Friday, 18th September, 2020

[Day 186]

I am writing these words in sheer relief because I thought that the whole of my WordPress site (which acts as the host for this blog) had ‘gone down’ because when I tried to log in, I got a message saying ‘There has been a critical error on your website‘ after which, I couldn’t even perform a log-in to attempt to fix it. As I was in despair (and consulting the web itself only confused matters even more) the only thing I could think of was to write to my webspace provider to see if they could perform some kind of ‘rollback’ for me. When I got into my emails, I noticed (in my ‘Spam’ folder!) an email from WordPress itself noting that I had experienced a critical error and automatically sending me a specialised ‘recovery’ mode of access to my blog site. Once I did get logged in, it was quite easy to identify the plugin (= auxiliary application often provided by a third party which WordPress uses extensively) which was causing the problem – it was highlighted in red! From then on, it was only a case of deactivating it (in effect, kicking it off the system) and thereafter, everything seems to be fine. As Safari (my web browser on a MAC) has recently updated itself to a new version, I wonder if there has been a conflict between Safari and the plug-in. Anyway, I cannot start to explain the relief I have felt – but I remind myself I must try and get a specialised WordPress backup system in case anything like this ever happens again. The highs and lows of computing!

Today being the most beautiful day (sunny but with a pleasant cooling breeze) Mag and I had a delightful walk down to our local park – a pleasure enhanced by chatting for a little for the friends we saw yesterday and with whom we shared coffee and biscuits in the morning (but for how much longer I ask myself?) The force of decades of tradition means that we were going to have a fish meal today but we made it into a big extensive salad (as I prepare some specialised little sauces and dressings this makes the whole meal a bit more complicated than you might expect). Before lunch, we had another pleasant chat with our next-door neighbour who is getting to the end of extensive renovations in the next-door bungalow – we confirmed that it actually was his birthday (as I suspected) so I whizzed inside to make a quick ‘prezzie’ of a general-purpose card in lieu of a birthday card and a bottle of Prosecco which we just happened to have in the fridge, waiting for a suitable occasion. After lunch and a snooze I set myself to do a little gardening as the weather conditions were so delightful – warm but with a cooling breeze and, as you might expect by now, my activities were regularly supervised and inspected by Miggles, our adopted cat.

I have been ‘sort of’ following the news as it unfolds during the day and I am pretty sure as I write that we are being prepared for a second COVID-19 lock-down or a ‘mini-lockdown’. Boris Johnson himself is talking of imposing measures that are ‘circuit-breaking’ and is issuing warnings that a second wave is coming, the R-rate (numbers of people infected by each new COVID-19 infected person) is now estimated as between 1.1 and 1.4 and this across the whole country, not just the industrial Midlands and the North, London it is being said is ‘increasingly likely’ to face tougher lockdown condition – if these are not warnings enough, then I do not know what is! (Personally, I would welcome all of this – every day’s delay will only make the situation worse and although the hospitality trade will scream they can still remain open and do some business until about 9 or 10 at night) It does seem a very strange set of national priorities that grandchildren cannot see their grandparents (as they are in a different bubble) but friends who are only slight acquaintances can go off to the pub together (it’s all about money, no doubt!)