Monday, June 8th
We’ve now had daily death tolls below 100 for two days in a row, but we do keep getting low figures on Sundays and Mondays, so let’s see what happens tomorrow.
Getting rather upset over my hair. Please, please, let hairdressers reopen!
And how typical is this? Rain on Saturday, rain on Sunday, sunshine today. So annoying! I had a nice walk in the park, though. And Beeston Castle and Brodsworth Hall are amongst the first six English Heritage properties reopening! Like with the NT, you have to book, but still. I’m getting quite booked up now!
Tuesday, June 9th
Death toll back up today.
Tesco and M&S this morning, then called into the office. Went to the park later.
I feel like the world’s gone stark, raving mad. Is it this bad everywhere else? Our dentists are refusing to reopen the surgery. Waterstones are saying that, if you pick up a book and then decide you don’t fancy it, it’ll have to be put into quarantine and then not put back on the shelf for 3 days. A lot of shops are saying that customers won’t be allowed to use the toilets. And the left-wing teaching unions seem hell bent on making sure that schools won’t reopen fully until 2021. In the middle of all this madness, Sadiq Khan’s said that he’s going to review all the statues in London in case any of them are associated with slavery, like statues are anyone’s priority at the moment! And I don’t feel that anyone’s in charge. I do understand that Boris has been extremely ill and is probably nowhere near 100% yet, but the daily press conferences are like Play School – guess who’s going to be presenting them today!
In the real world, away from teaching unions and people harping on about statues, café owners are forking out a fortune on having takeaway hatches put into their premises, and desperate people are writing to the local papers to say that they’re going to lose their jobs because they can’t work from home and their children can’t go back to school. When are hairdressers reopening? When are hotels reopening?
As Tears for Fears said, it’s a very very mad world!!
Wednesday, June 10th
I am trying to ignore the Cultural Revolution brigade. They clearly know not the first thing about history. I am also trying to ignore my ill-mannered bosses.
Boris has decided that people living alone need company, so I can now “form a support bubble with another household”. In English, this means that I can go to Mum and Dad’s for tea. Also, zoos and safari parks can reopen. This is all good, but we need hairdressers, hotels, flights without quarantine, and public toilets! Not to mention schools.
I seem to be losing my way a bit … I had a few bad diet days, and I put on weight so easily that a few bad days equals weight piling on, and then I get demoralised and go off on a downward spiral. And the weather’s miserable, although I managed to get to the park and the frozen yoghurt shop without getting wet, Sun, come back, please!
Thursday, June 11th
I was booked on a webinar from 1pm till 4pm – I mean, what a stupid time?! – so I went to the park early … which made the afternoon drag. I suppose I could have gone back out later, but a) the weather was miserable and b) I had to clean the kitchen! I had a grand tidy-up of work stuff whilst “watching” the webinar, so everything looks a lot tidier now. There are so many half-done jobs which I can’t get the info to finish, and they’re cluttering up the front room!
There was a thing on the BBC website about all the things which workplaces are doing to make team members feel supported etc. OK, I really do not need to do online yoga sessions with my colleagues, or Great Office Bake Off things, but, in almost 12 weeks, we have not so much as had an e-mail saying “Hope everyone is OK”. Colleagues and I are asking each other if we are OK, but the bosses just do not give a shit. It’s not very nice.
On a happier note, La Liga resumes tonight, with the Seville derby. Leagues 1 and 2 here are being decided on points per game.
Friday, June 12th
The UK economy shrank by 20% in April. We have got to get things open again. Much more of this and millions of people will be out of work, with the resultant social, physical health and mental health problems, kids’ education will be severely damaged, and communities dependent on tourism will be struggling for years to recover. But then it’s likely that cases of the virus will spread, as is happening in parts of the US. It’s just a nightmare.
I got an e-mail from Greater Manchester Transport, saying that there’d be more trams, buses and trains from next week, but that people should try to avoid travelling at rush hour. What a senseless thing to say! Before lockdown, getting the tram at rush hour meant paying rip-off peak time fares so that you could stand up all the way into town, clinging for dear life to a strap, with your face squashed into someone’s armpit, watching as people at later stops struggled to board because every square inch of room was taken. Nobody would have travelled at rush hour if they could possibly have avoided it. People travel at rush hour because they’ve got no choice. You might as well send an e-mail saying that people should try to avoid it raining today.
We all need to work together, but, instead, politicians are squabbling, and we’ve now got these ridiculous culture wars being waged again. Would someone please tell me how removing the “Don’t mention the war” episode of Fawlty Towers from the BBC Archives solves the problem of racism? And, on top of that, there’s now a row going on over comments made by J K Rowling about transgender women using female-only spaces.
On a happier note, the weather forecast for the weekend has improved. Walked to Sainsbury’s Local and back earlier, and then to the park later. I wouldn’t mind nipping out again, maybe for a drink to have in one of the smaller parks, but I’m not sure if I can face the queues!
Saturday, June 13th
I have had hugs! For the first time in nearly three months. From Mum and Dad. We are now in a “support bubble”!
Went to Styal/Quarry Bank Mill today. As with Lyme, I walked round parts of the woods I never usually visit, but, hooray, we were actually allowed in the gardens at Styal. So lovely to be amongst the flowers. So beautiful and colourful. So peaceful and timeless.
It was lovely to be somewhere like that. Everything’s turned so ugly. How does removing episodes of Fawlty Towers solve anything, much less vandalising statues of Winston Churchill and Queen Victoria? What has any of this got to do with dealing with racism? It’s just the woke brigade virtue-signalling. And it’s created deep divisions just when we most need unity. It’s just awful.
Driving past the airport, which is very close to Styal, was upsetting, though. And it’s really, really hit me today, on this long summer’s day, that this is The Year Without Wimbledon. I accepted that Indian Wells and Miami weren’t happening. I accepted that the clay court season wasn’t happening – and that was really hard, when it’s been Rafa’s time from 2005 onwards. But the thought of a summer without Wimbledon is very sad.
What else? Went to the park later. A small ceremony took place at Windsor today, to mark the Queen’s Official Birthday. There was something very comforting about it.
And it’s so light. We’re only 8 days off the Longest Day now.
Sunday, June 14th
A-ha! With all due respect to the National Trust, Tatton Park is doing things much better … although, to be fair, it’s an enormous estate, and The Stables tearoom (The Gardener’s Cottage tearoom sadly remains closed)’s got that big outdoor seating area anyway, and they’ve moved some stuff around in the courtyard to make room for more tables and chairs. Entry to the gardens was by timed ticket only, and you weren’t allowed in the Rose Garden, but it was lovely to walk round. The weather behaved again, hooray. We did have two heavy showers later afternoon – whilst I was in the park, typical! – but it was warm, dry and sunny otherwise.
Anyway, to get back to Tatton Park, the estate’s now open to anyone, subject to paying the car parking fee. So much better than having big estates closed whilst everyone crams into public parks. And The Stables tearoom’s open for takeaways. I know I had a scone yesterday, but I couldn’t resist the prospect of my first tea and scone “out” since the middle of March. It wasn’t particularly fresh, and the choice was very limited, but it was a start. The NT need to do this too. And the café in the park should reopen – they’d make a fortune.
So, all in all, it was a lovely visit.
Meanwhile, 6,000 idiots attended “quarantine raves” at Daisy Nook Country Park and Carrington. FFS.
It’s been a nice weekend. And the Premier League’s back next week!
And that’s 12 weeks in lockdown … well, semi-lockdown now.