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Coronavirus diary and where does the time go?

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Today I found myself struggling to remember exactly what I had done this week and I realised that one effect for me of this protracted period of lockdown and semi lockdown is that the weeks blur into each other.  Tomorrow we are expecting an announcement to the effect that there will be what is being called a circuit breaker lockdown in Wales, a shorter period (but exactly how long?) of serious restrictions in an attempt to reverse the trend of rising infections and hospitalisations.So in this week's blog I am going to pin down exactly what I have been doing over the last seven days to try to stop the weeks blurring into months!Sunday 11th OctoberI went for a run about lunchtime and in the afternoon younger daughter and all her family (the only part of our family within reach at the moment as they live in the same county) came to spend the afternoon with us.  It was a lovely day, warm enough to sit outside, as we must right now.  We have two horse chestnut trees and much of the af…

Coronavirus diary - creeping into October

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Last time I blogged I said we were on the Welsh Government's Amber list up here which meant that the numbers of coronavirus cases were rising and a return to more restrictions was possible.  Well on 1st October at 6pm local restrictions were imposed here in Flintshire and also in the neighbouring counties in North Wales of Denbighshire, Conwy and Wrexham.  This means that we are not supposed to cross the county boundaries unless for a "reasonable excuse" such as travelling for work or for a medical appointment.  Living as we do very close to the border with Denbighshire that has meant a change in our normal shopping habits so we are now going eastward to Mold rather than west to Denbigh or south to Ruthin.    A greater impact has been made by the suspension of the "extended household" rules which now means we cannot meet anyone inside from outside our own household of two.  So our weekly meet up with friends has disappeared for now which I am missing.  I am al…

Coronavirus diary - in it for the long haul?

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Three weeks since I last blogged.  Why?  I don't know.  That is the reason, I think, that I don't know.  I don't know what is happening with the virus and what we should and should not be doing.  Following each twist and turn of what is happening is impossible.  One moment it seems that some sort of normality is reappearing - yoga classes restart, we spend a weekend with older son and his family.  The next it is clear that numbers of cases of the virus are surging up again.  Friday saw the largest number of new confirmed cases since the peak of the outbreak with 6,874 people testing positive.  At the moment hospital admissions and mortality figures are not rising as steeply, perhaps partly because the age profile of those testing positive remains much younger than it was in the earlier peak in the pandemic here in the UK and younger people do not tend to be as severely hit.  The Chief Scientific and Medical Officers, however, are predicting a significant increase in the nu…

A bit of a gap in the diary! This one is 17th August to 3rd September

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Well the nicest of reasons for not blogging for the last couple of weekends:  some time spent with younger son and his family.  They have three children under seven and two dogs, all pretty well behaved but nevertheless life was suddenly very full with all moments spoken for and "Grandma!  Grandma!" the rallying cry.  These are days you have to make the most of.  Our oldest grandchild is now a young man of fourteen, lovely and loving but living his own life with his own friends and enthusiasms, just as it should be.  It seems no time since he was three and insisting on sitting next to Grandma at the table, having Grandma put him to bed and read him stories.  So while there are stories to be read and games to play and children pursuing you around the garden - "Grandma, where are you?" - these are the days that lay the foundations for a life long relationship.

So there is hair to be brushed and plaited and ribbons to be tied.  The youngest is a two year old little boy…

Coronavirus week 21 - 9 to 16 August

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This week we went away, yes that's right, away from home!  We went to stay for a couple of nights in The Bull Inn in Sedbergh with some friends.  It felt odd to pack a bag, to decide to take my new tapestry crochet bag for my ipad and chargers, to think about something to wear which was not jeans or leggings with tops and t shirts. Part of me was pleased at the prospect of change and part of me did not want to go and leave our quiet, peaceful hideaway.   Away we went, over the border into England.  On the M6 the traffic was as heavy as usual. New cases of the virus are continuing to track at around 1000 a day but deaths and hospital admissions have fallen considerably from the peak.  Certainly out on the roads there was none of that sense of the country having gone into hibernation which was apparent even a few weeks ago.  The world was busy and on the move.Sedbergh is both on the very western edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and just in Cumbria, a small town with bookshop…

Coronavirus week 20 - 2 to 9 August

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Well here, rather extraordinarily, is a week with lots of post coronavirus firsts in it!  Some restrictions have been eased and while new cases have risen, both here and in England,  there has as yet been no increase in hospital admissions and only small numbers of new deaths.  Many of the new cases seem to be in younger people so it is possible that, however unpleasant the virus may be, young people are not as badly affected as the over fifties and that might account for a different profile in the new cases.So this week had three new experiences for me since the onset of lockdown:  first of all on Tuesday I went to see the hygienist at the dentist for the first time since January.  This was quite a strange feeling.  I had been asked to wear a mask and to wait outside the dental surgery when I arrived.  A young dental nurse, gowned and wearing a visor, came out to take my temperature and ask a variety of questions to establish whether I might be suffering from the virus.  Having done …

Coronavirus diary week 19 - 26th July to 2nd August

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Can this strange period really have been going on for so long?  Sometimes I am so used to it I hardly register it as strange.  I get up, I do my Spanish skype or zoom call three mornings a week.  I run, I read, I garden, I do complicated crochet.  I talk to our children on facetime or whatsapp.  This week I have been cleaning the house ready for the visit of an estate agent this afternoon.  In many ways it all feels entirely normal.  And then I turn on the news and there is a further restriction in Greater Manchester and other parts of the North.  I am so glad we took the opportunity to see our older son and his family in Manchester as soon as we could.  We sat in the garden when we went, although we could have gone inside at that time.  We stuck to our rules here in Wales and spent our time with them outside. Now at the moment two households are no longer allowed to meet inside or in a private garden so even spending time with them in the way we did a few weeks ago would not be allow…