Wednesday, 13th October, 2021

[Day 576]

Today opened up as a dull and dreary day with a fair amount of rain ‘hanging around in the air’ That having been said, it was not actually raining and according to th BBC weather app, there was only a 10% of actual rain later on in the day. So we adopted our ‘normal’ routine for the day. When we arrive at our favourite park bench, fortunately I was able to bring into use the cellulose sponge and the old kithen towel that I always carry with me in the front compartment of my rucksack do give the park bench a good drying off. The park was practically deserted when we arrived, which is not unusual when we have rain during the night. Meg and I drank our coffee and ate our ‘snap’ before I set off on my my own to collect the newspaper. I popped into Waitrose on the way back because it seems to be traditional for us to run out of milk on a Wednesday (the day before our weekly shop). In my absence, Meg had been chatting with our friendly octogenarian who walks about 7-8 km each day, whatever the weather. Then we had to strike for home but en route, we bumped into Irish friends who, as the most conscientious of grandparents, were walking their (sleeping) granddaughter out in her buggy. We were a little short of time today, as yesterday, because our hairdresser was calling around at 12.30 (in theory!) and we both get done at home. Our hairdresser had previously made contact with us as she has a very heavy cold and she wondered whether to come or not. However, as she arrived suitably masked up, everything was fine and we were pleased to get our locks shorn. There does seem to ba a particularly vicious bad cold/chest infection sweeping the country – nothing to do with COVID as such. Various accounts in the social media are indicating that it might be the ‘worst cold ever’ and people are being badly effected by it, sometimes affected a couple of weeks at a time.

Straight after we had our lunch, I had completed a form which required our doctor’s signature and practice official stamp. I imagined that I would drop the form in and after I had been signed, I could then collect it in a couple of days. In practice though, it was much more complicated. After waiting in a queue at the practice receptionists, I then explained what I required. I was required, though, to fill in a form completing the details of the form tht I required to be signed and informed that it would take anything up to three weeks for this to happen – they would communicate with me and not the other around. I suppose the minor good thing to come out of all of this was to be told that I would not require a fee to be paid to the doctor. There was a bonus because I managed to re-arrange the blood tests that Meg and I both required, postponed from the time about a month ago when we seem to have run of of blood sample phials all over the country.

At the end of the morning, we received the unfortunate news that our daughter-in-law had suffered an accident whilst in school. We don’t have the full details yet but it seems that our daughter-in-law had missed a step and then badly twisted her ankle. She had attended our local community hospital which has a small accident and emergency department and after an X-ray determined that she had severe bruising. Presumably, after applications of bandages and the traditional remedy of bags of cold peas, things might settle down but I think we all have personal experience of how troublesome a sprained ankle can be. As a teenager, I attended the Leeds Branch College of Engineering Science and after a day release (three hours of Chmistry in the morning, three hours of Maths in the afternoon and three hours of Physics in the evening), we ran down the many flights of stairs, eager to be ‘let out’ after nine hours of study. I used to jump a flight of stairs (two flights to a floor) in two jumps – one half way down and the other jump to the floor. On one occasion, I jumped an entire flight of stairs and went over on my ankle and it swelled up to the size of a football. Fortunately, I got myself home using my scooter which I could just about ride home but it took a week or so for my ankle to return to normal.

We now have the highest number of new COVID infections since mid-July at narly 43,000 cases today. But the German infection seems considerably lower than ours as the the Germans have not abandoned their face masks and social distancing anything like the UK rate. One German study argued that the continued use of facemasks lowered the daily infection rate by 47%. This makes you think!