Life is….

Some people say that life is just a bowl of toenails, or cherries, or even that it is a constant battle. This morning I got talking to Colum, our soon to be ex-landlord about property and rights regarding our recent scare over the appurtenant land rights on the new place.

Like any moderately successful farmer here in the wilder west, Colum is a careful man. I like him. He picks an objective and gently works his way towards it. “Patience and time.” was how he described his approach to property. His wife is, as we are, modestly successful as an investor. That is her part of his families ship. His small eggs are in many baskets, and that I truly respect. He might have an accent thicker than custard, and he’s not a fast talker, but he gets there in the end if you just let him talk.

We got to talking about the fallout over 2008 and all the properties the banks got lumbered with because people couldn’t pay off their debts. How drainage and sewerage on these properties were often on neighbouring properties under different ownerships, governed by what might be called ‘Gentleman’s agreements’. And how the deeds and titles were often a real buggers muddle of ‘rights’ ancient and not so ancient.

Which is probably why there were quite a few Irish properties up for sale at rock bottom prices as late as early 2020. Not so much now. However, if you are willing to take one on, there are still a lot of ruined houses with no roofs and hardly any walls, but these often come booby trapped in layers of informal agreements, easements and codicils enough to drive your solicitor (And possibly you) to drink and ruin.

While we were talking about property related matters, I got to thinking that some sources claim life is a battle. Yet, went my train of thought, as it gently chuffed through the sidings of our conversation, a ‘battle’ has a clearly defined beginning and end. Life is not a battle at all because the only clearly defined endpoints are birth and death, and there are often long periods when there’s nothing to fret about too much.

Before COVID, there was only the bugaboo of man made climate change, or the Russians, or next door neighbours cat, or the local council, or the idiot driver in front, or a thousand other of life’s daily little skirmishes and frustrations with opposing forces. And these little struggles collectively make up our existence. It’s a collation of events, not an event in itself. So the battle analogy falls over.

One of the other observations Colum made, based upon his experience of property negotiations in the wilder west of Ireland (And probably in the UK as well) is that there is “A little Hitler on every corner.” Always some mean spirited little sod who will try to spoil everything simply because they can’t have it. Human nature, eh?

Having given the matter a certain amount of thought, if you were to ask me, I’d say that taking everything into consideration, life is war.

Resurrecting an old joke

There is a joke so old that my father taught it to me. “The floggings will continue until morale improves. Signed, the Captain.” A real life variant of which was recorded in the 1960’s as “All liberty is cancelled until morale improves.” A more modern (and pertinent) variant might be “The restrictions will continue until our share prices drop.”

But there’s a study (From Harvard, if that impresses you) just out that demonstrates what some of us have been maintaining all along, that natural immunity is far better than the experimental vaccines alone. See below. Dr Syed discusses the study below.

So if what he’s saying is the unvarnished truth, if you’ve had the dreaded lurgi and recovered, then got vaccinated, congratters! Like me, you likely won’t get it again, regardless of ‘variant’. Unlike having the mRNA vaccines alone, where ‘breakthrough infections’ do happen and there is also a documented elevated heart and reinfection risk. Which is why I’m reluctant to get a ‘booster’. The risk / reward equation at this stage of the game does not seem favourable. I’m already immune, with brass knobs on and no returns, so why bother? I can’t catch it and am therefore unlikely to pass it on, Huzzah! World saved, half hols for everyone. Home for tea and medals.

So no more need for tests, masks, or vaccine passports or whatever. We’re all golden. South African sniffles notwithstanding. Herd immunity has been reached. If only the PCR test, which detects both live and dead virus, were replaced with antibody tests, then we would have a clearer picture of how the virus has propagated through the population and who is now immune. But maybe that would have been too easy.

Yet the UK is imposing even more restrictions, fining people two hundred smackers for getting on a bus without a mask. Which makes no sense. As does cancelling the vaccine passports of those who, like me, won’t bother with a vaccine booster. Especially as having the booster will entail entering a known sink of infection. A.k.a. a hospital.

We are immune. Unlike those who have been vaccinated without having caught the dreaded lurgi first, now they may get a dose, but will probably get the milder version, which is what the “OhmyGod” variant will give you anyway. Which is what the South Africans are saying.

Which sends us, in a circuitous manner, back to the beginning of this post. The punishments, because that’s what mask mandates and lockdowns are, will continue until the infections go away. Which will be never at this rate. Even if the measures to mitigate the outbreak don’t really work in the wider population. Because they have obviously failed to do so on the new strain in Scotland. As on the previous bugaboo delta ‘variant’, prompting the comment below;

‘The Scottish and English approach to masking, although formally different since July, has made no meaningful difference to Delta.’

     – Professor James Naismith FRS FRSE FMedSci FRSC FRSB. Professor of Structural Biology, Oxford University on England’s new mask rules

In hospitals, or in other natural reservoirs of infection, yes masks and elevated hygiene measures have a mitigating effect, but not outside in the wider world. There you might as well write a cheque to ward off double pneumonia, and continually beating people over the head with these restrictions will do nothing but breed further resentment.

Oh well, I have to pay the deposit on the new place today. The money has been waiting for weeks, so I might as well put it to work.

We’ve done all our Christmas shopping already. There’s only the fresh stuff and some Port and Sherry to get. Christmas cards go winging their way to UK family by Friday, so there’s not much else to do but wait around.

After that we’re packing. It’s going to be another one of those oddball Christmases.

Oh nooooooo!

So the next scare story is the “OH MY GOD!” mutation of the COVID bogeyman. The ‘Scientists fear’ lie is being pumped out by the politicians and mainstream media and we’re all going to DIE!!!! Allegedly.

And other such bolleaux. Like forbidding the unvaccinated from even going out of their houses to go food shopping, as mooted by some fruitcase in the Irish Senate and other such dickheads. We must all go into panic mode NOW! or else we’re all dooooomed!!! Despite the description by one doctor treating this new variant as ‘a storm in a teacup’.

What a bunch of morons. Like those cretins of ‘Extinction Rebellion’ who were reportedly blocking Amazon’s UK depot. So if your Amazon bought chrissy pressies are late, you know who to blame. If one of your neighbours is a supporter or member, some cascara in their festive glass of mulled wine might be a good idea. Or exclude them from any parties you might be throwing, because their brand of crazy might be catching. And, one pandemic at a time, okay?

My major worry is that the perennially petrified in power will decide that we need to lose another Christmas (But not Eid or Diwali, funny that) and ‘North’ will be forbidden entry to Ireland. Which would screw up our plans for a family get together. ‘South’ is planning to visit sunnier climes because she can’t quite afford the ticket to Eire, and besides, she prefers places with a bit more noise than the tranquillity of the wilder west. She says she’ll try and break out of the great prison state of Australia sometime mid 2022. Maybe. Australian brother and sister in law are stuck in Queensland, but hopefully brother in law has a contact or two who can help him out. He’s like that.

Re the new place, we’re signing contracts at long last, and hopefully there will be no more hangups because there’s work to do, and we’re already two months behind our original schedule. There are things that I’m going to have to do in sub-zero temperatures, like fixing shed roofs and fitting a new woodburner.

Anyway, we will see what we will see. It’s all part of life’s rich tapestry he sighed theatrically. Wish it wasn’t but it is. The nutcases are in the driving seat and the great vehicle of state in which we all ride is swerving all over the place like a drunk in a tractor. Fortunately Mrs S has bought me a bottle of Black Barrel which should take the edge off things.

Sodding hell

Between the vendor, Mrs S and our solicitor I swear they’re trying to drive me nuts. The vendor to the property we want to buy says they want to keep the right to cut turf on our land. But there is no bogland turf to cut on the property. Nor are there any gateways from the property we’re trying to buy to any land with access to the turf bearing bogland. So why in the almighty buggery fecking hell do they want to retain the turf cutting ‘right’? When there’s no bloody turf to cut, and no way of getting to any turf bearing land across the property we are trying to purchase.

Mrs S is paranoid about people turning up in bloody great tractors and driving through our carefully planted areas at four in the morning. Yet they wouldn’t be able to get to the diggings from our property. There are no gateways apart from one to the road, the rest is stone walls and stock proof fencing. Indeed the closest road access to the diggings is literally miles away from our proposed new place. So why do they need the ‘right’ to cut and transport turf when there is no physical flaming access?

I think they’re all trying to drive me mad, maaaaad I tell you! My logic circuits are overheating with little red warning lights blinking all over the place. Pass the straitjacket matron, poor Mr William is having one of his not so funny turns.

Hi-ho. Last one into the rubber room is a rotten sausage.

Update: We have an answer and everyone has calmed down and stopped taking it out on me. Apparently the ‘rights’ are attached to a folio (Property description) only half of which is being being sold to us and it’s too much trouble to split the ‘right’, which applies to the whole folio, not the individual properties within that folio, if you catch my drift.

Matters can now proceed and I can stop hiding under my desk. The straitjacket can go back into cold storage.

Maybe this is an answer…

Here’s an interesting piece of news from the USA. Watch this piece on how the Pennsylvania Amish deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

Maybe the Amish and Mennonites are onto something…?

Just a thought

Busy doing chores this sunny Sunday. Nowhere I want to go, but there’s household stuff to do like washing, getting dry logs in, the usual stuff. Preparing for chillier weather and ensuring we’ve got enough essentials in to tide us over until New Year.

Before I went outside, I’d been lurking around a few comment threads and came across Zuckerbergs exposition of how wonderful his sparkly new ‘Metaverse’ was going to be, and how great it will be for users while he sells on all their personal data to the highest bidder, whilst telling people what to think?

I was struck by one salient thought about social media; it’s like a High School. Full of strange rules, half developed personalities, authoritarianism and confused sexualities. Yet the following phrase is now haunting me; how would you like to be stuck in an eternal High School, with no hope of graduation?

It’s why I no longer have any active SM accounts.

Addendum: There’s a petition to get the UK government to outlaw “No jab, no job”. Sign petition here. Do it now or be forever damned by your own inaction.


They say that purchasing (or selling) a property in the UK and Ireland is one of the most stressful events in your life. This is a saying that takes on new reality every day. From personal experience the stress comes from people asking me unanswerable questions after I’ve told them the bloody answers already then making out like it’s my fault. Even when I carefully point out where and when I passed on the relevant information to the right person four freaking weeks ago!

Then there’s a possibility of new Christmas restrictions that will do nothing to curb a virus, any bloody virus, because the majority of infections occur in bloody hospitals FFS! Then the powers that be bang on about ‘lack of ICU capacity’ when they had the emergency isolation hospitals all set up last year, and then promptly dismantled them all. Which makes no sense. If the problem is lack of facilities, you don’t chuck your emergency reserves in the bin too early, just in case the anticipated ‘miracle’ vaccine doesn’t work properly, which it isn’t doing. You do the sensible thing and keep the extra capacity in reserve. Just in case.

But that’s just me being Mr Sensible. Politicians should get their ducks in a row, not wait until the last minute and maintain strategic reserves until their successors are in place, then carefully put them back in the box they came in. Along with all the other toys the electorate has lent them.

Unfortunately, being sensible does not seem to be in the box or anywhere near the box at present. Because if something doesn’t work, then unless you know exactly what went wrong in the first place, repeating the same thing probably won’t work this time around either.

This threat to my families life and liberty is not being looked upon kindly. At present I’m determined to give my postal vote to Reform UK as the occasion arises. Local vote will go the the small, (but perfectly formed) Irish Freedom party. As for the UK Tories, Limp Dems, Labour and Greens they’re all cheeks of the same arse. Focus group driven fools with all the leadership of an Amoeba.

I feel much the same way about our vendors solicitors. Our purchase has already suffered so much project slippage that we should have been in and replacing the carpets by now, but at present, unless I’m constantly bugging people to the detriment of my blood pressure, nothing happens.

Mind you, I recall one anecdote told to us by ‘North’ when she was doing her articles in a small solicitors practice. As she was getting on with some basic conveyancing work, the senior partner bursts into her office, hides underneath her desk and tells her to tell the next person through the door that he was out all this week. Apparently the weak kneed nellie hadn’t been doing his job properly and was afraid of a client who had lost a large sum of money because of his laxity, and was incoming, presumably with the intent of providing some paying work for the Dental Surgeon next door. ‘North’ told the lie with senior partner curled up under her feet and the client left, presumably to spread his ill temper elsewhere.

Having read a couple of Grandad’s posts about his experience with lawyers, I shouldn’t really be surprised and I’m not. Just getting increasingly angry and looking to take my anger out on someone in a highly creative manner. Something that will hit them where it really hurts, right in the pocket.


Pootling around, kicking my heels waiting for lawyers to do their thing and playing with a few culinary ideas like bacon and mushroom stuffed omelettes and a lemon or chocolate cream stuffed pancake with blueberry sauce on the side. While my hands were busy and my mind ticking over I found myself wondering why?

Why do I have to modify my behaviour because of someone else’s unjustified anxiety? I mean come on. We’re literally being worried to death by people who don’t understand the subject (Be it climate or epidemiology), and when presented with facts tend to run away with their fingers in their ears, shouting “La-la-la! I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” Then urge the politicians to lock people in their homes, even there’s no earthly cause to.

Okay, there’s SARS/COV-2. It’s a nasty bug, but the worst, partly exacerbated by government decisions and a failure to follow the original WHO 2019 Pandemic guidelines (See screenshot of table 1 below), is long past.

Under ‘not recommended’ come things like ‘vaccine passports’ which are a form of contract tracing. As for UV radiation, that’s prescribed because the most effective wavelengths are probably more damaging than the virus (Read this for more information). Border controls are probably not worth the candle because the disease has already crossed the border, or you’re just putting off the inevitable. Screening likewise.

The wrong diagnostic test was and is being used. Antibody tests are the only sure guide for public policy. PCR at over 30 cycles? You could find traces of Alien DNA with that. Hell you could probably find pixies and unicorns as well. I won’t repeat myself over worthless masks and futile lockdowns. The disease should have been allowed free spread in the off season for respiratory viruses to build up natural immunity and thus cut down the vectors, but no, we had to wait for a ‘miracle’ vaccine, which poses more issues than it fixes. Now the politicians are flailing about, clueless to a man and making bad decision after bad decision. Closing pubs at midnight? That is positively un-Irish.

Look, if you’ve been vaccinated then you should be ‘safe’ from the infectious and don’t need to worry about the lurgi against which the vaccination is designed to act. If said vaccine doesn’t give immunity, then it’s not worthy of the name ‘vaccine’. No need for masks or lockdowns. Or are the ‘vaccines’ less effective than coloured water? Asking for a friend…

Elsewhere we’re being run off the rails by people who have no real spirituality so perhaps they’re frightened of death, and they see that everywhere. Moreover I think maybe because they think they have done ‘bad’ things in their past, or that the rest of us have, we have to be ‘saved’ from ourselves, when this is so far from the truth it’s around the other side of the space / time curve of the universe. I don’t want to be ‘saved’ by them because they couldn’t save in a sock under the mattress. The climate may be changing, but I’ve yet to see evidence that stands up to scrutiny that mankind has any say in the matter.

The good news is that at least some of these disruptors are getting jail time. Although not for the offence of blocking the street, but of being in contempt of a high court injunction. As for the claims that many more will ‘step up’ to take their place… Don’t hold your breath kiddies. Demanding that the government ‘do something’ when mechanisms for that something are already in place is asinine bordering on the insane.

Back in the real world, ‘North’ has booked her flight to spend the festering season with us, and if that haystack headed buffoon in No 10 Downing street prevents her leaving with another pointless lockdown, well I won’t be pleased. I’m already pissed off that Dublin, London and France are trying to foist yet another jab upon us because the last two bloody well worked didn’t they? Mrs S has threatened to ‘take to the streets’ and believe you me, that is something no one wants.

Just desserts

Today I’m going to share something culinary. Simple, delicious and cheap. It’s a little bit involved, but it does fit in with the general ethos of ‘cooking for conspiracy theorists’. However, the results are very comestible. I would have taken some pictures but the produced desserts disappeared before I got round to picking up my camera.

Notwithstanding; here are a couple of sweet recipes which will grace the taste buds with a caress as soft as a lovers sigh, melting like snow in a rainstorm upon the palate. In short, they’re just too yummy.

Now these two dishes share a cheesecake style filling, so you can make up a batch and lob it in the fridge while you decide on how to put it all together.

Sweet chocolate roulade and Ginger chocolate cheesecake.

You will need the following for both recipes; 8oz of Mascarpone cheese. A small pot of whipping cream. The juice of a lemon. Two dessert spoons of granulated sugar. Two dessert spoons of drinking chocolate. Some form of whisk and two mixing bowls. 1 Cup plain flour. 1 medium egg and 1 cup whole milk. Also about 1 cup of crushed ginger biscuits. 3oz of butter. 1 full size frying pan.

Step one; The pancake. This is easy, throw plain flour into a mixing bowl, whisk in egg and add milk. Whisk until smooth. Put pan on med to high heat. Give a swift wipe with a small knob of butter. When pan is hot, add about half the mix and let it solidify. When it starts to brown on the underside, flip it and let that brown a bit. When cooked through, remove pan from heat, or make another pancake. Whatever you choose to do, put them aside to cool.

Step two; the filling. Also easy. Put whipping cream in bowl, whip until stiff (Peaks stay where you put them sort of thing.) Add mascarpone and mix together. Add lemon juice and sugar. Mix. Add drinking chocolate. Mix. You can either choose to stir into a uniform creamy brown, or a white streaked solid (ish) mix. Whatever floats your boat.

Put mix in fridge for half an hour of so. Go play a video game, watch a couple of funny YouTube videos. Do not listen to the news, it’s all drama anyway and is designed to interfere with your karmic self.

Step three; upon your return, crush about half a pack of ginger biscuits (Ginger nuts – English style. Anything else won’t work.) Melt the remaining butter, using some to paint your cooling pancakes. This is to make them supple and prevent them drying out.

Step four; mix the rest of the butter into the crushed ginger nuts and put into a suitable container. I use one of those plastic things the takeaways put your curry in. Washed properly they make very good fridge containers for leftovers. Line container with baking parchment or foil. Press butter and ginger nut mix into a flat even layer on the bottom of whatever container you choose. Put in fridge to cool while you do the next step.

Step five; using a small spatula / spreader / knife spread the mascarpone / whipped cream chocolate mix about a quarter of an inch thick onto the pancakes. Roll tightly (But not too tightly!) so they form a roulade and none of the mix oozes out. If it does, your mix was too runny – too much cream or not whisked enough. Put in fridge to cool.

Step six; get hold of container with layer of crushed ginger nuts and butter in the bottom. Fill with remaining mix. Smooth off top. Put back in fridge.

Wait for it…. About an hour will do. Cut pancake roulades into inch thick slices and serve chilled. These will not last long.

You can keep the Ginger chocolate cheesecake for forty eight hours in the fridge if you cover it with foil. If it lasts that long. This recipe has a habit of suspiciously vanishing very rapidly. Maybe it evaporates. But I’ve never seen anything evaporate in slices before. Or leave crumbs. Should I be worried?

Any old road up. Eat drink and be merry. For tomorrow we may have to diet.

The benefit of foresight…

In light of the news that Vancouver, and more particularly, Vancouver Island, until 2020 where Mrs S and I made our home base, is now cut off from Canada and possibly the rest of the world, I’m awaiting a call from sister in law to ask for asylum over here in the Emerald Isle. She and eccentric brother in law are stuck in the mid island, with only one route out; the local airport, thence to Vancouver airport.

And the border to the USA is also closed. Or rather more accurately if you leave, you can’t come back into Canada without a ‘clean’ COVID test Which you pay for. Wonder if that applies to the migrants getting their bags carried for them by the Mounties in Ontario?

Flights from Vancouver seem to be little affected. According to the departure board, all the major airlines are getting off on schedule. However, now the local politicians are panicking, anything can happen in the next half hour.

The main Coquihalla (Pronounced coke-i-hal-la) highway down to Vancouver is washed out about forty miles east of the Vancouver suburbs near a place ironically named ‘Hope’, I kid you not. It’s like losing a chunk of the M40. I’ve stopped in that town on a few occasions dodging back and forth up the trans-Canada, and trust me, Hope is not as Hope hopes.

Mrs S and I are enjoying a quiet bit of smugness over our decision to leave BC when we did. We know it gets wet, and ferry shutdowns are a regular facet of life on the island, which is overall about the same landmass as mainland England with a 60th of the population.

Vancouver Island is not a bad place to live in terms of views and space, but too heavily infected with the PC virus for our tastes. Too suburban and self involved for our tastes. Too easily ‘offended’. That they are getting a thorough soaking by the weather however, does not mean that they will be any more or less wet.

They’ll still blame ‘man made global warming’ though. Even though the storms are more likely a symptom of cooling.

Something concerning..

Mrs S sent me this video this morning regarding a potential enhanced cancer risk from the mRNA vaccines.

From my rather loose understanding this does not guarantee that the vaccinated will get cancer, but indicates that there may, and I use that word advisedly, be an increased cancer risk because of the way the vaccines mRNA spike protein might interact with the body’s immune system.

On the other hand, if the vaccine needs ‘boosters’ after every so many months and is inferior to natural immunity, then any potential increased cancer risk risk may tail off as the mRNA vaccine loses efficacy after six months to a year and more people brush off a low-level dose of SARS/COV-2.

However, I have heard a number of reports of myo and pericarditis from the younger vaccinated, and even of professional sportspeople dropping dead on the playing field. More than usual. Yet people are being coerced by government into these ‘booster’ shots?

What part of “Maybe this isn’t such a great idea” don’t the powers that be understand? Especially for a virus with such a low mortality rate?

Seen in a window

Pleasant restaurant lunch in LocalTown today only marred by people insisting on wearing masks whilst seated at their tables. The thought occurs that if they’re really so frightened of a disease, why don’t they go hide under the bedclothes at home?

On the drive home we observed these signs in a window facing the main drag.

Turn off your TV and the virus disappears


More than forty PCR cycles is fraud

Nice to see that there are some people getting the memo.

This is precious..

Apparently, arch-lefty Russell Brand has been branded a ‘Right wing conspiracy theorist’ by certain sections of the media.

All I can say is; welcome to the dark side young Skywalker….

This is sooo precious….


I keep hearing this figure of 75,000 (Seventy five thousand) excess deaths at home in the UK not attributed to SARS/COV-2. Not sure if that’s the overall figure since March 2020 or just for the last 12 months.

75,000 people who died of not getting treated for heart attacks, strokes and other diseases. Not treated by the UK’s ‘world leading’ and ‘wonderful’ NHS.

Out of a population 0f 67 million it’s a drop in the ocean, but I’m sure the families of those who got locked out of the NHS their taxes pay for will agree, it’s a small price to pay for controlling COVID (Do I have to post a /sarc tag here?) Which the lockdowns didn’t.

To all those people who advocated for the lockdowns, is 75,000 extra dead enough? Doesn’t matter. So long as it’s not you, eh?

No means No

Rough night last night due to some well past sell be date cheese that was undercooked. My bad. As the cook of the household I will not be repeating that error again. Then again I was the only one who suffered, so, non fit, non injuria, eh?

Regarding our new place, the lawyers plod on with their searches and sundry details, so nothing to report there. I’m forced to sit on my hands and trudge through research topics, most of which are like revision, going over the same old ground in the same old way. There will be no house move until the new year.

As for trudging along the same old path, that is rather how I feel about all the politicians pushing the ‘no jab no job’ button. To which so many workers in the ‘health’ sector (and others) are saying “F**k your lousy job. Now where’s my redundancy money?” Because you can’t fire someone without recompense because you’ve arbitrarily changed their contract of employment. Frankly I’ve lost count of the times I’ve simply dumped a demand to ‘sign here’ in the waste bin and ignored the follow up emails. Retrospectively altering terms and conditions without overt consent of both parties beforehand isn’t exactly safe ground, contractually speaking. They can’t really force you to sign to something you don’t agree with. They can put pressure on you, but that skirts perilously close to ‘constructive dismissal’ territory.

As for a mandated third jab. Look, if the first two didn’t work very well, then what’s the point of a third? It’s just doing the same old thing over and over again in hope of a differing result.

I’ve said my piece on the dreaded lurgi and cross-immunity twice before. SARS/COV-2 is a coronavirus. As are a few variants of the common cold and influenza. Your immune system, if you keep it in good nick with a good mixed diet and moderate exercise in the fresh air, without wearing one of those ridiculous surgical or cloth masks, will, if you’ve already had a coronavirus infection, be ready to pounce on any future interlopers.

I see from my Spectator feed that scientists are suddenly ‘discovering’ cross immunity (Again) and going “Sounds good.” Now forgive me from my simple minded layman’s perspective, but I got taught this basic principle when I was an NHS employee and student over thirty freaking years ago. It’s epidemiology 101 as our transatlantic cousins say. If you get an infection from a specific disease vector, your immune system will be primed to cope with something from the same camp. It will be educated by a previous infection and ready to deal with another, similar infection from the same family of vectors.

So no, I’ve had two jabs, and if they didn’t work then I’m not bothering with a third no matter the sanction. I’ve had my dose of the dreaded lurgi prior to my vaccinations, so I’m immune. A PCR test might find viral fragments in my snotty sinuses, but as for illness, no. Mild food poisoning notwithstanding.

The good news is that ‘North’ is spending the entire festering season with us. We’ll be putting the rest of our disparate clan on our big screen in the front room using screen mirroring via our AppleTV box and Mrs S’s iPad at Solstice, Christmas and New Year. I’ll rig up a stand so her iPad camera is facing in the right direction, and Robert is one’s Father’s sibling. Easy peasy.

The downside is that because ‘North’ is a vegetarian I’m going to have to cook two Christmas dinners simultaneously. However this is not insuperable and is merely, like all cooking conundrums, simple logistics.