25 July 2021

Scorcio, scorcio, scorcio! Temperatures have been up in the high 20s/low 30s (low to high 80s) all week which, as I said last time, is pretty unusual around here. The Met Office issued its first ever extreme heat warning for much of the country, Moreton Pinkney included. We’re used to flood warnings and storm and gale warnings but never an extreme heat warning.

Stop Press: We did get a bit of a respite from the extreme temperatures on Friday evening which was supposed to bring some monsoon-like downpours. Unfortunately, the rain did not arrive (other than a slight “spit”) and now we have “high” temperatures and humidity. Great!

Our house with its thick stone walls, is pretty good at keeping cool but the new kitchen, with all its glass, gets a bit toasty. Upstairs, in the bedrooms however, it’s a very different story. Because, as we all know from our primary school science lessons, heat rises! It’s mighty uncomfortable even though we are sleeping stark-naked with no covers. Also, it’s playing havoc with my hay fever as we have to (try to) sleep with the windows open which exacerbates the condition. Not a pretty sight or sound. It’s expected to stay “warm” into next week.

I wonder if it’s anything to do with this Climate change thingee you hear people talking about?

During the heatwave Ms Penelope has been rising early to water her garden and I’m sure it’s very appreciative. All in all, everything still seems to be doing OK and we’ve harvested several bucketsful of strawberries, raspberries, lettuce, spinach and a few wheelbarrows full of courgettes. Nice.

Holy Cow! It really is all over. On Monday Boris the Clown ended all Covid restrictions and you can do what you like! No masks, no social distancing, no nothing. The sight on the news of teenagers and young adults flocking into crowded nightclubs where they engaged in vigorous maskless gyrations in close proximity to one another was almost enough to make one feel quite nauseous.

And even those restrictions which (allegedly) do remain, i.e., Covid checks on visitors arriving from red or amber list countries are no longer taking place.

A change that came into effect on Monday means Border Force officers no longer have to verify whether new arrivals have received a negative Covid test, have booked a test within coming days, or have a passenger locator form showing an address where they will isolate if necessary.

The Guardian

In other words, the government is no longer even pretending to try to control the spread of the virus. You could not make it up.

And please can someone explain to me how this makes any sense? As I said, everything was “unlocked” and all restrictions were binned on Monday. Many nightclubs opened at midnight and were flooded by teenagers and young people, most of whom will have received only one jab if they’re had one at all. They were jammed together, drank copious quantities of alcoholic beverages and essentially created the perfect conditions for the spread of the virus, especially the highly contagious Delta version.

The government then announces that they are considering plans to introduce a “Covid passport” system in September – anyone wishing to enter a pub, nightclub or similar, will need to prove that they’ve been fully vaccinated. It’s transparently intended as a “bribe” to persuade many young people to get vaccinated as they are, apparently, the most vaccine-hesitant age group.

However, if it’s right to insist on a Covid passport in September, how can it possibly be right to allow people to mix willy-nilly up until then?

And so on to Brexit. It now seems the UK government wants to “substantially re-write” the Northern Ireland Protocol as it is “unsustainable” says the Minister who negotiated it. Bearing in mind that the Prime Minister fought the election in 2019 with the mantra “Get Brexit Done” it now seems clear that the whole thing was a lie (as if that wasn’t obvious to anyone with half a brain cell before) – the UK government never had any intention of upholding the agreement they signed up to, which Parliament approved and which the election was largely fought on. There’s a long, long way to go in this miserable saga.

The biking adventures continue but not quite so frequently or lengthily during the heatwave. Still, I made it as far as Springfield, Illinois this week. (I’m sure you are all aware of the alleged “factoid” that there is a Springfield in every state. Not true, apparently. Only 34 states have a Springfield. The real champ is Riverside. Unless you live in Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, or Oklahoma, there’s at least one Riverside in your state).

But, I guess you also know that Springfield, Illinois was the long-time home of Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States, and also the site of the Lincoln Museum. And, of no particular interest to anyone, Abraham’s 5x great aunt, Lydia Lincoln, married John Joy, brother of Simon Joy from whence all we Stragnells are descended on my mother’s side. So, I guess he’s a great uncle of some description?

Finally, I thought this was cute.

There’s always someone, usually in an adjacent seat, who has way too much carry on. Generally, though, they stuff all the overhead lockers in the near vicinity so that everyone else’s stuff has to go under the seat.

Meanwhile, keep happy, keep smiling, keep isolating as much as you can, wear a facemask when you go out and keep your distance. And keep safe.

Lots of love to you all,

Greg

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