Monthly Archives: March 2021

And a response from my school buddy ( Jeff T ) who lives in Australia

Very good insight Russ in your last blog…I think your bang on about NZ and Australia…I was in NZ when they announced the restrictions, no messing around…within a week they had gone from no restrictions to Level 3 and Level 4…luckily I was out of NZ the Friday before the Level 4 restrictions came into play…I think that the decision by the NZ PM Jacinta Ardern was correct…go quick, go early…12 months later the proof of the pudding is in the eating and NZ lead a more or less back to normal pre pandemic lives…yes there have been short circuit breaker lockdowns there mainly in Auckland but nothing that really has disrupted the’s stance on closed borders is also testament to their success against the virus. In Oz we sat back for a short while, but as the number of cases grew, the decision to close international borders and also have the state governments implement state level restrictions was correct. A task force of the various states leading experts was established and the nation fought the virus head on with a collective goal. In QLD went into a 6 week Level 3 restrictions last year and then have had only circuit breaker 3 day lockdown since. Some state border restrictions are still in place..WA for example has its borders closed to people from QLD and there are still border pass requirements when entering SA. Victoria suffered the worst, but their lockdown prevented the second wave of the virus really jumping state containment lines. Contact tracing has certainly improved significantly over the last 12months as has the knowledge the virus and it’s mutations. At the moment life in Brisbane/QLD is in essence back to normal..everything is open, pubs, sports venues etc etc with contact tracing and social distancing. When I talk to my parents? you do realise that the UK didn’t take that hard line option when it should and now the community is paying for that poor governmental decision. It will take decades for the UK nation to recover, longer to pay the debt of the pandemic than the debt of the Second World War. There have been and will continue to be many learnings from this pandemic..the main learning for me is as you’ve outlined the virus needs a host with the main objective of the virus is to survive and spread as quickly as possible. Break that chain and you break the ability of the virus to has to die then right?… Bill Gates was once asked in an interview what he thought would be the downfall of the human race to which he answered a virus..saying that we’ve just been put into a three day Circuit Breaker lockdown..due to a few new cases..anyhow a few thoughts mate 👍👍

I’m in a deserted train station and I’m reflecting on the last 12 months.

We had normality back then. My own normality was very altered from the first 4 decades of a proper normality – the one that a functioning human body at least gives you a shot at.
At first this whole thing was a mixture of ( for me ) disbelief, challenge, fascination and dare I say even a touch of excitement. Would the human race survive it? Would there be mass death in the streets… like a medieval plague for which we had no cure.
When it became apparent that the last part wouldn’t happen, it was then just a matter of time before it went away, most people seemed to think. Myself, I thought from the outset that it would be world altering.
Now I think that given the relatively few deaths ( in the greater scheme of things ) it’s caused an awful lot of chaos that was avoidable. Some countries got on it straight away – the Chinese for one. The other ‘ oriental ‘ nations, like Singapore and Japan for example, just didn’t give the virus a chance to spread. Others, like Oz and NZ immediately set up border controls, quarantine procedures, curfews, obligatory mask wearing.. and stopped it getting in. Life within those countries got back to normal, with extreme lockdown now and again to ensure any infiltration risk was contained

The European nations, supposedly the historic fathers of the world, along with the Americans, had no such stringent, hardline, viral spread beating measures, and just seemed to hope for the best until it was too late.. keeping borders open ( and still open now ) ensured their fate. The virus doesn’t spread itself, it has to be carried in the hosts – the people. Stopping flights seemed to be resisted keenly. Well obviously that’s how it got here in the first place, and ultimately that WAS preventable.
The sheer numbers of COVID deniers, and conspiracy theorists, and anti vaxers has really surprised me. I’ve wondered if, instead of causing respiratory distress and possible death, this virus would had caused all your hair to fall out… ( and that’s all ) just how differently society would have reacted. I mean baldness isn’t going to kill you, is it? Imagine the savings on shampoos and conditioners, barbers and haircuts, razors and hairdryers.
Surely we’d have carried on living our lives and also lived with the consequences of not having to worry about all that hair stuff. No one was going to die, or even be unwell. Hardly a drama then ..?
But can you imagine the TOTAL PANIC that would have ensued? And the absolute guarantee that people didn’t mix.
And the elimination of the virus.

And I’m pretty sure I’m right!

What does THAT tell you about the human race?


And I want to say hi to Gisela …that I worked with when I was Camden Contact Lens Centre ( ahhh the stories I could tell 🤦‍♂️ ) and is/ was a crazy Venezuelan chick – who now lives in Barbados.
She’s a tonic for sure, as my Nan would have said. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone that talks so fast. And given that English isn’t even her first language, that’s saying something.
No such thing as a short phone call with Miss G, but always always entertaining !


On trains they have a ‘ disabled carriage’, right.

That’s where ( some ) staff want you to be. It’s not obligatory because often I’m not put in that one. What’s ESSENTIAL though is that the staff in the station where you are getting off know which carriage you are in, so that they know where to put the ramp…
Today, after a sequence of calamities with the tickets, the delays and confused staff, I’m eventually helped into a train to Sevenoaks.
The very next stop and there’s another chap ( profoundly disabled ) In a very large powered chair ( assisted by his Carer ). Where do they want to put him ? In the Disabled carriage, with me. All the wheelchairs together.. except there quite clearly isn’t enough room… because I’m quite long with my Triride, and he’s like a juggernaut in his vehicle. Tbh it’s absolutely bloody obvious that two into one won’t go, yet still they try 🤷
Ultimately it’s left to ME ( voice of logic?? ) to suggest that I get off, and they put me in a different carriage, and tell Sevenoaks that I’ve moved carriages.

But good grief… it’s really not rocket science, is it ?


I was totally observing the veggie diet regime… then 2 hours ago I met up with Lily ( outside ).
She said shall I get us something to eat – a sandwich? I gave her some money and said yes.

As I finished the sandwich she said ‘ hang on, aren’t you a vegan?’ I said yes, pretty much.
Then she laughed and said ‘ well you’ve just eaten a coronation chicken sandwich..’


So I forgot!
I blame her for giving it to me ! 😂

And being in mourning about Wales not completing the Grand Slam last night What a game!


The Big Question.
Is Viz comic as funny as it used to be …?

The answer is YES! 😂

Lizzy bought me a year’s subscription, and it makes me laugh out loud!


Well after 80 days of 2 hours a day arm cranking… I have a 34 1/2 inch waist… which is a lot less than I had at the end of December.
At the time of my crash it was 33 ( and had been for decades.. ).
Goes to show then … you do the right/ enough exercise and you get results, but it’s not an overnight fix.
Im probably about 10 pounds lighter only … but I’m ‘ redistributed ‘ and muscles weigh more than fat…