Saturday, 6th June, 2020

[Day 82]

Today was quite a lot colder with a high wind and not very pleasant ‘sitting in the park’ conditions. We were pleased to drink up our coffee quickly and to get on our way back home almost as soon as we could. The newspaper routine seems to be working quite well, I am pleased to say, and tomorrow will be a quite big day as we have to lift up all of the supplements to go with the Sunday newspapers. No doubt, we will watch the Andrew Marr show in the morning without a great deal of enlightenment, as per usual. After I had lunch today, I set myself the task of rationalising the various bits of gardening gear that we had in a series of buckets down a ‘private’ side of the house. Why this has developed over the years is because the soffits on this particular house are quite wide and this means that little hand tools and other gardening implements are generally kept quite dry whilst also being accessible. But, I have to admit, this has created a certain amount of clutter over the years so as I had moved it all away from the side of the house to assist the decorators (whose work has now finished), this was an ideal opportunity for an element of rationalisation and tidying up. This took most of the afternoon as I have a variety of aids to help me reach hard-to-reach spots when gardening, hedge trimming or car cleaning. One of these aids is one of the once popular plastic milk crates. These were very rigid and strong and typically were much used by GPO telephone engineers who tended to upload one from their van the minute they had to do some work on the telephone control panels you occasionally see along the main roads. I had acquired one from goodness knows where years ago and enhanced it somewhat with some rubber matting on the bottom (which now become the top) and a reinforcement of my own patent design inside. If you were to check on the web, you would see that these sell for £30.00 which is a tribute to their versatility and utility. Then, of course, there are the buckets and garden tubs of various sizes used in weeding and clearing, a variety of things in plastic containers such as ant control, compost heap accelerant before we actually come onto the handtools of which I have several favourites, primarily for weeding, as well as a variety of ties, clips, string, wire – the list seems endless (as did the clutter) Anyway, eventually order was restored, bucket and tubs were brushed clean, tools were neatly oiled with WD40 if necessary and then stored sensibly at last.

There seem to be two big breaking COVID-19 stories this evening. The first is the ‘about-face’ (forgive the pun) on the wearing of face coverings for all staff and visitors to NHS hospitals i.e. 800,000 staff at one week’s notice. It seems very improbable that adequate supplies will be on place and seems to be another example of the politicians assuming that by announcing that something will happen that this will actually take place. One is reminded that the ‘test and trace’ regime was meant to be ‘world-beating, but it now transpires that the fully-effective service that was promised will not come to pass until about mid-September! Secondly, there seems to be a realisation that bluster and political point-scoring à la Boris Johnson does not really help get effective policies implemented. Johnson is being urged this evening to cut the rhetoric and to prepare for the second wave of the pandemic that many experts believe is now inevitable and may well be on its way. The rather scary thing is that according to a model shown in ‘The Times‘, a second wave might be more vicious and more deadly than the first as only about 5% of the population may have acquired any level of immunity (leaving 95% with none, of course)