For UK readers

You’ve seen on the media, about groups that are forming to offer mutual help? Shopping, prescriptions etc.? Here is the link to find your local group.

Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK

It seems mainly based on Facebook groups but if anybody does not use Facebook, contact me and I will try to help.

Corona Update – 17 March 2020

We did a trip to our local supermarket last week, as we normally do each week. My wife takes paracetamol regularly to relieve aches and pains, and really, apart from unbranded paracetamol, we got everything we went in for.

Even the unbranded paracetamol, we saw that there was branded paracetamol still on the shelves, but we will not pay 10x for a branded version of something which is exactly the same.

At the same time, we observed an aisle absolutely full of toilet rolls. This was after the stories of panic-buying of toilet roll first appeared, because we had a conversation on that very subject.

Yesterday, we went out again. Same shop.

The situation was still the same with the paracetamol. There were fewer branded boxes, but still some in stock. Nothing unbranded, but there was plenty of unbranded ibuprofen.

There were plentiful supplies of milk, something which you’d generally think that people need a steady, fresh supply of.

Apples – another fresh thing – no problem.

We generally saw fewer things on the shelves, though. My wife specifically eats gluten-free wherever possible – mostly the shelves were empty but she managed to get some spaghetti. It was in some flash Italian box, she probably paid silly money for it, but it was, at least, in stock. Just general (with-gluten) pasta appeared to be gone. Doesn’t much bother me as I have pasta twice a year in any case. It’s a bugger with my diabetes.

Gone too was dried rice (including these room-temperature microwaveable sachets), although the frozen microwaveable rice with vegetables that we usually buy, no problem.

That aisle of toilet rolls that we saw last week was now completely empty. Although there was plenty of kitchen roll. At a push, I have interchanged.

There were also no eggs. Comments, please. Why on earth are people panic buying eggs? Are we going to became a nation of bakers as a result of this crisis? As it happens we are quite lucky there – we’re out in the country, lots of people keep chickens anyway and sell the eggs – cheaper, fresher and a darned site more tasty! The only thing the supermarket offers is convenience. But, why eggs?

For those of you who are not in the UK, we have now been told to avoid unnecessary contact with each other, including things like working from home wherever possible. When you’re me, pretty much all contact is unnecessary. I expect the next time I leave the house will be next week when I shop.

I usually do my charity work today, but it is certainly not essential that I go to their office. The work I do is telephone calls anyway, which can be made from anywhere, and they have given me both the permission and the means to access their client database. So I will be working as normal, but from the comfort of my sofa. I guess that means more frequent cups of tea, at least!

My wife has just had the week off work. She is a nurse in the local doctor’s surgery. She is still expected to turn up for work, although once inside, the door is locked and nobody allowed in. When somebody comes along to collect their repeat prescription, say, somebody goes out, has a brief conversation, then comes in and sorts the paperwork. They are trying to convey that for anything except Corona, it is almost business as usual. But my wife usually needs to see her diabetic patients personally, to measure their blood pressure, for example, so she’s not sure how she’ll be asked to work. It is not safe to assume that all her clients have computers.

Just thought I’d update you. This is the UK and currently I am very well, but things can change daily at the moment. I’m glad Tom Hanks and his wife have been discharged from hospital – I know he’s a gozillionaire and will have received the best treatment money can buy, but he is still our age group so it’s good to see somebody walk away from this.

Tick Tock Tuesday (17 March 2020) – China Crisis

I thought I’d create a new challenge. It is a challenge primarily for me, because I’m new to this platform, and because you don’t really know me yet, nor I you. As my name suggests, I am recovering from a stroke, and I like to push myself in all kinds of little ways… including getting to know the Wonderful World of WordPress. Although this is something I will be doing, I invite you, if this idea takes your fancy, to play along with me and share with me some of your own selections.

My plan is: each Tuesday, until I run dry, I shall post some piece of art with which I have some connection – which has helped to mould me, which makes me tick. Okay, a piece of art is a bit vague – it might be a piece of music, a movie, a book, a painting, or ???? – so my phrasiology is deliberate. It might be anything – I will play this post by ear, so I’m not sure what I’ll think of each week. And, I’ll keep posting on the theme weekly until I run out of ideas.

My rules? Well, I’m not big on rules! My choice will be something with which I feel a connection. That’ll be the important thing, just having some kind of fleeting affection for something probably won’t be enough, unless I’m using my choice as an example of something bigger.

It will be one choice per week – I’m aware that long posts can be quite onerous to read, and I’m in no hurry to complete this so if I have two ideas, I’ll probably hold the second until the next week.

In that same vein, I’ve created this block as a Reusable Block, which I intend repeating for every post on this theme. The block ends with a full-width separator, so if you want to skip ahead each week it doesn’t really matter.

I probably won’t post any lyrics, or any kind of analysis – if you like my choice, the information will be out there for you. But I will try to briefly explain why I feel a connection to my choice, just to try and enhance readers’ understanding of what makes me tick.

I will tag my posts TTT and I will go looking for other posts with that tag. If you’d like to join in, please do the same, or comment, or pingback to this post, and feel free to reproduce my graphic. Lastly, I look forward to reading about what makes you tick.

I am still in Liverpool mode this week, but wish to introduce a band which was active during my childhood – I suppose they were ten or fifteem years older than me. They hailed from a place called Kirkby, just on the outskirts of Liverpool. I’d think twice before visiting – it’s actually one of Liverpool’s (and Europe’s!) most deprived suburbs.

I liked China Crisis because they produced some off-the-beaten-track music, in contrast to a lot of Eighties bands which I found stereotypical. They had mediocre success, about a half-dozen Top 40 hits here, and seemed to be well-liked in western Europe and Australia. Their music was released in the USA, but didn’t chart, so presumably my American readers never heard my choice today. But I liked them, I think they made a very pleasant sound and collected three or foour of their albums. In showcasing them, I plumped for their biggest chart success, just on the basis that it must have been the most successful for a reason. This one is Black Man Ray.

Incidentally, if you liked that track, another one I was thinking of choosing was Arizona Sky which didn’t chart as well, but which I probably prefer. If you can stand a second song, you can find it below.