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Leviticus 251/84: 100,000 and us Early Risers for NGH .... Head Chef again

A picture tells 100,000 words … Boris Johnston bowed his head last night as he confirmed what we all knew was inevitable; over 100,000 people have now met their death in the wake of the Covid19 virus since March 2020. Boris accepted that the decisions the government had made over the past 11 months were his responsibility as Prime Minister and with so many suggesting at almost every step along the way that he should have done more of this or that one can only imagine what a burden that responsibility has been and how its remembrance will be with him and all of us for a very long time.

The reality throughout for me has been his abiding determination to minimise the lockdowns and the restrictions of the nation's freedom even after his own hospitalisation. The fact that this most sombre moment could be contextualised with the ever growing levels of vaccination across the nation was its only redeeming feature. Boris Johnston is our Prime Minister swept to power after a truly shameful period of parliamentary democracy to level up the nation beyond London and the South East and to unleash the potential Brexit affords. In his every utterance we can still sense his determination to get that manifesto back on track and it has been reassuring to see from time to time beyond the deluge of depressing news spread most particularly by the BBC that steps are being taken to meet the promises made on which he was so deliberately elected. The Archbishops of Canterbury and of York might sensibly include him and his fraught Cabinet Ministers in their call for prayer as essential workers.
Avril was back at the Eye Clinic again this morning. It was an unusual appointment but it took us up the learning curve! It transpires that Wednesday is Eye Injections only so she was swiftly dealt with and out in 30 minutes. We'll see if we can get that day in future months …. I was late returning from Morrisons where I'd topped up on petrol in her car [used in case we needed front wheel drive on snow and ice which of course was yesterday's context; the snow went overnight!]. I was also mandated to shop for Crunchy Peanut Butter and took the opportunity to buy Moroccan inspired Chicken Soup for lunch and tonight's choice of Liver & Bacon [Anne would vote for that but Avril's allergic] or a choice of beef dishes. All will be well no doubt ….
It was Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day last Monday. It's always the last Monday on January which this year clashed with Burns' Night so we carried it forward …. it's got a fascinating tale to relate but first why the commemoration? It was so designated after a radio station in Bloomington, Indiana, received a shipment of wrapped microphones which, after being unwrapped and installed, inadvertently broadcast the sound of their wrappings being popped by staff. Its invention was even more bizarre …. Alfred Fielding was co-inventor of Bubble Wrap with his business partner Marc Chavannes, a Swiss chemist. They were trying to create a textured wallpaper in 1957 that would appeal to the burgeoning Beat generation. They put two pieces of plastic shower curtain through a heat-sealing machine but were disappointed—at first—by the results: a sheet of film with trapped air bubbles. However they did not totally dismiss their failure receiving the first of several patents for the process and equipment for embossing and laminating materials. Then they turned their minds to thinking of uses, more than 400 in fact. Greenhouse insulation made it off the drawing board but when tested in greenhouses proved ineffective! Sealed Air Corporation which holds the registered name 'Bubble Wrap' was co-founded in 1960. The bubbles that provide the cushioning for fragile or sensitive objects are available in different sizes and multiple layers can be used to provide shock and vibration isolation. Bubble wrap is most often formed from polyethylene (LDPE) film with a shaped side bonded to a flat side to form air bubbles. Some types of bubble wrap have a lower permeaton barrier film to allow longer useful life and resistance to loss of air in vacuums. Bubbles can be as small as 6 millimetres in diameter to as large as 26 millimetres or more. The most common bubble size is 1 centimetre. In addition to protection available from the air bubbles in the plastic the material itself can offer some forms of protection - for example when shipping sensitive electronic parts and components a wrap is used that dissipates static charge thereby protecting the sensitive electronic chips from static which can damage them. One of the earliest widespread uses came in 1960 with the shipping of the new IBM 1401 computers to customers, most of whom had never seen this packing material before.
Finally of course we all now know what fun it can be to pop the bubbles either by hand or by jumping on them … We certainly always saved it for our grandsons by the door so when they entered they couldn't resist the temptation …

Published Date: January 27th 2021

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