Lockdown II Week 1, November 2nd to 8th 2020 inclusive

Monday, November 2nd

Oh great.  Got up to find that water was still coming through to the kitchen ceiling.  The stain is horrendous, and I’ve got no idea where to find a decent decorator/artexer or whether or not they’re allowed to work indoors during lockdown.  I couldn’t even do anything about it, as I had to get off to my “emergency” hair appointment.  The hairdressers are all working flat out for the next three days, but are very worried about the situation – although, thankfully, it’s been announced that self-employed people who can’t work due to lockdown will get 80% of their income funded by the state, as for employed people.

I got the plumber to come back later.  He said that there was a problem with the valve (which he put in), to do with condensation.  I hope this isn’t going to turn into a whole saga.  I have got to work at a client’s office tomorrow, and am hugely stressed about being out of the house all day with this going on.

There’s now a to-do over the possibility of people crossing from England to Wales to go to pubs, shops, hairdressers etc.  And Nicola Sturgeon has said that Scotland might go into lockdown now that the furlough scheme’s being extended.  This is just silly.  Why can’t we all stick to the same rules?

Cup matches involving non-league teams can go ahead, hooray.  And we’re allowed to make “short journeys” for exercise.  Whatever a “short journey” may be.

Ryanair are refusing to give refunds for cancelled flights, even though international travel has been banned unless it’s for business.  How are they allowed to get away with that?

And it’s emerged that Prince William had the virus in April, around the same time that Prince Charles did, but nothing was said to avoid worrying people.  Melodramatic types are claiming that people would have panicked in case the virus carried off both Charles and William, something happened to the Queen, and Prince George had to become king at the age of 6, which is utterly ridiculous as neither Charles nor William were seriously ill.  However, with Boris being so ill, I can see that it might have caused a panic if a second senior royal were known to have got the virus as well.

Opinion is divided over whether or not schools, colleges and universities should close.

And the North West Ambulance Service has said that it’s struggling to cope and may ask people to make their own way to hospital.  It seems that it’s due more to staff being off due to self-isolating than to an exceptionally high number of 999 calls, but it’s certainly quite worrying.


Tuesday, November 3rd

Hoping that no more water is coming through, but it’s hard to tell whilst it’s still damp.  Some of the artexing has come off.  Having a huge mess on the ceiling at the start of a new year will really upset my OCD.  Bleurgh.

The latest cunning plan is for mass testing of everyone in Liverpool.  Liverpool has apparently volunteered for this.   Some parts of East Asia have had great success with mass testing, so fingers crossed, but we’ll see.

I had to go out to a client’s office today.  First time since all this started.  I had to wear a mask … which obviously I don’t object to, but it was strange.  Then I went to the Cancer Research shop, to get my Christmas cards before it has to close.  Tough times for charities.  Tough times for everyone.  A lot of shops are opening late today and tomorrow.  This didn’t happen last time, because we got no warning.

“Short journeys” for exercise are allowed.  I’m defining “short” as meaning I can go to Hollingworth Lake.  I’ve had e-mails to say that my trips to Blackpool Illuminations and Dunham lights are off – fair enough, at least they’re contacting people.  I’d gladly rebook, but we don’t know what’s going to happen, and they were pretty fully booked for weekends anyway.

The Illuminations have been switched off.  The last time this happened was in 1939, so that they didn’t shine through the blackout.   But the Tower will remain lit.   Was it really only 3 and a bit weeks ago that I was there?

In the middle of everything else, there was a terrorist attack in Vienna last night.  Four people were killed.  I had four days in Vienna last December, little thinking that I wouldn’t be going abroad for the whole of 2020.  Such a beautiful city.  And now the UK’s on maximum terror alert too.

And the US is voting.  Joe Biden is hardly a dream president – there seems to be a chronic shortage of decent national leaders everywhere these days, with the possible exception of New Zealand – but he has to be better than someone who thinks people should drink bleach.


Wednesday, November 4th

The US election is too close to call, and we may not know the result today.  It’s like a Jeffrey Archer book.  It does look as if Biden’s going to squeak it, but nothing’s certain yet.

We do know the result of United v Istanbul Basaksehir.  We lost.  2-1.  FFS.  How can we beat PSG and Leipzig, then lose to Istanbul Basaksehir?  This season is already turning into a nightmare.  And Rafa made a meal of beating Feli, but got there in the end.

A lot of shops are staying open late tonight.  I’m going to be doing my Christmas shopping on Amazon.  I would dearly love to give struggling local shops the business, but we are where we are, and I never leave it till December.  Also, with Amazon Prime, I can have things delivered directly to family and friends at no extra charge.  My sister’s still hoping that we’ll be able to get together at Christmas, but, sadly, I can’t see it.  Infection rates here do seem to be levelling off, but are so high.  Nationally, 472 deaths “with coronavirus” today.  Grim figures.

Blackburn’s to be the trial area for a 30 minute test.

What classes as a “short journey for exercise”?  Dunham Massey is staying open.  It will be quieter than the park.  Dogs are not allowed in the gardens – Heaton Park, much as I love it, is plagued with dog walkers, most of whom don’t even keep their mutts on leads.  And the tea room will presumably be doing takeaway cream scones.   What’s “short”?  3 miles?  13 miles?  30 miles?   I think I’m going to class it as “short” and book it.

The weather’s turned nice, just as we go into lockdown.  Just like in March.  Stunning autumnal colours in the park.

Clinically vulnerable people have been advised not to go to work.  I hope employers respect this.  They can be furloughed.   It’s all very well saying in the guidelines that people will be entitled to SSP, but SSP is just ridiculously low – I’ve been saying this for years.

In the words of Tears for Fears, it’s a very very mad world …


Thursday, November 5th

Welcome to Lockdown II.  I’m trying to think of something very witty to say about Lockdown II and Bonfire Night, but not succeeding.  No organised firework displays this year, but I can hear loads of fireworks going off.

The tables outside the park cafes have been removed, but you can still sit on the benches a few yards from where the tables were.

If Boris says “a package of measures” once more, I’m going to scream.  It sounds like a bad 17th century play.  There was a press conference this evening, but I gave it a miss.  It clashed with Rafa’s match.  The furlough scheme is being extended until March, which is good news but also rather pessimistic.  And anyone made redundant since September 23rd can be re-employed and furloughed.  How many employers are going to do that?!

A lot of offices seem to be staying open, even though people there could work from home.  I’m not judging anyone, because working from home doesn’t work for everyone or every role, and enough businesses have gone under already, but, between that and schools staying open, I’m not sure how effective this is going to be.

Southport has been occupied by the Army.  OK,  Southport Pontins has been occupied by the Army.  In preparation for the mass testing of Liverpool.

And the University of Manchester bizarrely put fences round halls of residence in Fallowfield, with security guards at the only gaps in them, to keep students virtually imprisoned during lockdown.  I cannot believe that this has happened.  After a public outcry, an apology’s been issued and the fences are being removed.  But WTF?  I just cannot believe that anyone thought that that was appropriate or acceptable.

Still watching the kitchen ceiling.  It’s still a bit damp, so it’s hard to know what’s going on.  This is stressful.

And we still don’t know who’s won the US presidential election.   Donald Trump is making one unfounded allegation after another.  It’s embarrassing.  Both parties are fundraising to pay legal bills for when everyone sues over everything – as millions of Americans struggle to put food on the table.  I love America.  It deserves so much better than this.


Friday, November 6th

Some friends in Liverpool have taken part in the mass testing.  They said that loads of people turned up, which was good … but, because loads of people turned up, it all a bit chaotic, and people were getting stressed because they had to get back to work/had to collect kids from school/were just sick of waiting.  Oh well, it’s only the first day.

The park was much busier than usual today.  It probably was yesterday too, but I went early yesterday.  The queues at the cafes were so long that I didn’t bother having a drink: I hope it’s not going to be like this for the next month!   Most people were alone or in pairs, or with children, but it has to be said that there were some people in groups.

More of the artexing has come off the kitchen ceiling.

Italy has imposed a horrible three tier system.  Milan, Turin and Naples are amongst the places in tier with the highest level of restrictions.

There’ve been violent anti-lockdown protests in Slovenia.

The whole of Wales is coming out of lockdown on Monday, and there are to be no more local lockdowns there.  However, rates remain very high in the valleys in the south – the old coal mining/iron and steel areas.  I don’t know that part of Wales, but I’m assuming it’s got the same issues that we’ve got, with population density.    Rates here are still going up a bit.  And some non-emergency ops are being cancelled in Birmingham.

And we still don’t know who’s won the US election.  I’m sure it’d be easier to wait until all the votes in a state have been counted before declaring, rather than giving these running updates which just seem to get people riled up.  It looks as if Biden’s going to take Georgia and Pennsylvania, which will decide matters, but then Trump’ll call for a recount, and it could go on for days!

On a happier note, Rafa won.  And Wigan have finished top of the Super League.


Saturday, November 7th

Joe Biden has won the election, but Donald Trump is refusing to accept it.  It’s just embarrassing.  And I feel rather sorry for Kamala Harris: it’s a pretty big deal that the US has got a female vice-president at last, but all the attention is on Trump’s toddler tantrums.

Rafa lost to Sascha 😦 .  But United beat Everton, 3-1.

The kitchen ceiling is drying out, but the plaster/artexing is coming off and triggering my anxiety.

Lovely sunny day.  Just like last time – hello lockdown, hello sunshine.  I should, at this moment, be going round Blackpool Illuminations on a heritage tram.  But I’m not.  I have, however, been to Hollingworth Lake.  It wasn’t as busy as usual, but there were plenty of people around, and The Olive and Pickle was open for takeaways (although, tragically, it hadn’t got any scones).

Half the car park in the local precinct here’s been turned into a Covid-19 testing centre.  The borough “hotspot” is currently an area very close to chez moi, which is worrying, but it seems to be a different area every week.  Why are these “hotspots” occurring?  It’s not like the 1950s, when everyone was in and out of their neighbours’ houses all the time.

Local hospitals are now cancelling some elective procedures.

And people (unless they’re returning home) have been banned from entering the UK from Denmark, because of this mink business.

Oldham’s the worst hit part of the area at the moment, but it’s bad everywhere – our borough’s one of the ten worst in the country, although the rate here’s nothing like as bad as it is in Oldham.  Struggling to find details on what’s going on elsewhere, except that France is now seeing 60,000 cases a day, more than double the rates here and with a lower population.

And I have still not done some house jobs I was meant to do last Sunday …


Remembrance Sunday, November 8th

It’s not the 11th until Wednesday, so I’ll keep my poppy and my poppy brooch on my coat until then, but today is the Sunday … and there should have been a big parade in Whitehall, and events at war memorials all round the country.   As it was, people were asked to stay away, but the Queen, other senior royals, senior politicians and other dignitaries did attend a service at Whitehall.  The Queen was seen wearing a face mask in public for the first time, at the tomb of the Unknown Warrior.  It was suggested that people could display pictures of poppies in their windows, and stand on their doorsteps at 11am.  I did both, but, unfortunately, neither idea really caught on, and not that many people did.

There was a big anti-lockdown protest in town today.   People are entitled to protest, but Remembrance Sunday wasn’t the day for it, there was no social distancing, and, from what the Evening News says, some of the people there were drunk.  Similar scenes in Liverpool.

Infection rates are falling in 6 out of the 10 local boroughs, and only rising slightly in 2.  Unfortunately, they’re rising quite a bit here and in Oldham.  Hopefully it’s just a blip – this was happening in Stockport last week and Wigan the week before, and those trends have been reversed now – but it’s obviously not great.  I just can’t see how rates are going to come down whilst schools and so many workplaces remain open.   And, with it now being dark by the end of the working day, I suspect that a lot more people will be visiting each other rather than meeting up outdoors.

I am really stressed about the kitchen ceiling.  The initial problem was caused by a leak, and the rest by condensation.  The bits that only got wet later are pretty much dry now, but the part in the middle isn’t.  It stands to reason that it must have got much wetter so will take longer to dry, but, because it’s not dry, I’m panicking in case there’s still a problem … but, if there was, surely it’d be spreading?   It’s hard to cope with things like this when you’ve got an anxiety disorder.

The Christmas markets should be open now.  Gluhwein and hot chocolate, and that daft reindeer head singing carols and making everyone laugh.  In the summer, I was still pretty optimistic about getting a Christmas market trip abroad.  I went to Vienna last year, Munich the year before, and Cologne the year before that.  Such lovely times.

Made myself do the house stuff this morning, then, after the Remembrance Sunday service and before the tennis and football, I went to Clifton Country Park.  People on the paths were sticking to the rules about not meeting up in groups, but the playground was busy.

Some good news – meal vouchers for underprivileged children are to be provided during the Christmas holidays.  Apparently Boris rang Marcus Rashford to tell him!

Lockdown Week 14 – June 22nd to 28th 2020 inclusive

Monday, June 22nd

Hooray, the Lakeside Café in Heaton Park has reopened!  Although that means that, for two days in a row, my diet has gone for a Burton due to “supporting local businesses”!

I’d like to book a fruit picking slot for the weekend, but they’re only releasing them one day at a time, and the ones released today for Wednesday apparently sold out within 25 minutes.  They’re not released at any particular time, so I think you just have to strike lucky and check the website at a good time!   I’m glad that the lovely fruit farm’s doing so well, but it’s rather frustrating!

Boris will be making some Big Announcements tomorrow.  These had better include confirmation that hairdressers can reopen a week on Saturday!


Tuesday, June 23rd

Hooray!  Hairdressers are definitely reopening!!  So, as long as it can be done safely, are hotels, pubs, restaurants, cinemas and museums!

I managed to get a fruit picking slot for 5:30pm on Thursday!  Demand’s so high that they’re now doing evening slots.  I’d rather have gone Saturday morning, but decided that a bird in the hand was worth two in the bush, plus the weather forecast’s good for Thursday.

Had a walk in the park earlier.  Going to the frozen yoghurt shop now.

I’ve been watching some of the tennis – the “Battle of the Brits”.  It’s a shame that it’s not outdoors, on grass, but I understand that they didn’t want to take a chance on the weather.  What a to-do at the Adria Tour, though – Nole, Grisha, Borna Coric, Viktor Troicki, Jelena Djokovic and several other people have all got the virus.  Players were hugging each other at the net, and they all went to a nightclub.  To be fair, they weren’t breaking any restrictions currently in force in Serbia, but it wasn’t exactly very sensible.  Not impressed.


Wednesday, June 24th    

Oof, it is too hot, and the pollen count is too high!!  I was going to get a drink at the park café, but the queue was so long that I just didn’t have time to wait, and I felt quite faint by the time I got home!

Went into the office earlier.  As briefly as possible.  Going to Mum and Dad’s to watch United v Sheffield United now.

I had to make a decision about the Lakes, so, as the boats aren’t running and hotels will only be opening one week before the July date I’d booked, I’ve cancelled that and am working with the August date.  Watch it be the wettest and busiest week of the year!!


Thursday, June 25th

So hot, again – but I did manage to get a drink in the park today!   There was a right to-do in Bournemouth: the beach got overcrowded and the council declared an emergency.

It’d cooled down by half 5, when I had my strawberry picking slot!   It was really lovely: I had such a nice time, and got plenty of strawberries.  I’ll sort them out tomorrow – by the time I’d got home, had tea, had a bath and washed and dried my too-long hair, I couldn’t be bothered.  So glad I managed to get a slot.  I normally just turn up on a Saturday or Sunday morning, but nothing’s normal this year … but I’m so glad to have been, and so glad for the lovely fruit farm that they’ve been able to open.

We won 3-0 last night.  Liverpool also won, so, if City don’t beat Chelsea, the title’ll be decided tonight.


Friday, June 26th

Liverpool are champions, so, go on, congratulations to them.

Today has been one of those days, though:

  1.  I somehow seem to have put on 4lbs in 2 days.  How is that even possible?  That’s WEEKS of work gone. If I’d eaten cake and chocolate for 2 days, I’d have understood, but I bloody haven’t.
  2. I was so upset that I had an ice cream in the park.  Making it worse.
  3.  I was all set to go to the Lakes tomorrow, but now the Met Office says there’s going to be a storm.  3 sunny days whilst I couldn’t go, and now storms forecast for Saturday and torrential rain for Sunday.  I want to cry.
  4.   I am scared because there’s also a risk of storms here.  Not last week again.  Please,  I can’t take it.
  5.   I feel disgusting because my hair is such a mess, and it feels even worse in the heat.

I am trying to be positive, but I can’t think of anything to be positive about.


Saturday, June 27th

What an awful day.  Saved only by winning the Cup QF at Norwich, in extra time, with 2 minutes to go!   But it has rained nearly all day, after being so nice during the week when I couldn’t go out.  So bloody frustrating!  I had a nice planned, but had to cancel it – I did manage to get a walk at Alderley Edge (and, hooray, the Wizard Tea Room has reopened, and so have the toilets) before the heavens opened, and to have my scone in the garden during a break between downpours, but it poured down whilst I was halfway round the park, and I am STILL putting on weight for no reason.  How the hell can anyone put on 5lbs in 3 days?  Weeks of work, gone, in 3 days.  If I’d been stuffing myself with cake, I’d get it.  But I haven’t.

There’s a lot of talk about “air bridges”, but I don’t know if coach tours’ll be running, even if I could get a place, and it might only be a few countries anyway.  My sister & co have cancelled the holiday in America they’d booked for August.


Sunday, June 28th

So sick of this rain!   However, at least it hasn’t rained all day as was forecast.  I went to the park this morning, then went into town.  A lot of shops are now open, but some haven’t reopened yet, and others are only opening limited hours.  There’s hand sanitiser at the entrances to the Arndale and the entrances to most shops, and some doors are now entrance only and others exit only.  The Arndale toilets are open, but some blocks have only got the ladies’ open and others have only got the gents’ open!   Costa Coffee and other places are open for takeaways, and you can now order at the counter instead of using the app.  There were some queues – people who live in town waiting to go into food shops, and also queues for technology/phone shops, Primark and TK Maxx – but, generally, it was much less busy than a normal Sunday.  But then cafes, cinemas, theatres, pubs etc are all still closed.  There were a few police and security staff on Market Street, but there sometimes are anyway.  Of the food stalls, some were making a big effort and using gloves, and others weren’t.

It was lovely to be in town, though!

Watched the Battle of the Brits final, with Dan Evans beating Kyle Edmund.  And sorted out some photos … watching my hair get worse and worse as the weeks went on.

Going to watch City’s Cup QF now.  Nothing more sure than that we get drawn together!
And there’s talk about a local lockdown being imposed in Leicester.  I do understand the concern – there’s been a spike in cases there – but I would hit the roof if that happened here, and am very sorry for the people there, who must be dreading it happening.

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

  Now life will return in this electric storm … .  Well, this has been quite a week.

On the plus side, the Premier League and the Championship are back.  Hooray!!  And the US Open is going ahead, although I’ve got mixed feelings about that because I know that a lot of players don’t want to travel at the moment.  And, hooray, assuming that hairdressing salons do, as expected, get the go-ahead to reopen on July 4th, I’ve got an appointment at 8am on July 5th.  Yes, 8am, on a Sunday, and no, the salon does not normally open then, but people are frantic for haircuts!   Also, non-essential shops have reopened, which will hopefully give the economy an urgently-needed boost – I’ve already sadly heard that a number of people I know have been made redundant – and save a lot of jobs.

Oh, how wonderful is to have football back?  I have missed it *so* much.  Having no live sport for over two months was very weird indeed, and it was getting on for three months when Villa and Sheffield United finally took the field on Wednesday night, followed by City and Arsenal.  And, on Friday night, it was us!   United v Spurs.  Well, Spurs v United.  It’d been a very long wait.  Normally I’d say that a draw at Spurs was a good result, but we should never have conceded that goal.  What were De Gea and Maguire doing?   But we’re talking about defensive errors.  We’re talking about the blooper that Hawk-Eye made by disallowing Sheffield United’s goal.  This is sort of normality.  OK, it’s not normal when the stadia are empty, but it’s a big step forward.

I love the piped noise!  I thought it might sound awful, like canned laughter on sitcoms.  But it was great. Watching the first Bundesliga matches after the restart was very, very odd, with that deathly silence.  Even watching United v LASK Linz, behind closed doors in March, my own team winning a resounding victory, was very odd with no noise.  But the piped noise really is great.  As long as no-one presses the wrong button, like the unfortunate moment when the Juventus piped noise cheered rather than groaned when Ronaldo missed a penalty!

None of the matches so far have been that great.  That’s inevitable.  The players aren’t match fit, and, like the rest of us, they’re no doubt a bit dazed with how their world’s been turned upside down in the last three months.  But it’s back.  We can get back to stressing about whether our teams are going to clinch a Champions League or Europa League place, or stay safe from relegation, or, if you’re a Liverpool fan, when the title will be won.  We can get back to moaning about and criticising 😉 the players, the managers, the officials and the technology – first match back and goal line technology got it wrong!  We can drool over the good stuff – and there was some good stuff.  And we can get back to discussing it all with our families and friends.

And the bad stuff.  On Tuesday night, we had the worst storm we’ve had in decades.  It was just horrendous.  And my broadband went off.  I assumed that the water’d upset a connection somewhere.  I managed to get through to BT on Wednesday morning, and they sent an engineer on Thursday.  I thought it’d be sorted within an hour or so.  Instead, he said that:

  1.  The hub had been damaged by lightning.  They would send a new hub by post, but, “due to coronavirus”, would not let me book an engineer to set it up and reconnect all my devices.
  2. He had had to rewire the phone.  The phone in the study works – although it’s still fuzzy, but the fuzziness goes off when the hub’s disconnected, and he claimed that it’d work OK when the new hub was in – but the phones in the front room and the bedroom are now dead, and I’ve got no answering machine.  He refused to rewire the other phones “because of coronavirus” and said that I would have to order wireless phones and set them up myself.

At this point, I lost it.  I suffer badly from anxiety, and I can’t take medication for it because of the side-effects.  I had quite a bad breakdown in 2013.  I was so upset that my mum and dad had to come round – OK due to the “support bubble”.   It then got worse when the wireless phones came but didn’t work properly – the line’s so fuzzy that I can barely hear what the other person’s saying, and they can’t hear what I’m saying.  I don’t know whether the handsets or base are faulty, or whether the engineer messed something up.  The line is now clear on the old phone, but, as I said, the phones in the front room and the bedroom are now dead, and I’ve got no answering machine

Better news is that, touch wood, I managed to get the new hub working.  And I’m eternally grateful to my mum and dad, to my cousin who helped me “tether” my laptop to my mobile phone whilst I was waiting for the new hub, and to my lovely supportive Whatsapp groups – a family group and a friends group.  Work, on the other hand, tried to hassle me into going into the office to work there, and I ended up getting so upset and stressed that I said I was having two days off ill with anxiety.

I wish I could get this phone situation resolved.  Meanwhile, this whole nightmare really brought it home to me how dependent we are on technology.  We could not have “done” lockdown 25 years ago.  A lot of people are doing grocery shopping online.  I’m not, but I’m ordering a lot of stuff from Amazon.  I need the internet to prebook visits to National Trust and English Heritage sites.  And where I’d be without Facebook and Whatsapp, I just do not know.

It’s also really brought it home to me that we’re going to be hearing “becauseofcoronavirus” as an excuse for crap service for months to come.  I pay BT good money for their service.  They should not have disconnected my sockets and refused to reconnect them.


On a different and more cheerful note, I went to Brodsworth Hall on Saturday.  They did have a small mobile catering outlet open, but a lot of people had brought picnics.   It was the same at Tatton Park.  And, at our own Heaton Park, I’m seeing loads of people bringing tables, chairs, and enormous picnics.  I’m not just talking about a few sandwiches and packets of crisps: I’m talking about huge spreads, like people have in Enid Blyton books.  In fact, it goes back way before then.  The whole gang go for a big picnic in Jane Austen’s Emma!  In children’s books set in the inter-war years and (forget a little thing called rationing) the immediate post-war years, everyone’s always going out for picnics.  The Chalet School girls lug all sorts of food up mountains with them … usually managing to forget the lemonade.  And Toad, Mole, Badger and Ratty eat even more than the Famous Five et al do.

I think picnics used to be a lot more common.  Think of the days of big Sunday School picnics.  Even when I was a kid, in the early ’80s, we had a big picnic basket, and we’d go out for picnics with the extended family.  But they seemed to be dying out, as it got so much easier to buy food on the go.  Why lug your own stuff when you could grab sandwiches and crisps wherever you were?  But now, with a lot of cafes sadly closed, although many are doing a brilliant job with their takeaway services, and people meeting up in the park because you aren’t supposed to meet up indoors unless you’re in a support bubble, it feels as if picnics are making a big comeback.

I am not having Blytonesque picnics, I hasten to add!  I am far too lazy to make all that stuff, and, as I’m on a permanent diet, I’d be far too stressed about the calories anyway.  But still.

And, finally, I was sad to hear of the death of Dame Vera Lynn.  I know she was 103 and no-one lives for ever, but she was such a respected and iconic figure, and it’s very poignant that she should have gone just when “We’ll Meet Again” was inspiring the country over 75 years after it did the first time round.

Well, this has certainly been an eventful week.  Please, please let the phone saga get sorted soon.  Meanwhile, if anyone’s read all that, thank you, and I hope you’re enjoying the football, enjoying your picnic, and have got yourself booked in for a haircut!