Sunday, 23rd August, 2020

[Day 160]

Meg and I had quite a full morning by the time we had chatted with various people. On our way to the park, we ran across an old lady (in her 80’s) who we know quite well from walking her dog in the park. She had been in the wars recently and had a fall inside her own house as a result of which she had damaged her foot. After attention in hospital, they had given a special boot but she had to stay overnight until she was in a condition to look after herself as she lived alone. She was now hobbling about (gardening!) and gradually recovering, but this does explain why we had not seen her for a few weeks. She seemed to be coping very well but she does have a fiercely independent spirit. As we had been somewhat delayed, by the time we got to our little newspaper shop it had shut (perhaps they only open until 11.30 on a Sunday and by this time we were somewhat after that) So we popped into Waitrose to get our newspapers and had a chat with one of the regular staff we know well. We enquired about the possibility of the Waitrose cafe re-opening and got rather dispiriting news. (I need to point out tat this stage that before the lockdown there were a series of ‘regulars’ in the Waitrose cafe who used to meet several times a week before the lockdown and hence the absence of the cafe has been quite a blow to us) Waitrose had run a trial in one of their stores to see if it was feasible to reopen the cafeteria. But the trial was a failure – the trial site only took £70.00 in three days and with the adaptations that would be necessary, there was no way in which this floor space could be justified. So it looks as though the facility we have known and enjoyed over the years at Waitrose has come to an end. This was such an interesting little social grouping but we shall have to learn to live without it from now on. On our way out of the supermarket, we met one of our ‘church’ friends (who often used to sit by us for a chat) A friend of hers had given her some home-grown tomatoes and a couple of little pots of home-made jam for us to have – which was a wonderful thought (and wheels within wheels).

I have been playing around quickly tonight with an online photo editor called ‘Pixlr‘ Basically I want to make my portrait photos (480 x 640) into landscape ones (640 x 480) and this basically involves some cropping. This seems to work OK and the crop tool actually tells you what pixels you are working worth. I have to take my 480 x 640. crop the top and the bottom to make it 480 x 360 and then resize it. So far, I have only done one but it seems to work OK so I will try it out on the rest now!

It is interesting that there seems to be a head of steam building up politically to ensure that children resume school in a week’s time. There now seems to be an acknowledgement, though, that (a) the children do not/will not reinfect each other (b) but the network of relationships involved in children attending school (mothers dropping children off at school gates, returning to work) means the infection rate in the society as a whole will undoubtedly rise. The question is – what compensatory mini-lockdowns might have to be traded off? One suggestion ( and I would concur) is that one should close the pubs again if it becomes a choice of ‘pubs’ versus ‘schools’ It may be a bit clearer in a couple of week’s time. In the meanwhile Brexit negotiations rumble on – the UK insists on trying to ‘cherry pick’ e.g. it wants an unlevel playing field so that, for example, lorry driver’s hours will be regulated right across the UE but not in the UK. Of course, some would argue that the UK has never wanted a deal and prefers to crash out, blaming all of the undoubtedly economic consequences upon COVID-19 (and who will be able to tell which are Brexit and which are COVID-19 consequences which is making the ardent Brexiteers salivate!)