Monday, March 30, 2020

Making the best of it

It was that day again, yesterday.

The day I celebrate, usually with a small group of friends and family, n many laps around the sun. Yesterday was memorable in a slightly strange way - there were three of us, M, her daughter, and myself.

We weren't allowed to go out, except for take-away food, provided by the Woolpack. I had Chicken Tikka Massala. And a load of presents, including some lovely shirts and some new tennis shoes. And a book on the Lotus Elise. 

The day felt... memorable, but not for entirely good reasons.

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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Staying in - Pride and Prejudice

M and I have been staying in rather a lot recently...

Like everyone else in the country, we have no choice in the matter.

Last night M suggested we re-watch the classic 1990s BBC television adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen. It's bloody marvellous, and completely addictive as only great television can be. We have it on DVD and no doubt will be watching it again in a few years time. 

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Friday, March 27, 2020

Trump: Day 1162

There's an excellent article in the Guardian today about Donald Trump's 'leadership' of the United States during the Corona virus epidemic.

Jonathan Freedland describes Trumps various lunatic twists and turns over the past month or so and concludes with one of the most truthful paragraphs I've ever read:

But these are small consolations for America and indeed for the world, which needed the leadership only a US president has the clout to provide. Instead, the world’s peoples now look at the US and comfort themselves with the small solace that they, at least, face only a lethal disease, and not the malignancy that is Donald Trump.

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Thursday, March 26, 2020

Record Death Toll

Today the United Kingdom posted its worst death toll so far from the Corona Virus.

115 people died of the disease today, bringing the total death toll to 578.

But the experts on Radio 2 today were cautiously optimistic. One believed that we might get through this thing with less than 5,000 deaths. Tonight at eight pm we all went out on our doorsteps and clapped and cheered for the N.H.S. Silly but heartfelt and surprisingly touching.

We found our favourite Chinese takeaway is still open for another two days, so I went down and got some just as the clapping was ending. The roads were strangely quiet and the drive home has never been less stressful. 

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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The Struggle Continues

It's Day 2 of the Total Lockdown.

Although I worked from home the whole of last week as well (work had very sensibly told everyone who can work from home to do so).

It's quite hard to work from home without things going wrong. Today I inadvertently found myself working on a local file that was also shared through a service called Citrix. By accident, I managed to save the wrong file, and so lost most of the morning's work. It didn't matter too much, but it's an example of how productivity suffers when you're working from home...


The graph shows the number of total confirmed cases of the Corona virus (COVID-19), courtesy of The Guardian. Hopefully by this time next week we'll see the curve flatten out a bit.

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Monday, March 23, 2020

Another Bad Day

Another bad day at work.
It was partially due to me working from home, partially due to my own incompetence and partially due to a well meaning colleague, who wasn't quite as expert as he thought he was.

Once again, I'm feeling miserable and hate the idea of working from home for the next few months.


Just over an hour ago, Boris Johnson announced a complete 'lock down' of the country. From midnight tonight the people of Britain can only leave the house once a day for exercise, or to go to work, or to shop for food and medicines. "M" has just closed down her business. My friend "R" is rather worried about running out of food. The measures will be reviewed after three weeks.

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Sunday, March 22, 2020

Club Tennis

For over ten years (!) I've been attending group tennis lessons, originally organised by the LTA under the Parks Tennis scheme.

Today, Ben our instructor wanted to spend some time with his Mum. A not unreasonable request on Mother's Day. So instead, a group of us went to the club anyway and played tennis for a couple of hours. 

It was rather odd. The clubhouse was locked, and the balls were kept in a shed used for maintaining the courts and surrounding hedges and gardens. We all washed our hands before we started (20 seconds of scrubbing, minimum) and there were no handshakes or physical contact between us during the whole time. At the end, we all washed our hands again. I should have mentioned everyone had their own towel and own soap.

It is this ordinary strangeness that is the essence of the Corona virus epidemic so far.

Back home, the BBC announced that the number of deaths in Italy today was 651. It means that 5,476 Italians have died from the disease. From a selfishly British point of view, the fear is that we're behind Italy by two to three weeks, although I feel there are important cultural differences that make the stand-offish UK a little different to Italy. 

We shall see. 

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