Monday, 25th January, 2021

[Day 315]

Today has been the most interesting – and eventful- of days. The day started off well with a phone call from our local doctor’s surgery inviting me along for a COVID jab next Friday, which I was very pleased to receive, needless to say. I thought they ought to be getting around to the 75+ age group quite soon now. Although we had a fresh fall of snow yesterday evening, it was only a thin layer over the recently cleared paths and driveways so walking down to the park was a real pleasure as it was quite nice and crunchy (and not slippery) underfoot. On our way down, we met with one of our acquaintances who we know very well and is a supervisor in a local supermarket (name starting with an ‘A’) She was at home because the test-and-trace app told her she may have been in contact with an infected person so she was staying at home for the relevant number of days (despite pressure from her employers to get back into work!) Outside the park, we met with our Birmingham University friend so whilst he and Meg progressed on to the park I made a quick detour to collect the newspapers. After that and another detour to buy milk (having porridge in the morning makes us run out!) we all coincided in the park and had yet another interesting and fascinating chat. I was telling our friend the experiences I had had in Leicester when I was run over by a driver who had ‘fainted’ at the wheel (after a heavy night of all-night partying the night before) so there were quite a lot of stories about the accident and its sequelae with which to bore our new found friend. We made for home and met with some of the oldest of our church friends so we communicated the good news about the fact that I had been called in for our vaccination jab. On our final stretch of the way home, we were stopped by a couple (but I didn’t recognise them) They live on the new estate built where the orchard happened to be adjacent to our house and after they had moved in and their ‘cess-pit’ alarm was ringing constantly I had gone round to explain how the whole thing worked and what they needed to do about it (none of it explained by the builder/developer by the way) We exchanged news about the progress with vaccinations because as it happens they attend the same surgery as we do and they had received their invitations for a jab next Sunday.

In the middle of the afternoon, the fun started! Our next-door neighbour called round to thank us for clearing the snow in front of their house – useful as my neighbour has had some heart problems so a lot of energetic snow moving is NOT what the doctor ordered (one of my family doctors, when I was a teenager, died whilst digging his car out of the snow whilst doing his rounds). Our neighbour informed us that the newly re-purposed Artrix Arts Centre (see last night’s blog for details) was in operation today but they still had a degree of spare capacity as fewer people than you might have thought couldn’t get to them because of the overnight snow and ice. So I quickly grabbed my wife and we went down to the vaccination centre. As I had previously been a ‘wise virgin’ and got the NHS numbers for Meg and myself kept in a laminated card in my wallet, then processing ourselves was quite easy. We had to socially distance and then take our turn at one of four processing stations – fortunately, Meg and I were allowed to be ‘done together’ after answering the routine battery of questions. Meg did not feel a thing and I only experienced the slightest pinprick and so we were all done and dusted within about ten minutes. So all in all an eventful day and so what if we have a sore arm in the morning because we all feel quite good having had the vaccine (but realise it takes three weeks for your immunity system to be ‘primed’ and then another twelve weeks before we get the 2nd dose).