Day 65 – Blowing The Cobwebs Away

Our three miles or so walk into Nantwich yesterday was idyllic in many ways. Along the way, white fluffy stuff snowed down on us. Pollen of course. We chatted away to each other, interspersed with a good catch-up with the Pirate and Badge Boat occupants Heidi and Jakki at Bridge 95.

Moments Of Gratitude

Further along our route, I spotted a narrowboat with the same name as my maternal grandma which was rather spooky seeing as I’m researching our family history …

Then approaching the city a box of free offers – thank you to the generous folks who shared their unwanted treasures, we got a ‘Airfix Spitfire’ for Barry our grandson:

In the city, there was an abundance of brightly coloured flowers in the gardens; though sadly the public flower boxes now have only dismal dead ones.

Alternative Shops and a Surprise Encounter

We decided not to go to Morrisons or ALDI, as we only really needed toilet rolls and birdseed/duck food. The roads and pavements were decidedly busier than of late, so we wanted to avoid as many people as possible. B & M Bargains had almost everything we were looking for. I then walked to the post box outside the Post Office to deposit a Greeting Card order for Barry.

Back on the embankment, my feet were becoming increasingly sore from all the walking. We saw Dave’s boat and hoped he’d be moving back to the mooring bubble so we could hitch a lift. It didn’t look likely though. So we sat on a bench to rest a while when Duncan and Elaine who we met on Wednesday at Calveley, appeared and asked us if we wanted a ride in their bow deck. Oh yes, please! How fabulous. They scooped us up at the bridge after getting rid of rubbish at the services. Elaine kindly made us both a lemon and ginger tea, whilst staying the recommended 2 metres away, and chatted amiably about how they came to be living on a narrowboat enjoying a two-year sabbatical.

We whizzed past Heidi and Jakki, introduced everyone, then called Barry on the phone as we approached our mooring. He’d been expecting a phone call to bring the bike, as he thought we’d have bought more intended and wouldn’t manage to carry it ‘home’. Imagine his surprise to spot us at the front of NB Coddiwomple?!

Not long later, Plum and Julia returned after a few more solar panels jobs. He’d also been to ALDI and picked up a couple of cordless chain saws. One for Barry. Oh my goodness.

He was like a pig in the proverbial knowing he’s now got a handy tool to chop logs for his fire starting. Talking of which …

No Smoke Without Fire

What a blustery day we’ve had today! In the early hours of this morning Barry had to get out of bed, put a few items of clothing on, and leave the boat to secure any loose or liable to fly away objects. Gale force winds aren’t the best living on a narrowboat, items are liable to blow away and the boat rocks and rolls like a bobbing sailboat on a stormy ocean. Well maybe not quite that bad. But it’s rather disconcerting.

This afternoon Barry was outside chatting to someone, whilst Kim and I worked inside, when he heard a bang. Immediately afterwards he saw smoke rising from the farm across the canal. I saw it around the same time, while making a cup of tea, and went out to investigate further. Barry called 999 for the Fire Service, and about fifteen minutes later we heard the sirens, then got a call as they couldn’t find the location. They eventually must-have, and the fire finally died down a couple of hours later. We’ve no idea at this point what caused it, but surely only a complete idiot would light a fire intentionally in this wind, so it must’ve been some sort of accident?

The following two images are from Barry’s phone:

Hay Fever Symptoms Only

The walk in the pollen snow and today’s high winds have brought on my hay fever. I’ve been sneezing and lethargic, but I’m certain through nothing other than my grass pollen allergy. I reported unusual tiredness to the COVID-19 Symptom Study App, with a note about the wind and hay fever.

Today the website has changed the way they’re reporting new cases, and claims there have been 9,900 new cases in England. Their webinar explains the rationale behind this as well as lots of new information that will be of interest to everyone. I’m not even going to attempt to list the key points. I highly recommend you watch the webinar – especially if you have heart disease, you’re over 70 years old, you’re obese, have diabetes, you’re a smoker, or have chronic lung disease:

It’ll be interesting (and crucially important), to see if this number rises or falls in the coming days and weeks …

“We do not yet have sufficient data to estimate daily new COVID cases for Northern Ireland.

Wales and Scotland have not yet joined the COVID swab testing scheme. We aim to provide estimates for Wales, Scotland & Northern Ireland in the near future, so please keep reporting your health status using our app.”

COVID-19 Symptom Study 22nd May 2020.

An article on the website explains the changes; I’d recommend you read it in full:

“This excludes care homes [*] and asymptomatic cases. These results are based on a group of 980,000 people using our app, of whom 18,000 were invited to do COVID swab tests after showing early signs of coronavirus infection. These tests were provided by the Department of Health and Social Care, either via a self-administered home test kit or regional testing centres.”

New Daily COVID cases across England – https://covid.joinzoe.com/post/covid-cases-england

The new research article confirming that people who smoke have a higher risk of COVID-19 than those who don’t can be found here – https://covid.joinzoe.com/post/smoking-covid-risk

Postscript

I don’t think there will be many flowers left on the local hawthorn trees once this wind disappears, so fingers crossed the pollen flying around will abate …

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