Tuesday, 19th October, 2021

[Day 582]

Today is rather a ‘special’ type of day as it is 14 years ago by the date that we moved into our present house. Fourteen completed years seem to have flown by and exceeds by a few months the longest that we have ever stayed in any one house. We know that we moved in on a Friday and we can check that out in the following way: 14 years + 4 ‘leap’ years then there is an extra day (2008, 2012, 2016, 2020) makes 18 days ‘forward’ as it were. If we were to count back 18 days from a Tuesday, we would get to a Friday which is absolutely correct. In our 14 years we have done a fair amount in that we have acquired the whole of the drainage field and associated roadways (in concert with some neighbours), put a thick hedge around our BioDisk facility disguising it completely, acquired a thin triangular parcel of land which has become ‘Mog’s Den‘ and evidently kept all of the systems of the house up and running. Meg and I treated ourselves to a trip down to Waitrose where we had a cappucino and met up with one of the erstwhile regulars. We had determined to do this anyway on a Tuesday because we need to be back in plenty of time for me to undertake my walk down to the Pilates class, which is a regular feature of every Tuesday. Whilst in Waitrose, I went to buy some vegetable stock and was delighted to find that a new line has been introduced into their store called ‘Zero Salt’ vegetable stock. What is interesting, though, is that a product without salt is twice the price of a comparable product with salt, which tells us something. The nutritionists tell us that ‘salt is the new sugar’ i.e. to be avoided by those in danger of developing hypertension. So we made our way rapidly home and I walked down to Pilates, avoiding the rain which I also avoided on the way back home again.

This afternoon, my son and daughter-in-law were upgrading their computer systems and there is always a certain element of doubt whether things will work as, in theory, they should. Anyway, all is well that end’s well and I am very pleased that they can relax knowing that their systems are now functioning well and as intended. Whilst they are at, they may be upgrading their TV system which is probably about ten years old and, of course, technology has moved quite a lot these days.

I am not normally a follower of Twitter but a very authoritative source has posted the most disturbing of tweets. The expert in question is Anthony Costello who is Professor of International Child Health and Director of the UCL Institute for Global Health. He has tweeted the following, along with a table of data to prove his case:

'The UK has the highest case rates of COVID-19 in the world. One third of our population is not protected. China has already vaccinated a higher % and through infection control has a death rate of 3 per million. Our death rate is 2028 per million. The govt + advisers are silent.

Even allowing for a selective quotation of statistics and perhaps a desire to make a political case, the implications of some of this data are disturbing in the extreme. Even the government is saying that it is getting worried as COVID cases top 40,000 a day and deaths are the highest for seven months at 223. One has to ask why these rates are so high compared wih the rest of continental Europe and it does appear that we have certainly unlocked down far, far too early. Other countries seem to have vaccinated their school populations starting months ago whilst we have only just got round to it. Also, the absence of facemask wearing not to mention absence of social distancing must collectively be taking their toll. In addition, the booster jabs seem to have slowed to a crawl just at the point where the effects of some of the earlier vaccinations might be washing themselves out.

The government has published its ‘Green’ Strategy in advance of the COP (Climate Change) meeting to be hosted in Glasgow in about three weeks time. This is a multi-pronged policy quite a lot aimed at the domestic market, the ambition being that no new gas boilers will be sold by 2035. It is anticipated that ‘heat pump’ technology will take over the role provided by today’s gas boilers and to this end, there will be a grant of up to £5,000 per household. In addition, there will be an end to the sale of diesel and petrol driven cars by 2030. It is intended that there will be a host of measures to have a new generation of small nuclear reactors. According to the PM, up to 440,000 new jobs will be created in ‘green industries’ by 2030. How much of all this will come to pass is unclear but the direction of travel has been laid out for us.