This virus situation….. we seem in this country to only just have a loose grip on it, wouldn’t you say?
I’ve spent the weekend in Sevenoaks. It’s the same there as it is everywhere else ( including in my own situation ) in that we all bend the rules to suit ourselves, and that ensures that the virus keeps on spreading. That was brought home to me by chatting to a friend of Lizzy’s who lives in Singapore. He was here because he had been given special dispensation to leave the country to visit a sick elderly relative. On his return to Singapore he’ll be sent immediately ( without passing Go ) to a quarantine hotel where he’ll spend a compulsory 2 weeks. After that he’ll be allowed back into society there… except in Singapore they have a complete handle on virus suppression. No one is allowed to visit another household, and you MUST wear a mask ALL OF THE TIME once you leave home. You keep it on even at work if you work by yourself in your own personal office, and NO ONE has an exemption. In Singapore there have been NO NEW CASES for a month, and there in ONE PERSON IN HOSPITAL with COVID 19. One.. in the whole country!
If you break the rules at all, you are immediately arrested and fined ( I think he said it was a thousand pounds ). If you break the rules and happen to be foreign, you are IMMEDIATELY DEPORTED.
Guess what? Mmmmm, everyone obeys the rules, and short of socialising the country has carried on running pretty normally. They’ll do this until everyone has been vaccinated. The population are behind the measures and there’s no dissent. Everyone can see the endgame, and the logic of the measures.
I compare that to here. I’m currently on a train, and was just talking to the Guard. He spoke about the large numbers of passengers who don’t wear masks, even though it’s the law. The Guard has no absolute authority. All he can do is ASK people to obey the law. He can’t enforce it…. unless there happens to be a member of the Transport Police on board, then EVERYONE breaking the law just gets away with it. To make matters worse there are constant announcements over the tannoy that say that many people are exempt from wearing masks. Why? Why is anyone exempt? It’s a flimsy piece of cloth over you mouth and nose. Why on earth can ANYONE here be exempt from that ? In Singapore there are no exemptions.. so are the humans different in the UK? And what, loads of them are different here? People have some kind of aversion to wearing a bit of cloth? C’mon, seriously? Do those same people refuse to wear scarves around their necks and faces when it’s snowing for example? I very much doubt it. Why do we here just pander so much to the whinging minority… I don’t get it. In the Welsh borough of Torfaen where I come from, and where most of my family live, 480 people have died of COVID. It’s not even a county, it’s a small area. 480 people… twenty fives times the number that have died in the whole country of Singapore ( 29 to date ).
As we live in this increasingly vocabulary sterilised world, where the list of banned ‘non PC ‘ words lengthens each day, so that by the time I’m 60 I shan’t be able to say anything at all without being offensive to someone ( and thinking ‘Lordy the poor youth of today growing up to only say the right thing ‘ .. it was with great delight that I heard one of my girlfriend’s ( educationally privileged ) children say to the other one … ( wait for it ..)
‘God I knew you were dumb… but I didn’t realise you were a FULLY CERTIFIED SPACKER !’
It seems that there IS hope for non PC exchanges after all ! The Resistance may yet win the day… who knows!?
And if Pontypool had a cathedral then this man’s funeral would be held in it. The pews would be full, the aisles would be full, the roads leading to it would be lined with mourners, and the tears shed would swell the Afon Lwyd ( the river that runs through Pontypool).
The hymns sung would not raise the rafters, they’d blow the roof right off and send it into orbit.
And I don’t exaggerate, not in the slightest. That mass funerals aren’t currently allowed hasn’t affected anyone’s funeral in Britain as much as it will affect Pross’s.
I had the honour of playing for the team under him, and can remember his voice and his smile like it was yesterday.
Another ‘This is the kind of stuff that happens to people like me ‘. So yesterday I had realised that my catheter that goes into my tummy ( and through to my bladder ) was partially blocked. That meant that my right leg spasmed a lot. With help I changed the catheter myself, and stopped the consequence of a blocked catheter, which is me pee’ing my pants.
Now I’d also anyway taken a laxative as I was blocked up ( more spasms due to that ) Now I can’t crap my pants because I have a stoma, and any diarrhoea will go into a bag, rather than come out of my bum, making it all ‘ safer’ . The instructions said that you’d go 8 hours after taking it, which was about right. At 4pm there was a watery explosion and hey presto …a bag full of diarrhoea. The challenge tho was getting that bag off, and disposed of, and getting another clean bag stuck on, before/if there was another explosion, which would have otherwise gone all over my lap/ the wall/ floor/ room, cos let’s face it, diarrhoea is fast moving stuff. I went into the bathroom to do just that… but having got the bag off, I hadn’t realised just how watery the contents were. I wasn’t ready for the spillover into my lap, or more accurately down my front and right onto / around the ( until then ) sterile catheter that I’d just put in. The whole thing about catheters is keeping them clean, so getting mine coated in shite isn’t recommended usage. As I can’t get up to clean or change myself I then had to scrub myself with soap and water and also disinfectant gel to try to kill all the bugs that would otherwise definitely lead to a UTI – a urine tract infection, as well as deodorise myself as well as possible. I also then took antibiotics as a precaution, rather than risk infection.
It’s all a bit embarrassing, this whole thing, and of course doesn’t happen in the ‘ normal’ world. It was therefore quite cathartic when my girlfriend Lizzy ( a mum of two ) told me this morning that she’d come down in her house to her dog having shat all over her kitchen, which she had to clean up – an unpleasant job for anyone…
The dog had also squirted poo all over its sleep cage, it all coating the steel mesh. Lizzy said that as she was cleaning the cage, she was uncontrollably gagging so much that……… ‘ her pelvic floor gave way’.. ‘and she pissed herself’ …
I’m on my way to Sevenoaks against today. This time it’s by train. Having had a few mechanicals with my Triride of late, and because it’s raining pretty much all the time… I am going by train. Of course the train sounds like ( and is ) the sensible option, except I’ve definitely developed a fear of being stranded on the bloody things, because a few times now the guard hasn’t appeared with a ramp to get me off… and 18 inches is a bloody long drop in a wheelchair. You have to question why there should be a step at all really. Why aren’t platforms higher, or trains lower, so that there’s level access? Wouldn’t that have been a sensible design? There must be thousands of historical mishaps due to the height differential, and it’s just harder for everyone when there’s a big step – people in chairs, peeps with prams, people with heavy luggage, getting people off in medical emergencies etc etc.
I had a discussion yesterday with a chap who should remain nameless about Sevenoaks. He talked with a kind of wonder about the town. Everyone male there is a wealthy banker, and they all live there with their amazingly hot wives ( he said ). He talked about going to a pub there, looking around and realising that there wasn’t a single woman in the pub that he wouldn’t sleep with… ( down to the level of pulchritude – that’s hotness ( rather than the degree of male slut he was btw )
Last week I discovered ( actually my neighbour had told me to go there ) that I live near a very large park, called Osterley Park. I can’t believe I’ve driven/ cycled past this park for the best part of 25 years and not realised it was there. It’s just in a part of London/ Mddx that I’d assumed wouldn’t have such a place ( God knows why I’d think that ) There’s a stately home and massive grounds, 2 lakes and it’s all flat too so handy for me. It’s become my go to place, where I’ve gone to read a book written by my buddy Toby Strauss, an historical novel about the extraordinary engineer, Isembard Kingdom Brunel, who changed Britain and the world in the 1800’s. The book is called Iron Will … and it’s not ‘ all engineer’y ‘ at all. It’s very very readable, so I completely objectively recommend you buy it for people for Christmas!
When my front wheel came off in Brentford high st a few weeks ago, it was a fella from South Wales ( called Jason ) who came to my aid. He got a wrench and got my wheel back on. If he hadn’t happened to have been there I’m not sure what I’d have done…
I saw him again today and he was talking about the building works here. They are turning Brentford into the jewel of West London ( and I’m not kidding ). There’s so much riverside potential here, that for a hundred and 50 years has been hidden behind the town’s industrial past. In a few years it’ll be piazzas and riverside cafes ..
Anyway, he was telling me about the tomb they unearthed that the archaeologist said was 1700 years old, it being a stone casket type thing… that could have only belonged to a nobleman. Also they found a large bottle pit with many unbroken jars, bottles and containers. The lads had nicked quite a few and stashed them ( typically Welsh behaviour ) … having looked on eBay and realised they were all £100 plus to collectors.. however the site manager found their hiding place and declared them property of the contractor. Hopefully they’ll end up not on eBay but in some local collection that’s for public view.
I wonder if I’ll be dug up in 1700 years time and they wonder if I was an early robot, given how much of me is metal…?
I had a ukulele lesson yesterday, from my friend Sarah. She’s a music teacher, so does know her stuff, and can play pretty much every instrument as far as I know. Personally I’ve never learned to play anything until now, but she showed me a few chords.. that I now have to practice. Give me 20 years and I might manage a tune – cos I really don’t think I’m a natural!
The other first is me cooking. My daughter Lily suggested I try Hello Fresh, that thing where all the ingredients turn up in a box ( for say 3 meals ) and then you follow the instructions ( or recipes I think they are called ). To my absolute amazement I managed to do the first 3 and they tasted pretty good, even though I definitely wasn’t that adherent to the instructions ( I mean recipes ) I really had no experience of ever using more than one pan, or anything taking more than a few minutes from start to finish – I mean how long does it get beans on toast ready?
I’m in danger of becoming a new man – what with my emotional sensitivity and compassion, and now cooking in between playing a weeny guitar type thing. Would I have done either without the Lockdown? Probably not. So there are 2 good effects! I can’t think of any other upsides but hey.