I mean, when Trump – the master at saying / doing / looking everything that is wrong – manages to eclipse even himself, there aren’t really any words left.
So instead I will show you pictures of our walk last night. It’s a walk we’ve been meaning to take for the last two years – to visit a park with many enormous lilac bushes when they are actually out – third time lucky, thanks to more time, thanks to lockdown.
So here you go:
And to show the huge size of them:
And trying to get interesting things happening with the sun on beards and blossom:
And I liked this too:
And far more beautiful than all these is this picture that Sister 2 posted yesterday of Little Wisp:
And finally, a local carpenter has been making small things to sell and deliver locally while he can’t work. I bought one of his squirrel picnic tables, complete with hole for adding nuts. Norman is less than impressed:
Global confirmed cases: 2,658,387; total deaths: 185,434 (JHU)
UK confirmed cases: 138,078; total deaths: 18,738 (DHSC)
Scientific advisers to present findings to government today on whether public should wear masks
Government’s furlough scheme sees 387,000 applications covering some 2.8m employees
Nurse who treated Prime Minister Boris Johnson in ICU says he “absolutely needed to be there”
We had to do it. I mean, everyone else has been doing it for ages.And just because we had a suspicion it wouldn’t go quite to plan, that didn’t mean we should miss out. I am, of course, referring to family video calls. We’ve never done one. Frankly, I’m surprised anyone thought it would be a good idea to ever do anther one, but we’ve decided that they should now be weekly for the foreseeable future.
Let me explain. I usually get submissions like this from my dad for the blog (‘submissions’ is completely the wrong word as it’s not school, but hopefully you know what I mean):
‘Photos for the Pog blog Pog. A repeat of Saturday’s photo of the Sweet Peas and what they look like this morning, guarded by two friendly rabbits. At least somethings are doing well! ‘
So it might appear that there is the usual sensible-ness going on. What you dont see so much is when I get messages like this:
‘Pog – Mummy would like your advice on the correct way of wearing the things you sent to her in the post……’
Accompanied by a photo like this:
I had to confirm that:
They were headbands not face masks
They were therefore best worn on the head
I’d made them both for Mum, but yes, if Dad wanted to style it out in one, he was very welcome…
So yes, we did a call. Which involved the usual ‘can’t see you’, ‘is your video on?’ ‘I’ll log off and rejoin’….but eventually we got there (Sister 1 who got the screen shots might want to turn her screen round next time so she can see dad too):
We did have a slightly weird conversation when one Sister asked the other if they were breaking up and a sloghtluy confused Dad went into a monologue about the fact that schools cant break up as they are closed….you get the idea.
Then for no particular reason, a song was suggested and Sister 2 re-wote ‘I’m a little teapot’ to ‘I’m a little kettle’…: With actions:
You probably had to be there. Be really happy that you weren’t though. And even though mum couldn’t hear anything and had to have Dad (sitting next to her, watching the same screen) repeat everything, even though I don’t think we actually managed a proper conversation and even though Mum told me off for getting sunburn (I don’t), It’s been a while since I cried with laughter. Mum and Dad genuinely repeatedly moving the angle of their screen or their own heads so they could see further into our videos was one of many highlights.
Global confirmed cases: 2,585,468; total deaths: 178,845 (JHU)
UK confirmed cases: 133,496; total deaths: 18,100 (DHSC)
NHS staff tested for COVID-19 informed their tests may have been inaccurate, health minister says
Germany approves first human vaccine trials, according to country’s Federal Institute for Vaccines
Mental health workers still seeing patients face-to-face are at risk of contracting infection without PPE, psychiatrists warn
Lockdown seems to have bought out new skills in a lot of people. Baking, exercising, drawing…. Our family, however, are not artistic. Here is the proof:
Mum and Dad’s effort (finished after they passed on the last one after 10 days of it going nowhere fast). was going to say this is the closest they get to artistic, but actually between mums photography and both of their gardening you could argue that there is something there…
….they just might now have passed it on.
Little Wisp has painted a mermaid money box. Knowing how OCD her mum is, I bet this caused Sister 2 actual pain – but look at that concentration on her face…
And Little Pea made a bird feeder as it’s Earth Day:
Uh huh. Apparently it will take a while to dry as it’s mostly glue…
Meanwhile, I know when I shouldn’t even try, so I stuck to working online with some of my lovely clients today in the Hypno Hut, with Norman on guard under the fire pit, then helping with a bit of work on the computer..:
It could be argued that Himself has been the artistic one here today with the ‘dent in the hair’ look. He’s pretty much constantly on conference calls in the day and the combination of headphones and hair that’s a bit too long does this:
Clearly I didn’t go short enough the other weekend – looks like it’s time for a second (more drastic) hair cut <insert evil laugh here>. (Incidentally, he saw this photo on the screen while I was putting this together and didn’t realise it was him. That beard is taking a bit of getting used to for everyone, it seems….)
Anyway, that’s it for today. I’ve finished my online exercise classes and can hardly move so will sign off. The first class was rather lovely in that I did it in the garden, watching seagulls drift on the wind above me as my teacher shouter to make more effort with my reverse curls. Well, bit’s of it were lovely :)
Global confirmed cases: 2,501,156; total deaths: 171,810 (JHU)
UK confirmed cases: 129,044; total deaths: 17,337 (DHSC)
ONS data suggests death toll from COVID-19 likely to be much higher than the daily government figures show
Initial data suggests only a small proportion of the global population has developed COVID-19 antibodies, WHO warns
An RAF plane dispatched yesterday to bring a shipment of PPE to the UK remains grounded in Turkey
Rules. There are heaps of them at the moment. Well, there are and there aren’t. (You know all this, person reading today – this is another ‘so we don’t forget post’.) So, the government rules on lockdown are:
Stay at home
Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
If you go out, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times
Wash your hands as soon as you get home
Do not meet others, even friends or family. You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.
…but then there is the Read more about what you can and cannot do link which adds more detail. If you take this advice exactly as it’s set out, it’s pretty clear. Sort of. But then, people have added their own take on it. Nowhere does it say how long you can go out for, for example. I’ve seen ‘discussions’ on social media about how long is too long to go out running, for example. If you run for four hours in the countryside and don’t see a soul, is that ok? Does it even count? Can you go out again later? Or is it unfair because people in cities don’t have that luxury and we should all ‘be in it together? Is it worse to go out exercising in a busy park or invite family to your house? One is clearly not allowed, but if the only people that stupidity effects is the people in the house, does it matter? (It really does in my mind, but not according to others)
And everyone has their own opinion. The only comment I can find on how long you can exercise for is Michael Gove, by the way and he said “Obviously it depends on each individual’s fitness, but I would have thought that for most people a walk of up to an hour or a run of 30 minutes or a cycle ride is appropriate.”
‘Exercise must involve some movement, but it is acceptable for a person to stop for a break in exercise. However, a very short period of ‘exercise’ to excuse a long period of inactivity may mean that the person is not engaged in ‘exercise’ but in fact something else.’
As someone has pointed out, what about planking? ;)
On frequency they say ‘likely to be reasonable’ is:
‘Exercising more than once per day – the only relevant consideration is whether repeated exercise on the same day can be considered a ‘reasonable excuse’ for leaving home.’
And I don’t think I even know what that is supposed to mean. So its no wonder people are a bit confused. So there you go. Photos today are of some of the signs that popped up at the start of all this:
And because they are a bit sad, here are some of the things kids have been putting on pavements locally. And yes, I do them all when I am out on my morning plod. (Just the once, usually just over an hour, for the record):
Stay safe, lovely people. x
PS: This is very long and not written by me, but Sister 1 spotted it on face book and it kind of sums up all of the above and made me smile and then not smile. But you have to smile, don’t you? Credit to a gentleman called Graham Hope. Here is the link to his post: https://www.facebook.com/g14luv/posts/10157202142536367
Coronavirus UK guidelines.
1. You MUST NOT leave the house for any reason, but if you have a reason, you can leave the house
2. Masks are useless at protecting you against the virus, but you may have to wear one because it can save lives, but they may not work, but they may be mandatory, but maybe not
3. Shops are closed, except those shops that are open
4. You must not go to work but you can get another job and go to work
5. You should not go to the Drs or to the hospital unless you have to go there, unless you are too poorly to go there
6. This virus can kill people, but don’t be scared of it. It can only kill those people who are vulnerable or those people who are not vulnerable people. It’s possible to contain and control it, sometimes, except that sometimes it actually leads to a global disaster
7. Gloves won’t help, but they can still help so wear them sometimes or not
8. STAY HOME, but it’s important to go out
9. There is no shortage of groceries in the supermarkets, but there are many things missing. Sometimes you won’t need loo rolls but you should buy some just in case you need some
10. The virus has no effect on children except those children it effects
11. Animals are not affected, but there is still a cat that tested positive in Belgium in February when no one had been tested, plus a few tigers here and there…
12. Stay 2 metres away from tigers (see point 11)
13. You will have many symptoms if your get the virus, but you can also get symptoms without getting the virus, get the virus without having any symptoms or be contagious without having symptoms, or be non contagious with symptoms…
14. To help protect yourself you should eat well and exercise, but eat whatever you have on hand as it’s better not to go out shopping
15. It’s important to get fresh air but don’t go to parks but go for a walk. But don’t sit down, except if you are old, but not for too long or if you are pregnant or if you’re not old or pregnant but need to sit down. If you do sit down don’t eat your picnic
16. Don’t visit old people but you have to take care of the old people and bring them food and medication
17. If you are sick, you can go out when you are better but anyone else in your household can’t go out when you are better unless they need to go out
18. You can get restaurant food delivered to the house. These deliveries are safe. But groceries you bring back to your house have to be decontaminated outside for 3 hours including Pizza…
19. You can’t see your older mother or grandmother, but they can take a taxi and meet an older taxi driver
20. You are safe if you maintain the safe social distance when out but you can’t go out with friends or strangers at the safe social distance
21. The virus remains active on different surfaces for two hours … or four hours… six hours… I mean days, not hours… But it needs a damp environment. Or a cold environment that is warm and dry… in the air, as long as the air is not plastic
22. Schools are closed so you need to home educate your children, unless you can send them to school because you’re not at home. If you are at home you can home educate your children using various portals and virtual class rooms, unless you have poor internet, or more than one child and only one computer, or you are working from home. Baking cakes can be considered maths, science or art. If you are home educating you can include household chores within their education. If you are home educating you can start drinking at 10am
23. If you are not home educating children you can also start drinking at 10am
24. The number of corona related deaths will be announced daily but we don’t know how many people are infected as they are only testing those who are almost dead to find out if that’s what they will die of… the people who die of corona who aren’t counted won’t be counted
25. You should stay in locked down until the virus stops infecting people but it will only stop infecting people if we all get infected so it’s important we get infected and some don’t get infected
26. You can join your neighbours for a street party and turn your music up for an outside disco and your neighbours won’t call the police. People in another street are allowed to call the police about your music
27. No business will go down due to Coronavirus except those businesses that will go down due to Coronavirus
Global confirmed cases: 2,416,135; total deaths: 165,939 (JHU)
UK confirmed cases: 120,067; total deaths: 16,060 (DHSC)
Challenges in Turkey have delayed delivery of an urgent shipment of PPE, government minister says
Doctors warn hay fever sufferers not to confuse their symptoms with those of coronavirus
New coronavirus vaccine would be a long shot, chief scientific adviser warns
Thanks to some lovely sun, the weekend was…rather lovely. This is our second summer in our house and there is finally no excuse not to get on with the remaining garden jobs. Well, almost no excuse. On Saturday we spent 3.5 hours paining half of one side of the garden fence (we did the other side last year then ran out of steam). I was so pleased I thought we could do the remaining bit on Sunday.
Of course we could, said himself. We could just go for a little bike ride on Sunday morning and if I felt like it when we got back we could finish it off. Now, I wanted to go for a bike ride as I’ve not really left our village since all this started – my 10km runs are loops around the village so I can pretend I’m not going as far as I am.. and walking is lovely, but it’s mostly fields and woodland. I love both, but wanted to see somewhere a bit further afield. I wanted to see the sea! But we’ve not cycled in about two years (last year was all about the marathon training) and I had new shoes and new pedals (the sort that clip to each other) so it really couldn’t be too far as 1) I’d be saddle sore in a very short distance and 2) I was likely to fall off every time I had to unclip my shoes from the pedals at traffic lights. ‘Just a short, fun ride’ Himself said.
We went to the sea. All of it.
Yes, that is 33km. He knew what he was doing…there was no hope of paining the fence when we got back…I was practically broken! It was worth it though. Blue skies, freedom and….well, cycle paths so busy with entire families that we cycled on the roads which – for once, in central Brighton – were quieter. And I didn’t fall off!
And in other news, Mum and Dad hatched an escape plan and went for a wander in the empty woods over the road from them:
They didn’t see anyone else, but I’m wondering if the bigger danger was the hungry trees:
On a serious note, there is talk in the press that lockdown will be lifted in stages with the older and vulnerable group asked to stay inside for considerably longer than the 12 weeks stated so far. I wonder how many people could realistically do that. 12 weeks seems an impossibility. Longer….?
They also very proud of their sweet peas :)
And to Sister 1:
Well, that’s mostly Little Pea. Sister 1 painted his entire bedroom this weekend (she wasn’t stupid enough to go on a bike ride and finished the job). Little Pea loved having one of the dogs in bed with him. And we were assured that the rather angelic photo pf him in the bluebells was pretty much the only time he was angelic that day. That might be why Sister 1 also sent this:
Sister 2, meanwhile has been running in the gorgeous countryside around her:
That looks like the start of some sort of epic film, doesn’t it?
And has been chatting to chickens (I’m informed this one is Freida):
Global confirmed cases: 2,173,432; total deaths: 146,291 (JHU)
UK confirmed cases: 108,692; total deaths: 14,576 (DHSC)
Coronavirus testing will be extended to police, prison, fire service and council staff, Health Secretary Matt Hancock says
Face masks should be made compulsory on London public transport, according to Mayor Sadiq Khan
Payday and car loans will be frozen for people struggling with repayments, under plans from the Financial Conduct Authority
Well, we might be a little (years) behind the times, but today this happened:
This is pretty close to miraculous and my parents and I have never, ever facetimed before. For some reason they stood in their kitchen (which has a glass roof) for the duration which meant I got a great view of Kentish skies and 80% of the time could only see their outlines, but we did good. Kind of. The things this lockdown is making us do are quite impressive….
Dad also sent me some photos of spring springing in their garden as despite being the coldest, wettest day in ages, they decided that it was a good time to get a few jobs done out there.
Sister 1 also send flowers. I love white bluebells; they are like the plant world version of black sheep:
I received a gardening delivery. It wasn’t any of the things I actually ordered, but I’m grateful to whoever’s it is as I now have 3 x 75l of compost, whereas I only thought to order one, and four tomato plants – and my plug plants weren’t due until May. I hope they enjoy my bedding plants though…
And Sister two has excelled herself with Little Wisp today. Isn’t this amazing?:
Global confirmed cases: 2,081,969; total deaths: 138,487 (JHU)
UK confirmed cases: 103,093; total deaths: 13,729 (DHSC)
No 10 launches review into why ethnic minorities appear to be disproportionately affected by coronavirus
UK should maintain social distancing measures until vaccine is found, government advisor says
Doctors concerned at falling numbers of people coming to hospital for serious medical conditions other than COVID-19
If you used to read my blog, this post may remind you a bit of it all as it turns out even lockdown can’t stop some Pog moments.
The other day a friend posted on facebook about finding wild garlic and making pesto with it. Himself and I planned a walk via a wood where I thought there was some locally. We took a bag, found loads of it and….decided not to bother picking any for reasons I can’t fathom now. I’m making a pie tonight and thought some wild garlic in that would be rather good…only I didn’t have any. And I couldn’t pop down there in the car as you’re now only supposed to drive for ‘essential travel’. And while potentially lovely, a wild garlic requirement probably doesn’t class as essential travel.
So I decided to combine todays exercise with garlic gathering and popped on my trainers and my empty Camelbak (a small rucksack that usually holds a water reservoir and a long straw so you can drink while running or cycling without using your hands) and plodded down to the woods. I sat and picked and had a conversation with a lovely lady walking her dog who recommended the National trust cheese and wild garlic scones recipe, and then a runner who wondered to me why he hadn’t done the same…
So far, so good. I thought about how this was all pretty idyllic as I plodded back thinking what else I had to go in my pie. I decided aubergine and feta were vital but obviously I didn’t have any. And again, going out to the shops later for two items that are hardly essential is against guidelines…but it was ok, as I was plodding past Co-op and it was (just) open and there was no queue, and it wasn’t a NHS or over 70 hour, so I sidled in. And as we all do, picked up three times as much as I’d planned: two aubergines, feta, strong cheddar (those scones were bound to need that) and some tomatoes (because I meant to plant the seeds of one of the ones in the fridge, but we accidentally ate them). I paid, then realised the flaw. The Camelback was stuffed full with wild garlic. So I created a jet pack type design and had people laughing at me or commenting on my interesting training attire the whole way home. All three kilometers of it :)
The packing was pretty impressive though, right?
And it made people smile. Even if it was unintentional, as most Pog moments are…
And to the rest of the family:
Sister One sent these. There is a definite similarity between the expression of the man in the meme on the left and Monster on the right. But it turns out Sister One was actually just concerned that she didn’t know how to do her job before lockdown so there may be no hope…
And Sister Two has been baking again:
I wish I could visit.
Mum and dad have been jigsawing and reading. Not a bad view from their bedroom window though:
Global confirmed cases: 1,999,628; total deaths: 128,011 (JHU)
UK confirmed cases: 98,476; total deaths: 12,868 (DHSC)
Health Secretary Matt Hancock says all care home residents and staff displaying COVID-19 symptoms will be tested
HS2 rail project given greenlight to begin construction despite national lockdown
A 99-year-old war veteran raises more than £6m for NHS by walking 100 lengths of his garden
Something that definitely needs noting here so we don’t forget are the rainbows. I’m not sure what happened first: Whether rainbows became a symbol of support for the NHS or whether they started being a thing to keep children occupied inside and then outside 9counting them in windows when they go out for a walk). Either way, they are now all and everything and walking or plodding in trainers anywhere there are houses now finds us all at the beginings, ends and midddles of all sorts. Here are just a few I’ve spotted:
There is an appreciation of NHS staff that is now demonstrated every Thursday night when people stand outside their homes and clap. This is the video I took of the first one (I’m not being slapped with a wet fish at the end….it’s just Himself joining in).
This celebration is now for all classed as ‘keyworkers’; those workers critical to the response to covid-19. (The list is defined here as part of government guidance on school closures – children of single parents who are key workers of where both parents are key workers were able to remain in school as some teachers have continued to teach this group so that their parents can continue to work).
As a matter of noting it down; it’s still difficult to get online shopping slots, but I managed to get one today for the weekend. Of the things I looked for, there is still no flour, rice, oil…or Nutella (for the boys; not us, honest). It seems everyone is baking (and I assume the rice is an issues as the virus has affected India, who I imagine are the biggest rice importer for us….I may have that completely wrong though.). I’m starting to wonder if the enthusiasm for daily walks is sufficient to counter balance the significant uptake in bread and cakes…
And to finish, here’s a couple of pictures from a walk we went on last night:
There were more people out than I have ever seen before (although clearly not in these pictures!). I hope this time next year people are still out in the evening sun appreciating time outside together. I hope we are too.
Global confirmed cases: 1,942,360; total deaths: 121,716 (JHU)
UK confirmed cases: 93,873; total deaths: 12,107 (DHSC)
ONS figures find 2,100 more coronavirus-related deaths than numbers reported by Department of Health and Social Care
COVID-19 linked to 21% of England and Wales fatalities in highest weekly death toll since records began
Extension of UK’s lockdown measures being discussed today by Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies
Boris came out of hospital at the weekend
We (Himself, the boys and me) were supposed to be in Cornwall with Himself’s parents and brother’s family. Obviously that didn’t happen. Typically, the weekend had – for the most part – gorgeous weather, so that was the weekend highlight instead.
Government guidelines are that children of separated parents can still move between the two houses, so we have the boys for the four days. I can confirm with authority that children need more than one hour of outdoor exercising a day… Between us and Sisters 1 and 2 though, we all made the most of being outside:
And there was baking making between our seperate houses:
There was creativity:
There was a reaction to Sister 1’s earlier creativity:
There were dad facts of the day:
‘One of XXX’s friends (just 2 of them in their house)bought 72 loo rolls. We found that one of ours lasted 2 weeks. With similar usage XXX’s friend has enough to last 144 weeks! Nearly 3 years. I wonder how many other people bought a similar number?’
2) Bricks behind the cars back wheels, handbrake taken off ‘‘cos I park on a slope – to prevent handbrake sticking on!’ (Mum and Dada are in the ‘shielded’ group due to age and health conditions which means 12 weeks without leaving their house / garden)
3) ‘In these trying times I concluded it would be sensible to use up the red wine which has been lurking in the larder for years. This evening I was trying to decide which of 2 bottles to open and dilute with lemonade. before I opened one I looked them up on Goggle. The cost price of one of them rather surprised me. Guess which one….’
All I can say is thank God for Google. My parents are not known for being wine connoisseurs (you may have guessed from the above ), and the only red wine they drink very occasionally is a gift. It turned out that the bottle on the right above was one very generous gift (or so old it’s become valuable in the last 20 years, which is actually entirely possible.) According to Google it’s now worth £180. Dad conforms he did not open it or mix it with lemonade (!) he also ignored the £20 bid Himself made for it :o)
He also sent a photo of the pile of books he and Mum are currently making their way through:
There are still big queues at supermarkets (Sister 1 went shopping for an elderly neighbour):
But possibly the most exciting this this weekend is the first of the lockdown haircuts! I ordered scissors on ebay and got to work in my outdoor salon (please bear in mind I have never done this before. Ever.):
I’m feeling quite proud. Slightly stunned really. The Small Boy said he preferred my haircut to the one from the barbers! I’m not mentioning the beard for now though…
And finally, with garden centers closed, I thanked my lucky stars I bought seeds a while back but wasn’t convinced they would grow. But they did! Hooray!
I can’t find tomato seeds or plants anywhere though, so my next seed experiment is to follow a facebook post that you can plant a tomato segment and get seedlings from the seeds that way. I’ll let you know about that one…
Global confirmed cases: 1,503,900; total deaths: 89,931 (JHU)
UK confirmed cases: 65,077; total deaths: 7,978 (DHSC)
Senior government ministers to review coronavirus lockdown ahead of formal decision to extend or not next week
Police warn people to stay at home over Easter or risk fines and arrest as three-week grace period is over
NHS England report a nearly 30% drop in A&E visits in March likely to be a result of the COVID-19 response
Boris still in hospital
It feels like the world is slowing down. Maybe it’s not, maybe it’s just me. The greying of my hair and the growing of Himself’s beard certainly isn’t slowing down…just other stuff. Queuing at the local shops: that takes a while. This was the queue last week for the butchers and the deli next door. It took an hour to get to the front.
Nobody complains though. People chat while they wait (2 meters apart). It’s ok. Apparently Asda today was queuing three times around the car park (and it’s a big carpark. You can see some of the queue here (just) from a photo I took out running the other morning….it was 45 minutes before they opened to the general public (the first hour is for NHS / careworkers / over 70’s).
I’ve not been up there since this started…it feels too intimidating as apparently the queuing works well, the social distancing once inside goes out the window. I’d rather support the local shops where they know my name anyway :)
Someone said the other day that we wont remember the empty shelves we have been – and sometimes still are – faced with, so for posterity:
But more time and less busy means taking time to appreciate the blossom (Mum and Dad):
The sun on the trampoline (Rolo – Sister 2’s dog):
And Sister 1 created a fairy garden to make people smile on their daily walk. I think this is soooo lovely!
And now, because we can, because there is no commuting these days, so Himself is here rather than still in London, wondering if he’ll get back before 8pm, we’re going for a walk together. One of the weird things about all this (so I don’t forget) is that we are allowed out of our homes ones a day for exercise. It seems that now it’s restricted, everyone is making the most of the opportunity to exercise. We’ll be a healthier nation after all this. the government just ned to restrict our fruit and veg intake and people who would never usually let such things pass their lips will be craving them! ;)