Monday, July 12th
Oh dear. What a difference a day makes. As well as our crushed hopes, a minority of idiots have posted racist abuse on the social media accounts of Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka. You’re always going to get some idiots who turn on people – remember the hanging/burning of effigies of David Beckham in 1998? – but it’s a lot worse in the age of social media, and the racist element is particularly nasty. I do appreciate that it’s difficult for social media to stop online abuse, but surely more can be done. And someone’s even vandalised the Marcus Rashford mural in Withington, although I’m pleased to say that the graffiti has been covered up by messages of support.
As if it’s not bad enough that people are aiming this vile abuse at our players, the Woke Brigade – who are no doubt delighted that England lost – are trying to exploit it and twist to suit their own agenda. They’re trying to claim ownership of the team, rather like Scottish nationalists tried to claim ownership of Andy Murray (and then whinged and moaned when he accepted a knighthood, because it didn’t suit them), and, even more bizarrely, trying to blame it all on the Government – and, in doing so, trying to undo the very sense of unity which Gareth Southgate and the lads brought about. It really is very unpleasant, and I’ve seen some utter rubbish posted on social media by people whom I know full well know about as much about football as I do about sheep farming in Outer Mongolia.
Oh dear. Let’s try to ignore both sets of idiots, celebrate our team’s achievements, and look forward to the World Cup qualifying campaign.
Also, it’s poured down all day. Please, please do not let it do this whilst I’m in the Lakes!
Meanwhile, it’s been confirmed that the easing of restrictions will go ahead on July 19th, by which time 2/3 of adults will be fully vaccinated … although I’m not 100% clear on whether or not you’ll still be expected to give your details at cafes etc.. I haven’t really processed the idea of going back to being trapped in the office and how that’s going to trigger my anxiety, and am clinging to the fact that it’ll only be for 3 days a week. Andy Burnham’s said that people should continue to wear masks on public transport in Greater Manchester. There’s an increasing amount of talk about continuing to wear masks, about possibly using vaccine passports in pubs etc, and generally a lot of talk about risks. The word “irreversible” isn’t being used any more, and there are rumours of things being reviewed in September. So it’s all a bit muted.
On a happier note, infection rates are falling slightly in the city centre and the borough of Bury, and are only rising very slightly in Salford.
Tuesday, July 13th
The WFH directive in Scotland’s staying in force until August. Lucky Scotland!! Boris said that firms shouldn’t rush to make people go back to the office, but we’ve already had a very terse e-mail on the subject.
50 “deaths with Covid” were recorded today. It’s the catch-up from the weekend – yesterday’s figure was 6, so that’s an average of 28 – but it still sounds worrying.
Windermere Lake Cruises are going back to letting you buy tickets on the day. No update yet from the National Trust.
Weather has cheered up.
Wednesday, July 14th
I am trying to ignore the fact that, instead of celebrating our team’s achievements in reaching the final and being sad that we lost, a minority of people are trying to turn it into a culture war and political points-scoring exercise. I had to turn Sky News off today: it’s getting worse than the BBC.
Two people were prevented from boarding a flight from Manchester to Malta because they’d been vaccinated with Indian-made doses of the AZ vaccine. This wasn’t supposed to be an issue. It seems to have been a cock-up by the Maltese authorities, but obviously that’s not much consolation to those involved. And, having said that it’d only admit people who were fully vaccinated, Malta’s now changed its mind. The Balearic Islands are off the green list and back on the amber list. Croatia and Bulgaria have been moved to the green list, but Croatia’s on the “green watchlist” so it could be moved back at any minute. Confused? So is everyone else.
A lot of arguing’s going on about mask-wearing.
Infection rates are soaring in the North East and parts of Yorkshire.
And a kid in number two nephew’s class has been sent home with a temperature and has now got to take a Covid test. Hopefully it’s something and nothing, but, if not, the whole class’ll have to self-isolate for 10 days.
Thursday, July 15th
Blue sky and sunshine on St Swithin’s Day!
The kid in number two nephew’s class hasn’t got Covid. Phew. Some parents are keeping kids off school, illegal or not, because they can’t risk them having to self-isolate when they’ve got holidays booked for as soon as term ends. One friend’s child’s class were sent home in the middle of Sports Day, and another’s were hauled off a coach as they were about to set off on a school trip, not to mention the chaos in workplaces. This self-isolation system needs to stop now, not on August 16th.
The man who cuts my grass (I’m scared of lawnmowers) has got Covid. So have both Dan Evans and Jo Konta, who’ve had to pull out of the Olympic team as a result.
The National Trust are stopping the pre-booking system (except for very small places), hooray. No word from English Heritage yet.
Tesco and various other supermarkets are asking customers to keep wearing masks for now.
63 deaths today. That really is not good. Things are very bad in Indonesia and Tunisia. And, on top of everything else, there are floods in parts of Germany and Belgium, and riots in South Africa.
Friday, July 16th
These floods in Europe really are awful. Over 120 people dead.
Number one nephew’s class has been sent home to self-isolate 😦 .
And case numbers are sky-rocketing. There’s already talk of reimposing restrictions. Heigh-ho! Bulgaria has now red-listed arrivals from the UK (and also from Spain and Cyprus). And France has apparently got issues with the Beta (South African) variant, so the old amber list rules stay for France even after they change for everywhere else.
Saturday, July 17th
Well, I didn’t expect to be spending a second summer holiday in the Lakes, but I have struck lucky, with beautiful weather! Businesses here are very nervy about being caught by the “pingdemic” – after everything that’s happened, the last thing they can afford is to lose 10 days’ takings – but it’s great to see places booked up and everyone enjoying themselves. Social distancing is in force on the boats until Monday, then it’s all change.
Today, I drove to Bowness, and did the steamer/steam train trip, then went on to Grasmere, my base for my time here. So lovely to be back!
In Covid news, Sajid Javid has tested positive. Thankfully he’s OK, but it’s not great when the Health Secretary gets the lurgy after having both jabs. Sadly, the vaccinations are not turning out to be the magic bullet we’d hoped they’d be.
Sunday, July 18th
Last day of restrictions? We’ll see. The bloody “pingdemic”, as it’s now being called – people being “pinged” by the app and told to self-isolate – is making it feel as if everyone’s got the Sword of Damocles hanging over their heads. And a huge row’s broken out after Boris and Rishi Sunak tried to get out of self-isolating after being in contact with Sajid Javid, by saying they’d have daily tests instead. They’ve now agreed to self-isolate, but it’s really annoyed everyone. This self-isolation business is just beyond a joke.
Collin Morikawa won the British Open.
And another lovely day in the lakes! Coniston, Brantwood and Hawkshead today! I’ve never seen the watersports at Coniston so busy.