Hello, and welcome to The Year Without Wimbledon


Hello, and welcome to The Year Without Wimbledon, my coronavirus pandemic diary. I’m writing a few notes every day, grouped into blog posts for each week, on how my life in lockdown here in Manchester, Northern England is going; and I’ve also written a few posts on the build-up to lockdown, starting in January 2020. If anyone’s reading this, thank you very much, and please let me know if you’ve got any thoughts to share!

Index of posts:

The Road to Freedom?

Dancing with the Daffodils

The road to freedom? Week 1 , March 29th to April 4th 2021 inclusive

Death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

The road to freedom?  Week 2, April 5th to 11th 2021 inclusive

Vaccination Day

The road to freedom?  Week 3, April 12th to 18th 2021 inclusive

The road to freedom?  Week 4, April 19th to 25th 2021 inclusive

The road to freedom?  Week 5, April 26th to May 1st 2021 inclusive


Lockdown III:

Lockdown III Week 1, January 4th to 10th 2021 inclusive

The coming of the vaccines

Lockdown III Week 2, January 11th to 17th 2021 inclusive

Manchester monsoons, Melbourne mice, park perambulations and lockdown locks

Lockdown III Week 3, January 18th to 24th 2021 inclusive

Anniversaries, Adelaide tennis and appalling ingratitude

Lockdown III Week 4, January 25th to 31st 2021 inclusive

Free tea, anxious toes, Handforth headlines, BYOB and repaying Sybil

Lockdown III Week 5, February 1st to 7th 2021 inclusive

Upside Down

Lockdown III Week 6, February 8th to 14th 2021 inclusive

Lockdown III Week 7, February 15th to 21st 2021 inclusive

Lockdown Birthday/Group 10

Lockdown III Week 8, February 22nd to 28th 2021 inclusive

A match-less year

Lockdown III Week 9, March 1st to 7th 2021 inclusive

Lockdown III Week 10, March 8th to 14th 2021 inclusive

A hitch in the proceedings

Lockdown III Week 11, March 15th to 21st 2021 inclusive

Lockdown Anniversary

Lockdown III Week 12, March 22nd to 28th 2021 inclusive



Tier Four

Snakes and Ladders/Tiers and Fears

Tier Four, Week 1 – December 31st to January 3rd inclusive


Tier Three Plus

Eating From A Box

Some statistics – now, how does this work?

Tier Three Plus, Week 1 – December 7th to 13th inclusive

Christmas is cancelled


Tier Three Plus, Week 2 – December 14th to 20th inclusive

Tier Three Plus, Week 3 – December 21st to 27th inclusive

Snow pictures

Tier Three Plus, Week 4 … well, half a week – December 28th to 30th inclusive


Lockdown II:

Welcome to Lockdown II – the lights go out, the facilities stay open

Lockdown II Week 1 – November 2nd to 8th inclusive

Lockdown II Week 2 – November 9th to 15th inclusive

The Great Christmas Debate

Lockdown II Week 3 – November 16th to 22nd inclusive

Lockdown II Week 4, November 23rd to 29th inclusive

Lockdown II Week 5, November 30th to December 6th inclusive

Eating From A Box


Second Wave:

Second Wave Week 1 – August 31st to September 6th inclusive

Trying to smile behind the mask

Second Wave Week 2 – September 7th to 13th inclusive

Madrid, which saved my life … well, OK, sort of

Second Wave Week 3 – September 14th to 20th inclusive

Second Wave Week 4 – September 21st to 27th inclusive

It is better to light a candle …

Second Wave Week 5 – September 28th to October 4th inclusive

Second Wave Week 6 – October 5th to 11th inclusive

What is going on?

Second Wave Week 7 – October 12th to 18th inclusive

The Harrying of the North, or The Two Nations

Second Wave Week 8 – October 19th to 25th inclusive

Town before lockdown

Second Wave Week 9 – October 26th to November 1st inclusive






Moving on:

Goodbye lockdown locks, hello cafes, stay safe

Masks on the Steamer

A Visit to the Dentist

Rowing back – a nightmare couple of days

Café culture reaches the North Manchester suburbs … due to the virus

The Summer of Staycations – holidaying in the age of Covid-19

Moving On Week 1 – July 6th to 12th inclusive

Moving On Week 2- July 13th to 19th inclusive

Moving On Week 3 – July 20th to 26th inclusive

Moving On Week 4 – July 27th to August 2nd inclusive

Moving On, or maybe not, Week 5 – August 3rd to 9th inclusive

Confused of Manchester … are we all with this?

A trip into town, mayhem at the US Open, and EastEnders returns

Moving on Weeks 6 and 7 – August 10th to 23rd inclusive

Moving on Week 8 – August 24th to 30th inclusive





During lockdown:

Lockdown Week 1 – March 23rd to 29th inclusive

Lockdown Week 2 – March 30th to April 5th inclusive

Lockdown Week 3 – April 6th to 12th inclusive

Lockdown Week 4 – April 13th to 19th inclusive

Lockdown Week 5 – April 20th to 26th inclusive

Lockdown Week 6 – April 27th to May 3rd inclusive

Lockdown Week 7 – May 4th to May 10th inclusive

Lockdown Week 8, May 11th to 17th inclusive

Lockdown Week 9, May 18th to 24th inclusive

Lockdown Week 10, May 25th to 31st inclusive

Lockdown Week 11, June 1st to 7th inclusive

Lockdown Week 12, June 8th to 14th inclusive

Lockdown Week 13, June 15th to 21st inclusive

Lockdown Week 14, June 22nd to 28th inclusive

Lockdown Week 15, June 29th to July 5th inclusive


Before lockdown:

January – the first news

February 2020 – the virus spreads

Early March 2020 – panic-buying, and more and more cases of the virus

On through March 2020 – the world seems to be falling apart

March 16th to 18th inclusive – heading towards lockdown




General musings:

Mental Health Awareness Week

Football without fans

Return to the National Trust


Football’s coming back

Seeking peace in nature: Back to Life with the National Trust and English Heritage

Support bubbles, scones and snapdragons

Of football, hairdressers, anxiety, techno-trauma and Blytonesque picnics

Tennis is back … going well in London, disaster in the Balkans

Socially-distanced strawberry-picking – a lockdown experience!


The Never Ending Story

The coronavirus era arrives in Coronation Street and Emmerdale

Goodbye Debenhams