Monday, 1st February, 2021

[Day 322]

The 1st of the month – and I forgot to say ‘White Rabbits! White Rabbits! White Rabbits!‘ and all the rest of it, which I won’t repeat here. Having said that, I was mightily relieved to get January behind us – February is one of those months (like November) which just has to be lived through with better things in prospect. We collected our newspapers and I remarked to my local newsagent that I had found out how to access operas via YouTube on our Smart TV and we had entertained ourselves with watching a production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni from the Zurich opera house. My favourite line from this opera is that uttered by Don Giovanni when upbraided by his servant Leporello how he could be unfaithful to all of the 1003 women he had successfully seduced across various countries in Europe. His reply – ‘Well to be faithful to one would be unfaithful to all of the rest!‘ (Obviously, I couldn’t possibly comment on my reaction to all of this)

Having collected our newspapers, we made off for the park but via Waitrose where we pick up some extra milk (our porridge creating a dent in our supplies) There we met, a little later than usual, with our ex-Birmingham University friend. I had managed to find for him on the internet some examples of ‘Bullshit Bingo‘ which is a board game to amuse organisation members during boring and interminable meetings. You wait until you hear one of those incredibly trite expressions like ‘touch base’ or something similar. The rules are that when you get five blocks horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, stand up and shout “BULLSHIT!” (I’ve never seen this done, by the way).

We had not been very long home when the doorbell rang and there, on the doorstep, were some of our friends from down the road. They had very kindly cooked us a Lemon Drizzle cake in exchange for a jar of damson gin I had donated to them (as I have so many spare!) we thanked them profusely for this and shared it with our son and daughter-in-law before promising ourselves a carbohydrate treat with ice-cream for our supper later on this evening. During the afternoon, I had intended to give the car a wash but as it so cold and miserable with a sort of freezing fog, I wonder why I never got round to it. Instead, I amused myself with creating some ‘Day of the Week’ labels to complement the flip-over calendars of which we have one or two around the house. It is interesting how difficult it is to get calendars complete with days-of-the week. I had actually cut these out from an out-of-date Guide to the week’s TV and stuck them onto some pieces of thick white card (part of a box containing Christmas shortcake in an earlier life) and the finished product has a sort of ‘not bought but sort of home-made’ feel to them. I also got my iPad successfully reconnected with a 11″ Bluetooth plus mouse – I had successfully got them to communicate with each some time before Christmas but had neglected them for a few weeks so thought I would get them back together soon. The 11″ is quite significant because to make it transportable, you need a keyboard which is quite compact (i.e. does not stick excessively out of whatever little carry-on case you utilise for these sorts of things) Although the model I purchased is a bit tinny it was undoubtedly cheap (and so much cheaper than the Apple alternative) and so easier it is to produce text on than even the ‘virtual’ type keyboard available on the iPad.

I have just read the following on Sky News – it sounds almost unbelievable here it is:

Steven Brandenburg, who pleaded guilty last month to intentionally destroying more than 500 doses of the Moderna vaccine at his pharmacy, has been described as a gun-toting flat-earther who indulged in conspiracy theories, according to the FBI.

Brandenburg apparently believed the Moderna vaccines contained a microchip and would “turn off” birth control.

The FBI said: “Some of the conspiracy theories Brandenburg told [his colleague] about included: the earth is flat; the sky is not real, rather it is a shield put up by the Government to prevent individuals from seeing God; and Judgment Day is coming.”

Remember – you read it here first! The ‘innoculation count’ is now up to 9.3 million and proceeding satisfactorily. I also read that that the Oxford vaccine (which was the one that Meg and I had) was up to 80% effective when the second dose was delayed by three months. The jab already provides 70% protection 22 days after the first dose, according to the UK’s Joint Committee of Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI), which advises the government. Meanwhile, the government is getting seriously worried that the ‘South African’ variant of the virus might have escaped into the community and is mass-testing in about half a dozen post-codes across the country.