Wednesday, 9th June, 2021

[Day 450]

Today was an interesting type of day. We were a little delayed as we composed our Waitrose order which is part of our normal Wednesday morning but that having been done, we proceeded on our way down into the park. As we walked down our access road (which is privately owned by us) we noticed that one of our near neighbours had a fence panel removed in order to allow access to their rear garden from our roadway. This is all fine and dandy but our permission should have been asked first. Also (and we have been here before) when this sort of thing has happened in the past, generally for the delivery of building materials such as paving blocks, sand, cement and other building supplies then it is not unusual for all kinds of mess to be left behind on our driveway which we then have to clear up. So I stuck my head through the gap in the fence and informed the garden makeover people that they had parked their vehicle on a private road – and I wanted/demanded that any mess be left behind be cleared up. Then we went on our way to the park and met one of our ‘usual suspects’ when we were sitting on our bench. We also bumped into our two sets of close friends who live down the road and were pleased to see them both as we missed each other for several days. One set of friends we made an assignation to come and have some coffee and cakes with them in their garden next Tuesday – the other set of friends had just returned from North Wales and we caught up quickly on some of the to-ings and fro-ings of the last few days but we still have some catching up to do when they had completed some of their grandparenting duties. I think we are all a little anxious to try and see each other whilst we can because the spell of fine weather is bound to break down after a few days so we all want to ‘make hay whilst the sun shines’ So Meg and I eventually returned home and prepared a quiche-and-salad lunch which was easy to prepare.

Halfway through the afternoon a hand-delivered note had been popped through our letter box. It was from the neighbours who were were having a garden makeover and the letter (belatedly) asked for permission for delivery vehicles to utilise our driveway. I spent some time composing a diplomatic reply – and had just about got to the end of it and read it out to another neighbour who was effected in the same way as we were when the program containing my reply crashed and I lost everything. So I had to start all over again but, fortunately, I could remember most of what I had just said and I then liased with my son, working upstairs, to make sure that we had got the tone of the reply just right. Without being melodramatic about all of this, emergency vehicles such as ambulances need to make their way down our access road which involves two 90° degree turns to get to our house. Of the houses who contribute to our Residents Association, half of us have had to have ambulances accessing their properties within the last three years so this is not just a theoretical but an actual concern. We are going to have a final pair of eyes upon the reply which has been seen by several of us before it all gets hand delivered back again. The important thing is that all of this can be and will be handled amicably but we do not want little issues to fester, quite unnecessarily. Also, we have noticed before that firms who deliver building materials are often extraordinarily cavalier about the way in which they leave a trail of sand, cement and god knows what else behind them before they drive away. They always seem absolutely amazed that they need permission to enter a private road and we have to inform them that as well as owning the roadway we also have to maintain it, clear up any of the mess that they might make and so on. Actually, with cluttered garages and an inability to get to back gardens through the ‘normal’ side entrances, it is not uncommon for fence panels to be removed to provide an easy/easier delivery point for the supply of building materials but of course the permissions should have been sought first.

There is now a substantial risk of ‘a substantial third wave’, with Delta R number estimated at 1.5 – 1.6 which sounds seriously bad to me. Third waves have got to start somewhere and this has got all of the hallmarks of a start of a third wave to me (a non epidemiologist!) More than 1,000 people are now in hospital, largely as a result of the Delta variant – the whole progress of the ‘third wave’ seems to be the result of a race between those vaccinated on the one hand versus the progress of the virus on the other. So far, it seems a bit like a 1-1 draw with my suspicions that the virus may win the penalties shoot-out.