Friday, 15th May, 2020

[Day 60]

Another bright day with the weather set fair for a few days more. Actually, I wouldn’t mind if we had one or two really intense rain showers as the gardens are looking pretty dry at the moment. Having just ordered a Hornbeam tree for myself, I know that smaller varieties of this tree are often used as a hedging plant, the reason being that although it is fairly similar to beech, it keeps its leaves right throughout the winter, even though they have turned brown. Therefore the hedge functions as a hedge i.e. as a barrier either in the summer or the winter, even though it is not an evergreen. Having read about this characteristic, I am pretty sure I have seen one or two examples of it in neighbours’ gardens as I walk down the hill so I am making a mental note of the houses and their numbers so that I can confirm my hunches when I next see the occupants. Today, I have succeeded in doing something which has eluded me for the last 60 days of lockdown and daily walk – i.e. I have spilled an entire cup of coffee into my rucksack, as I sat juggling diverse flasks, cups, biscuit containers on my knees. Fortunately, I had plenty of kitchen paper to help to mop up the contents – maybe, I should try a different way of drinking my coffee tomorrow and in the future. There seemed to be a lot of children in the park today, mainly on their scooters, bikes (but no hobby horses). When we returned home, we had a ‘free’ lunch, courtesy of Waitrose – I had ordered some cod fillets in my ‘Click and Collect‘ but as these were within one day of their sell-by date, Waitrose supplied them to us gratis which was very ethical of them. I supplemented the parsley sauce that I had with some fresh parley which we just happen to have growing in an odd corner of the garden.

Just before I went out to do my weekly ‘mowing’. I received a phone call from the son of my deceased friend, Clive. He was phoning to ensure that I had all of the details for the funeral on Tuesday next. Having got a relevant email address, I can now forward the link to the video clip of Clive playing his trumpet at our 50th wedding anniversary celebrations so the family will have another clip to add to their collection. As we suspected, Clive had gone downhill extremely rapidly in the last few days so I am delighted that we managed to make a farewell wave to him whilst he could still recognise us before the very end. My mowing was extended a little as I ran the petrol mower over my neighbour’s front lawn as she has not been feeling too well recently and I thought this might give her a bit of a helping help before our gardeners return. I couldn’t bear to watch the Downing Street briefing this evening as the evasion displayed by the politicians is starting to get to me a bit – interesting how the graph showing international comparisons has suddenly disappeared now that it is evident that we have fared the worst of all the European nations in coping with the crisis.

Two or three little snippets of COVID-19 news that came into prominence today. Firstly, it appears that the rate of infection amongst children is just about the same as the rest of the population. Secondly, obesity and associated diabetes is now an extremely influential factor, being displayed in a quarter of all deaths. And thirdly, the ‘R’ factor (rate of infection) seems to be getting closer to 1.0 as one approaches the deprived areas of the North East of England – which gives one food for thought.