Monday, 12th April, 2021

[Day 392]

Well, this is quite a significant date. For most of the population, today’s date is memorable because it is the date when some of the COVID-10 restrictions are being lifted. Of concern to many people (especially the younger elements) is that you can now have a drink with friends but only in a pub garden (and today, as it happened was the most unsuitable day for it as the weather is still pretty cold for April) But of most use to many people is the fact that ‘non-essential’ retail can now open. In particular, this means that hairdressers are open and if reports are to be believed, many have bookings that extend anything up to a month into the future. In addition, those retail outlets that haven’t gone bust are cautiously re-opening and with the restrictions on numbers entering a shop, this might mean that shops do not so much make money as minimise their losses. Gyms are open but only for individualised sessions – they are not open for group sessions which means that I will probably have to wait until May 17th (i.e. five weeks) for my Pilates class to reopen and, even then, I expect we shall be restricted to the four corners of the room. Shopping for the sake of shopping does not hold any particular attractions and it does make one wonder how many people having got used to shopping on the internet will ever want to go back to their old habits.

I mentioned in the past that I managed to put Windows 7 onto my IBM ThinkPad but without any drivers either for the WiFi or for the sound card. Anyway, I discovered a local firm that advertised ‘No fix,no fee’ and having ascertained that there was no call out charge as such, I decided to give it a go. A computer technician called round to the house this morning and confirmed for me that Windows 7 is no longer supported (hence, no drivers) and that Windows 10 basically could not run on such a machine specified at least 15 years ago. However, he took my machine away and was going to put some of the missing drivers on it but now I know that it is basically un-upgradable and also that Windows 7 has as many security ‘holes’ in it as has XP which it replaced. However, I am much better informed than I was having spoken to an expert so now I know that if/when I get this machine back, I should only use it for looking at my statistics programs (written in the 1980’s) and my PhD (written in a version of Word in 1995)

However, today’s date was a much more significant date for Meg and I because it was the date, eleven weeks on from the date when we received out first vaccination, that we were scheduled to receive our second vaccination. Accordingly, we altered our routines somewhat for the day. We went down in the car to collect out newspapers and then on into the park where we had a little walk and a quick elevenses. The we made our way to the Artrix Centre (= repurposed Arts Centre) in good time for our re-vaccination at 12.00pm. There all of the systems worked like clockwork, all the way through from being checked in at the door, then at another check-in desk and finally to the vaccination point. The staff were very caring and cheerful – we expressed our delight in getting our second dose of the vaccine and they mentioned that many people had mentioned the same thing to them. We wondered how many people had got ‘over’ concerned about the 1 in a million chance of dying from a blood clot and they mentioned to us that they had heard that A&E departments were being inundated by people worried about possible side effects. We received our vaccine jabs which we scarcely felt at all and then made our way home where we could have a leisurely lunch and afternoon, just in case we felt poorly. We were meant to be having a Skype call with one of my ex-Hampshire colleagues but this had to be called off at short notice which gave us a clear afternoon. The sun was shining and the weather looked set fair so we immediately thought it was a good opportunity to get the lawns cut. If we were going to feel poorly, this would be in a day or so and not immediately so this was an ideal opportunity to get the lawns cut as it was now ten days since the last cut. Without wanting to sound too neurotic about this, it is necessary to keep up a weekly schedule of lawn cutting until about mid-June as the grass grows so quickly at this time of year. Anyway, this was all done in plenty of time. As a nice bonus to end off the afternoon, my son and daughter-in-law went off to get their own vaccinations a couple of hours later than us. In the absence of anything else, we have some little cards with both our vaccinations dates on it which is the only ‘proof’ that we have been jabbed twice. Our daughter-in-law kindly laminated our cards for us whilst she was doing their own so it is nice to have this record until a more official ‘vaccination certificate’ will be in place (which it surely will be).