October 2020

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Saturday 31 October 2020
Epoch Seconds: 1604165523

RIP Sir Sean Connery

The iconic film and screen star Sir Sean Connery sadly passed away today, aged 90.

Never Say Never Again
Sir Sean Connery - Never Say Never Again

Saturday 31 October 2020
Epoch Seconds: 1604165445

Lockdown 2.0

Typically we will be going into lockdown 2.0 the day before we are due to exit our quarantine!

Once again, the government is caught incompetent. 6 weeks ago, the SAGE adviser recommended a lockdown. The opposition parties have been demanding one for the last two weeks.

And once again, Boris ends up doing exactly what Keir Starmer told him to do, just too late - and people will die/will have died needlessly.

This Prime Minister is a disgrace.

Saturday 31 October 2020
Epoch Seconds: 1604132838

I told you I was tired

I went to bed because I was tired, at 2100 last night and slept right through until 0800 this morning. I haven't done that since I was a teenager!

I reckon there would have been dead people who had a more disturbed sleep than me!

Happy Halloween!

Friday 30 October 2020
Epoch Seconds: 1604072266

Quarantine - Day 7

Quarantine is getting annoying and boring now...

Thursday 29 October 2020
Epoch Seconds: 1603967638

RIP Bobby Ball

Today we lost a funny and kind man, Bobby Ball to this awful virus. Rock on, Bobby, Rock on...

Tommy Cannon & Bobby Ball
Tommy Cannon & Bobby Ball

Wednesday 28 October 2020
Epoch Seconds: 1603907278

Book Review - Drift

Drift (Rachel Hatch #1)Drift by L.T. Ryan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loved it - A female lead who's a total badass.
Good story to boot.

View all my reviews

Wednesday 28 October 2020
Epoch Seconds: 1603893539

Funder & Frightening

I must say that for Plymouth, that was a fairly decent lighting show with actual forked-lightning!

Tuesday 27 October 2020
Epoch Seconds: 1603817112

I Heart NHS

So, I haven't told anyone about this yet. When we were in Turkey last week, I was sitting at my laptop, out of the midday sun on Monday, playing Mahjongg, when I was overcome by a crush chest pain - it really felt like a large man had a hand on my front and back and was pushing in. Not amazingly painful, but it worried me, and I laid down on my left-hand-side and coughed until it passed (about an hour).

Now, I should have called 112 for an ambulance, but I didn't want to ruin the holiday, and was a bit unsure about having to go to a Turkish Hospital (I've since read that they are excellent). That was stupid of me.

The same thing happened again on Wednesday and Thursday...

When we got back to the UK on Friday, I was quite ill with D&V accompanied by pain in my kidney area on the bus journey down and then over the weekend.

Yesterday I saw the doctor, and she sent me straight to the ED. They ran a load of tests on me and although I'm fine at the moment, they are worried that it happen 3 times, for an hour, while I was at rest. The enzymes in my blood may have dispersed since Thursday, so they suspect that I had some cardiac events, but can't prove it.

So I came home in the early hours of this morning, but am now under a cardiologist to run more extensive tests, etc.

I have all the risk factors - weight, pre-diabetic, hypertensive, tachycardia, etc.

I'm OK - just little concerned...

And based on all available data, it turns out Mahjongg is really bad for you 😂😂😷

Sunday 25 October 2020
Epoch Seconds: 1603640367

Back to Work

Back to work in the morning 😔

Sunday 25 October 2020
Epoch Seconds: 1603640171

Lewis is the GOAT

Well, I can't say that because we haven't had ALL Time yet...

But well done Lewis Hamilton - the records keep dropping

Fernando who?

Let's not forget that Lewis should have already had 7 titles under his belt, but Cheating Nico denied him, and retired from F1 after his title before everyone accused him of a fluke/cheated title. He just couldn't win fairly against Lewis. And WTH was Perez voted driver of the day when Lewis gave a commanding win, and broke the wins record??

Sunday 25 October 2020
Epoch Seconds: 1603626792

Day 3 of Quarantine

Because we came back from Turkey, we have had to quarantine for 14 days. Today is day three. I'm not saying that Kim is trying to escape but when she goes outside to speak to Michelle on the phone, I picture this:

Saturday 24 October 2020
Epoch Seconds: 1603535809

Holiday Friends

We met some lovely people while on holiday - Chantelle and Ant from Cornwall (on same flight home also) and especially a lovely couple we met in the first hotel. Lesley & Charles are really great, and I hope we do keep in contact (I'm rubbish at keeping in contact at the best of times, but Kim will keep in touch, I hope)

Saturday 24 October 2020
Epoch Seconds: 1603535199


As mentioned a few times, my computer failed me (actually Virgin media failed me by changing my IPv4 address 5 minutes before I left home!) so I didn't quite get around to adding all the photos to the website. So instead, I'm just going to share my Google Photos Album with you...

Friday 16 October 2020
Epoch Seconds: 1602854679

Book Review - Homeland Elegies

Homeland ElegiesHomeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Simply stunning
Wow. Just wow.
This book is something rare that only comes along every decade or so.
It is a masterpiece and a stunning self-portrait.
It is moving, and thoroughly entertaining.

View all my reviews

Friday 16 October 2020
Epoch Seconds: 1602852631


Offshore from the hotel's beach is an area cordoned off with floats. It is for watersports and boats to keep them away from the swimmers. From the shore, the floats look about 500m away. As I was swimming tot hem, they looked about 700-800m away.

Anyway, out I went, and upon my return, I could tell that Kim hadn't liked it and was worried about me getting into trouble out there and her not being a strong-enough swimmer to come and help me.

But, I felt safe in the knowledge that the water here is very saline, and makes you extremely buoyant - so much so that it's actually difficult to stop your legs floating up when you are trying to swim. So any trouble I'd have had, I would have just turned over and floated for a while...

Watersports Barriers
Watersports Barriers

Mark taking a break/float
Mark taking a break/float

Friday 16 October 2020
Epoch Seconds: 1602851977

Book Review - The Unspoken

The Unspoken (Ashe Cayne #1)The Unspoken by Ian K. Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I thought this was a great detective thriller. Ashe is clearly a complex character and I'll be interested to see how he develops as we go through the series.
It's well written and keeps you coming back for more.

View all my reviews

Friday 16 October 2020
Epoch Seconds: 1602844447

Dalyan Mud Baths

We really enjoyed this trip.

Picked up from our hotel in Gumbet and then it's a long drive. But you stop at lovely services (really modern/clean) about an hour and a half into it. It IS a long drive but you do get to see some great sights of the country. Then it's to the mud baths where you have four differently infused types of mud which you plaster all over you (I thought you laid in some mud, but no). Then after about an hour there, you get on a boat to go for a two-course meal (our main-course choice was Chicken or Trout) and then back on the boat for an hour's cruise down to the beach where the turtles lay their eggs. When we went in October, the eggs had hatched, but the nests were still there and there were tracks in the sand. You go past some ancient monuments carved into the cliffs which are truly stunning. After 2 hours on the beach, you get back on the boat and go back to the bus and return back to the hotel - it's a full 13-hour day but very very good for the money (we booked it through TripAdvisor).

  • Dalyan Mud BathsDalyan Mud Baths
  • Dalyan Mud BathsDalyan Mud Baths
  • Dalyan Mud BathsDalyan Mud Baths
  • Dalyan Mud BathsDalyan Mud Baths
  • Dalyan Mud BathsDalyan Mud Baths
  • Dalyan Mud BathsDalyan Mud Baths
  • DalyanDalyan
  • DalyanDalyan
  • Dalyan Torpoint FerryDalyan Torpoint Ferry
  • Boat Driver was Kim's bother, Mike!Boat Driver was Kim's bother, Mike!
  • Dalyan Cliff SculpturesDalyan Cliff Sculptures
  • Dalyan Cliff SculpturesDalyan Cliff Sculptures

Tuesday 13 October 2020
Epoch Seconds: 1602598879

Bodrum 2020 - Day 6

We went to Bodrum Castle today, which is amazing.

From the now-defunct bodrum-bodrum.com:

The most prominent feature of Bodrum must be the Castle of St. Peter. Whether entering the town by land or sea, one cannot help but be struck by the Castle's sturdy presence. One of the world's best preserved monuments from medieval times, it stands as a solid testament to the Bodrum area as a place worth defending.

The Castle's origins go back to the Knights of St. John, a group of expatriates who drew their ranks from Europe. This "Order of the Knights Hospitaller of St. John of Jerusalem" began in the Eleventh Century with a church and hospital set up for pilgrims in Jerusalem. The hospital operated under the strict code that care be denied to no one, although those who did not belong to the Catholic faith were confined to a separate ward.

The order began with solely religious powers and functions, but the Crusades and other political events forced it into military pursuits. The Christians beliefs of the order took on a fanatical nature, and the Knights thought of themselves as soldiers of Christ and defenders of the Holy Places of Jerusalem. The Order enjoyed numerous battle successes during the Crusades, gaining many rich donations and Papal favours in the process.

The Knights were composed of seven different Languages or Tongues, so called because of language differences. They came from France, Italy, Spain, England, Germany and Provence and Auvergne (both now provinces of France). Each of these pious Catholic groups operated under the leadership of a knight of their own country.

The Castle's origins go back to the Knights of St. John, a group of expatriates who drew their ranks from Europe.

The Order classified its members as either Knights, Serving Brothers or Chaplains, all under the command of the Grand Master (who was elected for life). The Knights were all of noble birth and served the Order without pay. At their deaths they routinely left all their possessions to the Order.

In 1309 the Knights formed their own community and government headquarters on the island of Rhodes. This was an ideal base for operations because of its position between the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas.

The Order did not require the presence of each knight at all times, and some spent time in Europe at their estates (many of them were wealthy) or on duty at various hospitals along the pilgrim routes. However, if they were needed to defend the island headquarters, they were required to return as soon as possible.

After erecting a Castle on the island of Kos, the Knights needed a stronghold on the mainland of Asia Minor. In 1374 they acquired Symrna (where the city of Izmir now stands), which a league of Christian powers had conquered earlier from the Seljuks and built a Castle there. The Mongol leader Tamerlane had his hordes destroy this edifice in 1402, however, starting off a century-long struggle between the Knights and the Ottoman Turks.

The search for a new site led the Knights to a small island set between two sheltered bays, (water once completely surrounded the Castle). Ruins showed evidence of an Ancient Castle, now known to have been erected during Doric Times (1110 BC), as well as a small Turkish Castle from the 11th CAD. Just 1 km to the north stood one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Tomb of King Mausolus (now called The Mausoleum) reduced to ruins by an earthquake.

In an area where successive groups of people have lived for thousands of years, each new group tends to use building materials left behind by previous inhabitants. The careful observer walking through the backstreets of Bodrum will see many old houses with Ancient blocks and column pieces embedded in their walls.

Not ones to waste useful building materials themselves, the Knights instructed their builders to remove any usable portions from the Tomb of King Mausolus when Castle construction began in 1402. Much of the Mausoleum was built with a green coloured rock, pieces of which now adorn the Castle walls. Visitors can also see column bases in the sides of several towers. In 1846, Sir Stratford Canning, British Ambassador to Istanbul, took from the Castle 12 marble reliefs depicting the battle between the Greek and the Amazons (which the Knights took from the Mausoleum) and sent them to London.

The Vatican attached great importance to the building of the Castle and send Christians to work there. In 1409 the Papal Office issued a decree that all those who assisted in the construction would receive a guaranteed reservation in Heaven.

German Architect Heinrich Schlegelholt supervised construction of the Castle, seeing to it that it incorporated the latest in Castle design. The French had developed the art of cannon foundry by this time, so gun embrasures were built along the top of the Castle's walls, especially those facing landward. The Crusaders had a powerful fleet of warships, so they had little fear of attack from the sea (the walls facing the mainland were also built much thicker than those facing the sea). Also, the Knights decided a second and third line of defence were necessary, resulting in a more complicated moat system than that of most castles.

Castle construction continued throughout the 15th Century, with the first walls completed by 1437. The Chapel, (which still stands in its original place inside the Castle) was one of the first completed structures. The Knights also built a watchtower overlooking the bay from a hill opposite the Castle, the remains of which stand, sporting a Turkish flag, above the present-day Turkish military resort.

In the inner Castle, wide areas were excavated in the natural rock to from cisterns for collecting rainwater (including the one under the chapel there are 14). These cisterns, or Gümbets (from which the neighbouring town is named, and where Kim & I stayed), some of which are still in use, supplied the Knights with water when the Castle was under siege.

The fortress became known as the Castle of St. Peter The Liberator because it served as the sole place of refuge for all Christians on the west coast of Asia Minor. The Knights kept a special breed of dog in the Castle, who could track down refugees and bring them to safety, much like the famous St. Bernard.

Life in the Castle was rather slow in between battles, so the Knights had plenty of time to adorn the walls with hundreds of coats of arms and carved reliefs. Coats of arms were first used by the Crusaders during their conquest of Jerusalem. The heat of the Middle East made it impossible to fight with their normal heavy armour, so the Knights, like their Muslim Foes, emblazoned their surcoats and shields with colourful symbols.

The various coats of arms spread throughout the Castle have lost the brilliant colours they once wore, making it more difficult to identify who or what they once stood for. The arms in general show lions, dragons, crosses and horizontal and vertical bands. Each knight had his own design, and others signified certain countries, religious figures, Castle commandants and grand masters of the Order. A total of 249 separate designs remain.

Other historical records have helped to identify most of these symbols. For example, above each of the seven gates in the Castle lie the arms of several known knights and grand masters, while the Royal Arms of France adorn the north wall of the inner moat. Religious motifs were also included, such as one on a high western wall depicting the Virgin Mary and the Apostle Peter holding the keys of Heaven to his breast.

For over a century the Castle of St. Peter served as an integral stronghold in the Knights' community. The Ottoman Empire continued to grow, however, and in 1453 Mehmet II, Sultan of Turkey, conquered Constantinople and announced his aggressive intentions towards the Knights' holdings. The Knights resisted his attack, however, as well as another in 1480.

By 1521, Turkish leader Suleiman the Magnificent was ready to challenge the Order's headquarters in Rhodes. After an exchange of letters with Grand Master Fabrico del Carretto war was declared. In June 1522, 200.000 Turkish soldiers gathered in the Bay of Marmaris. The Knights withstood the siege for six months, but were forced to surrender in January 1523. The Castle of St. Peter soon followed.

Sultan Suleiman spared the Knights' lives and they sailed to the island of Crete. In 1530 Charles V, Emperor of Austria, Spain and Sicily, gave the Mediterranean island of Malta to the Knights. Napoleon Bonaparte chased them away in 1798, and the order then dissolved. It was revived in England in 1831, however, and at present still carries out its mission as a first aid organization, called St John Ambulance, independent from any government, in more than 30 countries. The Pope approved new legislation for the order in 1961.

The Castle underwent several different uses under Turkish care. In the 17th Century villagers erected several houses within the Castle. In the Greek revolt of 1824 the Turks used it and the town as a military base. Later in the 19th Century Turkish builders installed a public bath and converted the chapel to a mosque by adding a minaret. And in 1895, the Castle was fortified and used as a prison.

In the First World War a French warship fired on the Castle, damaging several towers and toppling the minaret. After the war the Italians, who occupied the Anatolian shore from Kusadasi to Antalya, put a garrison in the Castle. They also repaired the Italian and French towers and tried to establish good relations with Turkey. When it became obvious that the war of independence led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk would be won by the Turks, the Italians withdrew in 1921.

The Castle stood empty for almost 40 years, until the Turkish government decided to use it as a storeroom for underwater findings from several recent shipwreck excavations. The government soon decided these findings were worthy of a separate museum, and what better place for it than the Castle itself?

Oguz Alpözen first came to the museum in 1962 as an archaeology student, and in 1968 he became its first official staff underwater archaeologist. Since 1978 he has served as Director of the Castle and in an interview he emphasized that the Castle museum holds a lot more of interest than might first meet the eye.

"We have many, many things to see here," Alpözen said. "I think the first-time visitor tends to over look a lot of it."

One feature often overlooked is the careful selection of plant life flourishing in the inner garden. The collection represents nearly every plant and tree of the Mediterranean region, including many with mythological significance. The Myrtle, for example, was the holy tree of the Goddess Aphrodite, while the Plane tree's shadow was considered health-inducing by kings and nobility. Plant enthusiasts might also recognize the rare Mandrake, once used for its anaesthetic properties. A wide variety of flowers, cacti and other trees round out the living display.

"We also have many doves, the bird dedicated to Aphrodite, as well as fourth generation peacocks" Alpözen said. He explained that wealthy people of Ancient times were quite fond of peacocks, often adopting them as personal symbols. But the main purpose of the museum is to display a wide range of fascinating underwater findings; many brought to modern day viewers from thousands of years ago. Ninety percent of the museum's holdings come from the sea (the rest are land findings from the Bodrum area), and they are spread throughout the Castle in a myriad of atmospheric halls and galleries.

The Chapel, for instance, now houses the Bronze Age Hall, full of findings from around 2500 BC. The first floor of the Italian Tower houses the Coin and Jewellery Hall, a wide collection spanning many centuries. (Also, two art galleries display the works of modern Turkish artists, and the northern moat is used as a theatre during the Bodrum festival.) Alpözen has published a book in English (separate form a Turkish edition), called "Bodrum, Ancient Halicarnassus", that gives a complete description of the Castle's contents. It is available in the bookstore under the main mosque in town.

One of the most recent openings in the Castle demonstrates how Ancient History is a part of daily life in Bodrum. In digging foundations for a new house up by the main highway, a tomb was discovered containing the remains of a Carian princess dating from between 360 and 325 BC. A spectacular find of major importance, the skeletal remains were found draped in fold appliquéd clothing and adorned in gold jewellery including crown, bracelets, rings and necklace. The well-preserved state of the remains has allowed a British team of specialists to reconstruct the skull and facial features of this Ancient noblewoman. In honor of this important find the Bodrum Castle opened a private hall devoted exclusively to the display of the Carian princess and her artefacts.

Underwater excavations are continuing in the Bodrum area, funded and operated by an American-based archaeological group. Students also come from around the world to assist and learn the intricacies of underwater excavation and preservation.

Bodrum Museum Currently the group is at work on several projects including restoration of an 11th Century shipwreck and another from the Ottoman Empire. Both of these will be on display within two or three years Alpözen said.

He added that during peak months (May to October) the museum receives about 1,000 visitors per day. This number should increase in response to other new attractions coming to the Castle, such as the opening of a dungeon used by the Knights, as well as a fully functional Turkish bath.

Friday 09 October 2020
Epoch Seconds: 1602334028

Bodrum 2020 - Day 3

Lazy day on the beach today. Only interruption to that was Mark taking a walk up to the sports bar to watch the Grand Prix Qualifying.

Our first thunderstorm while we are here, also - quite impressive.

Thursday 08 October 2020
Epoch Seconds: 1602069849

Bodrum 2020 - Day 2

We've arrived.

Weather s lovely, at 26°C today. The water is beautiful and clear. The hotel is definitely only 3 star, but it's perfectly good enough for us for a couple of weeks.

We walked into the town of Gumbet today and purchased a couple of pay-as-you-go SIMs from Turkcell for our phones - MUCH cheaper than trying to use our UK SIMs here in Turkey which is outside of the roam-like-home scheme area.

  • Hotel PoolHotel Pool
  • KimKim
  • Seagull TelephoneSeagull Telephone
  • Seagull TelephoneSeagull Telephone
  • The view from Gumbet BeachThe view from Gumbet Beach
  • SausagesSausages

Wednesday 07 October 2020
Epoch Seconds: 1602070421

Bodrum 2020 - Day 1

On our way

  • Plymouth Bus StationPlymouth Bus Station
  • Bus Station SelfieBus Station Selfie
  • Starbucks Bristol AirportStarbucks Bristol Airport
  • Packed FlightPacked Flight

Wednesday 07 October 2020
Epoch Seconds: 1602037820

It’s only words and words are all I have

You have his words. Normally, when a political spokesman utters this line in response to reporters’ questions, it’s because their boss has said something so controversial or sensitive that they know it's more than their job’s worth to expand on it. Go out and just play a straight bat, don’t add anything further and just repeat what the boss has said. Defence is the best offence, etcetera.

Equally normally, after a prime minister’s party conference speech there will be a briefing in which one-sentence big picture promises are fleshed out with detail, detail that was excluded because it would interrupt the natural narrative flow. We are normally given meat on the bones, the fine brushwork to fill in the sketch, the footnotes to the argument.

But after Boris Johnson’s Big Speech, his first at a party conference since his 2019 election victory, his spokesperson answered almost every single question about policy with – you guessed it – “You have his words.” The briefing was one of the most painful, excruciatingly content-free I’ve ever had to endure in listening to 30 years of these things.

Here’s a flavour. What did he mean when he hinted at a social insurance for care homes? “I’m afraid I don’t have much more on that..you’ve got the prime minister’s words”. Yes we have his words, and they told us bugger all beyond a vague citation of Winston Churchill’s “magic of averages” reference to pooling risk.

Can you tell us more about his idea of one-to-one tuition? “You’ve got his words…” Any more detail on his 95% mortgage deposit idea, how long terms would last for example? “You’ve got what he said..” My particular favourite was the answer to a question for more detail on what the PM meant by “digital ID”. “I think that’s a reference to biometric passports,” the spokesman told us. “The passport is obviously a form of digital identity document….” Right, OK.

The helpless, hapless spokesperson was only his master’s voice, of course, so it was no surprise that he sounded so vacuous. It’s worth remembering too that at his first party conference as Tory leader last year Johnson had not a single new policy and his press team didn’t even bother to hold a briefing afterwards at all.

But the 2019 conference was a pre-election sloganfest, a campaign rally in all but name, not a serious update for the nation in a time of crisis as this year’s should have been. With his own competence on coronavirus the most live issue, it felt as though he wanted to reassure the public he was a big, bold deliverer of new ideas.

Yet promises and competence can only be measured if there’s some substance behind them, rather than quarter-baked items plucked out of the ideas fridge. The sheer lack of any detailed plans may prompt even those who give him the benefit of the doubt to think the Emperor really does have no clothes.

Of course, Johnson is a wordsmith and he can still deploy them to good effect. One of his best lines was how much we miss and rely on ”all the gossipy gregariousness and love of human contact that drives the creativity of our economy”. It would be a huge mistake too not to recognise the deep well of goodwill and sympathy that many of those who voted for him (particularly Labour Brexit voters) still retain.

The passage on his vision for 2030 had a certain upbeat futurism about it and no one should underestimate his skill at political amnesia, socially distancing himself from previous Tory leaders as if they were in a different party. Today, he effectively laid into Cameron and Osborne and May and Hammond on the economy as much as, citing “12 years of relative anaemia” on growth. Ditto his attack on previous governments’ ”failure to tackle the deficit in skills, inadequate transport infrastructure, not enough homes people could afford to buy”.

Yet just as a half-empty Commons chamber has brutally exposed his blustering rhetoric in the absence of a heaving mass of noisy backbenchers, so too the ethereally silent reception for his conference speech (delivered to a camera in a bare room in Canary Wharf) cruelly exposed the duff applause lines, grinding gear-changes and occasional incoherence of his words.

To take just one example, the PM said “we are working for the day when life will be back to normal”, then said seconds later told us the virus was a “catalyst for change” and “after all we have been through it isn’t enough just to go back to normal”. Just weeks ago he was saying people had to go back to the office to save city centres, now he says “instead of being dragged on big commutes to the city” he wants people to “start a business in their home town”. It’s a laudable sentiment but it jarred with his ‘Save Pret’ lecturing of last month.

Similarly, the PM said he will “ensure” that the next Tory conference would mean people meeting “cheek by jowl” again, which seemed both a hostage to fortune and a reminder to those in the events industry that their industry is currently being lowered into the grave with little state help to pay for the burial.

The irony is that if Johnson had at least tried to expand on his policy ideas, he may have won round even some sceptics. The Sutton Trust has long pushed the idea of one-to-one state tuition to give poorer children a level playing field with those who can afford private tutors. If Johnson had backed up his “we must care for the carers” with a new national carers living wage that could have proved he was serious. If he had set out funding for the billions, not a few hundred million, needed for green energy, he could have sounded credible.

By contrast, what we got was a reheat of his speech just before unlockdown, when he talked of coming out of an Alpine tunnel into the sunlit pasture. The problem is that we are now hurling into another tunnel and for jobs and hospitalisations (up sharply again today), the dark is all that lies ahead this winter. Covid and even Brexit were dismissed in a few paragraphs, almost as afterthoughts.

The non-existent gods (i.e. ALL of them) love a trier and so does the British public, but they may sicken of someone who tries their patience with sheer incompetence in handling this disease. What they got in this speech was not even jam tomorrow, but jam in a decade’s time. Many would rather just have a Covid test tomorrow, not in a decade’s time.

The best way to reassure people about our future plans is to deliver in the here and now. Imagine if he’d promised billions on a detailed plan to fix Test and Trace (or at least help fund small, localised labs), and on paying people a healthy sum to self-isolate. Instead, all we had - as his spokesman repeated ad nauseam - were “his words”. Right now, words are not enough.

Paul Waugh

Wednesday 07 October 2020
Epoch Seconds: 1602035966


Arrrgh! Can't sleep when it's my first day off - No alarm going off, yet I've been awake since 0200...

Tuesday 06 October 2020
Epoch Seconds: 1601963118


And my alarm has been switched off for two and a half weeks.


(Whether we actually get to go to Turkey or not, I bloody need this break - I'm exhausted)

Monday 05 October 2020
Epoch Seconds: 1601924309

Presidential COVID-19 Joke

The presidential ventilator is called Force Air One

Monday 05 October 2020
Epoch Seconds: 1601915427

Testing Disqus

I've moved the comments platform to Disqus

Sunday 04 October 2020
Epoch Seconds: 1601830970

Grapes of Davy Close

They said that you can't grow decent grapes unless it's a South-facing wall, and you have the right soil (which Torpoint definitely doesn't have). My dad said "Nonsense!" and planted some seeds.

Now zoom in and take a look - there are bunches everywhere!
Now zoom in and take a look - there are bunches everywhere !

Good Size
Good Size

Wine Grapes
Wine Grapes

Sunday 04 October 2020
Epoch Seconds: 1601829786

Proud Dad Moment

And this was when he was just out with his mates in Looe...

Saturday 03 October 2020
Epoch Seconds: 1601713063

Lay in

It's been many months since I had a lay in - I think old age is kicking in - but I stayed in bed until 0900 this morning. I feel like I've wasted half of the day!

I thought I was extra tired when I went to bed last night...

Friday 02 October 2020
Epoch Seconds: 1601676071

This is quite an image with or without context


There will be no transfer of power
There will be no transfer of power

Thursday 01 October 2020
Epoch Seconds: 1601582607


So, the UK government had decided to close the travel corridor to Turkey.

We think we are still able to go, and because we booked it back in January, our travel insurance is still valid (I shall phone to double-check), but we will need to quarantine for 14 days when we get back to the UK.

The reason given by Grant Shapps is that Turkey isn't reporting its data in the same manner as anyone else.

But neither he nor the government have published anything to point to this fact. We only have his word for it.

So, has their data been wrong all along, and the UK government have only just realised? We have no idea.

If you take the WHO reported figures as read, they are doing far better than us!

Thursday 01 October 2020
Epoch Seconds: 1601530753


Well, whether we are actually allowed to go to Turkey or not, I'm really looking forward to a two-and-a-half week holiday next week!

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