Monday, April 19th
I cannot believe what is going on. It’s another warm, sunny day, a beautiful spring day … but this European Super League idea is just a nightmare. I am so, so ashamed that United, City and Liverpool should be involved. And Barcelona, of all clubs. Everyone from Sir Alex Ferguson to Boris Johnson’s condemned it. I can’t believe it’ll happen, but I said that about the Glazer takeover, rugby league being moved to the summer, and Bury being kicked out of the league. There’s talk of banning the clubs involved from domestic leagues. And banning players from playing from their national teams. How the hell would that help? That’s punishing players, fans and national sides, none of whom are to blame for any of this, rather than the clubs’ greedy owners. No comment from any of the TV companies. If they refuse to televise the matches, surely that’d put a stop to it? In the middle of it all, Spurs have sacked Mourinho.
I need to ring the plasterer later- he said he’d come to have a look, but couldn’t speak to me earlier.
Had an e-mail from the holiday company, going on about hotels and itineraries and booking optional trips. It’s a standard e-mail which comes out three months before you’re due to go, but it’s stressed me out because I have no idea what’s going to happen. Iceland is likely to be on the “green list”. However, unlike Greece and Portugal, I don’t think Iceland’s keen to let tourists in. It’s so hard to know what to think. Holiday companies are blithely saying that everything’ll go ahead almost as normal this summer … but it won’t. However, the holiday company always makes a definite decision 8-10 weeks beforehand, so I suppose I’ll just have to wait a few weeks and see what happens.
India has been added to the “red list”, because of the very serious and worrying situation there.
Tuesday, April 20th
I know this is supposed to be a pandemic diary, but all anyone’s talking about is football. Boris held a press conference this evening, in which he spoke about hopes to develop pills to treat the virus, and also concerns about a third wave, but, even at that, people kept asking questions about football. Even the future king’s involved: Prince William’s spoken out about his concerns regarding the proposals.
How dare the Glazers and the other greedy owners do this? Sky Sports and Amazon Prime (although not BT Sport) have both said that it’s nothing to do with them. Supporters’ groups have been holding talks with Boris. This is what it’s come to – appealing to the Government to take action against our own clubs. Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola have both made it pretty clear that managers haven’t been involved, and, as Jordan Henderson’s called a meeting of Premier League captains, we may soon get similar comments regarding players: Marcus Rashford’s already tweeted a picture of a banner showing Matt Busby’s “Football is nothing without fans” comment.
It’s been made clear that no German clubs will be getting involved. So that’s Bayern Munich out. Given the backlash, will anyone else get involved? There’s even been talk that City and Chelsea are thinking of pulling out. I just hope that the whole idea collapses. But the bad feeling it’s caused won’t. Liverpool fans were burning club shirts ahead of their match against Leeds last night. Grimsby have suggested that replica shirts be donated so that they can be sent to Third World countries.
What a mess.
Later – Ed Woodward, our deeply disliked vice chairman (although, to be fair to the man, he’s just an employee) has resigned. So has the president of Juventus. City and Chelsea have pulled out. Please, please, let’s just scrap the whole thing.
Oh, and the plasterer says he can sort the hole, but that it won’t be until mid-May.
And one pint bottles of skimmed milk have reappeared at Tesco. They vanished at the start of the pandemic. I know that people need to know this.
Wednesday, April 21st
Hooray. All 6 English clubs pulled out late last night, followed by Inter and Atleti this morning, and then AC Milan. Juve have said that the plan can’t go ahead, so, er, that leaves Real Madrid and Barca playing El Clasico every single week. I think we can assume that the plan is now dead. People are hailing victory for fan power, the forces of right, etc, but I think it’s more to do with the threat of being booted out of the existing competitions. However, at least it’s over. Joel Glazer’s written “an open letter” to United fans. His grammar is appalling.
Rafa made an awful meal of beating Ivashka, in Barcelona, but got there, 3-6 6-2 6-4.
The Queen turns 95 today. Not much of a birthday for her 😦 .
Getting back to pandemic news, grumpy scientists are still predicting a third wave in the summer. I’ve now had a letter and a text from the NHS, telling me to book myself in for the vaccination if I haven’t done so already: they’re certainly being thorough. 20% of British adults have now had both jabs.
Thursday, April 22nd
Covid is no longer the leading cause of death in England and Wales, and infection levels are down to where they were in early September. We still recorded 18 deaths today, sadly, but hopefully that number will fall.
However, the situation in India is terrible, and we’re now hearing that Tunisia’s running out of intensive care beds.
And, just when you thought the European Commission couldn’t stoop any lower, it’s suing Astra Zeneca for not producing as many doses as it said it would. This is a brand new vaccine. It’s only just been developed – thanks to the sterling work of the scientists involved. The producers are doing their best. Astra Zeneca aren’t even making any profit from that. But the European Commission’s going to sue them. Because they mess they’ve made of things is everyone’s fault but theirs. How d disgusting.
In other news, Rafa won the first set against Kei 6-0 but then managed to lose the second 6-2 before coming through 6-2 in the third. And now plays Cam Norrie. And the weather is glorious, and, whilst I wasn’t sure that this idea of dining out at tables in office car parks (after offices have closed) or behind bus stops (there isn’t a lot of room for putting tables outdoors in a suburb with busy main roads) would catch on, it really has done!
Friday, April 23rd
St George’s Day. And a gorgeous sunny day. I think a lot of people had decided that it was POETS Day, because there were loads of people eating outside at The Coffee Sack, Babbo and Osma when I walked past!
Restrictions are to be eased in Austria and Italy. Here, infection levels continue to fall, although today’s figures showed 40 deaths. But the situation in India is awful. A load of flights came in this morning, ahead of the “red list” deadline. Could someone please tell me why, when travel is supposed to be banned, so many people are travelling? How many people actually need to travel internationally for “essential” reasons?
Is there anything we can do to help? We’ve got very close historic ties with India.
Rafa beat Cam Norrie, 6-1 6-4.
Saturday, April 24th
I very rarely eat out in the evenings, unless I’m on holiday because I feel self-conscious about going to restaurants on my own: it doesn’t seem to matter during the day, but it feels weird in the evening. However, it was a lovely, warm, sunny day (the water boards are getting stressed about the lack of rain, but everyone else is just enjoying it whilst it lasts) and I just really felt like doing the outdoor dining thing, which is becoming symbolic of April 2021 … so I thought I’d go early, before it got busy, and it was really lovely.
Problems with nice weather – a) hay fever and b) weeds. I spent ages pulling up weeds earlier, and they still seem to be everywhere! But not to complain 🙂 .
This morning, I went to Rufford Old Hall, which has finally reopened. Gorgeous bluebells!! And, hooray, dogs are not allowed in the gardens there, nor at Capesthorne Hall, where I’m going tomorrow!
Then I came home (a slightly circuitous route, due to there being traffic chaos on the M60) and watched Rafa beat Pablo Carreno Busta, 6-3 6-2. Very nervous about tomorrow’s final against Stef Tsitsipas – I can already hear all the “changing of the guard” comments if it goes the wrong way – but we’ll see.
Joe Biden’s described the Armenian Genocide as genocide. Bravo! At last. I think Bill Clinton said he would, whilst campaigning in areas with big Armenian-American communities, and then never did.
Covid news from abroad. Positive news from Israel, which recorded zero Covid deaths yesterday. That hopefully shows how well the vaccines work. We recorded over 30 deaths again today: I thought the numbers’d be coming down further by now, but then the figures are for deaths within 28 days of a positive test. But the situation in India is heartbreaking. Makeshift crematoria are being set up, pretty much in the street, Boris has said that we’re seeing what can be done to help.
Sunday, April 25th
What a glorious day! Well, apart from the fact that we only managed to draw at Leeds, 0-0, but you can’t have everything. Rafa beat Stef 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 7-5 in an amazing 3 hour 38 minute Barcelona final. I was exhausted by the end, and am now running stupidly late with everything, but yay!! Rafa winning clay court titles in April again. Now that feels like a bit of normality!
And I was sad that I wasn’t able to do the bluebell walk at Capesthorne Hall last year, but I went today and the woods were looking absolutely glorious! And there were tables and chairs on the lawn, which was much nicer than being indoors.
City won the Carabao Cup, beating Spurs 1-0 in the final. I cannot pretend to be delighted about this, but it’s good news that 8,000 fans were allowed inside the stadium. Well, good news compared to having no fans in at all.
And so we enjoy the sunshine and hope that more restrictions will be lifted in three weeks’ time … but remain mindful of what’s happening in India and elsewhere.