Monday, August 24th
Typical – first day back and it’s sunny! A storm’s on the way, though.
The council are turning one of the two extremely busy lanes on the main road which runs past my estate into a cycle lane, so that everyone can cycle to school/work. So the very heavy traffic which crawls for miles at the best of times will be forced into one lane, leaving the other lane free for the two or three people who want to cycle in autumn and winter, when it’s usually pouring with rain and will be dark at rush hour. FFS. Talk about stupid!
Most of the talk ATM is about schools going back. Teaching unions are trying desperately to stir up trouble, but everyone agrees that kids need to get back to school. They’ve missed so much time already. Schools in Northern Ireland went back today.
Tuesday, August 25th
What an awful day. Heavy rain nearly all day … and I’ve got a horrible feeling that one of the grids outside needs unblocking, and I can’t ask anyone to come in the morning because I’ve got a blood donation appointment and don’t know exactly when I’ll be back.
There is now a row going on over whether or not kids should wear masks at school. Just when you thought there couldn’t be any more rows over schools.
Wednesday, August 26th
Now masks do have to be worn in corridors etc at school in “local lockdown” areas, i.e. here. I’m not sure how hygienic a mask’s going to be after it’s been shoved in a teenage boy’s grubby pocket or schoolbag all day, but whatever. This is in England. Masks have to be worn in corridors etc in Scotland and in Northern Ireland, and in schools in Wales “where social distancing is not possible” … er, and if head teachers say so. Confused? So is everyone.
This is just in secondary schools.
My elder nephew starts secondary school this year. He’s not supposed to wear his blazer, because blazers are a virus risk. No, me neither!
More job cuts have been announced.
And I’m stressed because the latest Facebook app update is causing a load of problems. I’ve got my phone set to no auto updates, but the Facebook app does them anyway.
Thursday, August 27th
I just cried because my printer was playing up, but hopefully it’s OK now. And the Facebook app seems to have been fixed. But Word Press photos have suddenly decided not to display properly on Facebook, which is annoying.
WHY are infection rates in our borough going up, when rates elsewhere in the area are going down? I don’t understand it – and it’s a big worry. Having said that I don’t understand it, I still keep seeing people not wearing masks where they should be. It’s really becoming a big concern now: we’ve got the 13th highest infection rate in the country. Meanwhile, the Czech Republic and Switzerland are amongst the latest countries taken off the safe travel list. And Paul Pogba has tested positive for the virus.
In other news, the Cincy tennis, which is actually being played in New York, has been suspended as part of some US sports thing over racism, and Hurricane Laura is battering Louisiana and Texas. 2020, the year that just keeps on giving! Oh, and I finally plucked up the courage to weigh myself today, and a load of the weight I’ve lost from trying so hard for the last 5 months has gone back on in one week’s holiday. Always happens, but never gets any less upsetting.
Heigh-ho. Maybe tomorrow will be better!
Friday, August 28th
Restrictions have been lifted in Bolton, Stockport and Trafford. Trafford council has got in a strop and said it didn’t want restrictions lifted. No change here and in the other 5 boroughs, but rates in our borough have gone down in the last few days, so hopefully things are starting to move in the right direction. Hyndburn, Burnley and parts of West Yorkshire are also having restrictions lifted. I do wish reporters would learn how to pronounce “Keighley” properly.
The government’s also (just in England) trying to encourage people to go back to offices. Oh, shut up! I appreciate that there are concerns about sandwich shops etc in city centres suffering, but I don’t buy sandwiches! The thought of being trapped in that depressing office for 5 days a week, when I’ve got used to being at home and going for a nice walk in the park every day … bleurgh. I do accept that it’s coming, but I’d rather put it off as long as possible. I do genuinely think it’s inappropriate to encourage people to return to work, with infection rates likely to rise once a) schools go back and b) the colder, darker months mean that people will be spending less time outdoors.
My elder nephew starts secondary school next week. Although they are not in a lockdown area, the school has said that kids should wear masks outside the classroom. My young cousin started secondary school today, and her school’s talking about taking kids’ temperatures. In Spain, even primary school kids are having to wear masks, and people in Paris are now having to wear masks even when outdoors. Infection rates in India are horrendous. What a nightmare all this is! But death rates and even hospital admission rates remain pretty low.
Saturday, August 29th
Hooray!!!! Reunion Day! I have finally seen my sister, brother-in-law and nephews again! I haven’t been apart from my sister for this long since she was born. Come to that, I haven’t been apart from either of my nephews for this long since they were born. I am so, so sorry for people who’ve got loved ones in countries which we cannot visit at the moment: at least we can go to London.
However, due to local lockdown rules in Manchester, Mum, Dad and I are staying at a hotel. Unlike the one in the Lakes, rooms at this one aren’t made up except by special request (there were seals on the doors!) and the restaurant isn’t open (you can order room service, but it’s a very limited and rather poor choice).
And I’ve been to my first live sports event since United v City in March … er, younger nephew’s under 9s football match! To be followed on Monday by elder nephew’s under 12s cricket match!
We have been hearing all about the arrangements for school. Kids cannot share any sort of stationery: they have to have their own. If they’ve got PE, they are supposed to stay in their PE kit all day – how awful for the more self-conscious kids, especially girls. Younger nephew, at primary school, will have dinner in his classroom. Elder nephew, at secondary school, will get pre-packed airline-type meals if having school dinners. Primary school kids generally stay in their own form rooms anyway, but now secondary school kids will too, unless they need to go to e.g. the art room or the science lab. They won’t even be allowed to go back to their lockers, and will therefore have to lug around all their books for the entire day. What a palaver! It’s going to be very strange.
Oh, I am so glad that we’re all back together again!
Sunday, August 30th
A full day in London – watching elder nephew’s cricket training, and then doing a sort of treasure hunt thing, basically a walk round Barnet but with clues for the kids to look for. I think I was actually more excited than they were, because we got to see the site of the Battle of Barnet!
Infection rates in our borough are now falling, which is excellent news. However, they’re back up in Bolton and Trafford, which is worrying – for them, and also for us because they might delay unlocking us now.
Benoit Paire has pulled out of the US Open after testing positive for the virus.