Lockdown Week 2, March 30th to April 5th 2020 inclusive

Monday, March 30th

My payslip arrived by e-mail today.  We’re still getting paid as normal, for the time being, which is good.  A lot of people have been “furloughed”.  It’s great that the Government are running the furlough scheme, and something similar for self-employed people, rather than everyone just being thrown out of work as is happening in some other countries, but it’s only 80% of your wage, and only up to £2,500 gross per month.   I don’t think there’s much alternative to lockdown at the moment, but the economic effects are just going to be horrendous.

The chairman of Lancashire CCC’s died with coronavirus.  So has the original singer of “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll”.  And I’m hearing about more and more people I actually know who’ve got it.

Easyjet have grounded all their planes.  Not that my holiday in July’s likely to operate anyway 😦 .  And the Olympics have been moved until next year.  Looks like Wimbledon’ll be cancelled – it’s not like you can hold a grass court tournament in the autumn.  I can’t imagine a year without Wimbledon.  And we got tickets in the draw this year – Mum and Dad got tickets for men’s semi-finals day, which they’ve been so excited about, and my sister and I are due to go the first Friday.  I don’t know if they’ll offer people the same tickets for next year or not.  Yes, I know that there are bigger things to worry about – 180 deaths with coronavirus in the UK today – but it’s OK to be disappointed.  Isn’t it?

I went to another different bit of the park today – where the beehives are.  The bees were all hanging around with their mates.  Lucky bees!!  And there were squirrels everywhere!



Tuesday, March 31st

Fame at last!  Well, sort of.  Windermere Lake Cruises asked people (on Facebook) to post photos of Windermere, for a “postcards from Windermere” thing they’re doing.  Virtual postcards on Facebook, I mean!  I posted two, and they included one of them in today’s “postcard”, and mentioned my name.  I’m very excited!!

There’s all sorts of stuff going on on line.  Organisations are making resources available for free, and offering “virtual tours”.  And there are loads of memes and videos.  There’s one really funny video doing the rounds with a Pirates of Penzance type Major General character singing a song about how we’re being called upon to “Do Fuck All”.  Made me laugh!   At least we’re all keeping our sense of humour!  Unfortunately, there’s also a load of ridiculous scaremongering, like that we should all stock up on warm clothes and torches because the electrical system might collapse.  The powers that be won’t let that happen, but it can worry people.

The UK “with coronavirus”  death toll jumped to 393 today.  393 in one day.  Are we really going the same way as Italy?  People said we would.  I didn’t want to believe it.

I had to go to the office today, to dump some files and collect others, and also to collect all the stuff I’d printed off because it was too much for my small home printer.   This was after yet another long phone call to IT support, after the laptop somehow reset the link from SSL to PTP or something like that, and wouldn’t connect to the office network.  Hopefully now sorted.  I’ve also, of course, been to the park.  I saw my brother-in-law’s mum there, which was nice.

And I’m watching a lot of films, with soaps on ration and no live sport.


Wednesday, April 1st

April Fools’ Day.   But no-one’s laughing.  Wimbledon’s been cancelled, for the first time since the war.  We knew it was coming, but … 😦 .  The whole grass court season’s off, and we’ve already lost most of the clay court season.

2020 – the year without Wimbledon.

But, at least, the All England Club have said that anyone who had tickets for this year will be offered the same ones for next year.  Phew!!

The Edinburgh Festival’s off too.  And the Champions League and Europa League have both been officially suspended until further notice.

And, of all things to happen, the toilet flush broke.  I have lived here for nearly 19 years.  Why did the toilet flush have to choose just now to break?   I felt like bursting into tears … but plumbers are obviously classed as essential workers, so I rang my usual plumbers, only to be told that they weren’t working because one of them was very ill with the virus.  I felt awful, but I wasn’t to know.  I then rang a firm of emergency plumbers we deal with at work.  They weren’t exactly cheap, but they were great – the guy arrived a couple of hours later, and replaced the flush.  I posted all about this on Facebook!

Please, please do not let anything else break.  Having said that, I’ve already got another problem – the “low battery” warning for the car key’s coming up.   I’d usually just go to the Renault service centre, but it’s closed.  The local garage is open, but can’t do it because the keys are so hard to open.  You’d think you just slipped the old battery out and the new one in, but it’s not that easy.  Halfords might do it?  I haven’t really had time to think about it, because of the toilet flush.

Part of me’s stressing because things that used to be so easy are now so difficult, but part of me’s thinking that at least, with working at home, I could wait in for the plumber without the usual hassle of having to ask Mum and Dad if they could wait in whilst I’m trapped at work, and then feeling bad about them being stuck housesitting instead of doing whatever else they’d had planned.

563 “deaths with coronavirus” today.  Similar figures in France.  Well over 800 in both Spain and Italy.  Belgium and the Netherlands are also pretty bad, per head of population.  The only “good” thing is that underdeveloped countries haven’t been badly hit.  Yet?

And Prince Charles made a really nice speech tonight.  Good to see that he’s recovered now.


Thursday, April 2nd

Eddie Large died “with coronavirus” today.  Like most of those who’ve died, he had underlying health problems, but maybe he’d still be here if it wasn’t for the virus.  So sad.

A row’s broken out because some Premier League football clubs – not including United, I’m glad to say, nor City – are “furloughing” non-playing staff, claiming government funding whilst continuing to pay players zillions.  It’s not on.

My hands are a bit sore again, from all the extra washing.  Nothing that moisturiser won’t sort out, though.

Been driven mad by work today.  I’m doing my best, but it’s not easy without the files and a big printer.  But I suppose I should be very glad that I’ve not been “furloughed”.

I’ve got the car key sorted, anyway.  My cousin recommended a place opposite his old house.  It’s not far away, but I still kept feeling as if I were about to be stopped by the police!   I had to ring on the bell, hand the key over to the guy there, and then wait whilst he sorted it.  And he charged a fraction of what Halfords did, when I once went there when I couldn’t get to the Renault centre!

“Clap For Our Carers” tonight.  People are banging saucepans and all sorts.  My elder nephew broke one my sister’s wooden spoons by banging it too hard against a pan!   Then, there now being no soaps on Thursdays 😦 , I watched another film.


Friday, April 3rd

Huge queue at Tesco this morning!  I got there at 7:55, and could not believe how many people were outside.  However, it turned out that it was because it wasn’t open yet!  I knew they’d stopped opening 24 hours, but I thought they were opening at 6am, but it’s now been changed to 8am.

684 “deaths with coronavirus” in the UK today.  932 in Spain.  And things are now very bad in New York, as well.  There’s been a lot of talk about the peak coming over Easter weekend, but now it looks as if it could go on getting worse well after that.  It’s as if we’re all living in a nightmare.  All those poor people, and their families and friends.   Another of my second cousins has got it now.

The Queen’s recorded a speech, to be broadcast on Sunday.  I’m glad.  I didn’t know whether it would be possible, because of the issues of recording it, but arrangements have been made.  It’s time.  We need to hear from our Queen.  She’s the one … politicians, with the best will in the world, aren’t the same.

Prince Charles opened the new “Nightingale Hospital” at the Excel Centre today,  By videolink, obviously.  And United players are to donate 30% of their salaries to the NHS.


Saturday, April 4th

Today was the Virtual Grand National – yes, a computerised race, shown live on ITV.  And I got 2nd place, with Walk in the Mill!  The winner was Potters Corner.  Unfortunately, SkyBet won’t let you withdraw less than £10, so my £6.30’s stuck there.  Huh!  I’ll have to bet it on the Belarusian Premier League, which is about the only professional sport still going on.  I don’t think online gambling is for me – I’ll stick with my once a year visit to the bookies … once bookies reopen.  The whole Virtual Grand National was really good fun, though.  Loads of people watched it, and all the proceeds from betting are being donated to the NHS.

#Sconesinthegarden day (I’ve lost a pound this week, so I was entitled to a scone) – this week by the magnolia plant, which is looking lovely at the moment!   And we had a “virtual party” thing going on all day in one of my Facebook book groups.  I should be in the Lakes this weekend, though … and in this lovely weather, as well.   But, hey ho, I’m not!


Sunday, April 5th

Oh, what a wonderful speech by the Queen.  She always knows the right thing to say.  I was nearly in tears at the end.  “We will meet again” … I’ve found myself humming “We’ll Meet Again” a few times since lockdown started.   She spoke about the issues that lockdown’s causing, and she spoke about the situation having similarities to some of the issues people faced during the war years.  And then she said that “We will meet again”.

“We will succeed – and that success will belong to every one of us.

“We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.”

I’m nearly in tears again, typing this.

It was just the most wonderful speech.  And it was broadcast in a lot of countries, not just Commonwealth countries but the US, France and other places too.  No-one in the world except our Queen could have made that speech.  She’s always there.


I hope Boris is OK.  He didn’t look wonderful when he was last seen on TV, on Thursday, and he’s now been taken to hospital.  It doesn’t sound too good.  They’ve said “as a precaution”, but no-one’s being taken to hospital at the moment unless they’re in quite a bad way.  Very worrying.

Things’d got a bit stressful earlier, when there were problems with Facebook, but thankfully everything seems to be OK again now.  Touch wood!   Also, there’ve been threats that outdoor exercise could be banned, because some idiots have been out sunbathing in parks.  I don’t think they actually would ban outdoor exercise, but I wish people’d stick to the rules.  I do feel very sorry for people with no gardens though.  Some parks in London have been closed because the councils said that there were too many people using them, but there’s only so much green space available in densely-populated areas, and a lot of people needing to use it.  Walking round housing estates, apart from not being particularly nice, isn’t easy with “social distancing” – you can’t stay 6 feet apart on the pavements, especially when there are so many cars parked on them, and there’s still some traffic so you can’t always step into the road.  Thankfully, there’s been no real talk of closing the parks here, although I’ve seen the police in our park, looking for miscreants.

Went through all my finished books today.  We Buy Books are doing a collect from home service – I leave the books in a box in the shed to be picked up!

And it was such a lovely, clear day today – another one – and I stood at the top of the hill near “the Temple” in the park, and gazed towards town – you can see the skyline. Well, you can see the taller buildings, anyway. I felt like a medieval pilgrim gazing towards Jerusalem.

Well, that was another week in lockdown.  How many more will there be?