Tuesday, 13th April, 2021

[Day 393]

Well, this is the day after our second jab so the interesting question is whether we will get any side-effects after the second jab or not. Last night, I just had the hint of a temperature rise but this could have been imagination. Similarly, this morning, I felt that I had the slightest bit of tenderness around my jab site but this, too, could have imagination. There is rather an odd feeling about the state of the anti-lockdown this evening. Boris Johnson is saying that people must just understand that ‘we will have increased infections and increased deaths’ as we un-lockdown. He also gave us the news, if it is news , that all of the benefits we have seen is largely the result of the lockdown and not the effects of a mass vaccination campaign – I wonder what the science is behind all of this? The sight on the TV bulletins of lots of youngg people going out to drink and celebrate and not observe any social distancing does not exactly fill me full of joy. It seems to be an odd paradox that those who have vaccinated and even double vaccinated (like Meg and myself) are staying at home in the evening whereas the streets are generally filled with the younger elements of the population who have not been vaccinated. I know that some in the epidemiological community are watching current developments with a degree of apprehension. After all, what we are doing is really a massive social experiment which could go horribly, horribly wrong but is now a certainty that Boris Johnson is following ‘the dates, not the data‘ The fact that as a democratic society, we are going to have national elections shortly is probably not in our long term interests as politicians choose policies that they imagine will buy some them some short-lived popularity and votes.

Today, though, was. a beautiful day for us to walk down into town. We picked up our newspapers and then headed off to the park, noting that there were a lot of cars parked in the vicinity of the park which is usually an indication that the park’s car parks are full and people are parking in the streets nearby. But as we got into the park, it seemed not particularly busy and we were soon involved in lots of conversations with a variety of our park friends and park acquaintances. This even extended as far as the two COVID wardens who patrolling order to give ‘advice’ to members of the population who may be transgressing the rules. Some friends who live any the bottom of Kidderminster Road told us of a terrible car crash that had happened quite near to their house. At least one car was severely damaged, several young men tumbled out of the car and the police almost had to close the road until the accident debris was cleared up. One can only speculate but I did wonder of some younger people had consumed too much alcohol and pushed their car beyond sensible limits (the accident occurring on a corner)

In the meanwhile, we have yet more horrifying stories from Mineapolis where another young black man was shot dead by the police. The young black person was pulled over by the police for a minor offence and when he struggled to get into a (police) car he was shot by the policewoman – who thought she was firing her taser and got ‘mixed up’ between that and her regular firearm. The police officer, herself experienced, has resigned as has the chief of police whilst the black population of Mineapolis is literally up in arms (being met with shows of force and arrested by members of a white police force) One has to wonder whether the deep racism in American society together with a rampant gun culture makes the whole society a deeply unattractive one. It is also interesting to speculate what influence this is going to have on the minds of the jury in the George Floyd case (black man whose neck was knelt on by a white police officer and who subsequently died) This case is being heard in a court house a few miles away from the present shooting and the defence are starting their case shortly.

Tonight, I finally got to work bottling a lot of the remainder of my damson gin. This is not a difficult process but is a little fiddly. First, my little wine bottles have to be sterilised and I do this with a Milton solution (or the Boots equivalent). Now the tricky part – kilner jars full of damson gin (and damsons) has to be emptied into/filtered into a jug. I generally use an old man’s vest (the type with little ‘vertex’ type holes in it) with a thickness in which the vest material is at least doubled, it not quadrupled. The to the top of each jar, I add literally 1-2 drops of concentrated almond essence which gives the final product a little extra kick of flavour. Then I will label up my 27 extra bottles of gin before they get distributed again to friends and neighbours.