankfully I kept out of the liquor store.

    B&M pop round with my Campos coffee I ordered and to say goodbye.

    I have a walk around the Canyons and back down past the church to try and see why they are shifting so much soil around. It seems like a big building site, bet there’ll be a mile high block of condos there this time next year.

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    Amid concern from civil liberties groups over the extent of the new enforcement, Jenny Harries, deputy chief medical officer for England, confirmed that police were correct to stop people driving to places for exercise. Why? What is the rationale?

    20200320 – Mothers Day


    Friday

    All the days are lazy days now with this self isolating and distancing.

    Walk with B&M around Willow Creek in the snowstorm.

    Then it’s the supermarket and Michaels for Wendy’s knitting wool.

    Do a bit of programming for the sports club and sort out my password encryption problems. Helps with the mental stimulation.

    In the evening more “Tyrant” and a new series on Netflix “The English Game”. It quite good and should appeal to Downton Abbey fans. All made more tolerable by a tasty bottle of Carmenera.

    Still managing to keep up with my laws of retirement (no drinking, TV or napping before 17:00) although they are hard to adhere to in these trying times, but one has to have standards.
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    Well all this PPP is making us more aware of the simpler things in life, like going for a walk, family and friends.


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    Saturday

    Hello is that the same person coming out of Michaels with Knitting wool who lambasted me for going into the liquor store. Unnecessary she said but knitting wool is one of lifespan’s essentials.

    Head off to do the Masonic Hill hike with Helen and George. Meet them there to help with the PPP. Get about 100 yards into it and decide that this needs snowshoes. Abandon plan A and head off up to Round Valley for a 3 mile stroll. First time H&G have ever been there.

    Then back home for a family quiz on Kahoots. What a great idea it is. I expect we’ll be seeing a lot more of this remote interaction over the coming months and years. Probably one of the good things to come out of this PPP.

    Keeping up with the yoga every other day. Not resorted to improving my French yet. Who knows I may even start to find time for some reading.

    Another no alcohol TV evening, but at least I’ve managed to fix the aspect ratio on the TV so people are no longer so tall and lanky.
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    What a great gesture and idea.


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    Sunday

    Mothers day video call.

    Mothers day in England so Wendy gets some lovely posting on Facebook and a great video call with all the kids and grandkids. Sadly Jasper and Beatrix are banished to their bedrooms for being too nosiy and disruptive – good luck with them Fiona over the next 5 months.

    Virgin have sent us a schedule change to our flight on the 16th, at least it confirms the flights are still on, but it looks like we’ll have to get up earlier. The least of our first world problems. Now Wendy’s panicking about flying. And the good news is that once we get home we have to self isolate for 14 days, there’s hardly any food in the house and the supermarkets have been stripped by a plague of greedy locust-like scroats.

    After lunch we drive down to Kimble for some petrol and then take a walk to Whole foods to try and buy some sultanas – no such luck, no-one seems to know what they are. Then walk up and around the back of Tangier Outlets, a pleasant 3 mile walk in lovely sunshine.
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    China getting a tad upset about adding the “Chinese” Virus to their flag. Serves them right.

    Interesting talking to our kids today and their attitudes toward Trump. I assume their perceptions are coming from the English press, always a good unbiased and non-sensational source. They seem to think he shouldn’t call it the Chinese virus. Yet the evidence seems to point to the source being bats sold for food in large animal markets in China and this isn’t the first time, two other epidemics have come from these markets. What have they done about it, Nothing? Yet another one of the many benefits from China. Remember China is a dire totalitarian regime; they conspire to steal our intellectual copyright; Huwaei by all sensible accounts represent a security threat; they dump produce on our markets; they conspire to damage our economies; and don’t forget they suppressed information on this outbreak for months.

    “The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a betacoronavirus, like MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. All three of these viruses have their origins in bats. The sequences from U.S. patients are similar to the one that China initially posted, suggesting a likely single, recent emergence of this virus from an animal reservoir.

    Early on, many of the patients at the epicenter of the outbreak in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China had some link to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread.”

    We really should be treating China as a pariah state and greatly reducing our reliance upon them. They are dangerous. But of course, because Trump says it then it’s rubbish. Yes, I accept he comes out with some tripe and his gob can run away with him. But then he’s not a politician, has never claimed to be, so why should we be surprised when he doesn’t behave like one. Isn’t it a good thing, politicians cause enough problems. Wake up he’s right on China; he is spot on about Iran, who would ever trust that bunch of lying ragheads who only want islamic domination of the world; he’s right on wanting to make America great again, only the snowflakes, liberals and left-wing would ever have a problem with any leader wanting what’s best for his country.


    Monday

    View from the top of Glenwild Loop trail.

    Off to do a lonesome 3 mile hike around Glenwild Loop, at least there’s no snow but the first half of the walk is all uphill, a good workout. Hardly anybody on the walk so no problem with social distancing. Overtake George and Jack about 2/3rd of the way around. A good workout but don’t manage the hallowed 640 calories needed for a bottleof red wine. Before all this pickleball and a daly walk was burning off nearlya 1,000 calories.

    More Glenwild views.

    In the afternoon go a short walk up to the barn and back with Wendy.

    B&M come round for dinner. Wendy does the new recipe lasagna and it’s a great way to do it.

    Good company, good food, good wine and some brandy, probably a bit too much.
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    20200316 – Pandemic, Pandemonium and Panic (PPP) Gets Worse


    Monday

    Wendy buys some ammo.

    Went for a walk with B&M to the Huber farm out at Wasatch state park. Took the snowy path there, not enough to snowshoe, and then back along the road. A gorgeous day and a great stroll

    I called in at the Outdoor store to get some 9mm ammunition. It was on sale but limited to only 3 packets per person. Wendy swallowed her scruples and helped out by buying 3. Bumped into Leon from NAC archery, he’s going to set up an archery day.

    Then we call at the Wasatch Dellie for lunch. Have Heber special which is a Hoggie roll with sliced beef and a french gravy dip to dip it in – awesome, similar to a Chicago beef sandwich.

    Haute cuisine.

    Then it’s a trip to Jans, the start of their sale. Wendy buys a nice coat with 40% off, Bob buys some new skis and Marilyn splashes out on ski jackets. I get bullets.

    A lazy evening watching “Tyrant” on Amazon Prime. It’s a great series. Just binge-watching.

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    Tuesday

    Morning stroll.

    Time for a family decision on do we stay until our normal return date or do we try and leave next week. Well our flights not been cancelled. Supermarkets at home look dire, whilst here things aren’t so bad. We have hardly any food in at home. More to do here and weather is better. Seems less risk here. More friends here. Only risk is we get stranded here. Decided we’ll stay until April 16th as originally planned.

    Huber farm from Mondays walk.

    Go for a walk around Willow Creek with George and Helen. That seems all there is left to do with this isolation advice.

    Afternoon and I’m doing yoga again. Really want to get into it on a regular basis and this PPP lockdown could be an ideal opportunity. Who knows it could be I try and improve my French next.

    In the evening we go to B&M for dinner. Great Beef stew.

    Then it’s back home for more of the “Tyrant”. Thankfully turns out there are 3 seasons in all.
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    Wednesday

    What the hell is an IPAWS alert. At 08:30 just an Amber alert received on our mobiles and no mention as to why. Are we meant to guess what the problem is? Is it some sort of guessing game? God only knows and he won’t split. Bizarre, only in America.

    Wasatch state park.

    Mind you Wendy is convinced the bathroom was shaking this morning and it was too early for her to have been on the brandy.

    Apparently, it was an earthquake. A 5.7 magnitude quake down in Salt Lake.

    Losing the will to live and now it’s snowing. Off up to the gun club to vent my spleen on some paper targets. The Walther PPX is great. Even better without the laser sight on, how bizarre is that. And wow that new ammo has a real kick.

    Deer valley deserted.

    OMG just got a text telling me all the liquor stores are closed. How will I cope? Turns out it’s due to the earthquake. Perhaps they should follow the lead of the supermarket and have the first two hours for geriatrics etc.

    Fix some PHP software for the sports club, some mental stimulation at least. After lunch we’re off for a stroll up to the White Barn, just 2 miles.

    Sadly a no alcohol day so more of the “Tyrant” in the evening.


    Thursday


    Stroll in the snow. Personne est la – it’s a ghost town.

    Lazy morning.

    After lunch, we take a stroll up the Rail Trail into Park City. It’s all deserted, mind you it’s snowing.

    Then it’s the liour store to get stocked up in case they decide to close because of PPP.

    Another night in binge watching the “Tyrant”. At least I can have a drink, badly needed, to cope with all this PPP madness.

    Crazy shoe tree, just like PPP. Why would anyone want to spoil a tree. Probably the same scripts who panic buy; park in disabled slot; chuck fag packets out their car windows.


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    Makes you realise your old when good friends start ringing round to check on you. But not to knock it such a thoughtful thing.


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    Just about sums it all up and puts it all into perspective. Go to https://informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/covid-19-coronavirus-infographic-datapack/ to see the latest graphic.

    20200311 – Covid-19 Pandemic, Pandemonium And Panic (PPP)


    Thursday

    Off shooting with MikeB and a Walther PPX that MikeT has kindly lent me. My new favourite gun. It’s amazingly accurate and surprisingly even more accurate without the laser site. Really impressed so much so that I’ve had to move the target out to 40 to make it more interesting. Tried a couple of MikeB’s guns. Great morning.

    Hal came round after lunch and we went a stroll around the neighborhood.

    Then off to see Shaun at Hertz to get my car upgraded to a 7 seater SUV – Ford Explorer XLT, very nice. Sadly though I won’t need it if our kids come out, it always feels better to have plenty of good old American steal around you. Especially when negotiating roundabouts. Shaun does an amazing job at Hertz and always looks after us well.

    B&M and M&J come round for dinner. Good food (homemade chicken pot pie), good wine and great company.

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    Things are getting truly crazy here with the Covid-19 Pandemic, Pandemonium And Panic (PPP). Trumps travel ban from Europe may well have screwed Kurts family trip here as they are flying via Amsterdam.

    An interesting commentary:


    Friday

    Devastating news, Pickleball has been cancelled for March due to the PPP (Pandemic, Pandemonium And Panic). How will I cope. Let’s hope the gun club stays open and we’re still allowed to go for a walk. The sports club has canecelled all TGIF’s and Apre-ski events. Wendy’s told the Christian centre she will not be volunteering for the rest of the month – don’t blame her, she’s a volunteer, why be front line dealing the public.

    Whilst PPP buying has hit the supermarkets and the shelves are bare of toilet rolls, hand sanitisers and a lot of staples like rice and pasta, at least the liquor store has plenty of supplies (Zen of Zin on special at $8.99 is a real plus, I think I’ll panic buy that) so at least we can always get our calorific intake from alcohol. So far there’s been no mention of possible benefits of drinking plenty of alcohol to combat the virus. You’d think if it works on the hands it would work on the body, but perhaps we have to gargle with it and rinse our sinuses.

    Well it seems the only exercise left is to go for a walk, so I trudge through the snow up (up being the operative word – this is so much harder than Pickleball) to the Market and Liquor store to meet Wendy. It starts snowing so halfway there so it looks like I’ll chicken out of walking back down.

    Hal, Carol and Angela come round for dinner in the evening.
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    Well amidst all the PPP there has to be some good. It seems that most of all we’re left with the benefit of so many good friends; “use our home if you’re stranded here”; “come and stay with us in LA” and so on. I can think of worse places to be stranded.

    But perhaps other good will come out of this PPP madness:

    1 As employers start trusting their staff and letting them work from home, perhaps they’ll start to see the benefits to both parties and the lower impact on our roads and the environment. No I haven’t suddenly become a tree hugger, but rather than building more roads, making better use of technology makes so much more sense. Why perhaps our government may start to think longer-term and even offer tax breaks to companies that promote remote working

    2 Increased use of video conferencing for all sorts of uses, especially for visits to the doctor.

    3 Who knows the hoarders may even learn the stupidity of panic buying.

    4 Perhaps the press may even learn not to whip up such panic and pandemonium with their sensationalism. It really is hurting people and perhaps we may find a way of holding them more accountable for the panic they create.

    5 Perhaps best of all we see a decline in globalism as countries and companies shy away from such extended supply chains and JIT manufacturing, become more reliant on local suppliers and more independent.

    6 Who knows education might start to realise the potential for video conferencing and computer-assisted learning.

    7 We may even become better neighbours and less selfish.

    8 Perhaps even the EU may start to see the folly of their attempt to create the United States of Europe across so many diverse countries, cultures and languages. Perhaps even resort to becoming just good trading partners.


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    Whilst not attempting to belittle the problems with covid-19 I find it somewhat bizarre the degree of Pandemonium and Panic when compared with deaths deaths from the flu. The press are having a field day and fueling the fears and panic. All this talk of heard immunity seems to make sense but just looking at the heard’s response and panic buying is only making matters worse. Some interesting facts:

    Vaccine
    COVID-19: No vaccine is available at this time, though it is in progress.
    Flu: A vaccine is available and effective to prevent some of the most dangerous types or to reduce the severity of the flu.

    Infections
    COVID-19: Approximately 127,863 cases worldwide; 1,323 cases in the U.S. as of Mar. 12, 2020.*
    Flu: Estimated 1 billion cases worldwide; 9.3 million to 45 million cases in the U.S. per year.

    Deaths
    COVID-19: Approximately 4,718 deaths reported worldwide; 38 deaths in the U.S., as of Mar. 12, 2020.*
    Flu: 291,000 to 646,000 deaths worldwide; 12,000 to 61,000 deaths in the U.S. per year.

    The COVID-19 situation is changing rapidly. Since this disease is caused by a new virus, people do not have immunity to it, and a vaccine may be many months away. Doctors and scientists are working on estimating the mortality rate of COVID-19, but at present, it is thought to be higher than that of most strains of the flu.
    *This information comes from the Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases map developed by the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering.


    Saturday

    Ughh a no alcohol day.

    A lazy morning for us both and then Wendy tootles off to see a sawbones about her back / pile / bum. As she drives into the surgery car park a nurse come out in gown and mask to carry out some basic triage. Asks Wendy what the problem is and then consults with the doctor. Wendy’s given a mask, told to wash her hands and invited into the non-covid-19 side of the waiting room. Seen within minutes and after a somewhat embarrassing examination is told how to deal with it. Doctor can’t understand why this wasn’t dealt with in the UK and why she was told to come back in 3 months if no better. Over here most problems are dealt with promptly with a battery of expensive test and medication. Suffering kept to a minimum. Total cost of her visit $116.

    Helen and George pop round with an anorak for Jasper and we have a good old chin wag, George and I put the world to rights

    Then we toddle off up to the PCMR base for some coffee from Campos. Has to be the Worlds best coffee, just a pity their customer service skills and attitude are so bad, I’d rather lick piss off a nettle than shop there.

    Finally, it’s a trip to Chubascos for my long-awaited – four weeks and I’m only just having one – smothered Californian Burrito along with a selection of the hottest salasa they do. Proper haute cuisine. Awesome. Chimichanga next time.

    Evening in watching TV and admiring the drinks on my drink shelf, but being strong and resisting. Let’s hope I get some feeling back in my tongue after all that salsa.

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    Bad news, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), drinking alcohol to stay safe and kill the deadly virus’ is not true. Still alcohol does make you feel better so perhaps best not to give it up. As the saying goes “Wine improves with age and I improve with wine”.

    Further bad news, Trump is now banning all passengers from the UK from Monday. Oh well that EU ban but UK OK didn’t last long. At least the good news is the kids should get their money back either from Air France – crap customer service but what can you expect, the clues in the title – or if not their travel insurance company.

    Finally, the PPP has gone berzerk, they are now closing the ski resorts for a week. Fortunately, it doesn’t affect us but shows how crazy things have got.


    Sunday

    Lazy start to the day.

    My Sunday walk.

    I set off to walk upto Fresh Market and meet Wendy there. The only problem is I take the car keys with me so I have to walk back down. The good news is I get my 4 miles in, most of it on snow so it’s a real workout.

    Supermarkets not too busy but of course there are the scrots panic buying. My suggestion is simple’s, each cashier to be given a loud bell she can ring, to draw everyone’s attention to the anti-social panic buying scrot and the manager then comes and refuses to sell them anything and escort them off the premises. Nothing like a good overdose of peer pressure and common sense.

    Lazy afternoon in. Who knows if it carries on at this rate I think I’ll be brushing up on my French.

    Start Yoga, a DVD version. Could this PPP be an ideal opportunity to finally get into it? Will I keep it up this time?

    B&M come round for tea – edamame, sushi and warm sake. Oh and ice cream for Bob.

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    By Dr. Sharkawy On COVID-19:

    “I’m a doctor and an Infectious Diseases Specialist. I’ve been at this for more than 20 years seeing sick patients on a daily basis. I have worked in inner city hospitals and in the poorest slums of Africa. HIV-AIDS, Hepatitis,TB, SARS, Measles, Shingles, Whooping cough, Diphtheria…there is little I haven’t been exposed to in my profession. And with notable exception of SARS, very little has left me feeling vulnerable, overwhelmed or downright scared.
    I am not scared of Covid-19. I am concerned about the implications of a novel infectious agent that has spread the world over and continues to find new footholds in different soil. I am rightly concerned for the welfare of those who are elderly, in frail health or disenfranchised who stand to suffer mostly, and disproportionately, at the hands of this new scourge. But I am not scared of Covid-19.

    What I am scared about is the loss of reason and wave of fear that has induced the masses of society into a spellbinding spiral of panic, stockpiling obscene quantities of anything that could fill a bomb shelter adequately in a post-apocalyptic world. I am scared of the N95 masks that are stolen from hospitals and urgent care clinics where they are actually needed for front line healthcare providers and instead are being donned in airports, malls, and coffee lounges, perpetuating even more fear and suspicion of others. I am scared that our hospitals will be overwhelmed with anyone who thinks they ” probably don’t have it but may as well get checked out no matter what because you just never know…” and those with heart failure, emphysema, pneumonia and strokes will pay the price for overfilled ER waiting rooms with only so many doctors and nurses to assess.

    I am scared that travel restrictions will become so far-reaching that weddings will be canceled, graduations missed and family reunions will not materialize. And well, even that big party called the Olympic Games…that could be kyboshed too. Can you even
    imagine?

    I’m scared those same epidemic fears will limit trade, harm partnerships in multiple sectors, business and otherwise and ultimately culminate in a global recession.

    But mostly, I’m scared about what message we are telling our kids when faced with a threat. Instead of reason, rationality, open-mindedness and altruism, we are telling them to panic, be fearful, suspicious, reactionary and self-interested.

    Covid-19 is nowhere near over. It will be coming to a city, a hospital, a friend, even a family member near you at some point. Expect it. Stop waiting to be surprised further. The fact is the virus itself will not likely do much harm when it arrives. But our own behaviors and “fight for yourself above all else” attitude could prove disastrous.

    I implore you all. Temper fear with reason, panic with patience and uncertainty with education. We have an opportunity to learn a great deal about health hygiene and limiting the spread of innumerable transmissible diseases in our society. Let’s meet this challenge together in the best spirit of compassion for others, patience, and above all, an unfailing effort to seek truth, facts and knowledge as opposed to conjecture, speculation and catastrophizing.

    Facts not fear. Clean hands. Open hearts.
    Our children will thank us for it.

    Dr. Alexander Roth
    thinks that the post written by Dr. Sharkaway is very important for the people of our country and it that is why he shares this post on FB. You can follow
    Dr. Roth on Twitter https://twitter.com/AleksanderRoth or Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/libertarianjewishdoc/?hl=en