The road to freedom? Week 7, May 10th to 16th 2021 inclusive

Monday, May 10th

Boris has confirmed that, as of a week today:

  1. Hugging will be allowed again.  As long as you make informed decisions and hug safely.  What a crazy world we find ourselves in, being given instructions about hugging!  But, hooray, hugging is back on.
  2. Hotels, hostels and B&Bs can reopen.
  3. Sports stadia can reopen, but only to limited numbers.
  4. Cinemas, theatres, museums, indoor seating at eating and drinking places, etc, can reopen.
  5. Masks will no longer be required in schools.
  6. Face to face teaching at universities can resume.
  7. People can meet indoors, and stay overnight at other people’s homes, as long as no more than either six people or two households are involved.
  8. Up to thirty people can meet outdoors, and attend weddings, christenings, bar mitzvahs etc.
  9. Saunas and steam rooms can reopen, and indoor exercise classes can restart.

We’re officially moving from “level 4” to “level 3”.

More details to come on what may or may not happen on June 21st, but he seems optimistic that all restrictions will end then.  (Which is good, except that that may mean an end to working from home, which I am dreading.)

The holiday company have said that they’ll extend my payment deadline.  I assume this means that they’re still waiting for their international head office to make decisions about July.  Oh well, at least it’s something.

And we’re guaranteed a top 4 finish after West Ham lost last night.


Tuesday, May 11th

Ugh.  With 4 matches in 8 days, I can’t blame Ole for fielding a weakened team tonight … but we lost to Leicester, 2-1, and that handed City the title.  OK, they deserve it, but … hmm!

Still no news from the holiday company on anything past the end of June.

I am sick of the weather!  One minute it’s sunny, the next it’s pouring down or hailstones are coming down.

And I am worried about the situation in Bolton.  The attitude in the national media is that the pandemic’s all over bar the shouting, and I’d love to think that, but the infection rate in Bolton has sky-rocketed to 133.5 per 100,000.  It’s very localised – the rates in neighbouring Bury, Wigan and Salford are 20.4, 24 and 31.7 respectively – and, even within Bolton, it’s only affecting certain wards, but it does show how quickly this can still spread.   It’s the Indian variant that’s doing it, which, given what happened with the Kent variant, is very concerning.


Wednesday, May 12th

Still no updates from the holiday company.

We have had thunder, lightning, torrential rain, hailstones and glorious sunshine today.  Yesterday was the same.  It is doing everyone’s heads in.  The only thing less predictable than the weather is my weight, which randomly goes up and down from day to day, but never keeps going down 😦 .

Infection rates in Bolton keep going up.  And those in Hyndburn are even worse – that was originally put down to an outbreak at a school in Accrington, but it’s clearly a lot more than that.  It seems pretty clear that people have travelled to and from India and Pakistan (before they were red-listed) without quarantining, which is incredibly irresponsible, but it’s done now.  There are also concerns over case rates in parts of Yorkshire.  The only good thing is that it’s mainly amongst young people, and hasn’t led to any deaths or an increase in hospitalisations.

If this were happening in London, it would be the headlines of the news.

People aged 38 and 39 are now able to book vaccinations.

And Rafa beat Sinner 7-5, 6-4, in a rather stressful match in Rome!


Thursday, May 13th

Lost 3-2 to Liverpool.  Not very pleased!

It was reported earlier that,  Blackburn, which has also got issues with the Indian variant, everyone over 18 was being invited to book their jabs, but apparently someone got the wrong end of the stick.  Meanwhile, the situation in Bolton is not good.   It’s only in three wards, but it’s getting worse and worse.   I hope that the irresponsible people who went to India and Pakistan and then didn’t quarantine when they got back are pleased with themselves.  Has the North West not suffered enough?   And now Glasgow seems to be having similar problems.  And there are fears that the June 21st relaxation of restrictions may have to be rethought.

I actually managed to avoid being out in the rain today, but only because I went out early due to the tennis … which ended up being a very long and stressful match in which Rafa eventually beat Shapovalov 3-6 6-4 7-6 (7-3).  Poured down again later.

The painter can paint the ceiling, but he doesn’t know when.

And there is still no news from the holiday company.


Friday, May 14th

Boris has said that the roadmap’ll go ahead as planned for now, but that we don’t yet know very much about this wretched Indian variant affecting Bolton, Blackburn and elsewhere, so he can’t say for sure that the June 21st changes will go ahead.  That’s fair enough.  Second doses are to be brought forward, but only for over 50s.   And testing’s to be ramped up in Bolton and Blackburn.  At the risk of sounding like Mario Balotelli, why is it always the North West?

Second doses are to be brought forward, but, unfortunately for me, only for those in the first 9 groups.

Boss was mithering about wanting people to go back to the office.  I am dreading this.  Decent firms will take into account what people want, but the operative word is decent.

Rafa beat Sascha, 6-3 6-4 🙂 .  And now plays Opelka.  But it’s raining in Rome, so everything’s a bit messed up at the moment.

The Champions League final will now be held in Porto.  It would be far more sensible to hold it at either Wembley or Villa Park, both of which were suggested, but UEFA threw a hissy fit after being told that a load of bigwigs whose presence would be totally unnecessary wouldn’t be allowed to enter from high-risk countries without quarantining.


Saturday, May 15th

Well, this should have been a lovely day … even though we’ve still got blue sky one second and monsoons the next.  Around 20,000 fans were allowed into Wembley for the Cup Final, I was delighted that Leicester won the Cup for the first time in their history, beating Chelsea 1-0, and I felt like a proud auntie watching Kasper Schmeichel lifting the Cup!   The players had to pick up their own medals, but Prince William was allowed to present the actual trophy.

And Rafa beat Opelka, 6-4 6-4, to reach the Italian Open final … although the bad news is that he’s playing Nole.

And I had a lovely morning at Nostell Priory.  Cygnets and garlic!!   And National Trust houses are reopning next week.


But … I could cry when I see pictures of the Army on the streets of Bolton and Blackburn, conducting mass testing.  Miserable scientists are saying that Monday’s reopening should be cancelled.  Yet again, hope has turned to concern.  There’s been an increase in hospitalisations in Bolton – thankfully, we’re only talking about a small number of people, but it’s a big increase in percentage terms.  And it’s nearly all people who are old enough to have had their first jab, but haven’t done.  So bloody irresponsible.  Over 95% of over 45s have had their first jabs, but, as we keep being told, until everyone’s safe, no-one’s safe.  Formby – why Formby, of all places? – is also affected, as are parts of Nottingham and London, and also Glasgow.  There are fears that the Indian variant could be 50% more transmissible than the Kent variant, and that’s bad enough.  Thankfully, there’s no talk yet of local restrictions, but this is very worrying indeed.

And it was all going so well …

It’s still, touch wood, OK elsewhere in the region.  Rochdale’s up a bit, but nothing concerning.  But these things do tend to spread.  And we can’t take any more.


Sunday, May 16th

🙂 🙂 🙂 – Rafa beat Nole, 5-7 6-1 6-3, to win the Italian Open!  Rome isn’t Paris, but Rome is still Rome!

I went into town today.  If town/city centres are to recover, the stupid Sunday trading laws have really got to go.  There were queues and crowds waiting for shops to open.  Yes, they’ll be open at 9am or 10am tomorrow, but that’s no use to most people.  Scrap the stupid Sunday trading laws, now!!   Anyway, I had a nice walk round and some pan amb oli al fresco:

However, I could not find anything to wear for my cousin’s wedding.  If it goes ahead – 3 months to go, and they don’t know whether they’ll be allowed 30 people, 50 people or as many people as they like, and whether that’ll be just for the meal or for dancing as well.  Now that Debenhams, BHS, Wallis and Dorothy Perkins have gone, the choice seems to be between M&S (clothes seem designed for Holly Hobbie – cannot believe they sell stuff like that), Selfridges etc (fine if you are in possession of a good fortune, as Jane Austen might say) or places like River Island and Next (do not seem to cater for anyone over 25 and larger than a size 10)!

Rangers fans have been causing trouble.  Some things never change.

And it seems the vaccines do work against the Indian variant.  It sounds like a 1920s thriller – The Indian Variant.   The vaccine versus the virus.  If we can just get everyone vaccinated … .  Everyone over 30 should hopefully be able to book their first jab next week.


2 thoughts on “The road to freedom? Week 7, May 10th to 16th 2021 inclusive

  1. Ah, Blackburn….so my understanding is that the authority’s wanted to do that (the director of public health certainly wanted to do that). Over 18s were able to book on Wednesday and Thursday under the criteria of being over 18, I was on the website and know people who managed it. I suspect they got a telling off from Whitehall

    Liked by 1 person

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