Monday, November 15th
Round Edinburgh Castle with the tour group today. Lovely sunny day.
All over 40s in England are to be offered boosters. And I honestly don’t know what to do. I was really pro-vaccination until I had the second jab, and we keep being told how important vaccinations are and how it’s silly and selfish not to have them. But I did have some problems after the second jab, which I now know that a lot of other women have had too, and that was when the medical problems which led to my being diagnosed with a large fibroid really started. I appreciate that the vaccine cannot have caused a fibroid, but it certainly exacerbated the problems and I’m very nervous about what might happen if I have the booster. I’ll probably have to have it eventually, but I can’t really deal with it at the moment: I’m struggling enough, especially as it’s been so difficult just to get an appointment with a doctor. I do have more sympathy now with people who are nervous about being vaccinated – they’re being looked down on as stupid and ignorant and being taken in by conspiracy theories, but there are genuine medical concerns as well. I didn’t feel comfortable writing about it at the time, but I really did have some very distressing and frightening problems after the second jab, and the fact that it’s so difficult to get any sort of medical help at the moment has made me even more nervous.
On a happier note, we’ve qualified for the World Cup! Beat San Marino 10-0!
Tuesday, November 16th
We’re in Inverness! We left Edinburgh this morning, and called in at St Andrews and Pitlochry, then drove through Culloden (sadly no proper stop there) and ended the day in Inverness. I’ve never been this far into the Highlands before. We had to have our temperatures taken before getting on to the coach to leave Edinburgh, but TBH I don’t think anyone took it very seriously, and you don’t have to wear masks on the coach as it’s not public transport.
The Republic of Ireland’s tightening restrictions.
Wednesday, November 17th
A day in the Highlands! We drove past Loch Ness this morning, although sadly there was no sign of the monster, and we saw Ben Nevis in the distance. We then visiting a) a whisky distillery and b) Glencoe. Most people were very excited about the former. I was very excited about the latter. Then ended up in Oban, which is lovely – although probably a lot lovelier in the summer!
In Covid news, cases here seem to be falling at the moment, but they’re going up in a lot of places, especially Germany and Austria.
Thursday, November 18th
We drove down from Oban to Glasgow this morning, along the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.
Goodbye to the Highlands! The Americans and Canadians in the group have now got to do Covid tests before going home … although we’re not sure whether the tests they did on arrival have actually been collected yet! It seems that most cases here are now amongst primary school kids. And there’s some talk of a new strain, which is rather worrying.
Friday, November 19th
Most of the tour group people have gone home, but I’m staying on till tomorrow, and have spent the day looking round Glasgow. I went to the Willow at the Mackintosh tearooms!
Very worried about Peng Shuai, who hasn’t been seen since accusing a senior Chinese official of sexual assault.
In Covid news, Austria’s going back into full lockdown, the first “Western” country to do so this autumn. Bavaria’s tightening restrictions, as are some other German states, and Northern Ireland looks set to bring back the WFH directive. Cases in much of Central and Eastern Europe seem to be soaring.
Saturday, November 20th
I finally got to see Glasgow Cathedral just before my train home! It was closed yesterday and this morning because of Walter Smith’s funeral.
We lost 4-1 at Watford. Totally humiliating. What a mess all this is. Meanwhile, City’s match at Leipzig is to be played behind closed doors because of Covid restrictions being reintroduced in Saxony. And there’ve been riots in Rotterdam, as anti-restriction protests got out of hand.
I am now home.
Sunday, November 21st
Ole’s been sacked. It had to happen, but I feel kind of sad – we all love him. We’ve got how City used to be, a new manager every five minutes and nothing getting any better. It’s just a mess.
I went to the Christmas markets today. Lovely sunny day. Except that now I haven’t done the ironing. I was naively expecting that, apart from Albert Square being closed, the Christmas markets’d be like normal, but they’re not – there are far fewer stalls than usual, and a lot of the old favourites, including the singing reindeer, are missing. But at least we’ve got something, which is more than a lot of places have got, and it was nice.
Sascha won the World Tour Finals. Olympic officials have spoken to Peng Shuai, who told them that she was OK. I just hope that she genuinely is.
More anti-restriction protests in the Netherlands, and also in Belgium, Austria, Croatia and Italy. Things turned violent in the Netherlands and Belgium.