Saturday, 5th June, 2021

[Day 446]

We have another beautiful day in prospect, so it is a case of enjoying this spell of fine weather whilst it lasts. However, I am finding that I need to religiously water some of my pot plants in the evening as they could quickly become dehydrated. Some of the trees bordering our communal grassed area are growing beautifully tall and are doing a good screening job but some of the leaves are looking a little heat distressed and look as though they could benefit from a good soaking. Although we did get plenty of surface rain in May, I am not sure whether we got the really good soaking that helps to fill the underground aquifers and wherever else surface water eventually gets stored. We walked down into the park and soon teamed up with a group of regulars for a pleasant chat. However, only for about the second time in about fifteen months, I dropped the full flask of coffee just as I had opened it and spilled practically all of its contents on the ground. So after I popped off to collect our Saturday ration of newspapers, I had a good look in on of the compartments in my phone case and was relieved to find an emergency £10 note which I needed to press into service. With this, I treated myself to a bottle of refrigerated ginger beer which I have not drunk in years but sounded superior to peach flavoured tea and other offerings in the newsagent’s chiller cabinet. This morning, I was hunting out a short sleeved shirt (which I rarely wear because I prefer long sleeved shirts if only to obviate the need to plaster arms with sun-tan lotion) After I had located my short-sleeved shirts, I was delighted to espy a particularly psychedelic tie (which screams 1960’s at you) and which I thought I had mislaid. Anyway, despite the weather, I decided to wear this tie if only to prove to my park friends that I really am a child of the 1960’s. Mind you, to complete the outfit I feel as though I probably need a kaftan, some beads, some John Lennon/Yoko Ono style sun glasses and perhaps a stock lot of popular phrases such as ‘Make Love! Not war! (which I do believe in, by the way) I think I will have to work on all of the other items and then, of course, what are the occasions (apart from garden parties in one’s own garden) when you would actually want to wear the full outfit. Having said that, I took off the tie and decided not to offend God , the priest and the rest of the congregation by wearing it for the evening service this evening.

This afternoon was a quiet afternoon which it always is when I know we have to bestir ourselves to leave the house at 5.30 in time for the evening service. We have to book in for this as soon as the subscriptions lists open at 6.00 on a Wednesday evening and it is easy to get caught out and miss one’s slot – it happened to me once only a month to so so back. We get sight of some of the regulars in the congregation but we cannot really stop for a chat until the present regulations, which may well soon be lifted in any case.

All the signs are present, at the moment, that our press is preparing to come to the aid of the government which looks set for a ‘U’-turn on the complete unlocking on June 21st (two weeks on Monday) There is quite a lot of speculation as to what measures may well continue after the ‘end’ to the lockdown. Top of the list is the use of face masks which looks set for continue. Another hot favourite seems to be advice to carry working from home, where possible. A slight delay to the date of the unlocking, say for another fortnight, may well be on the cards as well. Apparently, the government is going to be faced with a really difficult policy decision in a week or so because the government ‘line’ has been that the unlock down is going to occur ‘come what may’ on June 21st or the government feels that it will lose all credibility (not to to mention the wrath of the right wing of the Tory Party but as we know, this always be taken as a constant). The problem for the government is that much of the data seems to be pointing in the wrong direction and we will have to wait until almost the last moment to have a more complete date set (with projections about projected numbers of hospital cases and so on) At least they do not have the problems being experienced in Belgium were the country’s leading virologist is being targeted by a far right military shooting instructor who is pursuing a vendetta against virologists and Covid lockdowns and is on the run with a rocket launcher and a machine gun (and the Belgian police cannot find him).