Pandemic diary 61: Saturday compilation

A million ripples on the Lifford Reservoir and a moorhen island nest in the distance

It's a Saturday night and there's nothing much exciting to tell.

Just maybe know…

…that I've finished Mad Men and revisited The Marvellous Mrs Maisel. So I'm now going backwards in time.

…that I found a tiny oak sapling on my allotment and have brought it home and put it in a pot while I ponder where it can go to grow into a majestic oak.

Hipster oak in a jamjar

…that yesterday we went for a short walk that ending up lasting nearly two hours as we explored offshoots from the Lifford Reservoir and River Rea and the two canals, and were brought us within feet of large birds including a magnificent heron and two orange-headed swans. And then Sophie from Sophie's fish n chip n pizza empire in Cotteridge walked by and we talked about our tai chi class and the heron and our daily walks.

We had heard a rumour of cygnets of Lifford reservoir but sadly none were to be seen.

…that the weather has been a sunny gusty windbag that has made the reservoir shiver and chop and suppress in all directions. Quite prettily.

…that people are meeting up in our local park all over the mown grass area and that most underestimate the 2m distance and the number of people they are allowed to meet. Tomorrow I will be one of them. There is a feeling that lockdown is over even though it isn't at all. There's going to be a second wave, likely to be much worse than the first; speculation is for another peak in September/October.

The numbers

  • 36,675 UK deaths with a confirmed test result (41k including any deaths where C-19 is on the certificate; 54k over and above the usual number of deaths at this time of year)
  • 257,000 confirmed UK cases
  • the first peak was reached in April and daily deaths are declining but still yesterday 282 people still died – no small number
  • 3,393 confirmed cases in Birmingham, out of a local population of 1,141,816
  • 990 coronavirus-related deaths in Birmingham up to the 8 May (a third of all deaths since 29 Feb)
  • yesterday a neighbour told me her friend who died won't be cremated for six weeks due to 'the backlog' and they don't even know where the body is
  • our PM's chief aide Dominic Cummings broke the lockdown rules when he had Covid-19 and now the government is making excuses for him – but surely you either have one rule for all British people or it's a mockery – he's resisting all the calls to resign
  • 14-day quarantines are to be introduced for air passengers arriving into the UK from June (why not now?)
  • US death toll has passed 90,000 – the highest in the world

We're still no nearer knowing how this thing will play out. Friends are trying to organise summer weddings, or autumn ones, knowing they are likely to be cancelled or massively reduced in number. People are wanting to go on holiday but foreign travel looks unlikely for this summer due to border quarantine restrictions. Airlines are still selling tickets for the unknown future. People in long-term staff jobs are seeing their industries collapse and wondering what will happen when the furlough runs out at the end of July.

Sometimes I feel like to even make forward plans is to tempt fate. I've taken on board the new 'stay alert' rules but seeing so many people act like covidiots makes me depressed and angry. Some say this is what the government wants by not articulating the rules more clearly – any second wave will now be 'the people's fault'. And with spitting offences on the rise, it's not like you can say a thing to anyone.

In the meantime, I'm thinking of my friend stuck in hospital with no visitors and a broken routine that has made his dementia worsen suddenly. Also I'm thinking about family in their various lockdowns and hoping that everyone is ok. Sorry if this post has been a downer.


Damn, I really need to think of something positive to say after all that.

Tomorrow I'll get to see my brother for the first time in two months for an outdoor walk. He's been delivering food and supplies twice a week to vulnerable people through Helping Hands and I'm very proud of him for doing this.

I'll also leave you with Pete's magnificent heron photo. I have never got so close to one – this dude is one cool canal towpath customer.

That feel when you're trying to chill and everyone keeps stopping to take your photo.

Commission/hire me: fiona [at]

2 thoughts on “Pandemic diary 61: Saturday compilation”

  1. Wonderful heron pic! I almost never have my good camera when I see them, as it's usually when I'm running, and then I get cross I can't get a good shot. How were the canal towpaths? I nearly went to Lifford reservoir today but satisfied myself with the railway bridge (which was slightly underwhelming) on my socially distanced run with a friend this morning. So nice to access places I'm nervous to go on my own!

  2. Canal towpaths were… as you'd expect. Occasionally passing people but unable to quite get the 2m passing distance. The reservoir has been busy with fishermen/women/people.

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