Tuesday, 12th May, 2020

[Day 57]

Well, I thought today might be a little anti-climatic after the jollities of yesterday. As is now usual, we met two sets of friends on the way down into the park where the weather was so much kinder to us than yesterday, with a fairly clear blue sky and a wind that had moderated since yesterday. On the way home, we encountered one of our friends for the second time and commiserated with each about the fate of elderly relatives whose families were not treating them as well as they should have been. In the afternoon, I had set myself to do half an hour’s gardening but this soon turned into an hour and a half. I had pulled some dead branches complete with a complement of ivy from our fallen tree and I now had the task of disposing of it. I decided that it was a better job to sit down and chop it all into 3″-4″ pieces which I duly did, and this will make disposal of one blue sack of clippings so much easier. When clearing a little bit of banked woodland, I was wondering whether ivy was universally to be cleared and should be eliminated, or whether it was worth letting the younger, greener shoots still climb over the tree stumps. I decided on the latter course of action because, otherwise, the tree stumps would have been like blackened rotting teeth and I have a ‘cunning plan’ to let the little triangle of earth which is difficult to cultivate be colonised by a little white plant that I have elsewhere in the garden that may provide some ground cover.

This evening, we had a little domestic drama on our hands. Not knowing what we had done with some socks, washable face masks, and one or two other odds and ends, we hunted through the whole house for them before we found them in a special ‘receptacle’ which is positioned in front of the filtration unit in our dryer. This filtration unit is meant to be cleaned every six months but with this new model of machine, we had somehow forgotten to do it since it was new. However all’s well that ends well as after a collective effort from the household, we managed to retrieve the lost items (and it still a mystery to us how they ended up there!) and put everything else to rights.

Today, I received my delivery of goods from Iceland – instead of being delivered in the slot from 6.00-8.00 in the morning, it arrived at 5.55 (to be fair to Iceland, they had sent me a text telling me that I was first on the list) However an order of £40.00 had been reduced to £31.00 after certain items could not be supplied (kitchen rolls – fancy that), catfood and eggs – all of which we can live without. Now I am getting myself geared up for a ‘Click and Collect’ on Thursday morning.

We didn’t bother to observe the Downing Street briefing which has been a habit of ours in the last few days. I suspect that there if there is a groundswell of opinion, it is that ‘following the science<‘ is not as clear and simple as the politicians would have us believe. After all, the ‘science’ told is to ‘test, test and test again‘ as in South Korea, Taiwan, New Zealand and elsewhere that have got on top of the virus much more expeditiously than we have. The truth when it emerges will probably reveal that we didn’t go in for a regime of rigorous testing because we had neither the kit, the laboratories or the personnel to do it. News has emerged that we send 50,000 samples to the USA to be tested because our own facilities could not cope for one reason or another. Some people are already looking forward to what the inevitable enquiry might reveal – one government minister is quoted as having expressed the thought that ‘we might avoid the blame for getting us into the mess in the first place but we shall surely get the blame if we mess up the exit!''