Well, I did say that I would return in a few months, and here I am – still alive and kicking, no less. And no, not one of me and mine has so far contracted COVID, including all my family scattered around the UK. At least I assume that is so, as there may be someone somewhere who may be asymptomatic.
Certainly here, in rural Rutland, there have been very few deaths since the start of the pandemic, and it is one of the safest places to live. Mind you, Leicester is only 25 miles away, and its worthy citizens have been subject to special lockdown measures due to the unacceptable rise in confirmed cases.
Indeed, at the time of writing, the whole country is now waiting with bated breath for what could be a second wave of the virus to sweep across our hallowed shores.
On the plus side, the rise in cases has not been matched by the rise in deaths, and the number of daily deaths is but a mere trickle compared to the 1,000 plus of daily deaths at the height of the pandemic.
The reason for this is difficult to explain – probably a combination of much better treatment, (as expertise has improved over the past few months), and those infected belonging to lower age groups. However, there is a feeling that the infection rise amongst younger people is because many have ignored the social distancing rules and have lived their lives as though the pandemic doesn’t exist.
One thing’s for sure. There won’t be any more national lockdowns as the country simply cannot afford it. The economy must be cranked up again if we are not going to drift into third-world status. We may do that anyway, but come what may, people will have to start working again and businesses must re-open. Similarly, schools must stay open wherever possible if we not to have a generation of kids with too few educational skills.
Selected cities, or areas, where the pandemic has taken hold, must go into lockdown for varying periods of time while the rest of us, (I say ‘us’ but I don’t mean me), continue to work.
Whatever happens over the coming months and years, I very much doubt if the UK and the wider world will ever go back to the way we lived pre-pandemic. Sure, if – and when – successful vaccines are rolled out, it will be a massive breakthrough, but the damage will have already been done. Many people will continue to work from home, resulting in many cities and high streets becoming pretty much deserted. Indeed there is little doubt that COVID 19 has speeded-up the death of our High Streets.
There will always be lingering anxiety within the general population that a new pandemic may sweep through our nation. Who knows? Covid19 might mutate into Covid20 and the vaccine scientists will have to start over. Here’s hoping for the best.
What Mobi did.
Enough of all this doom and gloom. What have I been up to since I last blogged? The simple answer is ‘more of the same’ The main differences to the family’s daily activities since I last wrote, revolve around the easing of the lockdown and the re-opening of country.
Notwithstanding the fact that I was going out every day for my daily walk with Olly the dog throughout the lockdown, I was finally given legal permission back in August. Another positive event was back in mid-July when my responsibility for teaching Song was greatly eased when the school decided that she could attend school daily and receive special tutoring in English and maths.
Then Lek was called into work for one week in August, and she finally returned to full-time employment on 1st September. So, we are pretty much back to normal, although we haven’t done any travelling and still spend a lot of time at home.
Next week the entire country will have to abide by new social distancing rules which means instead of up to 30 people being allowed to meet together, it is now reduced to six people. I don’t think this change in the rules will affect us one iota.
Fortunately, all my ails and pains have pretty much remained under control and I have enjoyed a long period of relatively good health. The only negative has been my diabetes which started to get out of control. I had some consistently high blood sugar readings, and have had to treble my insulin doses to try and get it back in line.
This was quite worrying, but I realised that the main culprit was my increasing weight which increased from around 84 kilos to just under 89 kilos. In the past, my weight has been well over 90 kilos and I never had to increase my insulin doses by this much to gain control. I guess my pancreas has given up the ghost in terms of producing any insulin.
Anyway, I managed to increase my daily walking from 46 minutes to well over an hour by doing it in two sessions, (morning and late afternoon); and I cut out lunch completely – replacing it with a few items of fruit to stop me feeling hungry. It all seems to have worked, as my weight is now dropping and so are my sugar levels, so more of the same, I guess.
My hospital appointment that was scheduled in October to start the prep for an operation on my nose was cancelled back in July. I didn’t hear anything for a month, so I called them and they told me they still had my details on file and would let me know when a new date for my appointment was arranged. I’m still waiting…It’s coming up to a year since I first saw the ENT specialist.
In addition to my usual daily activities, I started a bit of creative writing, along the lines I wrote about in my last blog – a new compilation of short stories. It has been rather a ‘stop-start-steady as you go’ effort, as on many days I was preoccupied with helping Song with her homework, and latterly I have been preparing the application forms and associated documents to renew Lek’s and Song’s visas.
Anyway, I finally completed the revamped short story, although at 25,000 words it is more of a novelette than a short story. The next one hopefully will be somewhat shorter… we’ll see…
As promised, I am providing all my readers with an advanced read of the story before the full collection is eventually published on Amazon.
So here it is. As ever, comments are always appreciated, but please don’t be toooo harsh…
I first met Bobby Solo in New York in the early nineteen seventies. I was living in Montreal and I had taken the overnight Greyhound Bus back to New York to make one last attempt to repair my fractured relationship with the young and gorgeous Mardie. She was the reason I had first immigrated to the USA and subsequently hot-footed to Canada after she dumped me.
I had just walked from Mardie’s apartment block in Queens where her flatmate, had told me in no uncertain terms that Mardie never wanted to see me again. I was on my way to the subway station when I noticed a small cocktail bar, the one I used to go with Mardie – in the days when our relationship was still alive and kicking. I was feeling pretty down, and on impulse, I decided to pop in and have a couple of whiskey sours to cheer me up.
Inside, there was a lone figure at the bar looking very much out of place. He was trying to purchase a beer from the hostile barman, but even to my unprofessional eye, he looked underage.
“Come on kid, show me some ID – you don’t look a day over eighteen”, the barman snarled as I grabbed the stool next to him. I reached into my back pocket for my passport. I was twenty-three but still needed to prove I was over twenty-one on a regular basis in these over-cautious New York bars.
Out and about in rural Rutland
Lek and her mushrooms
Lek at Work
Home & Garden
Olly The Dog
Song in Oakham
Daughters and grandkids
Out with the old – In with the new
My first passport, issued in 1969, looks blacker than the 2020 version…