I suffer from COPD. (Chronic Obsructive Pulminory Disease). It is kept under control by medication: pills and inhalers. I have not yet qreceived a letter from the National Health Service advising me to go into hibernation for twelve weeks, but I am keeping clear of others. This is our daily routine:
Normally once per day my wife and I drive to the stable yard about a mile away to feed and check the two horses for which she is responsible. We take the opportunity to exercise our labrador/collie dog in the currently unused paddocks, which are enclosed and inaccessible to the public. We are lucky enough to have about five acres to play with.
We may detour on the way home to her office to collect post, and then she returns to work in our home “office” (originally set up when I worked there for around 15 years).
Once per day I walk the dog and occasionally visit the local Tesco for groceries. I have found a secondary use for “dog-poo” bags as a means to avoid touching the stock or anything else in the shop. They are far cheaper than latex gloves and easier to use. Tesco have set up plastic screens in front of the tills and floor markings for guidance.
i would like to play tribute to the gentleman In our local Tesco this evening who, while everyone else waited on the “stand here” two-metre spacing indicators, decided to step into the middle of the queue. Everyone “hrrmmph”ed and stepped back one space. If I had a 2-metre long stick available I would gladly have twatted the idiot.
As home delivery services from supermarkets are currently not generally available, we are still doing a weekly shop, with precautions, and shopping for the owners of the stable yard who are isolating themselves at home for medical reasons.
In the meantime my garden is looking far tidier than usual. I have a composter on order now that the council have closed the tips and halted “green waste” collections. Yesterday I practiced four hours of “self-isolation” with my dog while I drove the 4×4 up and down the paddocks with a chain harrow attached.
In case either of us at home starts to show symptoms of the virus I am preparing to move into the caravan and man-cave complex in the garden for the duration.
Japan set up a puppet regime in China with Nanking as its capital. The USA refused to recognize the new regime.
Winston Churchill said in a speech that Britain had no quarrel with the USSR but would “follow this war wherever it leads”.
German submarine U-122 was commissioned.
French Minister of Defence Édouard Daladier persuaded the French War Committee not to ratify British plans to lay mines in the River Rhine. The British responded by threatening to suspend the laying of mines in Norwegian coastal waters.
Game day 212. Japan
Four transports carrying eight infantry battalions sailed from Okinawa towards Kwangtung. They were escorted by six warships. At the same time two more transports carrying four battalions left Japan.
Three fighter squadrons from Manchuria attacked the Chinese armoured column in China. Three armoured battalions were wiped out for no loss.
The British General Staff devised a plan to react to possible German intervention in Norway following British mining of Norwegian territorial waters.
Vyacheslav Molotov made a speech to the Supreme Soviet reviewing the foreign situation and the Winter War. He accused Britain and France of planning to use Finland as a staging ground to attack the USSR. He also stated that the USSR would remain neutral in the war against Germany.
Game day 211. Great Britain
Alerted to the presence of enemy submarines off the north of Scotland, two warships sailed from Scapa Flow to intercept them. The attack was supported by three bomber squadrons from the West Midlands. All four submarines were sunk but the British lost a much-needed warship in the exchange.
The Convoy carrying Indian troops neared Cairo, while three more transports embarked six infantry battalions in Adelaide, Australia.
Two loaded merchant ships off Portugal made their way towards England.
The Allied Supreme War Council meeting in London resolved that neither Britain nor France would make a separate peace with Germany. The French suggestion to attack Soviet shipping and oilfields was rejected to avoid bringing USSR into the war against the Allies. It was agreed to lay mines in Norwegian coastal waters, hoping to provoke a German response and legitimizing Allied plans to interrupt Swedish iron ore shipments to Germany.
The Norwegian SS Burgos sank after hitting a German mine off the Lincolnshire coast.
Game day 210. Germany
Germany repositioned forces within Germany towards the north-west of the country.
The submarines in the Irish Sea moved around the coast of Scotland towards the north-east. The two surface raiders in the North Atlantic took station off the east coast of the USA.
The British War Cabinet debated French Prime Minister Paul Reynaud’s suggestion to attack Soviet oilfields at Baku and shipping in the Black Sea. It unanimously rejected the idea of any attacks on the USSR. The British position was communicated to General Gamelin and the other French Chiefs of Staff.
U-22 went missing in the North Sea, probably lost to a mine.
Game day 209. USA
The escorted convoy returning from Hanoi to the USA entered the Caroline Sea area.
We have just returned from our (un)usual Friday evening weekly shop.
Arriving at Sainsbury’s we joined a queue of potential shoppers at 2 metre intervals. Notices on the car park bollards explained why we were queueing and an estimated waiting time at 5 minute intervals. It was an over-estimate. Folks in the queue were well-behaved and chatty.
At the shop entrance were two jovial security chaps, monitoring the “one out, one in” system.
For a change it was a pleasure to shop, even though we were shopping both for ourselves and for a couple in isolation. No crowds, no congestion, no screaming brats running up and down the aisles.
And it was easy to find what we needed. Because the shelves were half empty the items were more visible. It’s a shame that we don’t need toilet paper because it was available!!! Only one box of “blue” eggs though.
The only negative was that we shopped using two smart “zappers”, but because they were linked to the same loyalty card the bill was amalgamated into one single shop. The system has probably logged us as hoarders too!
Ho-hum. Can we please continue to shop like this after the current crisis?
Just to add to the fun of her average 12 hour remote-working day, my wife’s boss, no doubt playing the rôle of benevolent squire, has organised with the local parish council to provide to villagers fresh vegetable boxes from the greengrocer who normally supplies the estate’s wedding business catering organisation.
So now the long-suffering beloved has to set up, immediately and with no forewarning, a system to account for the collection of payments from either individuals or the Parish Council and ongoing payment to the supplier of these boxes.
My wife is responsible for the finances of a nearby business that is in fact ten separate registered companies including three trust funds, a wedding venue with accommodation, an estate-owned organic farm with a new herd of cows, sub-let farming land, many estate properties let to employees and other tenants and a canal-side marina.
There are about 50 employees, full-time, part-time or hourly contract. Many of the charges for the employees and other assets are cross-charged between the ten separate organisations.
Having almost finalised the annual budgets and started to prepare tax returns, she is now required to analyse and re-forecast following every new government measure announced, and these are arriving several times a day.
She is working from home, and yesterday spent the best part of thirteen hours at the computer, starting at 03:30 to get figures prepared for a virtual meeting at 09:30, and interspersed with a visit to the stable yard to feed and care for the two horses for which she is responsible in her “spare time”. She finally finished work at around 19:00, had dinner and fell asleep on the sofa.
Most of the previous day was spent re-calculating and running the payroll after the “furlough” situation for many of the employees.
This morning she was up again at around 04:30 to carry on. Working from home is not an easy option!
When I worked from home I used to start around 07:00 when my wife left for work and finish around 18:30 when she got home, but it was nothing like her stressful workload at the moment.
However, unlike many British workers, she does at least know that her wages will be paid in full and she is unlikely to be laid off.