Breaking; mass dogging event planned. This is not essential travel. Or so say the local Stasi.
Do not go to Canvey Island. Even if it is quite close to Southend. There’s a joke in there somewhere.
Breaking; mass dogging event planned. This is not essential travel. Or so say the local Stasi.
Do not go to Canvey Island. Even if it is quite close to Southend. There’s a joke in there somewhere.
Just witnessed an interesting spectacle. I was at my desk when I heard a loud honking of car horns from close by. No idea what was going on so I looked out of my window. I could hear lots of almost continuous honking but nothing in sight. Walked across to the main bedroom and opened the window. Across the farmyard and down the lane I saw a balloon decked car sitting outside the drive of a neighbour, blocking the lane with a line of cars behind it, all honking like mad.
First thought was “Someone’s being a dick.” Then I looked again and saw that the loud line of cars behind the car blocking the road were likewise decked with balloons and decorations, all frenetically sounding their horns and waving at the house. As I watched, the father, I assume it was Dad, walked over to the stopped car to be handed a package. Words passed with waves and smiles to one of the kids being held up to stand on the garden wall. Then the car blocking the road moved on, to have it’s place taken by the next in line. Gifts were passed on. Thanks exchanged. The little child waved to their line of well-wishers. This carried on for ten minutes. “How cool is that, a COVID compliant birthday party?” was my next follow on thought.
Cars drove up past our drive, turned around and went back past the child on the wall, who showed every sign of enjoying the spectacle enormously, waving with enthusiasm at the passing party cars.
Total time from start to finish? Just over ten minutes, but a ten minutes that will stay with that family for quite some time. They got a little validation. Social distancing was observed and a child got a birthday party. Which left me thinking “What a lovely creative solution to the heartlessness of lockdown.” a jovially extended middle finger against the forces of repression as only the Irish can do. Not allowed to have a birthday party? Well, we’ll soon see about that.
Mrs S and I were talking in the car today as we pootled off to LocalTown. “Bill, I’m angry.” I didn’t ask what about because I already knew.
“I am too. It’s these bloody useless lockdowns.” I replied. “They make me think dark thoughts. My mind is going places I don’t want it to go.”
“What sort of dark thoughts? Share them.” She said. So I did. Nasty thoughts of committing bloody murder on those responsible for keeping us locked down. Ingeniously nasty thoughts. I think I must have a bit of Viking in my ancestry from backinnadawnatime. I won’t go into detail here, but I had it all worked out, from munition and delivery systems to the where and more importantly who. My other half let me talk for a while before making a suggestion.
Her idea was inspired by the Myanmar protests, where protesters against the military coup circulated messages on social media and then doing exactly the opposite of the message. One was along the lines of “Let’s all make sure our cars don’t break down in the rush hour tomorrow.” Then blocking traffic by pretending they had car problems at the same time, thus snarling up the streets of the capital. Men and women dressing up as each other on protest marches. Poking fun at the obvious powerlessness of the powers that be.
I thought about it for a while and took what she told me on board before I thought “What an epic wheeze!” Butting heads with the Stasi in Trafalgar Square hasn’t helped the anti-lockdown protesters, it just got people baton charged and beaten up like on September 26th. Therefore, so I am moved to consider, the traditional means of protest, particularly rallies and marches, don’t work any more. The powers that be are all geared up to fight that kind of gathering with kettling, riot shields and batons. And social media companies readily crack down on those opposed to their agenda.
So therefore, a shared message like “Simon said, let’s not quick march across pedestrian crossings dressed like extras from Dr Who tomorrow at midnight.” might have the bastards in black running around chasing groups of less than twenty around multiple locations slow walking across pedestrian crossings in pandemic fancy dress, say full painters coveralls and masks. Of course the reversal of the message would be easily deciphered, but by doing these protests flashmob style, that should get the message home in a way that even the BBC couldn’t ignore. Like doing a zombie thing around their cities wearing placards like “Beaten by the Stasi.” As a protest against the beatings or by wearing full mask and hazmat. The cops couldn’t do anything because you’re in full PPE and thus over-complying with these godawful regulations. Alternatively, the moment the cops turn up, the idea would be to disperse in all directions and change out of the protest disguise.
Reverse the psychology, keep the opposition guessing, then disappear should be the rule. Don’t square off against better armed and resourced opponents. Make them look silly, because of all the things the power hungry hate, it’s being made to look ridiculous. Or make them suffer the consequences they’ve dumped on the rest of us. Viva Frei has an interesting suggestion;
Yes, if “We’re all in this together” how come those making these lockdown decisions are still sucking so richly on the public teat? Off with their funding.
A pleasant surprise dropped into my YouTube feed this morning. David Davies has introduced into the UK Parliament a bill which is meant to promote freedom of expression in the University system.
“A Bill to place a duty on universities to promote freedom of speech; to make provision for fining universities that do not comply with that duty; and for connected purposes.”
Currently awaiting it’s second reading. This is good news, providing this private members bill stays the course. It will be interesting to see who pops up to speak against it, or plays silly buggers with this bill at the Committee stage.
“And connected purposes”? Might this mean all those anti-social media platforms?
Popcorn on standby.
…Florida. Apparently direct comparison of mortality and cases between Florida, a US state that dropped all lockdown measures last year, has an infection / mortality curve significantly lower than ‘hard lockdown’ states like New York and California.
Watch, share, then cry a little for all those who didn’t get their serious health problems treated because all the hospital systems were fixated on SARS/COV-2. For all those who lost hope because of lockdowns and took a step off this mortal coil.
For my part, I’ve been trying to keep our household and that of ‘South’ (Via video message) jollied along. Which has been a trying task. My normally genial disposition has almost gone into acute failure mode on at least thirty occasions in the last twelve months alone. You see the despair of those you love and it twists a knife in your guts because they are trapped far away, and you are precluded from visiting them to offer succour.
The real world data does not lie. You can talk up ‘R’ numbers and ‘cases’ all you like, but the corollary evidence that lockdowns do more harm than good is all out there. In the real world, not in the shonky mathematical models coming out of places like Imperial College.
Maybe Boris Johnson will hear of this, sack the current bunch of time pleasers in SAGE and decide to lift the UK lockdowns. If he does, other nations will follow. And the more quickly the better. The world, social, economic and scientific needs to heal from this Lysenkoist Government-induced disaster.
A great reset needs to happen, but not the one the World Economic Forum want. We need a great reset where people are free to go about their everyday lives. Free to trade, create, live, love and work again. That, as the data coming out of Florida tells us, is what will fix everything, not some neo-fascist totalitarian nightmare pushed by the mega-rich, who it seems don’t have enough so they want everybody else’s money and possessions.
I’d like to believe that there is a light ahead in the darkness of lockdown, but my native cynicism tells me this may yet be another false dawn. Please let me be wrong on this specific point.
One thing we need to be reassured about though, is that lockdowns are never, ever used again. For any reason whatsoever.
Visitors to this site will notice that there is a ‘sponsored post’ advertising wordpress services clogging up your screen. Sorry chums, but I just can’t seem to get rid of the cussed thing. WordPress, in what passes for their form of wisdom, have blatted their garbage into this blog without my permission and outside of my control.
There’s nothing I can do about it as things stand. This blog is a hobby, nothing more, and I spend and earn no money whatsoever on or from it. All I can do is apologise to anyone who finds the advert intrusive and say “Nowt to do with me Guv’nor.”
Ivor Cummins runs the numbers.
Do lockdowns cause more deaths than not? Well now, so they do. Now there’s a thing. Not to mention wearing a mask, or even two creating a lovely environment for rebreathing all those lovely pathogens and lowering your blood gases, thus a mask wearer’s mental acuity.
Is a great deal of the issue exacerbated by nosocomial infections? By over 40%, according to reliable sources of information. Not the mainstream or the politicians. Proper science sources. Source data and peer reviewed studies.
Can I just say; “Told you so.”
But no one cares what people like me think, because according to them I’m just a ‘science denier’ with a lifetime of experience across a range of industry sectors, from Engineering through IT and front line healthcare, amongst others. We must be shut up because we have valid reasons for disagreeing with the propaganda merchants.
Happy Valentines day tomorrow.
…I have things to do which aren’t getting done while the Winter winds howl round the eaves. Mostly because of these pointless COVID restrictions that have no basis in science, unless of course it’s political science. I have conversations which need to be arranged. Tasks performed. Roadblocks circumvented.
Then there’s the news that even with the whole population vaccinated the travel restrictions aren’t likely to be lifted and other such fuckwittery. It seems to me like half the world is scared of it’s own shadow, convinced that we’re all going to be slaughtered in our beds by a virus from befordadawnatime, or some other phantom conjured up by mathematical modelers. Yes, SARS/COV-2 is a nasty bug. As bad as the 1968-9 flu outbreak. And it seems to be hitting ethnic minorities hardest, particularly those with the darkest skins. Vitamin D studies anyone?
Even the normally hyper-sensible Mrs S has caught the worry bug, suggesting to me that maybe we should put our names down for vaccination. I said she was free to make her own decision, but I’m going to wait until May 2021 until I make a move in that direction. I want to see the outcome of this uncontrolled mass clinical trial first. I remember the fallout from the rushed vaccinations for Swine flu in 2009-10, so my caution is a learned response. Debilitating Narcolepsy is one of those conditions I don’t want to put myself at risk of. When I’m happy about the risks, then I’ll roll up my sleeve, not before. I am no anti-vaxxer, just naturally cautious about something so obviously rushed to market. Like with any new technology, I prefer to let the early adopters take the risks.
So I’m going to concentrate on that which can be done, focussing on subverting any restrictions by whatever means are available. To that end I’ve bought a nice big page to a day A4 desk diary, like I used to have when I was a contractor. Bloody useful things. Better than a cell phone because a handwritten diary can’t be accessed by anyone but members of the same household. True, you can’t make phone calls with it, but for at-a-glance accessibility you can’t beat desk diaries. Nothing ends up down an electronic rabbit or memory hole, and it can’t be hacked remotely. Technology has it’s place, but as a cautious man I prefer not to keep all my proverbial eggs in one information basket. You can fill them with doodles as mnemonics, sketches and notes. Whatever you like.
Physical diaries are also useful as an organisational tool that you always have access to, even if the power or Interweb goes out. So long as there’s light to read, you’re still up and running. Win-win.
As for entertainment, I haven’t been happy with TV, or even streaming for some considerable time, and have purchased a batch of 1000 and 1500 piece jigsaws to occupy my mind while I play ‘hurry up and wait’. Mrs S has her books, and we take time out to chat about what she’s read and how far along we are.
This is my life at the moment, and I’m doing the best with it that I can.
Got up this morning to find that yesterday’s snow is all gone. Still cold and breezy out, and I’ve got some kindling to cut and dry later for our wood burning stove in the front room for when the central heating needs a bit of help. I try to keep busy.
On the topic of keeping occupied, that’s the last but one jigsaw finished. A 1000 piece rendering of Vincent Van Gogh’s famous painting ‘starry night‘. As jigsaws go it rates a ‘Pretty fiendish’ on the scale of difficulty. Took me five days. The Yin and Yang swirls in the middle were the most difficult to make sense of. Rather like the chaos of life.
A thought about life slunk into my hindbrain while I was making the coffee this morning. It was about how much we as humans need stories. Not only that, but how we need to be involved in those stories. How we need to create our own tales, not just about what we saw on TV, but what we’ve experienced in our own lives. From discussing what happened at the weekend to a bit of gossip, or the book we’ve just read, we need to share our personal stories to confirm to ourselves that we are not alone. To confirm to ourselves that we still have all our marbles. We need to communicate.
To enlarge; we need to communicate face to face. Because I’ve noticed that when I hear someone telling their story, I’m not so much focussed on the what as the how. Because the what is just the narrative, but the how lets us know about the person telling the tale. Are they being less than honest or are they just being entertaining? Some people are good at joke telling and making others smile, others, with exactly the same words, can relay an entirely different message. Our styles of communication alters meaning. A sidelong meaning glance and twitch of the mouth can fill a million gaps between sentences, but we do need to see all these micro-expressions up close and personal. And it is an emotional need.
Not only that but we as humans need physical contact, even a simple handshake, which can tell you a thousand details about someone else in less than two seconds. About what kind of person they are and their level of sincerity. Handshakes convey a litany of mood and emotion. A hug volumes more.
Deprive people of that contact and they lose touch, not only with other people, but with their own inner selves. People get broken. Without touch we lose our will, our impetus. It’s why solitary confinement can break even a moderately strong willed person. We as humans are not designed to live in our own heads all the time.
This is why we need the lockdowns to end now, whatever the risk of disease (Even if it is minimal). These repeated lockdowns are stripping us of our humanity, damaging our sense of commonality, of our shared experience and turning us into isolated screaming online mobs.
What we are seeing is that lockdowns encourage hate and division, increase civil disunity. They make it easy for certain people to be manipulated and others marginalised. Which is why Twatter and Farcebook can be such toxic environments. Isolation is not good for us. Even me, and I’m used to long periods of working alone. But at the end of a working week I still need to go wandering down a crowded street or walk into a pub, even if I end up drinking on my own.
On the topic of risk, for those who want a clearer picture of the current statistics, you could do worse than read this article.
Busy doing nothing effective and getting rather fed up. It’s like the whole business world has dozed off. Emails don’t get answered.
Voicemail boxes are full. Enforced inactivity is fine for a few days, but for the best part of a year? For a virus that has a mortality rate not much higher than seasonal Influenza and can be killed by soapy water (Amongst other things)?
That and nearly half the population seems to have lost their reason. I need at least another two very fiendish Jigsaw puzzles to tide me over this lot, as it doesn’t seem likely that we’re getting out of this nutty lockdown situation anywhere soon. For light relief I shall be playing a little Johannes Sebastian Bach in the background. Ignore the flailing hands, I’m probably miming to “Toccata in Fugue” on the headphones, again. If I’m swaying from side to side it’s Brandenberg concerto no 3 allegro moderato.
Outside it’s been snowing, landlords kids have been out snowballing and tobogganing and I’m wondering when all the global warming we keep getting promised is going to turn up. All that job lot of sun cream I bought as an investment is starting to go off.
Well it had to happen sometime. Yet another ‘Downfall’ parody.
Sweetly apposite. ‘Nuff said.
The phones are back up, which means I can start getting things moving once more. Four days without a landline seemed like an eternity. No-one could dial in. I couldn’t dial out. People were getting fractious, not least of all me. Fortunately there is one silver lining to the louring clouds of lockdown, and that is that everyone’s expectations are significantly lowered.
As for the rest; sometimes the fun never starts. Especially for those living in County Longford.
I am so glad we live where we do.
I’m used to living and working online. It is, in some respects, something I’m fairly good at. For other things there is a phone, and as a trained communicator (Two ears, two eyes, two nostrils and one mouth, use in proportion). Unfortunately, when I need to talk to an overseas contact, our landline is down. Like today. So no business gets transacted. People don’t get paid on time and this reduces the sum of human happiness. Not something I like being even partially responsible for.
I could of course, if I had money to burn or an international data package, use my cell phone. But I’d rather put my funds to better use than paying cell phone companies for millivolts and sitting in a call centre queue for an hour or more while my remaining brains trickle out of my ears in tune with the bland awfulness of wait queue Muzak and their interminable adverts.
So what to do? Let my blood pressure be pushed beyond safe limits because the vagaries of fate preclude action? Or do I bugger off and do something slightly more interesting and successful while the phone company fix the lines? Dear reader, I chose the latter. Life, especially under the current pointless restrictions, demands little victories, those micro successes that bolter the shreds your self-esteem can be reduced to when utilities fail, and despite it not being your fault, guess who is first in line to get it in the neck when things aren’t done? Got it in one. Guess whose turn it is to be the office cat? Yours. Enjoy.
Here’s an interesting little life hack; did you know that an air fryer can make toast and fried bread? Well this one can. Saves putting the oven grill on. Don’t have a toaster, and didn’t fancy doing the old skillet toast trick. So my air fryer was put into service. 6 minutes at 200 Celsius lightly browns the bread and makes a nice hot slice to receive marmalade or whatever topping you fancy.
As an FYI; cast iron skillets can make seriously good toast and fried bread, which is where they score over the average toaster. Get the pan good and hot, stick in the bread and frying medium of choice (Olive oil, butter or nothing at all), flip when ready. There are more ways to make top notch toast than are thought of in anyone’s philosophy. All that is needed is a little outside the box culinary thinking and Robert is one’s father’s brother.
You can’t do fried bread in a toaster either. They’re a bit one dimensional as far as kitchen appliances go. Try putting anything but dried bread in them and the next thing you know it’s sparks and flames all round like a fork in a microwave. So I have the more versatile air fryer instead.
Another little culinary parlour trick I have to pass on is to stop your garlic going off. If, like me you don’t use more than a clove every other day, the trick is to peel the individual cloves and drop them into a jar of Olive oil. Result; garlic that doesn’t go off in a week and which keeps fairly well for a month. This also gives you a ready supply of Garlic Olive Oil, which commands a far higher price in the shops than the usual. So it’s a money saver too.
Anyway, supper beckons. Just soup and a small charcuterie and cheese board. There’s probably another glass of Pinot Noir downstairs too. And here’s me with this terrible thirst.
Presented without comment.
Suffice it to say that I concur. The numbers are all out there if you want to really look and not trust the mainstream.