Lockdown Diary – Day 68

I am wondering of I should change the name of this diary to something else. Meltdown Diary? End Times Diary? Because the lockdown seems well and truly over for now anyway. Until the second wave of Covid-19 hits in a few months. Until then it’s just a question of how much worse the situation can possibly get in the US.

I woke up early but managed to get back to sleep for maybe another hour, rolling out of bed at about 7am. As soon as I saw what had been going on back home while I slept I felt like crawling back into bed but didn’t. Instead I started watching the nightmare unfold via videos on Twitter. The more I watched and the more I read, the angrier I became.

Now as I write this at 11pm here in the UK, it all seems to be kicking off again. Another night of this and I just don’t know where it will end. But rest assured Donald Trump will do nothing but sit and watch it on TV, and maybe play golf. His work here is done. He has put the country on the brink of civil war, which is just what Putin got him elected to do.

My US passport expired a few weeks ago and I haven’t been able to get a new one because the US embassy in London is not processing applications. Recent events have made me question if I should even bother getting a new one when they start issuing them again.

There were protests here today. I would liked to have taken part but still not ready to travel to London in the current circumstances. Just not worth the risk.

Lockdown Diary – Day 67

I have spent the day alternating between being extremely distressed about what is going on in America right now and being depressed about it. It is hard to comprehend how Donald Trump has brought my country to the brink of civil war. And as for the police in the US, who are now more heavily armed than military units in many countries, I only have this to say: please don’t think that there are good cops and bad cops in all of this, because as long as there are bad cops there can be no good cops. Good cops would not tolerate bad cops. Good cops would not look the other way or stay silent or just say they are only doing their job. Good cops would get rid of the bad cops by arresting them, testifying against them, helping to convict them. Good cops don’t fire rubber bullets at peaceful protesters, don’t bludgeon protesting women or men with batons.

I am just too angry to write any more, and I haven’t even touched on the insanity going on in the UK, or the pandemic that was my reason for starting this diary.

Fuck Donald Trump. Fuck the Republican Party. Fuck white supremacists.

Lockdown Diary – Day 66

I was sitting outside with my coffee this morning on another glorious, sunny day. Suddenly a half dozen newly fledged blue tits descended along with their mum. They were all cheeping like mad asking to be fed and mum would go to the feeder and bring back a sesame heart to feed to each one. At one point three of them were lined up in a row on a branch of the viburnum waiting their turn. I went upstairs to tell Alice and to get the camera in hope of getting some photos. But by the time I got back they had moved to the big trees in an adjacent garden and I wasn’t able to get a decent photo. It really made my morning seeing this little blue tits, which I reckon had all fledged just hours earlier. Especially after the experience of our nestbox a few weeks ago.

After Charlie’s success at getting his stimulus payment confirmed I decided to try again, only this time using the link for non-filers and it actually worked! I haven’t got the confirmation that I will actually get it but at least they now have my bank details and can deposit it directly. So fingers crossed!

Thus in a heightened mood I put on my brand new running shoes and set off despite it being one of the warmest days of the spring. The shoes felt so much better than my old, worn out ones, but they didn’t seem to have much effect on my speed. When I hit my 5k goal I decided to keep going and ended up running 6k, the farthest I have ever run. It wasn’t a blistering pace, having taken me nearly 45 minutes. But it was also the longest I have run without stopping since I started this crazy running thing two years ago.

In the afternoon I went to Crawley to collect the groceries from Sainsbury. It took a long time to get down there because instead of going down the A217 I went via Redhill on the A23 and I got stuck behind a very slow moving hearse and a line of cars following it. The weird thing was at several points along the road there were groups of people standing and clapping as the hearse went past. Eventually, it turned off towards the crematorium in Horley. But I can’t help wondering who it was who drew people out to say goodbye like that.

We decided to treat ourselves to fish and chips from Sea Salt, and although a bit of an ordeal picking it up it was good as always. So having gone over two months without a takeaway meal we have had four in 9 days.

Oh, almost forgot to mention that Donald Trump is a psychopath and I can’t wait until he is in prison or dead.

Lockdown Diary – Day 65

One thing has remained consistent these past two months and that is I have had no trouble falling asleep. I like to listen to the radio through earphones when I go to bed, often it is the BBC World Service via the BBC Sounds app on my iPhone. It has a timer so you can have it switch off, thus saving you being woken up at 3am by the theme tune for the World Football show. There are also a couple of podcasts I like to listen to at bedtime, one called Shortcuts and another called Wireless Nights, which is a brilliant one by Jarvis Cocker of Pulp. There hadn’t been a new episode of Wireless Nights since January 2019, so I was excited to see one pop up on Monday. I started listening, but as usual fell asleep about 10 minutes into it. Tried to listen to it again the next night. Fell asleep about the same time. Ditto Wednesday night. So tonight I will try again to stay awake for a half hour so I can get to the end.

As for today, it was OK. The highlight was taking delivery of a new pair of running shoes. I had put about 600km on my current pair and they were so worn out I would probably have been better off running barefoot. So tomorrow I will have my first run in the new pair. It will be interesting to see if it has any effect on my time.

The other highlight was was walking into town and getting spicy wings for Charlie and I to have for lunch from Chicken Time. It’s a favourite of his (and mine) and they only reopened last week, and as he has now finished all his uni work for the year he deserved a treat. And so did I even though I haven’t done any work for two months!

Finally, I have been trying for weeks without success to check on my $1,200 stimulus payment. I never get past the first screen on the Get My Payment website despite having filed my US taxes for 25 years. I have been after Charlie to get signed up for it. He has yet to file US taxes but was still eligible for the stimulus payment. Non-filers use a separate site to check their payments and he finally tried it today and it went through first time and he has had an email confirming that the check’s on the way! No justice!

Lockdown Diary – Day 64

I had intended to start this entry earlier in the day and I promise tomorrow I will do so. Right now I am so outraged at the incompetent buffoon Boris Johnson and his incapable government that I can hardly see straight to write. Lies, shifting blame for his failings, blaming the media for reporting the truth … it’s as if he is trying to out-Trump Trump. The majority of the country, on all sides of the political spectrum, are entirely fed up. I think the screen grab below pretty much sums up how most people are feeling.

There, glad I got that off my chest. Apart from that, it was an OK day. I procrastinated as usual in the morning but final went for a run. It was pretty warm, in the low 80s, but I did OK. But when I got to the park it was even more busy than it was on Monday, and large groups were gathered, kids from multiple families playing together and little in the way of social distancing in evidence. The government’s actions have made people think the lockdown is over, which might be their real strategy anyway.

Walked in to town in the evening to get a few things from M&S, including a 500ml bottle of hand sanitizer. We had a bottle that was who knows how many years old so it is good to finally have the real deal.

Finally, the US went over 100,000 deaths today. That number will double by the fourth of July thanks to Trump and his covidiot, won’t wear a mask base.

Lockdown Diary – Day 63

The days just run into each other, with little to distinguish one from another. Sunny and warm, just a few clouds in the sky. Every day almost the same. Got out on my own for a very good bike ride up Reigate Hill via Beeches Road and Underhill Park Road then along the footpath and back down to the Clears. I only made it because I managed to get the chain on to the smallest sprocket or I never would have got up the hill. I am going to just leave it there until I can get the bike in for a major tuneup. I might go for another tomorrow but taking Charlie’s bike instead.

Meanwhile the Dominic Cummings shenanigans and Donald Trump’s psychotic meltdown continue apace. It’s an ongoing competition to see which country has the worst leadership, and at this point it is too close to call. And people keep dying of Covid-19.

Lockdown Diary – Day 62

Managed to get to bed at a reasonable hour and slept well enough but still woke up at 5.30 and took a while to get back to sleep. Went for a run in late morning, my 10th run this month, and had a time three minutes faster than the last two runs.

Priory Park, where I always finish my runs, was as busy as it has been since the lockdown began. Yes, it’s a bank holiday weekend and the weather was warm, but it seems a lot of people think this is all over, no doubt thanks to the deplorable conduct of Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings. If there is a second wave, as there surely will be, there will be nobody to blame but the populist morons in the US, UK, Brazil and beyond.

We are all sick of this situation, but the sane and sensible among us are willing to keep doing what it takes to save lives. Unfortunately, it seems a growing number of people just don’t give a damn about anyone else but themselves. And who can really blame them with the scoundrels who are in government?

Had planned on going for a walk with Alice in the afternoon but we decided to give it a miss, since everywhere was bound to be heaving with people, and it was just too hot.

Grilled some chicken, which we rarely have on the BBQ, and it was fantastic. Just a pain to cook without burning the crap out of it.

Lockdown Diary – Day 61

It’s been an uneventful day. Woke up about 8am after a good sleep and my hip was no longer hurting. Very relieved because I was worried it might be arthritis. Cooked a big breakfast of bacon and eggs and biscuits that we all enjoyed.

Then I set off in search of a bottle of gas for the BBQ. I went to the garden centre in Buckland where we usually get it, queued for about 15 minutes only to be told they had nothing in stock. So I went to another one nearby, Knights, and queued for another 15 minutes and then had to wind my way through the whole place with a trolley with my empty bottle only to find at the cash register that they only had three but couldn’t sell them in case they sold a BBQ. Finally found a small one at the little hardware store in Woodhatch. The guy running it said they were like gold dust and he sold out almost as soon as he got them. So I was lucky to get even the small one.

In the afternoon Alice and I went over to Bletchingley again for another walk. Not as long as last week’s bit still very nice. We walked down a long track to a little house that sits out by itself on a hill with a great view which we have always liked. We hadn’t been this way for years. There was a nice elderly man with a very nice dog who used to libe there but no sign of either. And the house had been completely overgrown with ivy or some kind of creeper. Have never seen anything like it. Can’t be good to have a house get into this condition.

With a fresh supply of gas we BBQ’d pork steaks for supper, then Zoomed with the family. Bob and Sue were in their car driving to Jean’s and then their son Jon’s, dropping off food. It was nice to see them all, as was being able to see out the window when they drove into Ahwatukee. I reckon it’s the only way we are going to see anything of Arizona for the foreseeable future.

Lockdown Diary – Day 60

Woke up about 5am with a terrible pain in my hip. Could not find a position that made it feel less painful. Felt like it was right in the joint rather than a muscular problem. Eventually took an ibuprofen and got a few more hours sleep, but it has been hurting all day. I think maybe I overdid it yesterday with a 5k run and a long uphill walk. Hope it is gone tomorrow because I want to run again.

So it’s been a pretty quiet day. Weird weather, very windy and a few rain squalls blowing through but bright sunshine in between. Only managed a few minutes sitting in the garden.

We had my famous lamb kebabs for supper and they were fantastic if I say so myself.

All day the news had been about Dominic Cummings breaking the lockdown rules. The Tories are in deep shit with even the Spectator magazine, where the little scumbag’s wife is employed, calling for his resignation. Yet members of this inept Tory government are all lining up to defend him. They have seriously misjudged the mood of the nation yet again.

Lockdown Diary – Day 59

Well, so much for trying to write these entries earlier in the day. It’s 10 to 10 on a Friday night and I am about to pour my third pint of Pilgrim. It’s been a pretty good day. Got up about 7.30 to cloudy, windy weather. It looked like we were about to get a storm but of course we didn’t.

I went for my third run of the week, my second three-run week in a row. You’d think that running this often my times would get better, but you would be wrong. I blame my running shoes, which have 550k on them and have nothing left in the way of support. New shoes should arrive in a week or so.

Halfway through the run the skies cleared and it got a lot warmer than the forecast had said it would get. Came home to great news as Alice had got her Covid test result back and it was negative. Never thought it would be otherwise but good to get it officially confirmed.

Had about an hour to recover before it was time for the weekly adventure of driving to Crawley to get the click and collect from Sainsbury’s. For once they hadn’t screwed up the order or forgotten things so it was relatively stress-free despite being much busier (8 cars waiting) than last week when I was the only one there.

Spent an hour or two in the garden, the went for a walk with Alice so got 18,000 steps in for the day. We had a rare treat of having our supper (pizza) in front of the television. Before this lockdown we only had meals together at the dining room table maybe once a week.

Late breaking news: Dominic Cummings, the government’s official shitgibbon, is in trouble for breaking the lockdown!