17 March 2020 (Tuesday) - Rostered Day Off

Some nights there is plenty of room in the bed for two humans and three dogs. Other nights there isn’t room to swing a cat. Somehow I found myself precariously balanced on the edge of the bed with maybe a few inches of duvet to keep me warm.

I gave up trying to sleep, and scoffed a bowl of granola whilst watching an episode of “Uncle”, then had a look at the Internet to see what I’d missed overnight. It would seem that that the paranoia about corona virus is gathering steam with no end of events and activities having been cancelled. This was mentioned at work yesterday – with under-twelves’ football having been cancelled (to prevent spread of disease), all the kids just met up and played football anyway. Presumably viruses only spread at organised activities?
Also several after-school clubs had been cancelled. Viruses aren’t active during normal school hours?

It has been said that I’m not taking the national crisis seriously… perhaps I might not seem to be doing so. But after thirty-eight (and a half) years in hospital laboratories not knowing what diseases with which I might come in contact (on a daily basis) means that infection prevention and standard precautions are part of my everyday life. And (it has to be asked) when has mass hysteria helped any situation? I‘ve been trained to stay (relatively) calm in stressful situations.
The Prime Minister has announced effectively a national lock-down. While everyone is concerned about travel bans, government enforced quarantines, not going down the pub and being out of school/work for who knows how long, who do you think will still be allowed and required to go to work? Yes – me.
So please bear with me if I appear flippant. As the world shits its collective pants in unreasoned terror, it’s business as usual for some of us…
Having said that… if you take the historical perspective it would seem that corona virus is pretty small fry to what has gone before; especially as we’ve been led to believe that the disease isn’t *that* severe to most people. So I have to wonder what is all the fuss about? Are people being paranoid, or is there something that the government isn’t telling us?

(takes a deep breath…)

The plan for today had been to go join in with a geo-walk that had been planned some months in advance, but yesterday the event had been cancelled because of fears about this corona virus…I also had a vague idea to go visit my mum and dad, but I phoned them and decided to be sensible and follow the government’s advice. Dad’s a bit frail and mum’s had half a lung removed last year. So I took the dogs up to Kings Wood.
Bearing in mind the broken car window of the last week or so it was good to be able to do “boot dogs” and have all three hounds in the back of the car..

As we drove the pundits on the radio were interviewing some representative of the pub industry who have (understandably) got the arse following the Prime Minister’s suggestion that people don’t go down the pub during the current corona virus panic. He was suggesting that the government might like to bail out pubs that would otherwise go bankrupt. The government was taking the line that not going down the pub was only a suggestion and not an order and so they shouldn’t have to stump up anything.
Yet another example of how a socialist government is a bad thing until you actually need a government to step up and govern…?

We got to Kings Wood, we had an excellent walk. A couple of hours walking a few miles through the woods during which time we only met one other person. It was a shame that Fudge tried to hump their Labrador. Bearing in mind that the Labrador was over twice Fudge’s height, and also bearing in mind Fudge’s spondylosis, you have to admire his enthusiasm.

We came home for a bath. Trying not to disturb "er indoors TM" who is working from home I loaded a load of rubbish into the car and went to the tip to unload. I asked the nice man at the tip what I should do with all the broken glass that was once my car’s rear window. The chap was insistent I threw it in with the old mattresses. How does that work?
From the tip I went to Smyths toy shop. I need some Lego road plates; they didn’t have any, but I deployed a Munzee in their car park and then went on to Tesco.
Tesco was an experience. Many of the shelves had been striped bare. Every time someone put something into their basket they were jealously watched by everyone else. I honestly felt that if I exclaimed “Oh my God – they’ve got pickled octopus!” it would have started a riot.
With no Belgian buns to be had for love nor money (they’ve not had them in for over a week!) I settled for a couple of croissants. I picked up the second-to-last pack of dog food and an eight-quid bottle of wine and came home again.

The croissant wasn’t as good as a Belgian bun, but it wasn’t bad. And I’m supposed to be on a diet anyway.
I went out into the garden and mowed the lawn. The first mowing of the year is more of a scalping, and the ground is still really wet, but it needed doing.
I then woke up the pond. What with it having been asleep all winter I’d rather forgotten how many Koi were in there. Fudge seemed happy to start running round the pond watching the fish like a hawk. It is only a matter of time before he falls in that pond. Again.

I had planned to then slob in front of the telly, but what with "er indoors TM" working from home I went up to the attic and played Lego. I had an idea to make a little bridge over the Lego train track. It look a little while, but I was pleased with the result. I made a little video of the bridge in action.
I then spent a little while ordering bits and pieces of Lego maxifigures on-line.

"er indoors TM" boiled up a very good bit of dinner which we washed down with that eight quid bottle of wine whilst watching last week’s episode of “Hunted”. Both were rather good…

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