Wednesday, 7th April, 2021

[Day 387]

Today it was evident that we were going to get some cooler days – but not the biting artic winds of a few days ago. We collected our newspapers and popped into Waitrose for the odd one or two things we needed before our on-line order arrives tomorrow. As the weather conditions were quite cool, attendance at the park was down this morning but we fortunate just to have a brief respite from the winds whilst we drank our coffee. So it was no great surprise that none of our normal friends would made an appearance today although we did bump into some friends of friends just outside the park gates. So we made our way home in plenty of time for a much anticipated lunch of fish cakes (which we tend to have about once a week) In order to give our fish cakes a bit of a boost in flavour, I have developed a quick little sauce which just provides a piquant touch (equal quantities of mayonnaise and ‘1000 Island’ dressing with a good squirt of tomato ketchup) then heated up for about a minute in a little glass tumbler in the microwave. This afternoon, we devoted ourselves to glancing through a pile of newspapers and then throwing all of them away as there was nothing of worth to note – this is done at quite a timely time as our ‘green’ recycling bin ia due for emptying tomorrow on a 2-weekly schedule.

The news this afternoon has been dominated by the view of the regulators that there may be an incredibly small risk of a blood clot (approximate risk of 1 in a million resulting in death) with the AstraZeneca virus. There will be a lot of ‘I told you so!’ from some of our continental rivals who always seem to have had their doubts about the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. The UK advice is now to offer an alternative vaccine to those under 30, probably the Moderna variant. However, the regulators are trying to reassure the population that a vaccine preventing COVID-19 still outweighs the risks of side effects for the vast majority of people. One is left with the thought that it will not take much to deter some people from receiving their jab and they may well be putting themselves at risk. When we were nearly home, we passed one of our near neighbours who told us that the local vaccination centre, a re-purposed Arts Centre, was practically closed as they had run out of vaccine. As Meg and I are due to receive our second jab next Monday, we hope that the authorities know about us and that they have some supplies of vaccine held by for us. Apparently, this lull was known about but supplies should increase in a week or so. We know that supplies of the AstraZeneca virus have been impacted with supply problems at the manufacturing centre in India (who probably need every dose they can possible lay their hands on).

The trial the police officer accused of the murder of George Floyd in the USA is still receiving a lot of media exposure with live testimony streamed from the courtroom. The fact that the prosecution is bringing along witnesses such as the policeman’s own Chief of Police (as well as an army of training instructors) to say that kneeling on a suspect’s neck for 9 minutes whilst they lay prone on the ground was not a legitimate use of force. Conviction would now appear to be a certainty but after the conviction that there may be some weeks before sentencing is passed. It may be the first time in American history that a white policeman is judged to be guilty of a black suspect and hence the massive amount of interest in the case. I have a feeling that there will be a lot more to this case as the days unfold.

When this pandemic started, Meg and I said to each other that this would present us with an ideal opportunity to go through lots of things and ‘declutter’ the house (or the parts of us that we live in). Now that we have been over a year since the start of the pandemic, we might reflect how much progress we have actually made, The answer is ‘ Zilch’ i.e. nothing. One way or another, we seem to be busy as our walks to the park and chatting with friends and acquaintances has assumed a higher priority (as it should, of course) rather than tidying up old cupboards. When I used to speak with people who had to move house for occupational reasons (in the 70’s-90’s), they used to argue that moving house proved to be the best way of not accumulating too much. We have now lived in this house for 13½ years which is quite long enough to accumulate more than we should. There must be a moral in that somewhere.