Sunday, 14th June, 2020

[Day 90]

A slightly different routine for today. Last week, I noticed that in our usual newsagents the Sunday Times had all sold out by the time we got there, after our trip in the park. So having ascertained that they opened at 7.30 even on a Sunday morning, I decided to make a quick trip to town on my own (which I did) suspecting that many people pop in quite early to get their papers whilst getting back in time to watch the Andrew Marr show at 9.00 (although I am not sure why I bothered) So I spent quite a nice leisurely morning reading the Sunday newspapers. The newspapers were quite full of the riots on Saturday night but I notice that Boris Johnson and Priti Patel said that the demonstrators last week were ‘thugs’ whilst those who were rioting this Saturday were also …’thugs’ as though there was some kind of moral equivalence between the two. The difficulty here is that using the word ‘thug’ in both contexts is almost like saying that there is no real difference between the BAME communities demonstrating last weekend and the extreme right-wing who were certainly rioting this weekend. But there is a massive difference between the two – the BAME demonstrations were large and generally very peaceful with the odd outbreak of violence from some who had hijacked the event. The riots this week were organised by a variety of those on the extreme right who had come ‘tooled up’ i.e. armed and ready for the fight, fuelled by alcohol as well. So we get the bizarre spectacle of a group of proto-fascists, some of whom were displaying a fascist-style salute applauding Winston Churchill who had led the war effort to defeat fascism. Some of the commentaries in the newspapers were saying that the government are ‘losing the plot’ not with respect of keeping order on the streets but also in managing (mismanaging) the coronavirus crisis, not to mention how to manage the lockdown. The number of COVID-19 deaths in the UK – over 41,700 as compared with 22 in New Zealand and zero in Vietnam both of whom displayed swift and decisive action with evidently beneficial results.

This afternoon was the afternoon for the ‘chopping down’ of the dead ceanothus tree. It took about 20 minutes or less to chop down but about an hour and a half to reduce all of the smaller branches into disposable twigs whilst the larger elements of the branches and trunk I have saved and may well be able to utilise these in Mog’s Den as a sort of mini-embankment to help to stop the downward drift of forest bark. I had also ordered for myself from Argos an outdoor garden toolbox but not ticked the right box which meant that I should have made a journey of some 30 miles round trip to another Argos store to collect it. I cancelled the order (successfully and with a refund available quite promptly) and immediately re-ordered it but this time with a small delivery charge (which I worked out I would have paid in petrol anyway) This arrived halfway through the afternoon and I have still to populate it with the requisite tools – a task for tomorrow. I am also busy taking the rust off an old horseshoe which got delivered in a bag of farmyard manure a year or so back. I have tried this renovation trick and it works up to a point – tomorrow, I will finish it off with the ‘half a potato’ treatment which certainly does work (the oxalic acid in the potato loosens the rust, and dipping it in salt gives mild abrasive action as well) I will report on my success or failure tomorrow.

Quite a lot of ‘un-lockdown’ activities start tomorrow morning – I suspect that many people will react as though the ‘un-lockdown’ is complete whilst a few will still be quite nervous in entering into ‘normal’ retail shops again after the best of three months internet shopping.