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.

The Corona Diaries – Day 75

Today left me fuming – the Tory governors on the BBC sacking Emily Maitliss for daring to question a Tory minister over Dominic Cummings. It just shows you what bias there is in the BBC.

So fuming away I’ve been playing my angriest Phil Ochs all day.

Cummings is still in post. It seems that elitism is well. The Tories have no morality!

Johnson has admitted that they were unprepared (despite having a pandemic enquiry a good year before that showed them woefully inadequate – plus the knowledge that they knew pandemics came round regularly – SARS, MERS, EBOLA, Swine Flu, Bird Flu – only a matter of time). Complacency and Brexit have cost thousands of lives!!

I went for a walk up my hill. A hot day with blue skies. It is so beautiful. Yesterday a young fox with reddy/brown fur walked up the road to about five feet away from me. We both looked at each other then he went off. It was a lovely experience. I love nature.

On the way up the hill I composed a couple of poems about Tories and their undermining of democracy.

Yet the Tories are still leading in the polls!!! People are both gullible and stupid!!

When I came back I painted our art installation and bird feeder in bright reds, greens, blues and yellow. That brightened it up.

It looks like the lockdown is about to be relaxed more. I think I’m ready for it. It would be nice to see friends and family!! Schools are going back. The roads are clogged – return to normality.  But we still had over 300 deaths and 400 new cases. The virus is still around. But, at last, today they are bringing in the testing and follow up! About bloody time!! (In order to distract from Dominic Cummings and his ludicrous explanations!). We’ll see if they can manage to contain it this time or if we get a second wave!

Meanwhile the USA is still recording 2000 new cases a day and has topped 100,000 deaths and Brazil is surging away with 20,000 cases a day too. It’s a wonder these arrogant populist cretins have any credibility with anyone!

Still – I suppose the good news is that we’ve been in isolation and have not gone down with the disease!! Another day is coming to an end!!

Stay safe everyone – I’m off to cook dinner – a nice Thai curry!!

Music to keep me SANE in Isolation – RL Burnside

I discovered RL Burnside after purchasing a Fat Possum sampler. He’s a rockin’ Bluesman from North Mississippi – the same region as Howlin’ Wolf. You can hear that in the hypnotic rhythms that he specialises in.

Fat Possum was a great label. They specialised in producing raw exciting Blues, just how it should be.

Today I’ll be rockin’ to RL!!

The Corona Diaries – Day 68

Do I smell a big whiff of hypocrisy??

The government have no plans to reconvene properly. Seemingly it is too dangerous. You can’t have social distancing. Yet it is OK for the teachers to have hundreds of kids in crowded classrooms and narrow corridors where social distancing is impossible.

Is it just that teachers aren’t important enough? They’re expendable?

Is it that kids aren’t important?

Or is it that the economy is more important??

It seems to me that the best time for these things to happen is when the idiots have finally brought the virus under control.

I’m really looking forward to the football though – three or four weeks to go!

What we need, once the testing and follow-up is in place, is a simple local colour system – Green – no cases in your area – safe to go out and mingle. Yellow – some small number of cases – slight risk – keep your distance. Red – a lot of cases – stay indoors! Too much to ask?

I also note that the morons are showing their true Tory colours with the Brexit arrangements and immigration system. They are using the referendum as a justification for their nationalistic xenophobia. The rules for getting into the country will preclude just about all the front-line workers who have kept us safe and fed in lockdown – the nurses, cleaners, drivers, shelf-stackers, carers, deliverers, veggie pickers and the like –  SO MUCH FOR CLAPPING ON THURSDAY!!

Thank you very much, particularly all the ones who dies – now FUCK OFF!!

So much for being grateful to the foreign nurses who saved his life! They can fuck off too!

And if any of them manage to sneak in they can pay a £1000 a year for the pleasure of cleaning wards!

The ideology doesn’t change – elitist, short-sighted and xenophobic. They make me sick.

Putting that all aside, it’s been another fabulous day. I’ve been playing the Meters, walking up hills in the sunshine, surveying wonderful scenery, writing the blurb for Star and looking at the cover, and doing some more on the Harper book – as well as basking in the sun and reading!

What could be nicer? Ain’t life great?


Today’s walk – with Photos – up Wold’s hill

Such a perfect day for a walk up my new favourite hill to have a view over the wolds.

The chalky rolling hills with their patchwork of colours.

There are two red kites nesting in a tree in the distance.

On the way up I stopped to watch a kestrel hovering next to a hedgerow.

The verges were a mass of buttercups, speedwell and daisy.

The dandelions had formed their perfect spheres of fluff.

The cowslips have all gone to seed.

It’s a three mile walk – just right!

The Corona Diaries – Day 67

I see the blame game is starting and the spin is coming in. From Hancock’s ludicrous ‘we put a defensive ring around Care Homes’ to the statements that they received bad scientific advice.

What is quite clear is that the science was always unclear. We don’t know enough yet. Instead of following clear guidance from the WHO to ‘Test, Test, Test’ they chose a stupid Herd Immunity approach, wasted precious weeks, which has cost thousands of lives. That is not poor science. That’s a political judgement.

We’ll see where this goes – Johnson, Trump and Bolsonaro – three pathetic populist leaders who haven’t got a clue – denying, blaming and not leading. Complacent, inept and stupid!!

There’s blood on their hands. I just hope that they don’t pull the wool over too many eyes!!

Today was a beautiful day! Having completed my editing of Star I took the day off. I walked up to the top of my favourite hill and then went back and read in the garden., played some Bert Jansch and chilled!

I’ve spent the time pottering – moving wood, sorting shelves, moving paint, mowing and watering.

Very relaxing!

Still haven’t got the virus. No real sign of it in the village. Beginning to wonder if we should maybe get back to a bit of normality? It certainly would be nice to see family and friends and catch up for a meal or two!

Music to keep me SANE during Isolation – Bert Jansch

Every day I go out for a walk of about two hours. It helps keep me fit and sane. I’m incredibly fortunate to be out here in a village in the countryside. There are some beautiful walks.

As I’ve been wandering along up hills and down lanes I’ve found myself whistling and even singing (yes I know) various tunes that come into my head – Woody Guthrie’s This Land is Your Land is one that often presents itself. Another is Bert Jansch’s Strolling Down the Highway.

It certainly seemed to suit the vibe. A warm sun, big skies and a pleasant stroll. Busy going nowhere.

So today I’m going to be playing some classic Bert Jansch and mellow out!!

Play it again Bert!

The Corona Diaries – Day 66

I went in the shop today! That’s the first time for weeks. I’ve only been in a shop twice since being in lockdown. It was a strange experience.

I had to post a number of Nick Harper books to various people. It meant I had to get stamps.

I had to queue outside – keeping social distancing – and only go in when somebody came out.

Because I had not been doing this it felt strange – as if I was doing something wrong. Yet the transaction was quick and felt safe.

It is hard to believe there is really any danger but the death of a neighbours brother-in-law, at the age of fifty seven – a healthy cyclist with no underlying problems – following three weeks on a ventilator tells a different story. One has to remind oneself that the virus is out there and it is potentially deadly.

This is a strange, bizarre and surreal experience. This might well be the new norm.

Having posted my books I went for a walk – a warm day and the sun breaking out as I climbed the hill. The sun shining on the new fields with their different crops produced a patchwork of wonder. Two fields, that I believe were growing peas, looked spectacular. The emerald green was gorgeous.

Returning I set about completing my Sci-fi novel – Star. I have very nearly completed the editing!

I now have to sort the cover and back blurb.


The BT engineer did not arrive (again) and so my internet is still very slow. Frustrating.

Well Lockdown looks to be over for many. The roads are as full as ever. The hiatus of nature is over. We’re getting back to normal.

I hope it isn’t too soon! I don’t think this government has got their testing and follow up sorted properly yet. We could end up paying for that with a lot more deaths.

Today’s Music to keep me SANE in Isolation – Love

A fabulous band from Los Angeles. A darling of the Underground.

They produced three brilliant albums before heroin rather messed up their lives.

I was fortunate to see the later incarnation live. Arthur Lee had harnessed a young band and they were brilliant – every bit as good as the original. Johnny Echols played with them on one occasion.

Meeting Arthur was like meeting a legend!

Then, just when the band was pulling in huge crowds, he gets ill and dies. Life is so unfair.

But today I will be playing my three favourite Love albums and wallowing in the music!

The Corona Diaries – Day 65

It is becoming a bit monotonous. Outside things appear to be getting back to normal. A lot of shops are opening and the roads are busy – about normal levels I’d say.

I had to go into town to get some cash. The High Street – which a week ago was empty, was heaving with people. It did look as if most were social distancing but with a lot of people it is not always possible.

Perhaps there are no longer many people out there with the virus? Who knows? Until we all get tested then we can’t be sure.

It’s good to see that they seem to be moving towards testing and following up – that will get us out of this lockdown.

Yesterday a neighbour was telling me that her fifty seven (and extremely fit) brother-in-law has just died from covid. That kind of brings it home to you. He used to go out doing forty miles on his mountain bike. Very sad.

Today I blasted myself with the music and poems of the Last Poets. Great stuff.

I went for a walk up Wolds Hill. It was dull and the landscape was flat but it was quite warm and in didn’t rain. I enjoyed being out.

I’ve been editing my Sci-Fi novel and Roy Harper book. Both proceeding well – but editing certainly takes it out of you!

Anyway – stay safe!!