The Corona Diaries – Day 100

Well, we’ve got Leicester shut down and we have thirty-six other boroughs with a rising number of cases. That doesn’t sound like good news to me – particularly just before they plan to open all the pubs and restaurants. Six hundred and eighty-nine new cases with heaven knows how many cases undetected. I think I’ll be steering clear of anywhere!

This looks like a time to be wary. Johnson and his crew are ready to pounce – any way they can screw more money out of any given situation for themselves and their profiteering friends (how much is Rees Mogg looking to get out of Brexit?? a cool two million?). Under the guise of opening up the economy and getting new jobs, we could see a lot of protection and rights disappearing. This relaxing of planning is a good example. This is when we end up with massive environmental damage and worse pollution and working conditions. All that matters is the cash – right? No way!

There are record cases in the USA and Brazil. It looks completely out of control over there. But that’s what you get when you put obnoxious buffoons in charge. These snake-oil salesmen are incompetent. Elsewhere in the world, there are fresh outbreaks and countries are struggling to contain it.

This is not something that is going away any time soon!

I thought I’d soothe my troubled mind with a bit of Sandy Denny. What a beautiful voice from such a troubled songstress. She was one of the very best. Brilliant live in Fairport. Who knows where the time goes? It’s been a hundred days in lockdown today! It might be a good few hundred more before this is over!

I worked on my photobooks and prepared to do a bit more decorating. It’s a busy lockdown and has been extremely productive so far – but I’m running out of enthusiasm!

It was a gloomy day but when it stopped raining I ventured out for my 10 Kilometre walk up my hill and along the lane. It helps keep me sane. I’m so glad we’ve still got most of the summer and autumn to go before the weather gets cold and wet. Without my walks, I think I might go nuts. At least I’m keeping fit!

So you all stay fit and keep safe!

The Corona Diaries – Day 109

I was listening to Johnson doing his cheerleading today. The man is a fool. He thinks we are all fools. He believes that he can put everything right with a bit of empty enthusiasm. Everything is world-beating, brilliant and going to solve everything – only it never does. He makes it all up on the cuff without doing his homework, consulting anybody or having a clue. We’ve had a string of them from PPE, track and trace, apps and money for the NHS. He lies about money going to the NHS, how much Europe is costing, and oven-ready deals.

None of it ever works out!

He uses the Goebbels theory – repeat a lie often enough and people believe you.

His latest wheeze is Build! Build! Build! To that end. he is pumping money in and relaxing all the laws.

The result is that all the wealthy profiteers will say ‘thank you very much’, pocket the money and start building on places they shouldn’t be.

I’m all in favour of grand schemes to get people working. I’m not in favour of relaxing legislation to give the wealthy a bigger slice. It’s a con-trick.

Covid has shown him up for what he is. When the second wave comes, the job losses start piling in and people see through this veneer of enthusiasm they will see that there is no substance there.

The three stooges – Trump, Bolsonaro and Johnson – populist fools who have conned everybody to get elected. They lie, cheat and feed the right-wing.

Perhaps one of the good things to come out of this pandemic is that their bubble has burst. Three lying scoundrels exposed as utterly incompetent.

Good riddance.

The death rose by another 176 and there were still over 800 new cases. All over the world there are lockdown as spikes and second waves follow relaxing of restrictions – but we blithely go to open pubs and pretend it’s all gone away.

Today I went for a walk up my hill under cloudy skies with mud underfoot. But it was a good walk.

Yesterday they harvested the peas in the huge fields by the side of the path. Five reapers came in. Tractors transported the peas to lorries and the lorries trundled off to the factories where those peas will be frozen in minutes. The whole business is an industrial action. They started at first light and by lunchtime, the last pea was gone.

I watched one of the reapers disgorge trillions of peas into a tractor wagon. The machine had somehow gone along the rows of plants, cut them off, separated pods from plant and, amazingly, mechanically opened the pods to release the peas. Who devised a machine as skilful as that? How many people did it replace?

The five machines worked over many acres of plants.

I have been watching those plants. The ground started as brown earth. The seeds were planted. They all sprouted on the same day. They all flowered on the same day. They were all ready for harvesting on the same day. It was a mechanical process that was far removed from what my ancestors would have recognised as farming.

So strange to watch that waterfall of peas being projected in a stream into the wagon.  In the field next door a tractor was out spraying pesticide.

There is something unpleasant about it all.

I came back and put on White Stripes – Death Letter Blues – a good old Son House number.

In a hundred years time, when everything is mechanised and all the work is done by A/I, and there is no nature to wonder at with awe, I do not know what people will do with themselves.

Covid makes you think doesn’t it?

Stay safe!!


Today’s Music to keep me SANE in Isolation – Townes Van Zandt

Another tragic figure who never received the recognition he deserved. Alcohol, drugs, a broken-down shack, playing in dives. He once played in Hull and I missed him. If you haven’t heard him then I think you ought to, he was a genius.

Today I’ll play some melancholic Townes!!

The Corona Diaries – Day 93

I see that the Tories are beginning to get worried. For some obscure reason people are beginning to notice that we’ve performed in the top three (the top three for being the worst at handling the pandemic).

When it comes to effect on the economy we might even be worst of all and top the league! Time will tell!!

They not only think that the people have noticed they also notice that Keir Starmer is getting very popular. He looks and sounds like a Prime Minister – not a bumbling clown with a haystack on his head.

The Tories are looking for scapegoats!! Who knows?? Maybe Boris will go??

The trouble is that the extreme ERG have taken over the Tory Party and they are a complete bunch of nationalist fools. All they’ve got in their heads is God, Queen and Empire. They are having wet dreams about Brexit and xenophobic orgasms when they think about No-Deal. They live in some utopian past where Britain ruled the world – a million miles away from reality – and they are dragging us all over the cliff with them. We are going to suffer a huge economic hit on top of the colossal hit of Covid. It’s going to push a lot more firms into the abyss – but they don’t care. Let the plebs lose their jobs!

When it comes to mundane matters – like a pandemic or Black Lives Matter – they are incompetent, dither and flounder around like the one brain-celled amoeba they are.

But the tide is turning. Johnson’s popularity is going through the floor. People are waking up to his lazy bumbling. They see the puppet master Cummings as an evil little lying Gollum. The Tories are being seen for the greedy, selfish elitists they really are and always have been.

The far right, Tommy Robinson’s boot-boys, are out on the streets causing havoc and trying to disrupt the BLM protests.

So it was a good Sunday to take a nice walk up my hill, breathe in the fresh air and rejuvenate myself in nature. It was fabulous watching the ragged winged crows and a large barn owl, in the middle of the day, hunting down the hedgerows came and hovered a few feet from us. He was there for ages, so beautiful. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a wild one so close.

Afterwards I went back, worked on my blog and played some JJ Cale.

Another day in coronaland!! Stay safe!!

The Corona Diaries – Day 90

Today we had an adviser of Johnson’s giving an inside view of the cabinet. It explains a lot. The ERG have completely taken over the cabinet. The agenda is Brexit. Nothing else matters. All other views have been kicked out – Clarke, Hammond, Stewart among them.

The charge was that there are a bunch of Yes Men. There is no real debate, no challenging. Cabinet meeting are now short on discussion with no ideas coming forward and no range of views. It is all run by Dominic Cummings.

It explains why we have the worst record on Corona virus.

I can already see the way this is going. The government is looking to blame this shocking record on the scientists.

Right the way through this fiasco we have been behind the curve and not listening to the WHO (Test Test Test) or learning lessons from other countries. There is a great arrogance and incompetence at work. It fits in with the lack of challenge in cabinet.

Today I have been playing Randy Newman. It’s been a wet day but I managed a walk. I’ve been working on my new blog and sorting photos. Lockdown is becoming a bit frustrating!!

The Corona Diaries – Day 86

Is it possible that the virus is really on the wane in the UK? There were only supposedly 1557 new cases yesterday, and just 77 people died. There were no recorded deaths in Northern Ireland or Scotland. This is great news – although the Nation Statistics Office put the new cases at around 8000 – who to believe among the misinformation.

I will treat those figures with caution but they do indicate progress. If the government were to enforce a strict test and follow-up we could control the virus and it would be safe to come out of lockdown. There’s the rub though. They don’t seem organised! This government couldn’t fight their way out of a wet paper bag.

The effects of the masses of people now out and about, the protests for George Floyd, packed beaches and people meeting up in large groups, does not bode well for the future. According to one scientist 1 in 600 still has the virus. Large gatherings will fuel transmission. It could spark a second wave.

Looking around it is quite clear that the three populist chumps are doing the worst in the world – Trump, Johnson and Bolsonaro are complete disasters. It shows in the opinion polls that people have woken up to how useless they are. At least America will be able to get rid of Trump in November. Brazil have a two year wait and we’ve got four bloody years of the dithering, blustering invisible man.

The really good thing about this virus is that it does seem to have allowed people to think about what sort of life they want and what sort of society they want to live in. I see seeds of empathy and compassion rearing their heads with things like the George Floyd worldwide reaction and the opinion polls. Perhaps we will have a new caring era, a different zeitgeist?? Perhaps we will look at racism, inequality and nature and look to build a better world??

First we have to defeat the virus.

My fear is that the government have been so unclear in their instructions that nobody knows what to do anymore – and following the Cummings fiasco nobody cares. The government have failed to have a clear narrative. People don’t believe them. Where the hell is Johnson?? He pops up briefly and then disappears!!

Maybe the weather will help??

Today I went up my hill on my daily five mile jaunt (I measured it in the car yesterday) in a light misty drizzle.

We’re both feeling a bit lacklustre. I’ve been playing Larry Williams to buck me up a bit, working on photos and edited a chapter of the Roy Harper book.

My two new Sci-fi books – Green and Star – are out on Amazon and the copies I ordered should arrive tomorrow. I’m eager to have a good look at the finished product. I hope the covers look as good as they do on line!

Something to look forward to!!

Stay safe!!

The Corona Diaries – Day 83

Well we are officially second in the whole world!!! Second for the number of deaths per million of the population. The only place worse than us is the USA!! But coming up fast on the outside is Brazil! They started late but look like they will overtake us all!!

So Johnson, Trump and Bolsonaro – three populists who know how to get elected but haven’t got a clue how to do anything!!

Johnson is still talking big but producing little. We’ve had the fiasco with the Cygnus report, PPE, Care Homes and now Testing. One scientist said that it doesn’t look like they’ll get the testing and follow up sorted for months and could not believe why they hadn’t used the GPs when that system was already in place. Perhaps they hadn’t thought of it??

Incompetence is costing thousands of lives!!

Two weeks until football is back!!

Three weeks ago I did my back in with a sneeze. It is still incapacitating me and I did an online physio assessment today. It seems I have a prolapsed disc – not good. But it is not too bad. It will heal if I do the exercises. It will just take five weeks or so!! No bending, lifting or housework (could be worse!)

So today I’ve been playing Arthur Alexander – some good fifties R&B. Which is great.

I went for a long walk up my hill in rather blustery conditions and have done little else!!

I never really expected these diaries to go on this long. I think I expected to go down with covid and report on that. But I haven’t and maybe won’t.

So I’m staying safe! You do the same!

Corona Diary – Day 79

It’s been a bit of a controversial day today. Lockdown is letting up a lot. Many people are going back to work, those shielded are allowed out, schools are going back, we’re allowed to meet up to six people. But the infection rate is still running at 8000 a day and the testing and follow up is woeful. They keep saying they are following the science but the scientists are saying it’s too early.

Are we going too early?

Is the decision economic rather than medical?

Only time will tell, but following the Cummings fiasco people seem to have chucked social distancing out the window.

Testing is still too slow and only picking up between 10% and 20% of cases. That’s not good enough – hardly world class.

I’m expecting a second wave. I hope it doesn’t put a stop to the premiership reopening! I don’t think Johnson is on top of it at all!! I really think we should stop thinking nationally and look more at what is happening in our region. Some areas might well be able to relax the regs – others not.

Meanwhile Brexit goes on in the background, vegetables are going to be rotting in the fields (because the British can’t be asked) and we are still being hostile to foreigners.

Today I’ve been playing Loudon Wainwright to cheer myself up. I went for a walk up my hill in glorious sunshine, read a bit of Woody Guthrie, did some gardening, wrote a little and cleared up the shed.

The good news is that we are not ill yet!!

Stay safe!!

The Corona Diaries – Day 77

That’s eleven weeks in isolation. Today’s my birthday! My first birthday in lockdown – not quite the same as usual. I hope they’ve got something sorted before my next birthday!

From Monday the rules are relaxed. I’m not sure that’s a good idea. 4 of the scientists involved have gone on record saying that it is too early. But there are still 2,500 new cases a day! That’s a lot. But Johnson is pressing ahead.

It seems to me that a lot of people think it’s over. Places are crowded and social distancing is not being observed. I predict a big second surge. People are too daft.

Speaking of which – Cummings is still in place (even though his eyesight and morality is poor). The situation with Emily Maitliss is still uncertain. For her to be castigated for speaking out about Cumming’s ludicrous story is absurd.

Today I walked up my hill in glorious sunshine and was brought to a halt at the top. In front of me a family of stoats, eight in all, crossed the road twenty paces in front of me. It was a wondrous sight. The way they sinuously moved, so fluid, bobbing and sleek. They disappeared into the long grass of the verge. I have seen the odd stoat and weasel in the past but never a whole family of them. It made my day. They were so incredibly beautiful.

Nature was buzzing and all the world was one.

Back home I am still angry over the political fiasco so for today’s music I chose Gang of Four. I’ve been pounding out political punk! Great stuff.

It’s been a good day. We had a family zoom. I saw my son with nice presents. I’ve even got a cake.

Apart from Covid and politicians (capitalists and the people damaging the environment) – all is right with the world!

I hope you enjoyed your day half as much! We’ve survived another day.

Stay safe.