Thank God For The Night Time

That’s almost a certain Neil Diamond song.

And I know I’ll be regretting saying that later when up in that heat box of an attic of mine that I sleep in. Or, rather, attempt to sleep in.

Although it’s not exactly cool, at least there is some respite from the day’s fire out here.

I’ve been sitting here for a while, light fading, darkness falling. There’s a bat flitting around these gardens, and a large dragonfly, large enough to have made my daughter scream if she’d have been out here with me, passed determinedly by, maybe heading for a place to settle.

That’s provoked two questions. 1: Do bats always flit ? And 2: Where do dragonflies sleep? Just a couple of more things to keep me awake during this hot August month.

Just thought I’d check in and see how you guys are, warm or cold, in lockdown or post-lockdown.

I’ve heard we may have another storm heading our way.

Here’s hoping.

Deep Sigh, Keep Looking At The Prize

In the morning, this leaflet arrived.

The council sent one to every address in the Rochdale borough, as numbers have spiked in the area, hoping to avert another lockdown being enforced upon us.

Overleaf were the simple bullet points:

You must wear a face covering

when in a shop or other

public place

Do not have more than two visitors

to your home at any one time

Always keep 2 metres apart

Avoid close contact with anyone

outside your household, including

shaking hands or hugging

Get tested and isolate if you

Are told to do so

Help stop the spread

of coronavris

Before we had hardly had a chance to digest this, and think about our concerted effort to avoid another dreaded lockdown, Matt Hancock announced that the whole of Greater Manchester and parts of both East Lancashire and West Yorkshire were being out under special restrictions: people of different households were to be banned from meeting indoors from midnight. Oh, and in gardens too-though beer gardens are okay.

Nine out of ten boroughs in Greater Manchester have shown a rise in infections, and, though Rochdale is the only borough with a declining number, we have been lumped in with the others too.

Here is a map of Greater Manchester, with my town of Middleton surrounded by its equally condemned neighbours.

People are getting a bit fed up with it all now, and the criticism is that this news was announced on Twitter at 9.00pm, with the details revealed at midnight. The government had said that, when they ceased their daily press conferences, they would hold them for significant announcements, such as local lockdowns. It has been suggested that this short notice was with the Muslim festival of Eid in mind, which started the very next day.

There are some towns that haven’t got a single case of Covid, but have been included as being part of Lancashire.

For those not of the UK, or at least the north, I know it’s a confusing melting pot of counties and boroughs and townships. I think rather than a blanket of restrictions thrown over the whole area, a more localised town-by-town approach would be better.

But when was I ever an advisor from SAGE?

Anyway, I’m off now. I can’t call around to my mate’s house, but I can meet him in the pub for a beer.

Crazy.

How long now to that Holy vaccine Grail?

Farewell, David Silva

I don’t go much to the Etihad these days, my match attendances take place much further down the football chain. But I nevertheless can’t help feeling sad today with the reminder that David Silva, after ten sterling years, plays his final Premier League game tomorrow for Manchester City.

Maybe the greatest ever to wear the sky blue shirt, he deserves a better send off than performing in a stadium devoid of fans due to this Coronavirus. But I’m sure he will return at some point to say a proper farewell.

“I would like to be remembered as a good guy, who enjoys football. I hope the people enjoyed my football as well. It’s simple.”

Enjoyed it we did. The Premier League will be a lot poorer for his absence.

Rochdale Blues

Have mask, will travel. Border crossings, on a damp and languid day.

Heading once more back to Manchester by train, having started a new book, Water Shall Refuse Them, along the way. The author, this being her debut novel, has been getting comparisons to Shirley Jackson and, although I’m only fifty or so pages into it, the protagonist does have a bit of Merricat about her.

Rochdale, the penultimate stop on my journey, in the dark, wet afternoon never looked so bleak.

The next few weeks are looking bleak, too. With rising figures, Rochdale is on the brink of following Leicester into a possible new lockdown. Though I don’t live in the town, my own town comes under the borough of Rochdale, and another lockdown is the last thing that any of us want.

After leaving the train, I caught a bus outside of this Rochdale Road pub, The Marble Arch, established in the Ripper year: 1888.

A renowned pub that brews its own beer, it has been some years since I’ve been in there. Possibly over twenty.

Maybe I should have called in for a pint, today, while I still can.

Life’s A Riot

Who would have thought this, six months ago?

I look like I’m going to a riot.

A bit of a sterile riot, a friend pointed out.

One has to take one’s safety seriously when one is launching petrol bombs.

Another friend commented I see you’ve also had your ears lowered.

Seeing as though my wife performed my first lockdown haircut, I’m thankful I’ve got any ears at all.

And what do people do these days when they go on blind dates?

You’ve got nice eyes.

And I guess that lip readers are screwed.

These are crazy days. Stay safe, friends. Stay crazy.