Lockdown?? UK Days 98-105

Day 98 Monday 29/06/2020

Following yesterday’s excitement (seeing the twins for the first time) it was back to more mundane matters today. Some charity shops have reopened. We have been doing a bit of sorting out during lockdown, and had a reasonable amount of stuff to re-cycle. We took the BGB, to Rayne’s Park — we did have a fair amount of stuff- to find a charity shop, and do some shopping.

Diane came back with two cappuccinos and a slice of chocolate cake to share. As of the moment cafes are only open for take-away, but we had our own private socially isolated cafe with us.

Our own little socially isolated cafe

After lunch, we went up to the allotment I decided to attack the brambles and the bind weed. I should have taken before and after photos, but forgot. It looks a lot better, but the brambles took their revenge on my hands and arms.

Day 99 To 104 29/06/2020 to 05/07/2020

I managed to miss the momentous 100th day in lock-down. We probably should have thrown a socially distanced street party, or something like that. On day 103 (Saturday 4th) however the pubs, and hairdressers were allowed to re-open. It went surprising smoothly. The predicted mayhem did not occur. Though there were apparently a couple of localized incidents, some over hair appointments.

Sunday (Day 104) was spent getting The BGB ready for our first trip of the year, because not only are the pubs allowed to reopen, so are campsites. I checked that everything was working, filled the fresh water tank and the fridge with beer and wine (and some food). Just to be clear the water tank only has water in it. We packed about twice what we would need for three nights. I put the van on electric hook-up overnight to make sure that the electrics were OK, and to ensure that the leisure battery was fully charged. We went to bed quite excited about our first trip in almost a year.

Practising for the trip.
Day 105 Monday 06/07/2020

The big day dawned , bright, clear and sunny. The BGB was packed and ready. the bikes were on the bike rack. We set off about an hour and a half later than planned. The idea was to travel to the campsite at Norman`s Bay via Liphook, to see Finn and Sol (and Tilda, Aimee and Andrew)

Sort of defeats the object of having a Brompton, but we need a rack for Diane’s e-bike

Finn and Sol were of course lovely. As was Tilda, though I think she is finding sharing her mum and dad slightly difficult. Everything was going smoothly until we had lunch and I discovered that I had left my spare insulin at home. To be honest it wasn’t much further to go from Liphook to Norman’s Bay via New Malden than it would have been to go the way we had planned. Or at least that is what I told myself.

We arrived about five thirty. Diane’s cousin was on the next pitch to us (planned), so we had a drink with them. We had a walk on the beach before we made dinner. It was a beautiful evening.

LOCK-DOWN U.K. DAYs 89 – 97

Days 89-96 are a bit of a blur.

Day 97 Sunday June 28th

There hasn’t been much activity on the blog recently mainly thanks to these two …

Finn on the left and Sol on the right.

Diane’s daughter Aimee gave birth to them in the early hours of Sunday the 21st. Diane and I got to see them for the first time yesterday. Because of Covid -19 restrictions we couldn’t visit them in hospital, so we had to wait until they came home. The babies seem fine, but Aimee and Andrew are knackered. ‘Tilda, their proud big sister is happy, although she was initially a bit disappointed because she was expecting a little sister as well as a little brother. After she met them she was fine.

Nanny, Mum, Finn (and Me), not sure why Sol missed out on getting his picture taken.

By the way Finn is called Finn because he is the twin that Aimee “knew” was a boy, and they already had chosen that name. Sol is the twin that “should have” been the girl, so he didn’t have a name when he was born. He spent a few days known as Twin One (he was the first to be born), before being named Sol, because he was born on the Solstice.

Other (non-baby) stuff

What else has been happening? To all intents and purposes lockdown might as well be over. As far as I can gather new cases of Covid-19 are nowhere near zero, in fact in England they may well be rising again, but the clown(s) in charge of our country are acting as if the disease has been eliminated. Communication has been confused to say the least. Pubs and restaurants are re-opening next Saturday (4th July) which BoZo will almost certainly try to dub as Independence Day.

Over the past week we had about half a million people on the beach at Bournemouth. This caused the Police to declare a major incident. BoZo told us to use our common sense. They (and the Liverpool fans celebrating winning the Premiership) all took their lead from the common sense that Dominic Cummings displayed back in April. How the authorities plan to enforce the distancing requirements on pubs I have no idea, and I suspect that they don’t either.

BoZo was last seen doing press-ups to show that he was physically, if not necessarily mentally fit to lead the country

Liverpool became Premier League champions on Thursday, without actually having to kick a ball. Manchester City lost to Chelsea to leave Liverpool with an unassailable lead. I haven’t watched much of the football since it restarted. Partly because I’m not that fond of watching football on television, partly because I’m not that interested in The Premier League and also because the artificial crowd noise is just that, artificial. It is just random noise. Yes they ramp it up if there is a goal, but you don’t get the round of applause for a bit of good defending, or the collective gasp when a shot goes just wide.

Two wonderful new baby boys make all of this seem better. I know that Aimee and Andrew are going to have their work cut out looking after them and Matilda, we will do what we can to help.

LOCK-DOWN U.K. DAY 88

Day 88 Friday 19th June

Birthday party time. Our friend Dave was seventy today. In times of lockdown organizing a party gets complicated, especially if you have more than six friends. We were allocated the breakfast option. Prosecco and Danish pastries at eleven o’clock, in the garden. Which meant that we had to be up reasonably early for a Friday morning. I’m not usually ready to party at eleven a.m., but is was an enjoyable get together. I assume that other batches of friends were allocated the afternoon tea shift and the evening shift.

We had to leave slightly early because we had arranged to visit the Royal Horticultural Society garden at Wisley. Grace used to be a member of the R.H.S., as is Diane. I hadn’t been to Wisley since, what I suppose, in retrospect, was our first date about fifteen months ago. Grace and I used to visit reasonably regularly. It has not been possible to visit since lock-down started. The gardens have been partially reopened since, June 1st. In order to control the numbers you have to pre-book a slot, and ours was two p.m.

The gardens looked magnificent and it was pleasant to walk around with a lot less people than normal. The normal restaurant’s and cafés are not open, but the have a few old style Citroën vans set up selling tea, coffee and ice cream. On did rather good sausage baps.

There were some sculptures, scattered around the garden, based on the work of the c16th Milanese artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo. He painted several pictures of human heads that were actually composed of fruits, vegetables and flowers.

About fifty years ago Diane became involved with the folk music scene that centred around Tanners Hatch Youth Hostel (near Dorking). A motley collection of folkies and various hangers on would take over the hostel for the weekend to make music together. The tradition still carries on.

Tanners Hatch is quite possibly the most beautiful, ‘traditional’ Youth Hostel in England, in an idyllic National Trust woodland setting in deepest Surrey near Polesden Lacey, Dorking. For many years on the second Saturday of every month (except June, July and August) there was an informal session of acoustic music, loosely referred to as ‘folk’ but ranging from traditional folk songs and tunes to the finest in rock and pop classics, depending on who is there! Although these regular events are not so regular any more we do aim to have at least 3 a year, which we will advertise on this site. The main music session is on Saturday but if we have Friday booked, there will be an informal session then too. As ever, players, singers and listeners of all ilks are welcome. You can come just for the session or stay the night in one of the heated single sex dormitories!

From the Tanners Hatch Music Site

Diane is still in contact with a lot of the people from back then and through her I have been drawn in. Obviously It is not possible to have the sessions at the moment, so in common with every one else, they have moved to Zoom. In the evening we joined an online session. Some sound quality was less than perfect, but it was an enjoyable evening.

Tanners also organizes an annual festival (held in a field near Dorking) unfortunately it has also had to be cancelled for this year. We went along in the B.G.B. last year and had a wonderful time.

B.G.B at Tanners last year

LOCK-DOWN U.K. DAYS 83-87

Day 83 Sunday 14th June

Grow bags are the new toilet paper.

We have some tomato plants that need potting on. Over the years, I developed a very good system for growing tomato plants. However, it does require grow bags to make it work. The pots cut into the grow bags and the wire cane holders support the canes, Everything fits into a plastic tray to keep things neat and hold water.

The system in use, two years ago.

Yesterday we tried B&Q, there were none available. Today, we went to Woodcote Green, again none in stock. “ Sorry sir, we might have a delivery Tuesday next week.” Amazon doesn’t have any available.

My conclusion; the part of the population that hasn’t taken up baking has started growing their own tomatoes instead.

Having failed to find any grow bags, we bought some plants instead. Then we took our sandwiches up to Farthing Downs.

After we had eaten our sandwiches, I did something I hadn’t done for a long time. I lay on my back in the long grass and watched the clouds drifting across the sky. It was slightly hypnotic and very relaxing.

We were very organized before we went out. There was a lasagne already assembled, all I had to do was stick it in the oven and have a gin while it cooked.

Day 84 Monday 15th June

I re-potted the tomato plants into larger pots and did the same for the peppers. Meanwhile, Diane was playing with the new pond cleaning kit she bought yesterday. It has two nets, a brush, and an extending handle. Our pond has never been cleaner.

Lockdown Haircut V3.0

Day 85 Tuesday 16th June

With the lockdown conditions over whom you can meet and where you can meet easing, Diane took a trip to deepest darkest Hampshire to see how Aimee, Thing 1 and Thing 2 (she is expecting twins very soon) were getting on. The idea was also to give Aimee a short break from ‘Tilda, who can be an over energetic three year old. I went to work.

Work was work, albeit a reasonably productive day. Aimee, ‘Tilda and the twins are all doing fine.

Day 86 Wednesday 17th June

Another day at work. I also went back to my house to check that it was still there and to cut the grass.

We visited the allotment for the first time in a few days. We have not needed to go up quite as often recently, because we have had a reasonable amount of rain in the past week or ten days, so we haven’t needed to water every day. Our raspberries were beginning to ripen the last time we were up. We were hoping that a few more would be ready to pick. We picked two ice cream tubs full — and one strawberry. Our strawberries have not been particularly successful, so far.

Day 87 Thursday 18th June

Breakfast was home-made granola (recipe here) and allotment raspberries, delicious.

I thought about going to the local McDonald’s drive through (as it is McDonald’s should that be spelt thru?) but when I saw the queue decided to get a sandwich from Sainsbury’s instead.

Diane is having second thoughts about our choice of wedding venue. She explains why in her latest blog post.

LOCK-DOWN U.K. DAYS 81-82

Day 81 Friday 12th June

Duster seems to be getting back to his old self again. Perhaps not 110% yet, but he jumped down from his basket when I went into the kitchen this morning. He then kept head-butting my legs and meowing until I fed him. We cancelled this morning’s vet appointment. We didn’t think we needed to pay £50 to be told that he looks a lot better.

A vixen and her cubs live somewhere around here, I’m not sure where exactly. They often make an appearance in our garden. We decided to try to block up some holes in the fences in the vain hope of discouraging them.

Diane was also wondering about the ethics of feeding foxes. She is worried that during lockdown, their normal source of food (dropped kebabs and discarded Big Macs) will not be available. Consequentially they may be going hungry. Looking at our visitors I don’t think this is the case. Anyway she posted on the local New Malden Facebook group asking people’s opinion. Almost everyone seemed to be in favour, one person saying that they cooked sausages for them every night. I don’t know what friends and family (most of whom are from a farming background) back in the Borders would make of it. I was sorely tempted, but resisted, posting a reply, asking anyone who thought that starting the New Malden and Rayne’s Park foxhounds was a good idea, to DM me.

Day 82 Saturday 13th June
Duster — looks harmless, doesn’t he?

Duster is feeling much better. Which is good news, unless you are a local mouse. When we came downstairs this morning, he had brought us a little present to thank us for looking after him. I don’t think that a dead mouse was what we were hoping for….

The ice cream was not allotment produced.

As we hadn’t visited the allotment for a while, we decided to take our lunch up there. The pasta was cooked on our gas ring, somehow it tastes better at the allotment. Because we have actually had rain recently, there has been no need to visit every day to water. A bit of weeding, strimming, and watering was also carried out. We also managed to pick some raspberries for tea.

Later our neighbours came round for a suitably distanced drink in the garden. This worked well, until it started raining. We may have breached the guidelines slightly trying to get everyone under the umbrella.

LOCK-DOWN U.K. DAYS 77-80

Day 77 Monday 8th June

It was eleven weeks ago tonight that Bozo interrupted Coronation Street to tell us that the United Kingdom had given up on trying to contain the virus, and we were now trying to delay it. He was probably at least two weeks late in doing that.

I’m not sure exactly what phase of our attempt to control the virus we are at now. Ever since Dominic Cummings’ excursion to Durham became known, people appear less willing to observe any type of restrictions.

New Zealand took early and decisive action. At every stage of the process, Jacinda Ardern, the New Zealand Prime Minister gave a clear lead and the people of New Zealand knew what was expected of them. Her Health Minister broke the lockdown rules, and was disciplined, in stark contrast to what happened to Dominic Cummings.

Alistair Campbell has a similar opinion to me.

So, all in all, a total failure. Yet still he could say, even as we finally overtook Spain and Italy in the deaths per million stakes, even as the official death toll topped 40,000, and the real one headed towards 70,000, how “proud” he is of the government record on Covid. Still he can talk of apparent success, avoiding tragedy that befell others, blah blah effing blah. Talk about gaslighting.

Alistair Campbell New European

It is probably easier to control the virus in New Zealand than the UK, but the facts are that New Zealand was able to return to normality (with precautions) last week, whereas we are still stuck in limbo.

Because the Bongo went off to its new home yesterday, we decided to bring the B.G.B. over to New Malden. I also made a start on cleaning out the garden shed. I did get rid of a lot of junk, and about three-quarters of my garden tools are now at the allotment so it is a bit tidier in there.

Day 78 Tuesday 9th June

Tuesday, and back to work. But only a two-day week this week (more later). I am getting slightly bored, because I don’t really have a lot of work at the moment. I have always preferred to have a little too much work rather than not enough.

In other things. The reverberations from the toppling and subsequent dumping of Edward Colston’s statue in Bristol harbour continue. However, I feel that we have learned more about British involvement in the slave trade in the past few days than we did in the past 300 years. The slave trade was mentioned in my history lessons. I may be misremembering, but, what was euphemistically known as “the middle passage”, appeared to be presented as the logical thing to do. You transport manufactured goods from Bristol to West Africa, where you sell them. You wouldn’t want to have a ballast passage across the Atlantic before you load sugar to take back to Bristol, so what do you do? Fill the hold up with African slaves to sell when you get to the West Indies or the Americas. Then you fill your holds with (slave produced) sugar or tobacco for the trip home. A very profitable business.

Edward Colston was a Deputy Governor of the Royal African Company which at the time held a monopoly on the African slave trade.

The Royal African Company (RAC) was an English mercantile (trading) company set up in 1660 by the royal Stuart family and City of London merchants to trade along the west coast of Africa. It was led by the Duke of York, who was the brother of Charles II and later took the throne as James II. It shipped more African slaves to the Americas than any other institution in the history of the Atlantic slave trade.[1]

Wikipedia
Day 79 Wednesday 10th June

Our pussycat Duster is a bit poorly. He seems to have got into a fight and has ended up with a nasty wound below his left ear, which has become infected. This necessitated a trip to the vet. This also required getting him into his travel basket. Something he does not like. Even a poorly Duster put up quite a fight. The vet cleaned the wound, gave him an antibiotic shot and gave us some anti-inflammatories to put in his food.

We bought him a new food dish and some of his favourite (expensive) food. Paid the bill and told him that the next time he gets into a fight he can pay his own vet’s bill. We got home and let him out of his basket. He promptly disappeared. We eventually found him under the bed in the spare bedroom hidden behind all the boxes of stuff that live under there. We left him there.

Day 80 Thursday 11th June

I normally work on Thursdays, but today was Diane’s granddaughter ‘Tilda’s third birthday. Her mum decided that with the latest loosening of lockdown conditions that an afternoon tea in the garden with her grand-parents (and me) should be OK. As we hadn’t seen ‘Tilda (apart from on Zoom) for about three months we weren’t going to argue.

First however, we had to take Duster back to the vet to be checked over. He was quite poorly, judging by how easy (comparatively) it was to get him into his basket. Another injection and another bill and an instruction to bring him back tomorrow if he was still not good. He seemed OK, if not 100%, so we left him to recuperate while we went off to party. We took the B.G.B. to give it a run out, and because I like driving it. It was also useful. We had a rather large present, and some helium filled balloons to transport.

Cake for a three-year-old.

We had a wonderful party, and when we arrived home Duster was looking a lot better.

LOCK-DOWN U.K. DAYS 75-76

Day 75 Saturday 6th June.

The weather gods obviously read my blog. Today, we had 12 °C during the day and enough rain to give the allotment a good soaking. That was fine but…. If it is OK with you guys could we order day time temperatures in the 20 to 22 °C region (with fluffy white clouds and a gentle breeze) and a bit of rain sometime between midnight and five in the morning.

Like most households in the UK, we have discovered that we have too much stuff. Like a lot of people we have spent some of our time in lock-down sorting through that stuff, and discovering that we don’t actually need a lot of it. The problem is that during lock-down, most of the outlets for excess stuff, charity shops, Freecycle, and the tip are closed. We were very pleased when Diane’s son Ben announced that he was getting a skip, and that if there was any room left over we could use it. We loaded the car up and set off over there after lunch. Diane made fairy cakes to say thank you.

After supper (stir-fry) we watched a rather strange film.

I liked it, but it did require a suspension of belief beyond normal requirements to get into it. I would try and give a synopsis but can’t quite get my head fully round it. Rotten Tomatoes has amalgamated the reviews, which were mixed.

The reason why there was no update on Saturday
Day 76 Sunday 7th June

We joined the Black Lives Matter protest in New Malden this lunch-time. I was fairly low key event compared with the protests yesterday in London. The organisers asked us to keep two metres apart and to wear masks. The physical distancing and the mask wearing wasn’t perfect, but it was better than normally experienced in Lidl or Waitrose. The event was noisy, but passed off peacefully. The police drove up and down the High St in their BMW i3 (a nod to eco-responsibility) a couple of times, then disappeared, presumably bored, so back to the station for a cup of tea.

We now only have the one campervan. Diane’s Bongo went off to it’s new home this afternoon. It was a bit sad, but we don’t really need a campervan each. Still as she explained to the woman who bought it,
“How was I supposed to know that six months after buying it I would meet a bloke with his own bigger and newer campervan?”.

LOCK-DOWN U.K. DAYS 71-74

Day 71 Tuesday 2nd June.

I am getting fed up of this weather. People from Scotland do not thrive when the day time temperature is constantly over 25°C.  Also having to visit the allotment every day to water is becoming a bit of a chore. It is now officially summer, so where is our traditional British Summer weather. I want 15°C day time temperatures, I want rain for three days solid. More to the point farmers probably need it. I know that the allotment needs it. The only downside I can see is that the grass will grow and I’ll have to cut it.

Serious point

We have just come through what is probably the hottest and driest May on record. I’m not certain, but I think that the daytime temperature has topped 20°C every day, and in London at least I don’t remember it raining. I know that the Covid-19 pandemic, and police riots in the USA are grabbing the headlines right now, but we need to seriously get on top of the causes of climate change. There was some good news on that front though. Because of the reduction in energy requirements due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the exceptionally sunny weather Britain recorded its first ever month when no electricity was generated by coal fired power stations

Day 72 Wednesday 3rd June.
Save the day

One year today Diane and I will be getting married. The venue is the Dryburgh Abbey Hotel, near St Boswells in the Scottish Borders. We will actually be getting married in the Abbey itself.

Diane has started her own blog counting down to the wedding. You can find it at silversplicer.wordpress.com.
All the information will be there. Much more comprehensive and also more accurate than is likely to be found here. Don’t get me wrong, I am looking forward to the day immensely, and I will be giving my take on how things are progressing from time to time. Diane is counting the days down.

Diane’s son Chris and his partner Charlotte came round to help us celebrate the day, actually I’m not sure they knew that it is a year today until Diane started plying them with Prosecco. We hade a Lebanese vegetarian mezze from a new restaurant that has only just opened. They picked a bad day for their official opening – about a week after lockdown. It is called Noura and it is very good. We will go along there for a proper meal when it re-opens.

Day 73 Thursday 4th June.

The weather has changed. It is now a lot cooler than it has been. It even rained (a bit), so we didn’t need to water the allotment.

We sent out our “Save the Day” fridge magnets today. So unless we have forgotten any one, possible with me, less likely with Diane, everyone who we are planning to invite should receive a little reminder through the post soon. Proper invites will follow nearer the date, assuming that the current lockdown will be over by then. If not I will ask the band to devise a set of Scottish Country Dances that allow us to dance two metres apart.

It is now eleven weeks since Diane and I decided to move in together so that we could still see each other during lockdown. Though looking back I think that her bidet was also an attraction in a time when toilet roll was rarer than 🦄💩

We have survived a ceiling collapse and the subsequent redecoration of the bedroom. We like each others cooking and taste in music. I think we’ll be OK.

Day 74 Friday 5th June.

The day began early. Diane found some Oak Processionary Moths on the oak tree in the front garden. Left to their own devices they can strip the leaves off an oak tree and they are also hazardous to human and animal health. The mature caterpillars shed very fine hairs which an be the source of extreme irritation.

The guys dealing with them need full PPE, to make sure that they do not come ito contact with the hairs.
They dealt with them satisfactorily.

We spent the day at the allotment. We hadn’t done much for a few weeks except water it. A good weeding was required. All our beds were given a thorough hand weeding. Chris and Charlotte can weed their own beds we decided. It all looks quite tidy. How long that will last I don’t know. We had some more rain this afternoon which will probably encourage the weeds to grow again.

While we have been wanting some rain for a few weeks now, the timing of todays rain was annoying. There had been a couple of short, but heavy showers which forced us to retreat to the shed, but not enough to soak into the ground. We decided to water the plants before we went home. which takes about three-quarters of an hour. While I was in Lidl looking for cheap gin to turn into rhubarb gin (there is no point in wasting Bombay Sapphire at £22 a bottle) the heavens opened. Enough to give the allotment a good watering. Also enough to give us a good watering as we rode home on our bikes. If we hadn’t spent the time watering, which in hindsight, we needn’t have, we would have been home and dry by the time the rain came.

LOCK-DOWN U.K. DAYS 67-70

Day 67 Friday 29th May

Our original plan was to go to the seaside with Diane’s daughter-in-law and her grandsons. The next plan was to go to Frensham Ponds. After doing a bit of online research, we decided that neither was really all that practical for various reasons. We ended up going to Beddington Park instead. I took my bike along, in order to keep up with Freddie and Jack on their bikes. They are both quite fast.

We had a picnic lunch, and a game of football. Freddie and Jack spent quite a while clambering over a tree trunk that has fallen across the river. Surprisingly neither of them fell in.

We had to go to the allotment to water it on the way home, so after we had done the shopping, we stopped off at the fish and chip shop for fish and chips which we had for dinner. (We also stopped off at home to grab a couple of clod beers from the fridge).

Day 68 Saturday 30th May

We spent most of the day getting wet. We have decided to sell one of our campervans. It is going to it’s new home sometime next week. We decided that it needed a wash. After having washed the Bongo, it was decided that we may as well go the whole hog and wash the Little Lilac Car and the baby Merc as well. Three out of our four vehicles are now shiny and clean.

After dinner we had a game of Scrabble. Diane beat me quite comprehensively. (337 to 201) That’s the last time she gets to attack my Caol Ila.

Day 69 Sunday 31st May

After last night’s Scrabble we had a lie in followed by breakfast in the garden.

Sunday Morning Breakfast.

I went back to my house after breakfast. I needed to put the bins out. I also needed to bring the B.G.B. over. By the time I had done that, faffed around, then gone to water the allotment, it was half-past nine by the time we were back home. We hadn’t eaten, so decided a chicken stir fry was the quickest meal we could think of. No pictures, but it was pretty decent.

Day 70 Monday 1st June.

Today was a rather momentous day. I said that I had brought the B.G.B.* over yesterday. Today I gave it a wash – there is a lot more of it than the L.L.C. – but that wasn’t why today was momentous. Today was the first day this year we had taken the van out. We went to Headley Heath for lunch. Had a walk, then came home. It doesn’t sound that much but it felt good to be out in the van, even if it was only for the day. Next month, we are hopeful that we can get away for a couple of nights.

B.G.B. on Headley Heath
Headley Heath

*B.G.B. = Big Green Bus as opposed to L.L.C. = Little Lilac Car.

LOCK-DOWN U.K. Days 61-66

Day 61 Saturday 23rd May

We moved some furniture back into the bedroom. Getting the mattress back up the stairs was a challenge. It was bad enough getting it downstairs when gravity was helping. Putting the bed back together also proved to ba a bit of a challenge as well. We managed to reassemble it then noticed that the sides were the wrong way round. We left it, but I knew that it would bug me.

We had our monthly games evening. Normally, we get together with four other couples to play board games (and eat, drink and chat). Catan and Carcassonne are the favourites, but obviously they are difficult to play over zoom. I’m sure that there probably is a way, but we haven’t worked one out yet. We have found some other word based games that seem to work. We had fun. Hopefully the next relaxation of lockdown will let us meet up in each other’s houses.

Day 62 Sunday 24th May

Lockdown relaxation now allows us to meet up with friends and family, provided we keep the two meter distancing. We met up with Diane’s son Ben, his wife and their two boys in Nonsuch Park for a walk and a chat. I played football with the boys, or to be more precise I was goalkeeper while Freddie and Jack spent half an hour kicking each other and occasionally kicking the ball instead. I was the first time we had seen them since lockdown started.

Nonsuch Park

Nonsuch Park is what is left of the grounds of Henry VIII’s Nonsuch Palace grounds.

After we arrived back home, the bed being wrongly assembled was still bugging me. I decided to put it right. Today, it all seemed simple compared to yesterday. I suppose when you have done a job once, the second time is easier, because you know the mistakes you made first time round and don’t make them this time.

Day 63 Monday 25th May

Another meet up with family. We took a trip down to the Devil’s Punch Bowl to meet up with Aimie. We hadn’t seen her since the week before the lockdown started. She is expecting twins sometime in the fairly near future. Diane insisted that we could not go for a long walk in case Aimie went into labour, and we had to get back to the car. We had a picnic (two meters apart of course) Aimie brought a rather nice cake that she and ‘Tilda had baked. ‘Tilda didn’t come. We thought that she might not grasp the concept of “social distancing”.

It was good to meet up with her after this time. Hopefully by the time the twins are born things will have relaxed enough so that we can go and see them.

Day 64 Tuesday 26th May

There has been a bit of a hiatus in posting. This has not been due to an unauthorized trip to Barnard Castle. It has mainly been due to the sudden social whirl that we find ourselves caught up in. Tonight was dinner at the allotment with Chris and his partner. Charlotte cooked us am excellent vegan supper. We brought the Prosecco and the crisps.

It was ten o’clock and almost dark by the time we left. Apart from being bitten by something or things, it was a lovely night.

Day 65 Wednesday 27th May

Quiet day. I didn’t have much to do work wise. Diane had a Zoom meetup with some of the girls that she went to school with. I find it remarkable that fifty years after they left school almost everyone in the class is still in touch with each other. While that was going on I took myself off to the allotment to water it.

Day 66 Thursday 28th May

I’m getting a bit fed up with lockdown, more than fed up with the mendacity and incompetence of our government but at least there is some good news today if you are an AFC Wimbledon fan

We’re AFC Wimbledon, and we’re on our way home”
Hopefully our first game back at Plough Lane will be in front of a full stadium and not behind closed doors. The build is coming along.

Random thoughts, ramblings and rants

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