Tuesday, 22nd September, 2020

[Day 190]

This morning we had planned to meet our good ex-Waitrose friends in the park and so we got ourselves organised so that we could meet at 10.45 However, on the way to the park we received a text indicating that one of our friends had had a terrible night without much sleep (for whatever reason) so we had to abandon out little assignation. However, to make up for this we arranged to FaceTime each other this evening so the we could catch up on all of our news on both sides. The FaceTime worked a treat, despite the occasional dropout on the video, and we spent a happy hour (that actually flew by) whilst we exchanged news of what we both had been doing in the past two weeks. Meg and I had been enjoying ourselves (with our trip to Chester, our wedding anniversary celebrations a couple of weeks ago, not to mention those of our friends down the road). However, our friends had been having rather a hard time with a round of hospital appointments (and even more to come tomorrow) so we sympathised with them in their plight. However, as we are shortly to celebrate two birthdays (one of friends on October 2nd and Meg’s birthday on October 3rd), then I think a cake may well be in the offing for all of us so we are hoping that the weather holds out for a future assignation in the park. Talking of which, we were just on the point of packing up our gear and walking back home when we were recognised by one of ex-Waitrose acquaintanceship (who I now know is called ‘Sue’) and we spent some fascinating conversation on lock-down news. In the main, Sue was telling us some of the very interesting walks in the vicinity of the park, some of which we vaguely knew about but which we have not actually traversed. As a type of reciprocity for all of this exchange of information, I gave Sue the URL for this blog so that might increase the number of bored readers from 3 to 4 (actually, there is a part of WordPress which details various statistics about number of accesses of the site so I must check it out some time and see how many readers there actually are).

[Just as an aside, and whilst on the subject of visits to websites, I thought I would consult the statistics on a web site that I wrote and used to maintain years ago to help students write their undergraduate ‘final year projects’ It is possible to insert a little piece of code into your website so that, eventually, you can consult who has been visiting your website, from where and with what technology (amidst a welter of other statistics) I will just pick out a few to give you a flavour – the year in which the website was most visited was 2011 , two years after I retired, with a total of 46,809 visits. 32% of the visitors were from India but I did have one from Burkino Faso, one from Togo and one reader whose language was recorded as Uzbek. 55% use Windows XP technology (evidently still much used in the 3rd world), a third had a screen resolution of 1024 x 768, 41% came from Asia and 34% from the USA – and so on and so forth. Fascinating if you haven’t consulted it for a year or so – I think I last looked at it about three years ago!]

However, we knew that we had to make a certain amount of progresss as Tuesday’s are my Pilates class day so I have to organise a quick turn around and then walk back into town again. My Pilates class was fine but there were only three of us and we had our usual share of repartee and badinage as the class progressed (this is normal, over the years).

Tonight, Boris Johnson addressed the nation for 15 minutes indicating why we needed to return to semi-lockdown conditions. The interesting thing about all of this for me (apart from Boris trying to sound ‘Churchillian‘) is the Scots and the Welsh have gone much further than has Boris by effectively ditching the ‘Rule of 6’ being the number of unrelated people who can meet in a house/garden whilst maintaining social distancing. For once, Boris has made a policy shift one can only be described as ‘timid’ – not an adjective you would normally associate with Boris. Of course, he is terrified (as was Teresa May, David Cameron) of the Conservative party right wing who will ditch him as soon as Brexit is over for making a complete ‘pig’s ear’ of the COVID-19 crisis. It would have been far better (in my opinion only, for what is worth) to go the whole hog, follow the Scots and the Welsh and try and give COVID-19 a decisive blow instead of a slow attrition which is what I fear will actually happen.