Freedom? Week 17, November 8th to 14th 2021 inclusive

Monday, November 8th

I need to speak to the doctor about the blood test results, but it’s “routine”, not “urgent”, and will wait until I’m finally getting to see the doctor in person on the 24th.  I suppose it’s positive that they didn’t say “urgent”, they said I wouldn’t even be able to book a phone call until next week anyway, and I don’t want to cancel my week in Scotland.

Travel between the UK and the US (for fully vaccinated passengers) has resumed, at long last.

My elder nephew (aged nearly 13)’s getting his jab later this week.


Tuesday, November 9th

Covid vaccinations are to be made mandatory for all NHS frontline staff in England.  I don’t disagree in principle, but we’re already hearing that the NHS is having trouble recruiting and keeping staff, and what’s going to happen if people choose to leave rather than get vaccinated?  It’s already happening with some care home staff, and other countries are having similar issues.  Hmm.


Wednesday, November 10th

Infection rates both locally and nationally are thankfully now on the way back down.

However, things seem to have taken quite a turn for the worse in Germany, as well as in many parts of Eastern Europe.  Is there no end to this?!

And Gerald Sinstadt’s died, aged 91.


Thursday, November 11th

Today is, of course, Armistice Day,  This time last year, we were in lockdown.  This year, the usual commemorative events have taken place.

Meanwhile, things are really not good in Eastern Europe.  Bulgaria, with a population a tenth the size of the UK’s, recorded 334 deaths in a day earlier this week, and Romania 487.  It’s bad in Russia and Ukraine as well.  Will this nightmare never end?

FW de Klerk’s died, aged 85.


Friday, November 12th

Great.  I checked to see what time the Glasgow Christmas markets opened, only to find that one had been cancelled “due to Covid” (2 weeks ago, after I’d made by plans) and the other one (apparently not affected by the same Covid issues as the first one, even though the sites are only a few hundred yards apart) will now not be opening until the day after I leave.  It’s not like I was going particularly to see them, and the ones in Manchester are the best in the country anyway, but it meant I had to rejig my plans slightly.  Then I got an e-mail to say that, at a week’s notice, Glasgow Cathedral would be closed next Friday.  So I had to rebook it for the Saturday, reprint the tickets, reopen the suitcase to put the printout in, and rejig my plans again.   I have no idea why it should be closed.  It’s the Protestant cathedral, so maybe they’re praying that Rangers find a decent replacement for Steven Gerrard.  I can’t think what else can have changed at such short notice!

Also, why does the National Rail website have to put a huge warning sign next to trains from Manchester, just to tell you that the area may be busy due to the Christmas markets?!

Considering that I am the world’s most stressed person even when I’m not panicking about the fibroid trauma, I think I’m remarkably calm!

In Covid news, it looks as if the Netherlands may be going into a partial lockdown, and there’s talk of Austria introducing a lockdown for unvaccinated people only.


Saturday, November 13th

Travelled up to Edinburgh on the train this morning.  The train was quite busy, because of people going to Murrayfield for Scotland v South Africa, but very few people had masks on.   Lovely sunny day – hooray!

Edinburgh Castle, and, because it keeps tourists happy, a piper on the Royal Mile:


Sunday, November 14th

Remembrance Sunday.  Events have taken place as normal this year, after they couldn’t last year.  But, sadly, the Queen was unable to attend due to a bad back.  In Covid news, Austria’s putting unvaccinated people into lockdown.  Restrictions have been announced in the Netherlands too.  And Rafa’s been talking about vaccinations.  It’s still not clear what’s going on with the Aussie Open.

Meanwhile, I’ve had another nice day in Edinburgh – Holyrood Palace and Arthur’s Seat, and the Field of Remembrance:

I met up with the rest of the group this evening.  I was amazed to find that most of them were Americans and Canadians – evidently, all the palaver with testing (people get handed tests at the hotel reception, and are supposed to do them and put them in a collection box) isn’t keeping tourists away.


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