Saturday 30th May

We had some good news yesterday. The Health Authorities have declared our Nursing Home clear of Covid19. Everybody in this wing of our retirement village has been tested, and all the residents are free of the virus. Just one member of staff is now in self isolation.

It means they are now ready to accept new people – assuming that they have been tested, and are clear of the virus.

The management are waiting to hear the latest news from the government at the beginning of June, before making any further relaxations to local lockdown levels.

On Thursday Deb and I woke to a very brisk easterly breeze which comes hammering over the hills to our side of the village, and also funnels up the valley. It means the balcony is no longer a pleasant place to sit in the sun.

We had a better idea.

We jumped into the car and drove about eight miles to a clifftop carpark, from where we walked down to the beach near Portscatho. Unfortunately the tide was just coming to its highest, and not much of the beach was available.

We made the most of the sandy beach as we could. The sea was what I would describe as being rather busy. The waves were less than a metre, but they were coming in one after the other with little gaps between them.

On our arrival there was just one mother with two young children, plus a woman giving her dog an excited walk and splash around in the waves. The children, and the dog, were enjoying the cold water, and while the boy and girl shrieked in delight, the dog barked repeatedly at the waves.

Deb and I decided to go for a walk on the cliff path, and we were soon walking towards the next beach called Pendower, the same as our house. The pathway had not been used very much and the walk involved dodging long grass, cow parsley, and nettles. By this time of a typical summer, the paths would be well trodden and much clearer.

Our route took us past the Coastguard Lookout station where the man on duty was scanning the bay. There were just two ships that we could see, and the water was far too rough for local fishermen to be out checking their lobster pots.

We walked along the path for about ten minutes, and this was such a lovely change from marching around the familiar lanes and streets of Tregony. The next beach was quite some way off, and soon we turned around to go back to where our car was parked.

The plan is to drive to the Pendower Beach on our next outing.

During the walk, I slipped on the edge of the rocky path, and jarred my leg. Although I wasn’t aware of any damage at the time, I was soon feeling my age again as the leg complained. It is nothing serious, but it has reminded me to be more careful.

There was an email waiting for me from the travel insurance company. They are delaying the payment for as long as possible to cover our cancelled holiday in the Channel Islands. They want a further invoice to prove that the holiday was cancelled by the holiday company, and that no refund was offered.

I was back onto my travel agent, and they will chase the holiday company for something suitable.

I am hopeful that I will eventually get the pay-out, but there is no rush. After all, what else can we spend the money on?


Friday dawned in the same way as Thursday. The sun was shining strongly from a beautiful blue sky, but the wind was blasting into us. The trees that had been so still for several days were being shaken and swayed around by the wind. Our local radio station declared this to be a light, or slightly brisk breeze. Personally I would have described it as considerably stronger, and certainly sunbathing was out of the question again.

At least being forced to stay inside, has meant I managed to write quite a bit of my book.

I also posted some photographs on a local Nostalgia Facebook site. They were pictures I managed to recover from a bundle of very old negatives that were found after my mum died. They show several family members that I do not recognise, but also some buildings that might be recognised by other Cornish people. I also posted some of old aeroplanes flying past people viewing them from a hill, and even one picture of the R101 Airship just a short while before it crashed. The pictures appear to date from the late 1920’s onwards.

Not long after I posted the pictures, a cousin suggested that one of the pictures might have been of Trevassack Cottage where my dad grew up. This makes sense, and many of the photos have other people that I recognise as members of his family.

Another person suggested a name for some of the aircraft, and another person confirmed my thoughts about the R101.

The internet may not always be seen in the best light, but the ability to show and receive information like this is amazing. The people in these photographs were members of the previous generation, who could never have imagined that their photograph could be displayed and seen by millions of people around the world.

These people grew up in an age of the mass availability of the car, radio keeping everyone entertained, and up to speed on the news. They also saw colour films for the first time, and witnessed the dawn of television. Brave men and women were blasted into space, and even walked on the moon. Those first steps on the moon were viewed live on colour televisions.

About the only thing that didn’t change, was that the world still insists on going to war, and killing thousands of innocent people to satisfy the greed, or idealism, of a few.

We have anti-biotics to cure our illnesses, but still have no cure for the common cold. Worse still, man has accidentally created germs that kill more people than war achieved.

I wonder what the next 50 years will achieve?

Special Treat Today

I had a night with very little sleep. my Fitbit says I had over 8 hours but most of it was what the computer said was ‘light sleep’. As usual, I have no idea why I couldn’t sleep.

The sun was saying hello straight away, and the only clouds throughout the day were little wispy things. I was sitting on the balcony by 9:00 and still couldn’t get to sleep. It was a moment to plug in my music, and relax into a happy place that my music produces.

Deb came to join me, and I made a cup of coffee plus a slice of cake. Actually I lie, Deb had her usual Lemon Tea.

It wasn’t long before I got rather hot, and my skin was going slightly red. It was time to go indoors and I began searching for an expandable ladder so that we can decorate the hall and stairwell. With little space to store ‘stuff‘, we have decided to buy a telescopic ladder that will fit into our storage box when not in use. As usual, buying things takes me an age. I have to check, compare, and thinks about it, before checking and comparing again.

I gave up searching and spent half an hour on my book. It is about a third of the way through now, although I suspect the later chapters mightn’t be quite so detailed as the early ones.

Deb began to make some bread, so there will be a treat later on. While that was sitting on the balcony to allow the dough to rise, it was time for lunch.

We had a healthy salad today, which I turned unhealthy with a slice of pork pie.

While sitting quietly with my mind puzzles after eating, the doorbell rang. It was a delivery man bringing me my grooming kit.

I am totally fed-up with the hair and couldn’t wait for hairdressers to open up again. After quickly checking that it was working, I put the shearing exercise on hold, and went for a walk.

We had a shopping delivery today, so while I had a walk, Deb tried out the exercise bike, while waiting for the shopping to arrive.

My walk took me on a route we used some time ago, that takes us through the valley opposite our balcony. It was hard work with a long climb to finish on.

Back home, with no shopping as yet, I prepared myself to attack my hair. I went into the cloakroom, with just underpants on, and began to shave off my excess hair to the longest setting available on the shears.

… it looked a bit of a mess, with a huge pile of hair on the floor

I asked for assistance, and Deb came and cut off the bits I couldn’t reach, and tidied up my attempts. At the end I felt comfortable again. It has been nearly three months without a haircut, and it was terribly long.

After lightening the load on my head, I took to the shower while Deb vacuumed up the hair on the floor.

By the time I appeared again, Deb was putting the last of the shopping away. Tesco were early, and nothing missing from our list.

After a drink, I took to Amazon again and after a final check, compare, and pause to think about it, the ladder is ordered. It will take almost a week to get here, and that will give us time to decide on a colour to paint the walls with.

Quite a successful day from my point of view.

Almost time for ‘Tipping Point’

Look after yourselves everyone.

Tuesday 26th MAy

It is a gorgeous morning.

There was some mist when I got up at 7:30 to make a cup of tea, but half an hour later it had been burnt away by the glorious sunshine.

After reading the paper – he still won’t say sorry – I was out on the balcony (topless) listening to the birds. The little sparrows are getting more accustomed to us now, and are happy to eat from next door’s fat ball without twitching and flying away when we dare to move.

The sky is absolutely clear blue, and the sun feels as hot as we have felt this year so far.

Yesterday evening I watched the various news items to see if Mr Cummings would resign, say that he had made a mistake, or even to say he was sorry to have upset so many people.

I would like to apologise for spelling his name incorrectly yesterday, I didn’t check if what I was writing was correct, so have possibly upset a few of my readers. I am sorry for my mistake Dominic Cummings.

After those various briefings and news broadcasts Deb and I sat and watched a programme about making toilet rolls. Somehow that was more interesting than the news.

Please don’t get me wrong, I understand the situation is as bad as it has ever been in my lifetime, but wall to wall broadcast about Covid 19 is de-sensitising me.

In a few days time, we might see another spike in cases, as the two weeks of lockdown release, mean that new infections could have occurred. I really hope the numbers are low, and we can slowly relax as the summer truly begins.

I think it is also the moment when the briefings concentrate on how many new cases are reported, and perhaps where any ‘hot spot’ areas are. The number of deaths is still painful to read, but it is the number of new cases that is the important figure now.

Sadly, the current number of Covid 19 deaths per day is less than deaths from heart attack or strokes.

Oh dear, I still haven’t got my happy Mojo back yet, and this is another negative post. Perhaps the next one will be a little more positive.

Stay safe, and enjoy the sunshine, if you can.

Shame on You

There are times when I just want to speak my mind on a subject that has infuriated me.

… and this is one of those times

Last year, Boris succeeded in convincing me to vote Conservative for the first time in 40 years of elections. I did it because he gave me the feeling that he wanted to do the best for the country. He succeeded in this as we came through the last few weeks of the Brexit discussions, and again with his forthright announcements about the Covid 19 virus attack. He brought the country together, and we have gone through a very painful few weeks of lockdown to enable the lights to begin to shine again.

But now we learn that one person, who was almost certainly a part of the discussions, and decisions, that Boris announced to us, decided he was different to us, that those same rules didn’t apply to him, and he broke them.

Yes, I mean Dominic Cummings.

Whatever excuse, whatever what sort of emergency he perceived merited his actions, he broke the rules and travelled most of the way across our country to live away from London.

I am sure there were reasons that he thought required this action, but he was potentially taking the virus to a different area of Britain, and possibly spreading it to a different group of people.

At that exact same time, there were tens, hundreds, thousands, and maybe tens of thousands of families with the same fears, but they followed the guidelines, and stayed where they were.

At that same moment there were grandparents, and parents, desperate to see, and cuddle their children or grandchildren, but instead they stayed where they were.

Sadly, some of those people possibly never saw each other again.

At the same time hundreds and thousands of families were enclosed like battery hens in high rise apartment blocks, with no gardens, play areas, or even a balcony to get air and exercise – but they suffered in silence.

This weekend, the country turned to Boris, to tell Dominic Cummings to pack his bags and quit his post. We thought he should go, just like the other leading figure who broke the rules over the last few weeks.

… but Boris has supported him, and said he did what every parent would do.

NO HE DIDN’T

Now I have lost confidence in Boris. I now believe all the rumours about wrong decisions at the beginning of the outbreak. I believe the government did ignore the Care Homes and lets thousands of poor, frail old people to die without their loved ones to say goodbye.

Shame on You!

Successful Morning

Friday morning and I had a successful session on the phone and the laptop sorting out various niggles.

Firstly I sorted out a bill that has been frustrating me for ages.

Next I rang P&O again to ask for confirmation that we have booked a cruise for December, and yes I know it will probable be cancelled. We booked the cruise in April, but had no confirmation email or letter. Today was the fourth time they have been contacted, and the lady really worked hard. She could see that numerous emails had been sent to us, but none of them had been received.

She didn’t fob us off, and persevered with sending the email in different ways. Then suddenly, a full squadron off emails arrived. I thanked the agent for her time, but still feel confused why it had been a problem.

Now I turned to PayPal.

There has been an issue with a payment going astray, and they had suspended our account. It seems you can’t speak with them by phone unless you’re willing to pay £1.50 a minute. So a messenger system seemed to be the only way to discuss things.

I started my discussion several days ago, but did not have anyone coming on the line. In the meantime we were getting very close to cancelling the account, and that was my starting point for the morning.

Out of the blue, an email notified me that someone wanted to talk to me via PayPal. I logged on and responded… nobody answered my response.

I was even more annoyed now, so started to go through the cancellation process. But because the account was suspended, I could not cancel it.

Really annoyed, I shut down the laptop but as I hit the yes button, I caught a glimpse of someone on the message system.

Logged back in again, I started a rather slow conversation. They wanted me to send a copy of our bank statement, plus photo ID, plus changing my password, and security questions.

I was not very happy about this, and suggested it was a scam. After many back and forth statements that this was a requirement of the terms and conditions, I sent the necessary documentational proof.

At 12:15, after about two hours on the laptop, I had a message to say the account was working again.

… I didn’t thank the agent for the frustrating days involved.

What a difference between P&O and PayPal customer service.

Fortunately the weather is not good today with a lot of cloud and some pretty high winds.

I also made contact on Facebook with a cousin I have not seen in probably 20 years. We went into a message conversation – not as bad as the one with PayPal – and brought each other up to date with what we have been doing. When lockdown ends, we might well get to see each other, as we only live 10 miles apart.

I didn’t post anything yesterday because I was feeling rather ill. I think that every few days there is a moment of frustration, and the mental annoyance makes us feel physically ill.

While I was resting, Deb began the wall painting in the bathroom.

This morning the second coat completed the job, and it is back with me to refit all the bits I took off the walls.

Meanwhile she has moved the painting kit to the cloakroom to make that feel less clinical. All the walls in the apartment were painted while before we moved in, and we did decorate the bedroom quite quickly, but it has taken quite a time to do anything else about it.

So, with Deb making it quite clear she is being busy, I had better go and do my bit as well.

Look after yourselves.

Proper Shopping

This morning the sun, the blue sky, and the sunshine was very tempting, but the wind was just too annoying. So, we decided to go shopping at a proper supermarket.

Our target was LIDL in St Austell and the roads were quiet for the eight-or-so miles drive.

The shop was quieter than on a normal day, and the car park had loads of places.

Inside it was a relaxing stroll down the aisles, with the majority of shoppers playing by the isolation rules. One or two pratts did have a different agenda, but we simply turned away from them.

This was our first time in a supermarket for about six weeks, and it made me a little more confident as we begin to return to some sort of normality.

We were home and unpacked in time for lunch.

After our refreshment break we set off for a walk. We are still missing our exercise targets, but not by as far as during the total lockdown.

Other news includes the disappearance of the cows. They have obviously eaten too much dung, and have been sent to the naughty field.

The bathroom ceiling repair is now complete, so soon we can move on to painting the walls.

A layer of dead skin has peeled off my wart, but there appears to be more to be killed off yet. So I gave it another freezing yesterday. To keep it clean I put on a plaster, but unfortunately positioned it so the wart was under the sticky bit.

“Goodness” (or something like that) I said. It really stung until I plucked up the courage to peel away the plaster, and reposition it. Hopefully this will be the end of the annoying skin blemish that i have had for several years.

I think it is time to have a rest now, and try to catch up on more of the recorded films I have accumulated.

Enjoy the sunshine, and stay safe.

Beautiful weekend

It has been a wonderful sunny weekend, and we have spent a lot of time out on the balcony.

On Sunday morning my hunch was proved correct, and the herd of young cows appeared in the field that had been cut for silage. After mooching about the field for an hour, exploring all the greener grass around the edges, the 20 or so black and brown cows headed for the dung pile.

I thought they were just curious, but no, they all got their heads down and started to eat it.

Now, I am not overly educated in the field of the eating habits of cows, but this appeared very strange. During the remainder of Sunday they explored more, and ate the grass, but they returned to the dung on at least two occasions.

Either they were absolutely starving, or this appears to be a very cheap way of feeding the animals. Just collect all the dung, dry it out, and then hand it back for them to eat.

Ah well, life is very strange.

On Saturday morning, I filled the worst of the damage to the bathroom ceiling. In the afternoon I sanded down the filler, and gave the area a first brush coat of paint.

Next morning I painted it again with the brush again, and it looked ready for a finish coat with a roller.

So, this morning, Monday, I gave the ceiling what I thought would be the last coat. Just as I was finishing, I rolled over an area where the paint seemed thick. It wasn’t thick, it was peeling away.

Back to basics again, and I scraped off the affected area, and left it to dry.

Deb was sympathetic, but I decided to sulk out on the balcony in the gorgeous warm sunshine.

I calmed down after a while, and my next adventure on the ceiling was to seal it with some magical spray I bought at B&Q. Once that dried, I could decide if I needed to do anything else.

Deb and I went for a walk after lunch and spraying, and today we extended our route even further. The legs are beginning to get used to the exercise, but I still suffer with my knee going downwards, and my breathing is seriously tested on the way up.

Back home, and I took a look at the ceiling. Sadly, I am going to have to sand down the edges again. There are a couple of small bits of paint peeling again, but the majority of the morning repair has been successful.

I will do that tomorrow morning, and hopefully seal it early enough, to paint it in the afternoon.

I am glad the weekend was so wonderfully warm. It took away some of the disappointment of not being able to miss the Eurovision Song Contest.

But no, the BBC decided to spend the whole of the evening showing repeats of song contests, before listening to this years songs, and then showing the best (so called ) moments of Eurovision, to round off the evening.

I used to like this annual song contest until the hatred of Britain by the rest of Europe made us the laughing stock of the continent. Now ladies sing while swinging around on a tall pole. Grannies dance in national costumes, and a bearded woman wins. It is all about voting for your friends, and for the weirdest acts, rather than purely than the quality of the songs.

And by the way, usually our song deserves to lose.

To me, the best thing about Eurovision from the last 25 years has been Riverdance.

… but I would say that, being an absolute freak about that show. Hopefully when Covid 19 has finished its present attack on the world, I can go and watch Riverdance again.

Luckily I have the music several times over, and also many videos of the performance.

Keep safe everyone.

Using the Car agian

Yesterday (Friday) Deb and I went out in the car for the first time in three weeks. We drove to St Austell and visited B&Q.

We are finally able to finish off some more work in the bathroom following the new bath being fitted. There was a patch on the ceiling that was over the shower cubicle, where the paint had peeled. We never had a chance to do anything about it because of the lockdown.

Our visit to B&Q was rather strange. Deb wanted some compost so we went around the one-way route to the gardening centre before getting anything else. Well, there was no compost, so we tried to get back to the decorating area of the store. Sadly, we were trapped in a one way system and were told to go back the way we had come.

Lets just say, it took us quite a while to get what we wanted.

At least we had been out, which made a real change.

This morning I started on the peeling paint, and got very dusty.

It has been a lovely couple of days here. We have been out on the balcony both yesterday and today, and I actually took my top off at last.

The view has changed a bit this week.

The local farmer came to the field in front of us on Tuesday morning, and cut the long grass. In the afternoon he came with his machine that tossed the grass around a bit.

Wednesday morning he was back with his tossing-around machine, but this time he moved the grass into lines. Before lunch his mate arrived with a tractor towing a high-sided trailer. There must have been a clever machine on the trailer, as while he drove along, the grass was filling his trailer.

By the middle of Wednesday afternoon, the field was empty. The grass is now turning itself into silage for his cows winter feed.

By Friday morning, the stubble left in the field was showing green.

This morning (Saturday) he has moved to another field that we can see. He is now moving three piles of dung from that field, into the one that had the long grass.

My suspicion is that the field he is emptying of dung is about to be ploughed very soon.

So, apart from a small amount of DIY, a lot of resting in the sunshine, and watching the farmer working very hard, we haven’t had time for much more.

We have been on two significantly longer walks around Tregony, and they are proving rather exhausting after the lockdown short strolls.

That brings the news up to date. We have a shopping delivery this week, and next, but I don’t think it will be long before we either go for the click and collect option, or maybe even going into the shop. They only allow one person at a time, so that ‘treat’ may be one for Deb.

Our daughter has just rung, and reported that the traffic has seriously increased today, compared to earlier in the week. She says the cars appear full of families heading for the beaches.

I am quite worried that Boris has released people too far, and too soon.

I hope I am wrong, and there will be no increase in cases in two weeks time.

Take care everyone.

Lockdown Relaxed

Deb and I have just come back after a walk that took us outside of Roseland Parc.

Yesterday afternoon we had a letter from the company to say that we are now following the government recommendations, and so are no longer banned from leaving the site.

So this morning, we returned to one of our figure-of-eight routes around the village of Tregony. It was so good to see different people, and to say hello to them. When we got back I was feeling like I had done something, my pulse was most definitely raised, and my breathing faster.

We are now planning other different things to do. We want to get to a garden centre – well B&Q – to get a few bits for Deb to grow, and to get some decorating bits. Our projects came to a sudden stop in the middle of March, but it is now possible to get moving again.

We will need to have our face masks before we venture into B&Q.

I’m sure it won’t be long before we drive to the car park above the beach a few miles away. Then we can stroll along the sand, and smell the fresh sea air.

… and yes we can go to a supermarket, when we feel comfortable with the idea.

We had a delivery from ASDA yesterday, and they arrived on time. There were one or two substitution items, which were really not very good. We have asked for a credit note for them.

I also asked the delivery lady when the best time was to try and get some flour. We have not been able to get any for 6 weeks now. Her response was that deliveries come three times a day, and order pickers get the first grab at the stock.

That doesn’t help. When we create an order, they refuse to accept flour because there don’t have any. The problem is that we can only add flour when it is in stock. But it goes instantly it arrives in the stores, so is never available to order.

There is no urgency at the moment, but it won’t be long before Deb will be struggling to make cakes, and more importantly, pasties.

OK, lets catch up on the weather. The sky is a deep blue, the sun is warm, but the wind is still annoyingly chilly. The balcony is not in use for the second day running. We are looking forward to the wind dropping, or coming from a different direction.

My wart is looking quite annoyed after a third dose of freezing spray. Perhaps I have finally convinced it to leave my finger, but I am not totally convinced.

The new tablet is working fine.

The new watch from Argos is still in its box awaiting the company to open up again so that I can return it.

The new cheap watch I bought from eBay is working perfectly, and to be honest looks and feels far better than the one from Argos.

The damaged wardrobe is still annoying us. Sadly with the ombudsman telling us to forget any sort of repair or replacement, it will have to stay where it is until we can find someone to take it away. This may not be soon.

My knee still hurts, but I hope the longer walks that are now possible may improve things. I am still taking the pills that were prescribed. I thought they were working, but now it looks like they are another failure. On the positive side, they do seem to allow me to sleep better.

That’s enough for now, so take care of yourselves everyone.

Tuesday Sunshine

It is Tuesday, and the sun was up and playing long before we were. It looks absolutely glorious, but on closer inspection, it is a little chilly in the wind.

Just before lunchtime I ventured out onto the balcony and soaked up the warm rays from the golden globe. It was wonderful between the blasts of wind that came along a little too regularly. I did catch a glimpse of the little birds again as they flashed past, but I’m still struggling to identify them. My latest thoughts are that they are house martins, or swifts.

For lunch today we had croissants, and as I began to smell them warming up, the coldness of the wind became too much. We were both back inside with the door closed, as I watched a bit of Bargain Hunt before the lunchtime news.

The latest changes to lockdown rules still don’t apply to us here in Roseland Parc. It appears we have another case of the virus in the Nursing Home which might well force the management to deny us the chance to go out.

We will try to stick to the rules, as we understand why the more restrictive instructions have been introduced. But it is hard to accept that someone can now drive into the county and spend an hour on the beach that is just ten minutes drive from where we are.

Yesterday evening we watched the documentary about the London hospital where film crews have been allowed to follow to drama as the Covid virus began its attack. The stories were obviously ones where there was a happy outcome, but the seriousness and the horror of what was happening became very apparent. There is the second part tonight, and I expect I will watch it again.

Exercise today was a morning hour on the Wii for Deb, while I had ten minutes on the bike again. After the lunchtime news (and brain puzzles) we both went for the usual walk. It is very warm down in the valley area, and it would be wonderful to have a pathway created so we could enjoy more of the wooded area down there. Sadly, I suspect the management might worry that it is too steep for the less able residents, so the rest of us will be denied that treat.

Well, it is almost time for afternoon coffee (cake is all gone) and then I will wash my hair again. It has got to the point now that it is curling up around my ears, and driving me a little mad. Based on Boris’s declaration, the hairdressers wont be open until July at the earliest. Goodness we are all going to look like shaggy sheep by then.

Look after yourselves everyone. The virus will eventually be beaten, and we can begin to live more freely again.