Monday, July 27th
I’m rather upset today. I made the decision a few weeks ago that I wasn’t going on the trip to Japan even if it went ahead, but the holiday company swore blind that trips in October would be going ahead, and we exchanged dozens of e-mails as I tried to find one that fitted in with the French Open and had direct flights from Manchester. I provisionally booked one to Italy in October and one to France in November, and then today I got an e-mail to say that all October trips had been cancelled. I appreciate that this is a continually moving situation, but they shouldn’t have let me do all that and then cancel it so soon afterwards: it’s not like Spain where there’s now a travel advisory warning against going. No idea if the one to France’ll go ahead. Horrible work will not let me carry holidays forward, so I don’t know what to do. I really want to get abroad for a bit, but I don’t know if it’s practical, with so many attractions closed and the risk of quarantine being reintroduced at any time. Even for somewhere domestic, it’s not like I can just turn up at NT places as and when any more.
I also feel a bit sad and vulnerable because, without coach trips, it’s difficult to go on your own. Even within the UK, there’s only so far you want to drive on your own. And the nice local restaurant from which many people are ordering deliveries will not deliver for orders under £30 so, unless you’re exceptionally greedy, single people are ruled out. Neither Ullswater Steamers nor the Settle-Carlisle Railway will sell single tickets any more, due to social distancing – not wanting to leave a seat free on either side of someone. I suspect it’ll be the same when cinemas and theatres reopen.
So I am rather sad today.
Tuesday, July 28th
Oh FFS. Blackburn’s now got the highest infection rate in the country, Rochdale’s introduced restrictions, and now Oldham’s introduced restrictions as well. This is all frighteningly close to home. It’s not the relaxing of restrictions that’s the problem. It’s the fact that people have been breaking them all along.
Marks & Spencer’s have got a sign up saying that people buying alcohol have to remove their masks at the till, because masks make it difficult to tell how old people are! If you didn’t laugh, you’d cry.
I got a drink from the park café today, and nearly everyone waiting to order was wearing masks. But, wherever you go, there’s always someone who isn’t.
Going to the frozen yoghurt shop shortly. Just watching some of this all-British tennis event. Goodness knows when we’ll get any normal tennis events. Tokyo’s now off as well. Cincy’s supposed to be going ahead, but, with all these travel restrictions in place, it’s hard to know what’ll happen. Meanwhile, people are busily cancelling trips to Europe.
Someone was supposed to ring me about refunding my gym subs. Still waiting.
Wednesday, July 29th
Interesting development today – Rafa and Nole are both on the list of confirmed entries for Cincy, and therefore presumably both intend to play in the US Open. I think we all thought Rafa’d decided to give it a miss. Presumably they’ll all be exempt from quarantine rules? I hope this all works out OK.
I was the only person waiting to order in the park café today who was actually wearing a mask. And, at the frozen yoghurt shop yesterday, I was wearing a mask and the guy told me that I didn’t need to wear one, because the rules only applied to big supermarkets! WTF? And then you start wondering why you’re even bothering, and then people don’t bother because no-one else is bothering …
Nice weather today. Please, please be like this for my week in the Lakes!!
Thursday, July 30th
All that talk about things being back to normal doesn’t half look like pie in the sky now. The latest is that people with symptoms are supposed to self-isolate for 10 days rather than 7 days. None of this is enforceable, and this seems to be the problem in Australia: people aren’t sticking to the rules because they’re worried that they won’t got paid, or may even lose their jobs, if they stay off work.
Gloomy news is coming in from all over the world: cases seem to be on the increase everywhere.
Ash Barty’s said that she won’t be playing at the US Open. Everyone else is being vague.
My new masks came today. Two United masks and one Manchester bee mask!
And my holiday to Japan has officially been cancelled. I’d long since accepted that it wasn’t going to happen, and really it was a relief to get the e-mail and know that I won’t have to chase them for the credit note, but it’s another blow … I booked it long before any of this happened, and was so looking forward to it. Travelling is such a big thing for me, and it’s completely off the menu at the moment.
Later – WTF?? It’s just been announced that separate households have been banned from meeting indoors in Greater Manchester, east Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire. I don’t believe this. There isn’t a problem in our area. Why the hell are we being punished because there’s been an increase in cases in Oldham and Rochdale? I am really, really pissed off about this. So the whole area – Manchester, Salford, Stockport, Wigan, Tameside, Bury, et al – gets punished because there’s an increase in cases in Oldham and Rochdale? I am fuming. It better bloody well hadn’t get any worse. TBH, I haven’t been doing a lot of meeting people indoors anyway, except Mum and Dad and I assume I can still see them indoors because we’re in a bubble, but WTF? I know I should be saying that it’s my civic duty and I’ll do whatever it takes, but that it’s not how I feel. It’s not our area. Why have all 10 boroughs been lumped in together?
Friday, July 31st
Ugh. This is a total nightmare. It’s not just in people’s houses, it’s also indoors at cafes etc, and in private gardens. If the rate of infections in our area was high, I’d get it, but it’s not. It’s 16 per 100,000 people, which is far lower than in many other parts of the country. In Bacup, Rawtenstall, etc, the rate’s falling. But we’ve all been lumped in with Oldham and Rochdale, where the rate’s 3 1/2 times higher than it is here. This is bloody ridiculous. And it was announced, on social media, at around half 9 last night, to come into force at midnight. What were people whose parents were meant to be looking after their kids whilst they were at work meant to do?
Support bubbles are excluded. And you can still go on holiday as long as it’s not with members of another household. I don’t know what I’ll do if I can’t have my break in the Lakes. Please, please don’t let anything else happen within the next 2 weeks. But my sister & co will now probably not be visiting, because they can’t see any of us unless it’s in a park. I haven’t seen them since February. First the Spanish quarantine, and now this. I feel like we’re jinxed. I’m very upset.
Everyone, including TV channels and newspapers, is saying openly that this has been done because it’s Eid al Adha today. Even politicians from both main parties – Labour Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, and a local Conservative MP – are saying openly that the issue is largely within the South Asian community. This isn’t racism: it’s what the statistics show. I’m bothered that there are going to be community tensions if this continues. People are very upset. However, it’s also an issue about young people, from all ethnic backgrounds – the kind interpretation is that young people are more likely to have returned to their workplaces, but there are a lot of concerns about young people socialising without observing social distancing.
Nationwide, bowling alleys, casinos and skating rinks will now not be able to open tomorrow as planned. I can’t say that this bothers me, but it will bother a lot of people, especially the owners of those businesses. And couples were supposed to be have up to 30 people at wedding receptions from tomorrow, but that’s now off, which is going to devastate those affected. Also, face masks have to be worn in places of worship, museums, galleries etc … and, at the park café today, there were about 20 people in the queue and hardly any of them were wearing masks.
I accept the stuff about casinos etc, but I bloody object to my area, where the rate of infection is not high, being subject to additional restrictions because it’s high in other boroughs in the area. People are not happy.
Saturday, August 1st
I’ve had a big rant here – big rant – about how angry I am that a) we’ve been lumped in with areas where the rate of infection is over 5 times higher (Blackburn) than it is here and b) people are blatantly breaking the rules. Also, the tabloids have gone full on Armageddon. We are going back into full lockdown, there will be riots, the Army will be called out, the end of the world is nigh, etc etc. On top of this, the Spanish health authorities want the Madrid Open cancelled.
On a happier note, the Cup Final went ahead, even if it was rather odd having it in August, with no fans present, and without a proper trophy presentation by Prince William. But at least we got a Cup Final. Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea. The county cricket season’s started, and the rugby league season resumes tomorrow.
Shielding ends today, except in Wales, Leicester, Bradford and Blackburn-with-Darwen. All the people who moaned that shielding was imposed in the first place are now moaning that shielding’s ended. I don’t mean people who actually are shielding, for whose concerns I have the deepest sympathy: I mean people who just moan about everything to try to score political points.
It’s actually been quite a nice day, apart from the stress over what might happen next. I had a lovely morning at Biddulph Grange. There was quite a complicated one way system, because of the narrow paths and tunnels, but everyone stuck to it. I should have been there four months ago, to see the daffodils. Instead, I was there to see the woodland walk full of early blackberries! Time marcheth on …
Sunday, August 2nd
I’ve just sent a stroppy e-mail to my MP. I appreciate that he’s only been in Parliament since December and that Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock probably don’t even know his name, but one of the Stockport MPs has spoken out, so why can’t ours? Sandwell in the West Midlands has got an infection rate of 40 per 100,000. Ours is 16 per 100,000. Why have restrictions been imposed here but not there? A load of sarcastic memes are doing the rounds. They don’t help. There are also a load of wild rumours in the media. The whole of London is going to be locked down. All over 50s are going to be banned from going out … which would include the Prime Minister, the Chief Medical Officer, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer and half the Cabinet, so would certainly be interesting! This doesn’t help either.
It poured down early on, but then the sun came out and it turned into a really nice day. I had a lovely time at Tatton Park.
But I’m on edge because I’m desperate for this break in the Lake District and am frightened now that something’ll happen to stop it.