Monday, August 10th
I am now stressed about the weather. Partly because storms are forecast, and I’m now terrified of lightning, and partly because, after a fortnight of decent weather, it’ll probably rain whilst I’m in the Lakes. I’m also stressed about traffic, parking, queues in cafes and putting on weight. But it makes a change from stressing about lockdown.
Schools went back in Scotland today, and I assume that they go back in Italy (where the infection rate’s remained low – could that be because they were further along in things when borders were reopened?), Spain, France, Portugal etc after Assumption Day. It’ll be interesting to see what happens.
Tuesday, August 11th
We had storms overnight, but it’s been so hot today – really humid and horrible. More storms are forecast. Please let them all have gone away before Saturday!
We won our Europa League QF last night, in extra time against Copenhagen in Cologne. We play either Wolves or Sevilla.
Scottish Higher results, which were “moderated” so that some kids got lower grades than their teachers gave them, have been un-moderated. So now the grades are 14% higher than they were last year. It’s all a bit of a muddle, and the same thing’s going to happen when A-level results came out. It’s no-one’s fault: this has never happened before.
A Sky News report has found that most pubs aren’t even bothering to ask people for their details for contact tracing. Following an outbreak of the virus in Aberdeen, linked to a number of pubs in the area, there’s been talk of giving councils increased power to close pubs down, but how can either council officials or the police check every pub in an area? And I was the only person wearing a mask whilst ordering in both the park café and the frozen yogurt shop today.
Went to the office today, to collect some stuff. Thankfully, things seem to have gone quiet. Meanwhile, the latest unemployment statistics show that 730,000 people in the UK have … well, it’s all a bit confusing due to the furlough scheme, but there are 730,000 fewer people on payrolls than there were in March. And this is with the furlough scheme. This is just a nightmare. There’s been a march through town this evening to draw attention to the plight of the live music industry, but I don’t know what can be done about it: how can we have tens of thousands of people inside the Arena, or even at an outdoor venue, with all this going on?
Heigh-ho. Thank goodness for football!
Wednesday, August 12th
I do not know what to worry about first!
- WTF is going on in Oldham? Rochdale and Blackburn are both looking much better now, but things are out of control in Oldham. If the whole region gets punished for this, I will be fuming. And now I’m stressed about getting to the Lakes again.
- I’m also stressed about the weather. The storm warning now extends until Monday.
- It is SO hot
A-level pupils who aren’t happy with their results can ask to use mock exam results instead. This is just getting silly.
And it was announced today that the UK is in the deepest recession in history. OK, it’s hardly a surprise, but it’s not good. Things did look up in June, but … eeh, it’s not good.
The Japan tour that was cancelled isn’t running in 2021, which is a great shame. I’ve booked another one, though. Goodness knows where we’ll be at by then. I’ve got more time off to have this year, as work won’t let us carry our holidays forward, but it’s so hard to know what to do! We get so little annual leave that I really don’t want to waste it.
Thursday, August 13th
It feels like that Billy Joel song, “We didn’t start the fire”. The pandemic. The economic effects. The row over A-level results day. I am so, so sorry for the kids involved – A-level results day’s stressful enough, without all this. But I do see the sense in “moderating” the grades, when the teacher-assessed grades were so much higher than last year’s results. What I do not get is why everyone seems to have known what their assessed grades were. And the silly kid who’s president of the NUS is trying to prove how “woke” she is by saying that the system’s racist. How is a computer algorithm racist? Then there’s the Scottish rail derailment. The tension in Belarus. The blast in Beirut. The American presidential election. And this awful heat and storms, although it has cooled down today. Oh, and I’ve been bitten by 2 insects!
The infection rate is still rising in 7 of the 10 boroughs 😦 , but the rate of increase has slowed considerably in 4 and stayed similar in 1. Rochdale’s had a bad week, but isn’t as bad as it was. But things in Oldham are just horrendous – its rate is almost as high as those of 5 other boroughs added together. Andy Burnham, perhaps feeling a bit sensitive after everyone slated him for agreeing to the whole area being put in special measures, has asked the Government not to do anything else with Oldham for now. Given the rows going on over A-levels, and the fact that the soaring rate of infections in France is being conveniently ignored, I’m hoping they’ll decide to avoid any more controversy for now. But things in Oldham are very worrying.
Friday, August 14th
The good news is that local restrictions aren’t being tightened, so I haven’t got to make a mad dash for the Chorley Travelodge or Premier Inn and can hopefully leave for the Lakes tomorrow morning. However, they aren’t being eased either. And, as we’re in the naughty corner – unlike several areas down south, which have far higher rates than ours but are just being left to it – we are excluded from the reopening of indoor theatres, casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks and soft play centres, and the restarting of close contact beauty treatments and, most upsettingly, wedding receptions. There’s also talk again about letting fans into sports stadia, but I’m not holding my breath.
Nole’s playing the US Open, but Bianca Andreescu isn’t.
France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Aruba and the Turks and Caicos Islands have been taken off the travel corridor list, as of 4am tomorrow. It’s not a surprise, but it was announced at 10 o’clock last night, 11 o’clock last night CET. What a stupid, stupid time to announce it. We’re now seeing a bizarre scenario – it’d be tasteless to say that it was like a scene from wartime, but in some ways it is – in which people are frantically trying to find passages back across the Channel. Airfares have sky-rocketed, and trains and ferries are full. Meanwhile, cases are soaring in many parts of Europe and elsewhere. This is a nightmare.
Roll on the Lake District!!
I was on holiday in the Lake District from August 15th to 23rd inclusive, which I’ve written about HERE .
Whilst I was away:
- The Government agreed to use teacher-assessed grades for A-levels and GCSEs.
- Portugal was taken off the quarantine list, but Croatia, Austria and Trinidad & Tobago were put on it.
- Wigan, Rossendale and Darwen were taken out of local lockdown, as were some parts of West Yorkshire.
- We lost to Sevilla in the semi-finals of the Europa League 😦 . Sevilla went on to win it, and Bayern Munich
won the Champions League.
- The 75th anniversary of VJ Day was marked.
- Everyone got very into the Eat Out To Help Out scheme, which provided money off food and drink in participating outlets on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays … sadly only during August!
- The Cincinnati Masters started. In New York.