8 May 2020 (Bank Holiday Friday) - An Afternoon in the Sun

When I came back to bed from a trip to the loo in the small hours Fudge was pacing the bedroom restlessly. I laid down on the floor with him and after about half an hour he settled. I lay on the floor for another half an hour (whilst he snored) to ensure he really had settled, then spent about five minutes trying to get up.
I went back to bed where I lay awake listening for him, but (unlike me) he slept. Amazingly he slept through the noise that the bin men made. Making enough racket to wake the dead they still left that fly-tipped Hoover that we had dumped on us yesterday.
We got up at half-past eight and left him sleeping. We barricaded the top of the stairs (so he couldn’t come down on his own), but after a few minutes I could hear movement. I carried him down, and he scoffed his brekkie right away.
He’s got tramadol from the vet’s, but this spell of bad back seems to be lasting longer than others have done. The vet said yesterday that if he’s not right in five days’ time they will do X-rays.

Over my brekkie I peered into the Internet. There was quite a bit of fuss being made for today’s VE day. A lot of people had put out the bunting in readiness for celebrating.
I didn’t… and it is a sign of the times that I feel I have to justify this.
If people want to celebrate and be proud of their country, then that is fine. I don’t have any problem at all with that, and I respect their doing so. I would suggest that (as a scout leader) I have probably formally saluted the nation’s flag more than most.
But… in my experience there is a very short step from honest patriotism to narrow-minded jingoism. There is a small but vocal minority who aren’t content to have a team to support; they also need a team to beat as well. I’ve been told many times by friends and colleagues of non-Caucasian appearance that they have been frightened to walk the streets whenever the England football team loses.
I was rather concerned that claiming victory in a war that was over decades before they were born might have encouraged that element. (There are members of my family who really do have serious issues with anything vaguely related to Germany, and have ever more serious issues with me because I don’t).

I walked round to Pets at Home to get dog food. The place wasn’t so much a pet shop as a plague pit. I work in a laboratory where I regularly handle blood samples contaminated with the COVID-19 virus and I am advised to wear less personal protective equipment than the girls in the pet shop were wearing. There is “taking sensible precautions” and there is “ignorant paranoia”. The two are very different.
As I came home I met a friend in the street. He too had seen similar in other shops; we were both ranting about this when two more idiots came past. One’s protective face mask was under her nose, the other’s was tucked down under his chin. And then I did chuckle though when in the local shop. Some woman asked if they had face masks, and when told they didn’t she tried to sell them her home made ones. The chap behind the counter said he wasn’t interested and that she should give them (NOT sell them!) to the local hospital.

We had a cuppa as we watched the morning’s live broadcast from the Big Cat Sanctuary at Headcorn. We spent a rather enjoyable half-hour watching the snow leopards whilst the keepers told us all about them. Apparently they do this every Friday. I shall tune in more often (when I can).

We spent the afternoon in the garden. I drank beer and read my Kindle in the sunshine until I fell asleep; "er indoors TM" got a net and dredged the pond to the delight of the dogs.

"er indoors TM" suggested we had kebab for dinner. Having it delivered was only took a few minutes longer than going up the road to get it. We scoffed it whilst watching last week’s “SAS – Who Dares Wins” and a show in which Paul Hollywood was touring Japan.

Today wasn’t a bad day at all. Having worked for the last eleven days I needed a day off…

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