Saturday 28 March 2020

Nothing new

This may be a new post but really there is little new to say.  
On Monday we went into a much more extreme lock down, people with health issues are being told to self isolate for 12 weeks.  We are shopping once a week, taking it in turns to do so and other than walking once a day, separately, we are at home.  We feel blessed to have our lovely balcony and so far the weather that has been nice enough to have the doors open.  
Fortunately I have a few house plants, one that survives outside while we are in Italy and a couple of newish ones, they make me happy and I'm looking forward to the amaryllis flowering, I have another in the kitchen. 
A few things make me less happy.  Looking out this week I watched a man come and clean the whole of the square we look down onto, power washing the surfaces, except the dirty wall which could have done with some attention, for hours and hours.  For some reason it made me cross, I know people have to keep working but I thought it was essential work only and buffing up a pavement is hardly vital.  I'd have been much happier if he'd put in a few cheery plants or done something with the tatty box hedges, but he was obviously only the power washing department  and he had to use his special equipment, which I put into the same category of pointless items as leaf blowers.
The car park for the memorial gardens which are just down the road from us was closed, presumably to discourage day trippers who come out from other towns for their exercise.  Some idiot had simply moved the barrier aside and there were half a dozen cars parked, plus quite a lot on the moor side road.  The next time I went that way the barrier was back with just one car in the park.
Over this week I have seen less and less people, now folk do step away and its not always me who walks out into the road to keep a distance, gradually the message gets through.    I've never seen so many clean cars or people working in their gardens.  I have noticed a huge number of black plastic bags stacked at the front of houses, presumably full of garden rubbish that cannot be taken to the recycle centre as its now closed.  I hope eventually people will think about composting.
Over the week I've watched the children in the houses we look onto come out to play in their gardens, to read and in one case to chalk hopscotch and pictures on their drive which I thought was nice.   As the week progressed this has happened less and less until Friday we had the first outdoor temper tantrum when a little girl in her ballet dress screamed her head off until her mother eventually picked her up, by this stage the child was rigid and difficult to handle, and took her indoors.
Yes we all feel like that don't we, a good howl would be nice, but we just keep on doing out best.   One week in I've already cleaned the oven and washed all the windows,  its just so annoying that no one gets to see the clean tidy apartment except me and Mr FF and I think he hardly notices.
Keep safe, keep well and keep saving the NHS by staying home.

Tuesday 17 March 2020

It gets worse before it gets better

Yesterday afternoon Mr FF and I took a lovely sunny windy walk onto the moor.  to here
Photo from Happy Hiker
It is glorious up there with very few people around, although we did meet one lively couple in their 90s enjoying fresh air and a steep climb, well done them.
We came home feeling envigorated to see on tv the latest government advice on social distancing and isolation, plus the news that this virus is here for a while.
Mr FF and I are both 71 with no health problems and good strong legs.  We intend to continue walking while keeping away from people and we will shop only when necessary, probably once a week.   I also hope I can continue to use the library otherwise I will start reading my books collected for Italy.
Businesses in town are suffering, Betty's cafe is closed until further notice, community centres that provide a sociable place for the elderly and some sheltered accommodation are locked down too but enterprising bakers and butchers and some restaurants are offering a either a delivery or drive through service.
We are now getting our communal area, lifts, door bells, handles etc disinfected daily and there have been kind offers of help from younger neighbours if we are in need.
I seems we are here for the long haul, I am considering planting up the balcony for the summer and wondering if despite our regular exercise Mr FF and I will go a little stir crazy.  Day one of social distancing found me considering if it was worth getting dressed for the day, but then I always was a slob.  
In our village in Italy, where residents are not even allowed out for a walk, our wonderful friend Bruno has been out on his balcony singing.  
Keep safe, keep cheerful and keep well.

Tuesday 3 March 2020

Now wash your hands

Chatting in a shop today I was told that hand sanitiser is being sold for a premium on eBay.  I checked, a 50 ml bottle of gel that cost 49p in Lidl is being offered via the online marketplace for £14.50, identical products.
I also saw somewhere an article on how to make your own hand sanitiser.  I didn’t take a lot of notice but I think it involved vodka and essential oils.  My suggestion would be to drink the booze and take a scented bath
Last night on our local tv news people in our town, where we already have one confirmed case of corona virus, people were being interviewed about their concerns.  Several said they were worried then there on the screen was our lovely 87 year old neighbour. Margaret.  Bright as a button she said she wasn’t concerned she was washing her hands with soap and relying on that.
Two kinds of people, I know which I prefer.  I’ve already told Margaret she deserves an Oscar, the opportunists deserve to be locked up for exploitation.
Mr FF and I have never used hand sanitiser, we use soap.   I was brought up on a farm where hygiene was never a strong point, I was probably exposed to a lot of germs, my immunity is high.    Neither my brother nor I have ailed anything and we are either side of 70. 
Don’t think I’m not taking the situation seriously, I did offer to knit Mr FF a mask.  He declined but I wonder if they’d sell on eBay?