28 June 2020

Lockdown week 16 and it’s been a good week – Scorcio!

Thank goodness – at last lockdown is over! Hurray. (Or, at least that’s how the tabloid press is headlining the latest “advice” from the government). Apparently, everything must be safe now. From July 4 pubs and restaurants can open, the 2m physical distancing rule is to be reduced to 1m and households can stop overnight at another household. One day soon we may even be able to hug our grandchildren again! Won’t that be bliss?

Never mind that the Track and Trace system is still not the “world-beating” system the government claims and the Track and Trace App has sunk without Trace! Oh well, win some, lose some.

We’ve introduced a slightly new look to the site, not because we wanted but rather because the old site broke! I had an e-mail from Penny’s sister J in Toronto saying that she was having difficulty accessing last week’s picayune. Having first thought she must be crazy – why would anyone want to read the picayune – I set out to investigate. I am guessing there was an under the bonnet upgrade at some point on Sunday which broke the Theme I had been using. Or, I suppose, more accurately, my old, decrepit Theme broke the system. Nothing for it but to grab one of WordPress’s generic themes and run the site through that. Sorry.

This past week with the weather so grand we’ve had picnics galore. On Sunday we went with Nick, Lucy and Annabelle to see the poppies at Edgcote again and then on Thursday we went across with Adam, Ava and Jessie. And, that still wasn’t enough so we went across on Friday with our good friend Vicky. Can you get too much of a good thing? I don’t think so.

Just by way of a bit of a contrast, we had a couple of delightful cycle rides this week in the blistering heat and came across a number of fields planted in flax (linseed). When they are at their best flax fields are almost unsurpassable – the gorgeous blue seems to meld with the sky. Sadly, these fields were not quite at their fullest so the photos don’t really do them justice.

This time a year ago we were enjoying the splendid company of our good friends Chip and Leca Boynton. The four of us went off to the baseball in London and it was grand. It seems much longer than a year ago. Although there will be some baseball in the States sometime soon (maybe), no baseball for me to drag Penny off to this year. We’ll have to wait and see about next year.

Thanks to J for another virtual tour of an art gallery, this time the Loch Gallery in Toronto featuring a number of paintings by Phillip Craig, a Canadian artist. Craig has an exhibition at the gallery at the moment and the video below shows him working on some of the paintings at the gallery.

Still looking for things to watch during lockdown? A good article in the Guardian yesterday with a summary of the “Hottest front-room seats: the best theatre and dance to watch online.”

With Lockdown apparently no longer relevant, if you had any doubt that the government is making its strategy up as it goes along, folks were quick to point out the inconsistencies in their approach. Football (soccer) is allowed but not cricket – have you ever seen a game with more inherent physical distancing than cricket? Apparently, that’s because in cricket the players touch the ball which they don’t do in soccer. Apart from throw-ins obviously. And, whenever the goalie grabs the ball. Pubs and restaurants can open up but not gyms or swimming pools. Guess which sector contributes more to the Tory party each year?

“The key thing is that we don’t have a [digital] test, trace, isolate system in place,” said [Professor Susan] Michie, who is also a member of Independent Sage. “And I think that’s the reason that the World Health Organization said last week that they thought the UK should not lift any more restrictions. It’s why other countries have 1 metre because they have other precautions and other systems in place that we don’t have.

Needless to say, Penelope and I will continue to maintain our physical distancing, remain largely at home and wear facemasks when we do venture out.

Meanwhile, keep happy, keep smiling, keep isolating and keep safe.

Lots of love to you all,





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