Category Archives: Irish life

Save the world!

Went out today. Snuck up to Galway, to see if we could get out of the rain, which has been quite persistent. Bought a Tea Brack, which is a tea cake type of halfway house between fruit cake and bread. Very nice too. But oh, the calories, the calories. This is one of those treats that has to be rationed carefully.

Ireland, we are finding, as we sneak around the tiers and lockdowns, is full of tiny places to grab some of the tastiest baked goods it’s ever been my pleasure to get teeth into. Today we stopped at a tiny filling station on the road between Tulla and Ennis. Not much of a shop to look at, but stocking exquisite individual rhubarb crumbles and mince pies, all home baked. Their flaky pastries being crunchy all the way through and cooked perfectly. I’ve had far worse at the much smarter run of cafe.

Unfortunately, according to some people our little pleasurable perambulation contributed to destroying the planet. Supposedly because of that deadly killer carbon dioxide stuff pouring out of our exhaust. We are continually told we must “Save the world” by cutting back on everything we do. No more air travel, nice meals or personal transport, and turn down that thermostat you heretic! Then when the greater number of humanity have died through cold and famine brought on by so-called anti-global warming policies the world will be ‘saved’. Or will it?

Can I ask a few pertinent questions? First; how will anyone know when the world is truly saved? Second; if most of people are dead, who is the world being ‘saved’ for? Furthermore, who gets to decide if the world is ‘saved’ or not if a bloody great asteroid (That might have been averted if there were enough people to fund an asteroid aversion programme) slams into the Earth? These things do happen from Epoch to Eon, and might it be a better idea instead of messing around with atmospheric trace gas levels, if human activity has any effect upon those at all, to ensure the Earth doesn’t get wasted by a rogue chunk of rock from outer space?

Just my ten cents worth of course, but every time you ask these serious questions, all the fanatics can do is splutter and do an impersonation of Donald Sutherland at the end of “Invasion of the body snatchers.”

Which begs the question; does the world need saving from humanity in general, or just saving from the global warming fanatics? I have formed my own opinion, what say the rest of you?

Update: or should we be more worried about the latest asteroid to explode over New York state last Wednesday? It was part of a larger debris field. So don’t say you weren’t told.

Echoes

It’s not so much the hanging around waiting for things to happen that I mind. It’s the uncertainty that nags at my hindbrain. At present we’re still waiting for our worldly goods to arrive, and the person who was supposed to keep us informed has buggered off for a long weekend. The banks are likewise being less than amenable. Which is annoying. Simple things are taking twice as long as they should. Deliveries of goods are all over the bloody place, and a refund is not much good if you’ve been hanging around waiting for a specific item for the last three flaming weeks.

The echoes in our new place tend to get on your tits after a while. Which isn’t a whole lot of fun. Not to mention being in ‘level five’ lockdown. No matter that lockdowns don’t really work, so why despite all the freaking evidence are we still in fcking house arrest? Not to mention the threat of the coppers kicking down doors on Christmas day because someone might have one guest more than some arbitrary figure pulled out of thin fcking air? Whoever thought that was a good idea needs their throat slitting and their dying cadaver nailed upside down to a post by a very large spike through their sexual organs.

Notwithstanding, Police worldwide are traditionally known to dislike intervening in ‘domestics’ as the “He said-she said-they did.” factor is astronomical, and the chance of stray cutlery going where it shouldn’t during such an incident is too high for someone hoping to be around to claim their pension. That sort of officer will have already decided that there will be a large number of NFA’s on Christmas day, if they can’t call in sick or get the day off. However, the newer breed seem to have an unpleasant zeal for ruining other people’s days. A predilection for unwarranted intervention. A lack of live and let live. They’re more like Jackboots than the Police officers I was brought up to respect.

There’s also a suspicion that some unpleasant individuals will rat on their neighbours to get their own back for some slight, either real or imagined. Some might turn anonymous informer simply because they’re having an unhappy time and they don’t see why anyone else should have any fun. There’s a word for that sort of person. It’s a short, pithy, Anglo-Saxon adjective. My last remaining reader will no doubt know exactly what kind of low-life I’m referring to. The poison pen letter writer, the curtain twitcher, the neighbourhood snitch; weak willed, nasty and spiteful.

Fortunately our local Garda don’t seem to be much in evidence and will only make their presence felt if there’s a real problem. We might be supposed to be confined to a 5km radius, but there are enough exceptions for everyone to negotiate their way around and get the necessities of life in without too much legal interference. And no-one in their right mind is even thinking about interfering with Christmas. Besides, we’re building relationships with our close neighbours, making ourselves known, helping out if need be and just being decent human beings. But those are tales for another time and place.

In the meantime at our new domicile it’s all hurry up and wait while the echoes of life amplify every single breath. Is it time to go out? Why yes I think it is.

Could be worse I suppose

When the first lockdown came, because we didn’t know much about SARS/COV-2, I was uncomfortable, but moderately okay with it. Now we’ve got Governments locking down their entire populations on what seems like a whim. The real science just doesn’t support locking down. Professional epidemiologists say it, I, with my hospital training, say it.

Being restricted to within 5km of home doesn’t help. All the closures of retail, religious or sporting facilities doesn’t help. The masks don’t help. The excessive testing doesn’t help. All the fear doesn’t help.

When this thing first hit I thought: “All over by the end of April.” And, yea and verily, the worst was past in April, with the Pandemic effectively over in May. Huzzah! thought I. Health services were ‘saved’, for what I’m not sure, but they had come through intact. Great. Okay, let’s get on with our lives.

Then the lockdowns and restrictions continued all through the Summer, and I couldn’t work out why. The virus had run it’s course and hows about getting back to real life guys? Many epidemiologists and medical professionals say we needed Summer to get our immune systems ready for Winter. Which made perfect sense. The death count for SARS/COV-2 infections during the Summer months was all but zero and we humans need to get out in the fresh air and sunshine to bolster our vitamin D levels ready to fight off all the infections that spread like wildfire in indoor environments during Autumn and Winter.

Unfortunately, the mathematical modelers with the ear of Government kept on with their crazy predictions about infection rates, and thus presumably deaths. The mainstream media, because as I have said too often before, fear sells their product, kept repeating the false predictions like they were fact, stoking the fear factor in the wider public.

Those of us with a working brain cell left can see economic disaster like a looming cliff edge that all the fearmongers are driving us all over. Not to mention all the suffering and death caused by people who can’t access primary health care due to the restrictions. Or the increase in mental health disorders and resultant suicides.

Keeping people indoors doesn’t help either. Cold and flu season happens because people are corralled indoors in close proximity. Those who get out in the fresh air tend to suffer less. So why are people being forced to stay in an environment where disease can run rampant?

That and a lot of people have had their salaries drastically reduced, so they’re spending less and the economy has undergone massive shrinkage. Because although governments are using a magic money tree to pay ‘furloughed’ workers, they’re just storing up real pain for the future.

Why does all this upset me and drive me to drink? Because it’s unnecessary and gets in the way of that little thing we all call living.

Oh yes. The weather has turned and it’s been raining. So I’m sitting in a deserted kitchen railing against the wind via my keyboard.
Heavy sigh… Could be worse of course. We could have moved to Wales.

Pass the Jamesons.

On another topic

Mrs S is relearning how to handle a car with a manual gearbox. So while we’re in yet another pointless bloody lockdown, we’re taking short pootles out half way to LocalTown, well within our 5km radius like the politicians tell us to. I’m sure the old muscle memory will come back rapidly the more she drives, so I just sit in the front passenger seat admiring the scenery and enjoying the ride. As I’ve been doing all the driving for the last seven weeks, it comes as something of a welcome break.

The traffic outside doesn’t seem to be reduced by much. Well, we’re in a rural area and it’s that time of year, so our landlord is busy ferrying cattle and sheep about, either from grazing area to grazing era or what is euphemistically called ‘cropping’ in some circles, in others ‘selling on’ or more honestly, slaughter for meat. He doesn’t tell us, and we don’t ask. Besides, while I’m quite comfortable with field to fork, Mrs S, like most non-rural folk, isn’t.

We have two solid fuel stoves, and as the chillier weather begins to close in, am getting in practice with the dark arts of fire lighting and grate maintenance. Dark as in grubby and arts as in these things can be finicky if you don’t set the dampers and draughts just so. We’re still waiting for our furniture, but we’ve got into a rhythm for the day, taking walks down country lanes and learning to step into the foliage when anything big and agricultural comes rolling down the road. And we’re being blessed with some fine Autumnal weather out here in the wilder west of Ireland at present. Even the rain has the good sense to let up after seven in the morning.

The politicians assure us these lockdowns are meant to ‘rescue’ Christmas, but I’m inclined to disagree. Christmas this year in the British Isles looks like being cancelled and the pollies are going to royally mess up New Year as well. They are succeeding where Cromwell’s Puritans failed. If it’s left to them, no one will be allowed to have any fun at all over the festering season, the miserable bar stewards.

Back in BC, Elderly friend is losing her last marbles, but we keep in touch by phone. She can’t walk any more because her balance has gone AWOL and her care staff report she’s being cantankerous. There’s nothing we or our proxies can do apart from watch and wait. Hell, she’s had a bloody good run at life, and everyone dies sometime. I hope that when my time comes, as it will, I don’t keep everyone hanging around, twiddling their thumbs. For one thing, it’s bad manners to keep people waiting because you can’t make up your silly mind.

On the plus side, the kids are fine in their chosen locales, and they’re even talking to me via email on a regular basis. We’re busy walking and talking. Getting to know the locale, showing our faces, getting mugged by over enthusiastic dogs and suchlike. It’s not all doom and gloom. There is wine, there is food, we’ve discovered the David Tennant / Michael Sheen lockdown series ‘Staged’, which is remarkably good for the chuckle muscles. See below.

Well, Mrs S and I like it.

Oh yes I forgot. It’s spaghetti and meatballs tonight with a nice Chilean red.

The new normal

I was up early, pacing our empty kitchen this morning, worrying. Word is we may even be restricted to travel within 10km of home for the next four weeks. Bound by an insane web of ever changing rules that make the word ‘byzantine’ look like simplicity personified. Masks, no matter how useless they really are at this stage of the game at preventing viral spread, will be required everywhere, perhaps even in your own home. Although there are those who do that already. The insanity is, like the SARS/COV-2 virus, everywhere. It has gone from pandemic to endemic. There’s no escape.

Uncertainty has become the rule under which we live. At this point I don’t even know if our worldly goods will be allowed to be delivered next week. The situation is that unclear. We’ve put a deposit on a suitable car and it’s in the shop having a pre-sale detail and service. Unfortunately, as the car dealership we are buying from is slightly over 10km from our new home we may not even be allowed to pick it up at the end of this week. We have the money to spend, but we don’t know if we’re going to be allowed to spend it.

Insurance for independent expats like us is likewise an issue. Finding someone who will insure without a usable no-claims is a pain. We have full documented no claims in Canada for the last thirteen years and for at least six documented years UK no claims before that, but does any of it count over here? Nah. Only certain countries no-claims, such as some EU states and the UK (But not always) are allowed here in Ireland. We know we’re going to get stung. The only question that remains is ‘how much by’? When it comes to transport, there’s this constant feeling of; “Sticker, see that brick wall? That’s for your head. Off you go.”

However, our woes pale into insignificance if some of the lockdown stories surfacing are any guide. There’s a nasty rumour floating around the Interweb that people have died screaming in agony because they were prevented from getting prompt treatment by the lockdowns. Don’t know if these tales are true or not, but I’m sure that video’s will surface if they are. If this is the new (ab)normal they can keep it.

The truth is like that. It always leaks out. The harsher the censorship by the tech giants, the more things will pop up. The evidence will surface, one way or another. And we know where the blame will lie, as it has lain over the last two decades or more. On those who push the panic button to keep themselves in a job, the powers that be, and those who carry water for them.

Hear what Sargon has to say. They’re cancelling and censoring the White House’s social media accounts? Along with so many others. That’s going to come back to bite silicon valley and some of the big corporates. Especially if Trump wins his second term.

I don’t use social media anyway, having cancelled twatter and Arsebook years ago.

Fortunately our car hire guys have been absolute heroes. Sixt, when it comes down to it, may not be the cheapest, but their customer service is worth every penny. I’ve used them in four countries on three continents so far (Australia, France, UK and Canada) and unlike all the others, have always walked away without a care. There’s never been that WTF! moment when you check your credit card statement after a hire. Our currency brokers have likewise upped their game, as if it needed upping, and come through with some happy news. If you have a legitimate need to shift money from country to country, may I give the gold star of approval to Currencies Direct. Needless to say, Mr Bezo’s boys continually come up trumps. These guys have been life and sanity savers in very difficult times.

Update: Other people are not as fortunate or determined as we, and even children are cracking up under the strain. Watch the video below, read out from a report first penned in May 2020. God alone knows what that poor kid is like now, and he will be only one of thousands. Perhaps even tens of thousands. We can only guess.

These lockdowns are a crime against humanity and the cracks are showing. But I repeat myself. Again and again and a-bloody-gain.

Useful links; as far back as 15th May, 43% of UK Psychiatrists reported an uptick in cases directly attributable to the lockdowns.

At least half a million more people in UK may experience mental ill health as a result of Covid-19 restrictions, says the first forecast from Centre for Mental Health on 15th May. the figures for 1st October predict ten million.

That’s just the mental health side of the coin. The economic damage and attendant fallout promises to be far worse. Now the Welsh assembly thinks it’s lockdown will make any difference. They’re wrong. The real science says they are, but they are politicians who don’t understand what they’re doing or what they’re really dealing with and what actually works.

So be it..

Had a bit of a scare today. Mrs S has been fussing about the last few in the plague of flies that afflicted our new home over the last week or so. Still can’t get over the fact that we’ve only been here just over a week. Anyway, she carried on so that I grumpily borrowed a stepladder from the farm and proceeded to check gutters for various carrion that the flies might be breeding in.

The gutters were clear, but while checking the section next to the most afflicted window, the stepladder suddenly canted almost twenty degrees sideways from vertical. Only some fairly swift and terrified gymnastics on my part stopped this being an incident where the unstable steps dropped me onto the bonnet of our expensive hired car, which only I am currently registered to drive.

Heart in mouth, I carefully balanced myself so I could get to the ground intact without either damaging myself or the car, then made my way to terra firma. Had I actually fallen, the inevitable damage to myself and the car would have been expensive. Or, as I tetchily remarked to Mrs S in the safety of our kitchen; “Don’t ask me to do that again. I almost became a COVID-19 statistic.”

Had the fall proven fatal, an outside but distinct possibility if the ironies of fate are taken into account, my death would no doubt be logged as a fatal COVID-19 ‘case’ when my post mortem PCR test came back positive. Regardless of whether I was suffering any symptoms of anything at all. That’s one of the reasons why ‘experts’ who can only see one side of the story are fucking up the lives of entire countries. They equate test results with actual infections and use their flaky Imperial College computer models to hold us all to ransom. Just like with HIV, BSE, Foot and Mouth, Swine and Avian Flu. I mean come on. How many more times do SAGE or NPHET have to be wrong before those eejits get fired for serial incompetence?

I may have a key fob that says ‘feckin eejit’, but even I’m not that stupid.

On the upside, we’ve found a suitable car. A little SUV with enough luggage space and then some for a few crates of wine, when booze cruises are possible once more. Colour isn’t great and it’s got a minor scrape but the price isn’t bad. Now all we have to do is get insurance. This is the mountain Mrs S and I now have to climb. Life seems to be full of these at the moment, but we’re managing to clamber to the top of each, only to take a breath and go “Oh right. There’s another one. Bugger.” When we see the next one looming on the horizon. So we sigh heavily, gird our rhetorical loins and pick up our metaphorical backpacks before embarking on the next part of the journey.

The secret about all this, if secret there is, is not to stop. Seriously. We’re not hungry or starving, we’ve been careful to do our homework so we can continue our journey. We have objectives. We have money set aside to pay for these things having sold up in Canada to afford this move, this great gamble. One by one, we’re hammering the pieces of our jigsaws into place, making the pieces fit and decorating our new landscape, taking each new hurdle with a deep breath and a sotto voce “So be it”.

The Great Barrington Declaration

I’ve signed. Using my real name and address. Just as a concerned citizen. You could too, all it requires is the courage of your conviction.

Maybe there will be a negative outcome for me. Maybe the thought Police will come kicking my door down at 4am, but I doubt it. Rural County Clare, Ireland is hardly Soviet era Russia. Besides, the local Gardai have better things to do and there aren’t enough of them to do it. There is a microscopically small chance that they might knock on my door and politely ask me why I signed, which is highly unlikely. Same for Police all over the world. Even where they’re acting more like jackboots than elsewhere, such as in the UK.

The UK Police have been used like a political hammer to quell even reasonably mild dissent on this issue and that should be a badge of shame against them. In acting as they have they have saved no-one and may have condemned others to a premature death. Not from a nasty bug that mostly shot it’s bolt in March and April, but from the other negative outcomes. The politically mandated redundancies, closed businesses and resultant negative outcomes. Not to mention beating up peaceful protesters whilst ‘taking a knee’ to Marxist rioters. The Met should be collectively hanging their head in shame for the 26th September debacle in Trafalgar Square. As for Cross-eyed Dickwit, well, I leave my one remaining reader to deliver their own judgement. Why she still has a job is a matter for speculation. Anyone else would have been fired by now.

On the subject of London, ‘North’ told us last night that she was becoming so used to the restrictions that she didn’t notice them any more. Or that they were only being lightly policed in her area, but she didn’t say. Although the number of boarded up shop fronts I’m told has increased. LocalTown over here has plenty. We’re not quite in ghost town territory yet, but the economic harms are plainly visible and going into ‘level five’, there will be even more to come.

Which is why I signed the Great Barrington Declaration. The COVID-19 insanity must end, and if we do not raise our voices, then it never will.

On the home front I’ve managed to sort out the problems thrown my way and obtained a slew of apologies. We’re all good for the time being. Mr Amazon is being useful and we’re getting our supplies in before ‘level five’ goes live and we metaphorically have to sit on the collective naughty step for no good reason. There is food, there is alcohol, shelter and warmth. The birds still sing and the sheep and cows make a racket in the small hours if so much as a squirrel startles them. Could be worse.

Oh yes, and I fixed my network printer issues. Yay! So long as our furniture is actually allowed to be delivered in the next two weeks, we should be golden.

Travel tribulations

Ireland just went to “Is your journey really necessary” restrictions to which my answer will always be “Yes.” The Gardai (Police) are requesting definitive guidance on how to Police this, which knowing the current crop of fearful vacillating political class, will take at least a month to draft. Which is to our benefit. Here the Police say they prefer to use the old Peelian model of co-operation with the public, which is good. Not like the UK where the idiots are known to kick down doors because someone had the TV on too loud.

Mrs S is fretting, because we have to get out of our current holiday let this weekend and drive our next stop. She’s worried about the travel restrictions and insists I go shopping today and buy lots of canned and dry goods in case we go into level five, which is complete lockdown of the entire fecking country. The ‘experts’ say level five is essential, but for once the politicians kept their nerve, or were more frightened of widespread civil disobedience and said level three, no more.

I’m going to hold back on doing a large shop of canned stuff until Wednesday. By which time our new bank account will be live so I can start moving money around. Once that’s started we’ll be able to get cracking properly. We’ll get the first tranches of capital over and the great work can begin in earnest.

At least the cops over here don’t make unpleasant little rap video’s telling the public that “We’re comin’ to get yer.” Whoever thought that was a good idea needs their head examined. Same for chasing people indoors, when outdoors was the safest place to be.

Overall there’s little of the heavy handed approach here than I’ve seen in the UK. The public are trusted to get on with their lives, and that will be to Ireland’s benefit. It will come out of this with trust in law enforcement more or less intact. And trust is crucial in matters of Policing. Without it you have coppers being run ragged and coming down heavy handed on the very people they are supposed to protect. With the result that more serious crime will skyrocket and public order will be seriously, if not irrevocably impaired.

Might does not make right, it just makes enemies of those authorities that ordinary people need to trust to keep things ticking over nicely. From my reading of Irish history so far, it was the “I say you peasant! Do what you’re bally well told!” attitude on the part of the English that led to constant Irish rebellion and finally the war of independence.

In short this boils down to ‘treat people like shit and they’ll give it right back’. In millions of tiny ways that damage and erode confidence, which was always the plague of management relations in the UK.

On the home front our new house isn’t fully ready for habitation at the moment. Our furniture won’t arrive for three weeks, and there’s decoration to be done. Lampshades, artwork and the like. Then there’s some conversion work to be done on the electronics like the TV and Computers. Replacement power supplies, that sort of thing. Which means Mr Amazon will be a regular caller on our doorstep for a while. Overall, I think we’ve fallen on our feet, which will prove a solid grounding for the next steps forward.

Settling in

Well, that’s the new place up and running, even though we have still have four weeks left on our holiday lets. Gigabyte (A whole Gig!) Fibre Internet connection is in and running. Phone is working. Extender network installed. Plague of flies battled. Heating fuel in and rent paid. Bank account should be ready to take first tranche of deposit money shortly and car insurance quote is on the way. We’ve been busy bunnies.

Tip for the interested; if like me you were doubtful about the efficacy of ‘essential oils’, note that Rosemary, Peppermint, Lemongrass or Lavender oil dropped (Just one, not all) onto the surface of half a jug of water repels flies while making your house smell of something that isn’t chemical and has none of the cloying overtones of supermarket air fresheners or aromatic candles. It’s probably cheaper long term too. We have a gallon jug of Rosemary oil treated water sitting upstairs and one with Lemongrass oil downstairs. They’re a little pungent at first, but the flies don’t like it at all. If the strategy is as successful as first attempts indicate, I’ll be buying those four on a semi-regular basis. Fly repellent and air freshener? Sounds good to me.

The whole mask thing is still a big deal in Closetown, but if like me you enjoy inhabiting the many coffee and tea venues, once you’re in a given set of premises you’re breathing the same air and you can’t wear a face nappy while you’re eating or drinking, can you? It’s also rather comical to watch people untrained in aseptic techniques get it wrong. Wear disposable mask, check. Wear disposable gloves, check. Wearing street clothes, whoops, you’ve just rendered the gloves and masks useless. It’s all a game of snakes and ladders from an epidemiological standpoint. Get one thing wrong and you might as well not be doing it at all.

Not that these masks do any real good at this stage of the game. They’re just a distraction from the wholesale removal of civil liberties. I predict that at some point there will be a massive pushback. An official will massively overstep the mark and it will all go viral. A child will be snatched and harmed and a parent will fight back and get badly hurt. Or something of that nature. The information will go public. It’s only a matter of time, then these ‘COVID Marshalls’ will find themselves with massive invisible targets painted on their backs. As will the politicians who forced this on everyone, regardless of individual culpability.

The UK Police have hardly covered themselves in glory with all the “We’re gonna get yer” Video’s and steaming crowds of non-violent protesters with batons while kneeling to every two-bit cadre of Marxist rioters. That’s coming back to bite them. In spades. Public trust, once lost, is a bloody hard thing to win back. Whoever is giving them their orders is both short sighted and incompetent.

Which convinces me further that the current crop of politicians, both in the UK and across Europe are only good at one thing; getting elected. At everything else they are about as inept as it’s possible to get. Boris Johnson in particular is only marginally better than Cameron and May, and that’s only by a pretty slim margin. He may be getting BREXIT done, but that will be no bloody good if the economy is a total smoking wreck caused by his cabinet’s incompetence.

As for even suggesting putting the Army on the streets to ‘enforce COVID restrictions’? Whoever came up with that suggestion needs to be defenestrated out of the forty fifth floor of Canary wharf. The only time the Army did street service in any kind of civil capacity on English streets was during the 1977 fireman’s strike. And then they were unarmed.

Armed troops should not be used in support of the Police like in Northern Ireland back in 1969. That just made a bad situation worse. As would deploying the Army in that capacity now. Stupid, stupid, stupid. ‘Putting in the Army’ is a hallmark of weak and ineffectual Government. Wilson and his cohorts sent in the Army to Ulster and that policy disaster helped expand what was originally a set of civil rights protests into ‘the troubles’, over three decades of murder and mayhem, including political assassinations, until people started to wind their necks in. Even in 2020, the conflict continues.

COVID-19 is no longer a threat. It does not justify the repressive measures and they should be ended. I say that as a member of one of the higher risk age groups. We need to get back to normal economic activity or we are all royally fucked. The news tonight from the Dail saying they wouldn’t lock down the country like the ‘experts’ wanted comes as some small relief. Our current rental runs out on Friday and we have to be on the move to our next destination. The last thing I want to do is waste time bluffing my way around road blocks.

Did I just repeat myself there? Well so I did.

Update: Ireland just went into “Is your journey necessary sir?” For the next three weeks.
My answer is “Yes officer. Because I want to sleep in a bed tonight.”
Rinse, repeat as necessary.

Bloody ‘experts’. Counting ‘cases’ which aren’t really ‘cases’ but ‘detections’. Those with symptoms are not even ten percent of the count and even the padded ‘death count’ is lower than seasonal flu. Some say it’s less than a quarter. One day Historians will look at this period of spineless insanity for a giggle and for examples of how to get handling a pandemic (That was over in May) so very, very wrong.

So far so, oh.

Right. We’ve got our permanent address here in Ireland. A little further west than anticipated, but not out of reach of Dublin, when of course it comes out of the latest lockdown. We’ve finished our mandatory self-isolation now and are free to mix with the natives as we are considered as low risk as everyone else. We caught nothing on the plane over and after two weeks are no longer considered ‘unclean’. I’ve even organised a local bank account and as soon as we get the official card I’ll start moving money.

Trying to get people to answer email over here is a hassle. I’ve lost count of the emailed enquiries I’ve made to insurance companies and the like. All we get is radio silence. You’d think in these straitened times that people would be taking the arm off us to get at least some turnover, but no, they don’t seem that eager. So I’ll keep on plugging away until I find someone who is at the very least awake and breathing.

Over the water, Bojo, the frightened UK Prime Minister continues to disappoint with his lack of balls over this SARS/COV-2 virus. He’s listening to ‘experts’ who quite frankly like their sinecures and are pumping out the fear porn via a complicit media to a gullible public, just to make it look like they know more than anyone else. Which of course is complete bullshit. I try not to listen to them, but if asked to wear a mask for a few minutes will do so for the sake of a quiet life. However, when no-one is looking…

Anyway, we’re out today around Limerick and stocking up for our new place with necessary stuff like cleaning materials and small appliances like a Microwave, kettle and similar. Ikea are due an order from us as our new home is at least as big as our old place in BC, which means room for visitors to stay. We binned a lot of accumulated crap when we moved, and will be buying only basic white crockery and a few chairs for our dining table. For when these bullshit lockdowns end and we can finally have guests in. Not that Mrs S and I have ever been manic socialisers, we’re too picky for that, but we do have good friends I’ll more than happily put my cooks apron on for.

When these lockdowns end. Whenever that is going to be.