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So what is everyone finding to do during this unwanted winter break? CL has given some insight to what she is finding to do, the rules vary from place to place and we all have to follow them, our latest rules have just come into play and now I can't visit Dot, but I'm hoping to set up FaceTime, that will help pass some time. 

Much of my time is still spent moving snow still, but I'm getting to work on my old vehicles, and inside trying some wood carving. Cooking and baking is still low priority, but is improving.

Another fun project I'm doing is colourizing old family photos, what a difference, brings life to them.

Hope you are all keeping safe, (and out of trouble!) 

Vic

 

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Hi Vic, I'm catching up on the D I Y duties around the house/garden although I'm  having problems getting bits and pieces because most of the builders merchants will only supply the trade. My other pastimes are watching the missus hard at work , I could sit there for hours on end. 😃

 We have no snow to clear here so  during her allotted break we have a game of darts,...she's now beat me three nights running !🥵 On the plus side I'd just bought a new car before the current restrictions,  It's doing three weeks to the gallon.

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Hi Vic

We’re keeping in touch over skype/FaceTime/zoom/whatever is in fashion on any given day. 

There was an online Ceilidh organised by my fiancées friends and last Friday we had a group quiz night. 

We’re coping well so far but I miss having a garden. Both the domestic and beer types. 

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Online Ceilidh sounds interesting! Wednesday evening is online choir night here, rock & pop - there are many strings to my fiddle!

It's a bit surrealistic with  a 7000 strong choir all singing at home alone. It's a full choir practice with a physical warm upp to get the adrenalin going then breathing and abdominal exercises followed by singing and rehearsing for the show we will have in the capital city sometime later in the year - virus permitting, of course. It'll be a bit different from the twice a year concert in the school hall or the occasional flash mob in the shopping centre.with a choir of forty but necessity is the mother of invention so they say.

Otherwise, I'm still keeping out of mischief. Polished the wheely bin today and polishing off a bottle of wine as I write (comiserating celebrating 31 years of marriage).

 

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It would be nice to hear from a few others how you're all getting along in these strange times. Italy, I understand is very hard hit. How's things with you 3g and Ex Bedlingtonian? Bryan, how are you coping way down under? And Eggy are you able to get out of bed yet? HPW, aa hevn't hord nowt from ye for ages. Hoo ye deein?

Generally speaking how is the Bedlington/Northumberland area for cases of COVID-19? We are informed of the numbers country by country but a bit more local info would be appreciated.

Also, sorry to hear your visits to Dot have been put on hold, Vic but it's for the best. Better to be apart for a short while rather than forever.

Edited by Canny lass
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9 hours ago, Canny lass said:

Wednesday evening is online choir night here

Forgot to mention: I will Survive is the first song on the programme. Great choice, given the situation we're in just now.

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3G and myself are doing fine here in Italy.  We are in the South, and are fairing far better than the poor people in Lombardy.  That's not to say that it's good, we do still have many cases here, but compared to the north we are getting off very lightly.

We don't go out very much at all, but do have a very large garden we can get out into. 3G hasn't been out at all since 20th March, when he decided the daily bike ride wasn't worth the €3000 euro fine if caught.

The lockdown is very, very strict here.  We have to carry a form with us when we (I) go out, stating exactly where we have come from, where we are going, and why. Only one person from the household can go shopping, and at our local Lidl only 10 people in the shop at any one time.

I go out to do the shopping no more than once a week if I can help it.

That's it then, that is how things are for us here in Italy.

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In our town, similar in size to Bedlington, since the beginning of the crisis we have 8 confirmed cases, 2 of whom have died, and 11 in isolation, presumeably because they have been in contact with the 8 confirmed cases.

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I know a few who have it and some who have died ex bed.  It seems to be hitting us over the last week or so....

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Our lockdown seems much stricter than in the UK, and apart from the first couple of weeks, most people in our town are mostly sticking to the rules. As far as I am aware we don't know any of the people involved, and I am sure our Italian friend would have told us if we did.  Although our Mayor is now giving daily bulletins he isn't naming any names - quite rightly I think, we have to respect the families involved.

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2 hours ago, ex Bedlingtonian said:

In our town, similar in size to Bedlington, since the beginning of the crisis we have 8 confirmed cases, 2 of whom have died, and 11 in isolation, presumeably because they have been in contact with the 8 confirmed cases.

Wow! That's very close. Take care!

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Sweden, as of yesterday's report, has 9685 confirmed cases and 870 deaths. County numbers ( 1.7 million inhabitants and including the second largest city) are 902 confirmed cases (365 this week) and 49 deaths.. The nearest cases are 45 km away.

Many people here were more than well prepared for isolation thanks largely to a government leaflet telling us how to survive in the event of war or crisis. This was updated for the first time since WW2 and sent out to all households some time ago. The ensuing rampage in the supermarkets to stock up with non-perishable goods means that most can manage a month in isolation now. It hasn’t, however, stopped people stockpiling once again because of this pandemic so many should manage two months without a problem.

 

For the Scandinavian nations being alone is no great problem as long as they can be alone outdoors! Many, like us, live relatively isolated in the forests or by a lakeside and most town dwellers own or rent a summer house. These are very small places, just a few square metres, with room for sleeping or shelter from the rain and with facilities for simple cooking. In a summer house you should get near to nature so just about everything is done outdoors. Many town dwellers have now moved to these already because of the virus. 

 

Being surrounded by forest also means being surrounded by 'food' - wild boar, deer, elk, mushrooms and berries. Many people also stock up on these and own several freezers - we have four large freezers full of food. Believe me, an elk takes up a lot of space in a freezer even after it’s been butchered! We've always made our own bread so I've always got flour, and yeast cultures at home so no problem there either. Really the only things I shop weekly for are fruit, veg and dairy products. We stocked up with fresh milk in the freezer, butter and margarine which I now have in a reserve fridge in the garage, potatoes, root vegetables and hard white cabbage all of which keep for ages. We haven’t met a soul for 25 days now, but like Ex, Bedlingtonian we’ve good garden space and empty forest trails for exercise (not to mention all the gardening and housework that’s getting done). Water temperature in the lakes is around 8 degrees now and at 13 degrees we can start swimming. As I said to Maggie recently, If my parents could survive a five year war in Bedlington and Netherton with 10 children and no mod cons then this should be a doddle for us - two people living in the comparative luxury of today.

 

We read a lot about Sweden’s strategy for dealing with this virus. It’s certainly different to any other method we’ve read about and opinions are divided here, not least among the political  parties. Like most places, the health service here is undermanned and under-budgeted to deal with this crisis. The idea here is to avoid any sudden, very high peak in the number of cases which would be beyond the present capacity of the health service to deal with. Instead they are aiming for a lower peak, but one which will last considerably longer, for which there is health service capacity available. The Swedes have a few things in their favour. Firstly, as I mentioned above, isolation is not a big problem for many. Secondly, also one which aids isolation, more than half of Sweden's residents live in one-person households because at 18yo you are entitled to separate living from your parents if you so wish (and most do), so a lot of council housing is single person accommodation.

 

The third thing in our favour is that working from home is nothing new for many people. It's been common practice here as long as I've been here. It's the same with working hours. Flexi-time is the most common of all so journeys to and from work usually don't have rush hours on the same scale as England.

 

Schools are still open for compulsory education (up to 16 years). The idea being that adults will still be able to work and keep the country going. However, many work places have been forced to close, particularly in the industrial sector, because they cannot get raw materials from other parts of the world. So far many of the newly unemployed have been found work in other fields that have now become more important. For example, most air hostesses for Swedish companies are undergoing additional health care training so that they can assist in care institutions and many factory workers are being dispatched to help in postal companies such as pharmaceutical companies which are under pressure just now.

 

In principle, the whole thing sounds logical but only time will tell. The Swedes are a nation of people who rely on their government to do the right thing in an emergency. 'Recommendations' rather than 'rules' have always been the norm here and that seems to work so there is no 'official' lockdown but in effect that is what we have. It's just that it's voluntary and the Swedes appear to think that the present government is doing a good job as the prime minister's ratings have soared the past few weeks.

Edited by Canny lass
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Thanks forv that canny lass.  Sounds like you guys were pretty well prepared anyway.  

 

One thing which most have missed, as you point out, the peak flattens to make available resources like health cover able to cope at the cost of extending the situation.  It's far from over....

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Hi  Folks!

Aav been locked in for five weeks , since me Wife had a really serious Seizure ,the worst one she has had for over thirty years,cos for the first two weeks after the seizure,I couldn't leave her for a minute,as the saying goes,it was full on nursing from me at home.

Then the lock-down started,and since then,very good neighbours of mine have been doing our shopping,it's at times like this when the value of good friends and neighbours is very much appreciated!!

Both of us are in the really vulnerable category,so are strictly abiding by the rules for everybody's sakes.

The positive side is,we have gardens front and rear,the front garden is decent-sized but faces right onto the main road,which normally has a constant stream of traffic,but which is now strangely quiet!..I can hear Birds whistling a mile away!,and last night,under the glow of the street lamp outside our house,I was in the drive,and glanced around when something caught my eye,moving slowly in the darkness.

Mr Foxy, [of the four-legged kind!],was standing,brazenly staring up at me,then after a few seconds, ambled away unconcerned,walking on the dry road,cos it was better than the damp grass...[what a pity!]

Nowt like having Elk on your doorstep,Canny Lass,but for Bedltn,it's a lovely sight to see!

Fortunately,wor back garden faces owa thi back fields,reet owa ti Scotland Gate,and futher owa ti Hepscot way,so it's a wid open aspect,wi aal the birds coming in.

So we're fortunate ti have somewhere ti waak aroond,and ti potter on with.

Aav got a wee pond in the back garden,and when a put it in,twenty years ago,a asked me [then] fower-year-aad Niece ti fetch me some Stickleyback fish ti put in,cos a aalwis loved them when aa was a bairn.

She came wi her Granda one day,after been doon the Furnace Bank,ti thi River Blyth,and she proudly presented me wi a jamjar wi fower Luvly Stickly's.

Owa the last twenty yeors,them fower fish have bred,and bred several generations,and aav noo got aboot thirty.[having given dozens away to friends,and released hundreds back into the river!]

So a can sit and watch me fish on a nice warm afternoon,for aboot ten minutes,then back ti thi grindstone![nivvor still!]

Vic,and Canny Lass,a cud live amang the forests withoot any persuasion!![we did for owa twenty yeors,wi thi touring caravan,farm and Forestry Commision sites,from 1977-on..when the bairns were young..]

Aav got me guitars and recording gear,noo that's a hobby that,if a had the time,a cud spend hours and hours...nay..days and days..on a project...multi-tracking,and creating me aan music![which a used ti dae,afore me Wife became disabled,and a became her full-time carer]..nivvor mind,nowt's a bother to me,aam cool!!

Me motorbike is an ornament,nice ti luk at! Same wi thi car!..aam not grousing,a feel very fortunate to not be in the same sad predicament that a lot of families around the world are in.

Then,late at night,to relax,a watch U-Tube music videos,documentaries,or a dvd noo and again.

A divvent watch telly,haven't for aboot thirty years,knaa very little aboot what's gaan on,in the news,except for the latest Govt Briefings,and what snippets me Wife tells me ..!!

Wi me health problems a hae ti avoid stress,and a gaan thi best way aboot it!!

So that's my life story ,Isolation doesn't affect me mentally,aav telt folks in conversation,for years,that aa can easily mix wi folks,or a cud just as easily live in the jungle or an island on me own!![as lang as a had me guitars and me laptop!]

Both me Wife,and mesel,have found aal the comments in this thread really interesting,as ti hoo other folks are coping.

Big thanks folks!

[First time aav ivvor  commented withoot ivor mentioning.............COAL!...[drat! ...a just did!]

 

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Good to hear from you HPW and know that you are well! Sorry to hear about your 'young lady' though. I can really understand how  difficult it has been for you tha past weeks. But, now we have to look forward to better times and hope that they are not too far away. Sounds like you've got plenty of interests to help you while away the hours in isolation.

Maybe we could all make an effort to 'check in'  to the site once a week?

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HPW, Pleased to hear you and the Misses are getting through some bad times, and keeping in good spirits, health is probably the biggest issue as we get older and this Covid issue certainly doesn't help, but it does help us see what we do have!

Our spring is almost here and soon we will see the grass and get into the garden, plant the flowers and veggies etc, birds will return and the bears come out of hibernation, yes we have to share the forest with a few others! 

Isolation is an odd term, as far as physical contact goes it's simple but isolated living is different, CL lives in an isolated house but not far from towns and villages, (and apparently has a large virtual community!) I live in a town with neighbours all around (including lots of deer) but the nearest next town is 100 miles away in both directions (with shops, garages and services) and nothing in-between! are any of the three of us isolated? I can't visit Dot (Doreen!) but with this FaceTime I see her more than ever!!! our children all live away (450km) but we chat and communicate all the time, isn't technology great (usually)

Put the remote down and keep us all in touch with your gannin-ons! 

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Has anybody heard from Eggy? He's usually a very frequent and welcome contrubutor but hasn't been around for quite a while. Last visit he mentioned having difficulties getting out of bed. I've tried e-mailing but there's no reply.

Same thing with Pete. Please let us know that you are safe and well.

Edited by Canny lass
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I've had the same concerns, we keep in touch regularly and I sent him a message on facebook four days ago,  he usually responds within a couple of hours.  He still hasn't replied. @Canny lass

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Hi CL, Safe and well but in desperate need of a hair cut as all the Barbour's are closed.

 

Good to hear every ones ok.  

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1 hour ago, Pete said:

, Safe and well but in desperate need of a hair cut as all the Barbour's are closed.

Good to hear from you Pete. Don,t worry about the long hair. The in-look this year is pony tails!

How's the situation in your area?

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