1 EAGLETON NOTES: SID5: The Good and The Bad

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Monday, 23 March 2020

SID5: The Good and The Bad

The days seem to be flying past at an alarming rate. Saturday was another pleasant enough day and I carried on working outside doing maintenance. Sunday was not pleasant and I spent the day doing household chores, reading blogs, drinking coffee and doing crosswords and then making a huge blitz on all the emails in my inbox. I hardly watched any television and eventually fell into bed just after midnight. 

At the weekend The Highlands (of Scotland) were inundated by camper vans and cars of people 'escaping' from the cities of the Central Belt and England. Many are heading for their holiday homes. The infrastructure of The Highlands can hardly cope in the summer these days but no one was expecting such a raid on the already panic-buying-stricken shops. All public gathering places such as pubs and restaurants had already been closed by the Scottish Government.

The Independent needs to use commas where appropriate.
 I'm not sure why the Army needs to help McDonalds to close
All ferry services  to the Scottish Islands have stopped carrying anyone except island residents and essential services personnel and freight. The ferry and air services have been very much reduced.

So far we have no known cases in the Outer Hebrides and we'd like to keep it that way. Our medical infrastructure would struggle. Indeed the RAF had to send an Atlas A400M Transport Aircraft to Shetland to transport a critically ill virus patient to Aberdeen Hospital at the weekend.

Our weather today is storm force gales and rain and the ferries are storm-bound in port anyway today and tomorrow. I'm not going out for a walk today that's for sure. The forecast is the same for tomorrow.

Talking of storm bound my son, daughter-in-law and 2 year old grandson (who live on Lewis) are marooned in Australia. Their flights home were 'suspended' this morning (UK time). Likewise two daughters of a friend staying with a sibling in New Zealand are also marooned. 

In the meantime we must all maintain our sense of humour. The Duke of Wellington Monument in Glasgow has been the battleground in the past for students who kept putting a traffic cone on the Duke's head and the Council who kept removing it. Eventually the Council conceded that it was a huge tourist draw for photos and selfies and left it there. So it was inevitable that someone would add a mask at this time. I assume it's photoshopped but who knows.

39 comments:

  1. Oh dear. What a situation for your son and his family. Will they be OK for somewhere to stay? It may be quite a while until they can get back, the way things are.
    I cannot believe the mentality of all those people who have been travelling to the more remote areas of Britain during this period. Absolute morons is all I can think. I presume they will have been to the supermarket first to clear the shelves of any food before anyone else.
    Our borders have now been closed to any non-residents but too late to keep out the virus. 8 more confirmed cases today with another 200+ test results still outstanding.

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    1. JayCee, at the moment they are in a hotel they had expected to be in two nights before the flight. I have not had an update this morning but I assume he has spent the day on the phone. I will doubtless get an update later. Unfortunately unless your Island is ruthless with stopping contacts it will spread there too. I wish you well.

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  2. It is certainly worrying times. My older son is currently stranded off the coast of Singapore, and at the moment has no idea when he will be coming home....six months has been banded about most recently.

    It is crazy the way people have been blatantly ignoring the various restrictions placed on them and very concerning.

    I wish our island would put in place a travel ban like the Outer Hebrides has! Trouble is UK on the whole has left it far to late...instead of being proactive, they have been slowly reactive.

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    1. Serenata, Gaz could easily have been at seaI too but he happens to be on leave. We have the advantage of not having 'commuters' living here. It only takes one person to return home, though, and not self-isolate properly and it will spread here like wildfire.

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  3. Prayer for everyone's good health
    and getting Home
    Your storming weather makes me want hot apple crisp, coffee, and a nice warm quilt out of the dryer.
    The horse needs a mask as well.

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    1. Thank you Maywyn. It's still stormy this morning (Tuesday). I'm not sure what hot apple crisp is. I tend to go for savoury rather than sweet. Mind you I have frozen rhubarb from my garden so I could make a rhubarb crumble. That would be good for me.

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    2. Apple crisp is apple pie with a crumbly topping of butter, flour and brown sugar with spices instead of a pie crust covering.

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    3. Thank you Maywyn. That is what I call apple crumble. So I am going to make it but with rhubarb.

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  4. It's grand here. Shut the campsite last week as I could envisage hoards of townies escaping their cesspits.
    Sorry to hear about Gaz. Hope he is snugged up safe.
    I would like to see last years figures for death/week and compare them with this years. It would put things in perspective and allow numerate folk to form an educated opinion. The MSM are just being their normal bellend selves and are best ignored, they won't be happy till we are climbing over the dead to get in the CO-OP door.
    Stay safe. At least I can console myself that air raid duty will not be required. I do get a laugh every now and then. Litha Nandy was advocating a cross party government. Okay till one remembers she can't even decide what toilets folk should use. Fat lot of use she would be.

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    1. Adrian, if I recall it correctly one of the duties of Air Raid Wardens was to enforce the occasional curfew. You'd be good at that with a tin hat on at a jaunty angle and a ciggie in your mouth. I wouldn't argue with you that's for sure.

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  5. Keep this Graham. I'm a loon but this is lunacy on a level I could never in a million years emulate. Come on Anonymous lets have more. Brilliant you are.

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    1. Spoilsport, you deleted it. Perhaps it will send it again.

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    2. I'd seen it on other blogs, Adrian. It was just too offensive I'm afraid. Given that it's obviously from a spambot it will definitely appear again.

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  6. I'm surprised your son and his family didn't try to leave earlier. Our borders were locked down about a week ago and the rest of us are in full lockdown here as of tomorrow. It really is serious.

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    1. Amy, I'm surprised people all over the world didn't try and return home immediately. That would have been my instinct. Unfortunately, in many cases, it was easier to stick with the flights you knew you had rather than try and change at a time when everyone else was doing the same thing. My son was also in the 'middle of nowhere' at the time. The sisters had tried to get home earlier and these were their 'early' flights.

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  7. Only hospitals, Dr. offices, pharmacies, food stores are open. No fun times here. Apple crisp sounds wonderful.

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    1. Susan, it will be the same here shortly. No 'gatherings' of more than two people are now allowed unless people of the same family isolating together. I will be a nightmare in the cities. I still don't know what apple crisp is.

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  8. Sorry to hear that your son and family weren't able to get back home as planned. I hope some way opens up for them to return safely. The word "marooned" was new to me, by the way! (but of course easy enough to understand from the context) You're right about needing to maintain a sense of humour. A balancing act sometimes in a serious situation - but the Duke of Wellington seems to be on top of things! ;)

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    1. Monica, I like your humour - the Duke being 'on top of things'.

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  9. I hope Gaz manages to get home soon. My brother got home to England last night from Brisbane but my niece's flight home to NZ from Edinburgh was cancelled. My grandson Michael is stuck in the South Island but at least in his home country. A friend's grandson, a pilot, has been laid off. All travel seems a game of roulette at the moment. A metaphor for life right now, perhaps?

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    1. Pauline, roulette is indeed a metaphor for life at the moment: too many people are gamblers.

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  10. The virus makes some things challenging tha would not be in ordinary times.

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    1. Red, you are always succinct and to the point.

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  11. Hoping for Gaz's safe return home. I was stranded once in England (back in my flight attendant, flying "standby" days) for over a week, trying to get home on space available seating (of which there wasn't any) during the European spring holidays, which I knew nothing about at the offset of my trip to Scotland... and I can tell you, it's really stressful to be surprise-delayed in a place even when the rest of the world isn't in an uproar. I can only imagine the stress of being delayed coming home when there's a pandemic loose. Thoughts of kindness and goodwill to you and yours until (and beyond) everyone is home safe again. I MADE THE TOP 12 COMMENTS THIS TIME!!! (See, one can always find a positive note...)

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    1. Marcheline, one of Gaz's advantages is that he is very laid back (almost horizontal in fact) and doesn't panic.However, with a wife and 2 year old to look after he might well be tested. Thank you for your kind thoughts.

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  12. There's a 'statue' of Venus in a small town not far away, and the naughty local youth keep painting a bra and pants on it. The authorities keep cleaning it. Everytime I see it painted, it makes me smile... much more fun than when cleaned!

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    1. Cro, if you had tried a naked statue on Lewis years ago it would have been the authorities painting the bra and pants on it.

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  13. A big shame some people have ended up stranded, but it was probably inevitable some would get caught out with the airlines and borders closing down all over the world. Those stranded in NZ will have their visas automatically extended so they can remain here legally - not that that will help stranded folk that much. Stay safe, Mxx

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    1. Margaret, I think the New Zealand strandees had longer visas anyway because they weren't anticipating coming home just yet. You stay safe too.

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  14. Last night on the main TV news they said that the German government has organised flights home for marooned Germans in all parts of the world, over 125,000 of them so far, and that whenever there was still space on the chartered flights, other European citizens were invited along. Is there no such programme in place in your country?
    How inconsiderate of the masses swamping the Highlands on the weekend! This crisis is certainly bringing out the best and the worst in folks.
    I hope the weather improves soon in your area, so that you can go for walks again. Yesterday, I didn't feel like a walk; it was sunny but cold and I only left the house to empty the bins. But we'd been walking 9 km on Sunday, so I didn't feel bad about my "static" day.

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    1. Meike, the UK Government did repatriate some people on charter flights but there are no arrangements for others yet. Until a day or so there were no problems getting back from Australia and New Zealand. It's still horrible today but I need air in my lungs so will probably go out anyway.

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  15. I live in West Wales, and there has been a similar influx, as in Snowdonia and parts of North Wales. These people have no idea just how limited our medical resources are in rural areas.

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    1. Well, Veg Artist, West Wales was always a magnet for tourists and second homes and I suppose old habits die hard. That's not an excuse for thoughtlessness but it may be an explanation. I know that Wales has had problems keeping GP practices going. I've never really understood why.

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  16. I gather that The Independent copy editors are 'not' working from home...or do they still employ copy editors?

    Hope your son and his family and others in this unfortunate limbo are able to get home soon.

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    1. Thank you for your hopes, Mary. I imagine that most of the time there is very little close editorial work done with copy editors nowadays.

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  17. Things are certainly changing rapidly...take care, Graham. And stay off horses!! :)

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    1. By the hour, Lee. As for horses that may well be another post. Thank you.

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  18. The world is a strange and difficult place right now. I hope your son found a way off this big island

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    1. Hi, Kylie. I'm afraid Gaz and family are marooned. They are ensconced somewhere in Melbourne awaiting Emirates to resume flights. Given the fact that millions of people are being stuck all over the world they are probably better off than most.

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