Day 53 – A Complete Contrast

Talk about a complete change! Yesterday was sunny and hot, around 23 degrees. We sat outside most of the day, chilling. Today we literally chilled! It must’ve been over a ten-degree drop. Good old British weather, as unreliable as ever. Just like COVID-19 and the current lockdown, you never know what each day will bring!

We did, however, plan for Lisa coming to bring us essential mail and medicines this morning. A twenty-minute walk from the boat, and a twenty-five-minute drive for Lisa from Malpas. We kept our distances, no hugging which is so hard but we were just so happy to see each other.

Cooking in ‘The Ronnie Sunshine’

Plum had suggested we could cook a chook (chicken!) in the Ronnie Sunshine he sold us many weeks ago now. So we thought we’d give it a go and got Lisa to buy us a chicken. We got back to Areandare and Barry lit the fire on board (we were all flipping freezing by then) and then lit the brazier outside.

I cooked the roast potatoes and vegetables inside, once the chicken was almost done. I’d run out of plain flour, so used self-raising, also soya milk rather than dairy as neither Kim nor Barry like cows milk. I was already tentative about how it would work out in the electric oven when the engine alarm went off. It gets too hot after a while on full power (which is what we need to run the oven). So I had to cook the Yorkshire pudding outside. I did one big round one. Except it wasn’t terribly successful and looked more like a pancake! The chicken, however, was great.

As I was cooking I saw a couple of swallows sat on the barbed wire fence opposite, preening themselves. The swallows at the moment are swooping and diving up and down the canal, catching insects. The canal has gone awfully ‘scummy’ again …

COVID-19 Symptom Study

So I never did manage to find a way to access a COVID-19 test, despite being invited to do so by the COVID-19 Symptom Study team. It seems you must have a car registration number. Or be able to be ‘recognised’ by some government credit agency called ‘TransUnion.

I recall having a challenge in 2002 when I returned from my first nine-month trip to New Zealand. I had no mortgage. Or a mobile phone. But I couldn’t get a mobile phone contract because I had no mortgage. I wasn’t ‘recognised’ by a credit agency. Is that what this is all about? Because I hadn’t previously ordered a home test. And all my details were entered correctly. It was clearly stated that I could put in the address of where I am ‘locked-down’, so it didn’t need to be my ‘home’ address (which is my eldest daughter’s house).

The only ‘TansUnion’ I can find is an American Credit Reporting Agency. What on earth is going on???

So it seems it’s not possible for anyone on board Areandare to get a COVID-19 test. Possibly any other liveaboard narrowboater who doesn’t own a car. Or am I missing something? I tried several times, cleared my cache, tried again. The same thing happened. It seems incredible to me, and biased. Luckily I’m feeling ok, but it’s not helpful for the research study.

They are now unsurprisingly requesting funding, in order to continue their amazing research, and I’ve donated to them. It’s not their fault I can’t get tested; it’s a Government problem. Surprise surprise!

If you’re reporting in the UK, and feel as I strongly do that the research team are doing an incredible job, please consider donating what you can afford – Here’s the link:

2 thoughts on “Day 53 – A Complete Contrast

  1. So many levels of officialdom (all of ’em) have been caught flatfooted by this pandemic, (‘the system’ is so spectacularly broken) and now the chickens (or swallows) are coming home to roost!

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