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Deuteronomy 313/84: Too Good to Believe; to be True? ..... Week 2 to April 11th

"No data in view on Monday April 5th to deviate from the road map " says Boris Johnston. On April 11th [April 26th in Scotland] as mapped haircuts and non-essential shops will reopen and outdoor dining and pubs will be accessible. The area which is clearly out of his purview is the vaccination/ hospitalisation progress across Europe which will determine whether selective holidays outwith the UK are realisable and if so on what terms; and further decisions on that are expected next week. But nothing currently happening in France or Italy or Spain suggests we should be optimistic. Let's plan for schooling catchup and staycations. Next road map deadline is May 11th for England and 17th for Scotland. There's a host of jeremiahs arguing that lockdowns and restrictions should be sustained well into the future to minimise risks of infections spreading as we all meet together more. But surely that misses the real point? It's not going to be about catching the virus per se but the implications when we do. The younger/ unvaccinated are less likely to succumb and the

elders who've had the vaccination are 80/90% immune and if they catch it they have very much reduced chance of hospitalisation. The week has also seen further medical analysis of the incidence of blood clotting amongst AstraZeneca recipients and although the benefits far outweigh the risks younger adults are to be given a 'choice' of the vaccines they received.
But surely the biggest news of the week was the death on Friday of HRH the Prince Philip. .. He was until his retirement in 2017 an always acceptable participant in our lives. His Dukedom of Edinburgh can be seen in the distance as the Battle Trust lowered its Prince's flag to half mast in remembrance.
The weather is skipping back and forth .. with Monday and Tuesday a mixture of good sunshine and wee snow flurries. The magnolias are wilted and turning brown at the edges of last week's fine blooms. Snow flurries came as a 20 minute blizzard on Tuesday afternoon. Small snow cover was visible at 6.30am when Burlington Bertie 'rose' but that had evaporated[?] by 10am. Nonetheless there was a slanting morning sunshine illuminating Julian's new flowering pears.

Sound of 'music' from ice cream van. It took us both by surprise and stopped just outside our door; must have been a customer on the pavement. Somehow it all sounded normal, even traditional. Thoughts turned to Pete at Auntie Vi's who has now closed his doors and the Council has taken control of his kiosk. We'll be intrigued to see what's new when we get there in the next few weeks . to take down the Christmas tree at last.
None of that deters the brave. Avril has begun planting two birthday selections of seeds from Pamela - Funky Vegetables and Cocktail Garden Kit. The first is purple dragon carrots, golden zucchini, red brussels sprouts, striped tomatoes and multi-striped swiss chard; the second cucamelon, blue borage, lime basil, mint and lemon balm. Ilkley's Walkers were doing just that at Malham and Maureen is being well catered for along with photographer Mathew. There's an image too of Avril's birthday planting box from Natasha and Lorna which promises peppermint, camomile and fennel. Talking of Avril birthday, Anne's card from Edmonton arrived safely on Wednesday after a 9 day transit as pictured! What could possibly go wrong go wrong go wrong . go .

. go wrong go wrong go . Oops. Indeed, on Thursday night it did! Avril was taken very short of breath and then by ambulance to Kettering hospital's Cardiac Care Unit where a stent was inserted within the hour. Much to her relief, and our's a hundredfold, it had the desired effect and she's already scheduled to come home on Sunday. The condition had been worsening steadily for two or three weeks and objective truth to tell we should have taken earlier steps to get it checked out but for all the usual reasons we'd delayed it believing that Gavascon could resolve the symptoms; but of course these were quite different symptoms with a quite different cause. Unavoidably Avril's routine AMD check up booked on Saturday needed rescheduling when we touched base with Claire; it had to be set 3 months ahead to July 10th because of the clash of medications. Laura, Jules and Mathew all rallied to the cause so fallout has been minimised and intriguing car parking protocols at Kettering taken on board. I was able to take supplementary reading materials, gluten free rolls and fruit along in a bag to her care unit on Friday but two days after admission she was keen to be home. Tesco's Click & Collect Thursday afternoon meant I selfishly have a very well stocked larder as well as invitations to dine with the Big House anyway. Friday's fish was poached cod fine dining and some of my Greek white wine and Saturday night was a second invitation to Fine Dining on pork; so I've been truly well attended.[Not allowed to celebrate an unexpected 10 man Leeds beating top of the table Manchester City playing away!] However, Avril kept secretly hoping she might sneak out on Saturday rather than Sunday as a Consultant showed up and said she could be discharged/ remove her tubes and the like; she's had to make do with countless family phone calls to relieve the monotony of 48 hours reading with no tv or radio! And so it was to be; I was able to collect her from Kettering at 7.30pm and bring her back first to watch me eat my supper with The Manor House and then to The Lodge for a good night's sleep there. There was much paperwork to read and pills a plenty to take at given intervals. Next week there are blood tests to take so a trip to the GP's Surgery is in order to get that ball rolling and the repeat prescriptions. But once these aspects are sorted we can head to Weymouth for our first post Christmas check up.
Down Memory Lane. We thought of taking a stroll down memory lane - just 12 months ago. It's well documented as Easter Week 2020 which we are a week ahead of this year. April 5th saw the Red Kites flying high hereabouts and all the Collared Doves disappeared the kites are certainly back again this week. Did they migrate to southern Europe? Boris himself was in hospital with Covid19. On April 8th I had my only so far GP Consultation discussing my labyrnthitis which persists a year on although it's not as bad as it has been. April 10th saw garden mower racing on the Manor House driveway. A big focus this week in 2020 was Anne's Birthday on 9th and it's going to be just that again.
For April 9th 2021 we've managed to get to ship a small lavender gift to her in Edmonton to arrive on April 8th and we've got our fingers crossed that our card will arrive too; and we got the Oilers win on Thursday against the Ottawa Senators 3-1 distancing memories of a 3-2 defeat by the Montreal Canadiennes earlier in the week. We managed a phone call and singing of the Birthday Greeting as Anne sat down to a pizza of her choice and two cakes - one from Stephen and Wendy and the other home made by Joan. Lots of greetings and messages went her way; and our card arrived safely there in Friday morning's post.
Gleam in the North. I've just finished reading Dorothy Kathleen/ DK Broster's factitious novel, The Gleam in the North, telling of the fateful last year of the life of Jacobite Dr. Archibald Cameron, 1753. I'd heard the history but this gives enormous colour that I have already posted this week to Frankie with her plans for Family August @ a Cameron auld home of Fassiefern next year. And my appetite is now whet for the prequel, The Flight of the Heron and the sequel, The Dark Mile; they've been amazon ordered.
Clash of the ZOOMs on Thursday. And of Tesco C&C as well. The East Lothian Antiquarians and the UK Battlefield Trust had both settled on Thursday 8th for Webinars. The first explores Belhaven Hill in WWII and SOE's Training School there; the second is a Guest Session by Arran on the Battlefield at Prestonpans. I managed to get half and hour with the SOE before switching over to Arran [but with Avril's passage to Kettering I saw no more than Arran's first 10 minutes .] . They're quite the fashion now on the internet with one of our own sessions led by Ed Bethune on the 1722 Waggonway scheduled for April 29th and NTS from Culloden on 15th.
Tolerance of ambiguity. By Thursday night our anticipated plans for the Town Hall were well enough advanced to have the temerity to ask PSG Area for 30,000 towards the development costs and to ask Calum Miller and Prestonpans CC for a contribution to the Interpretation of the Town Hall and the Burgh to 1975. Arran's got a goodly schedule of ambitions crafted now we need Adapt & Thrive and PSG to come to the party with support and we can certainly make it fly! And Yes, we can end with Too Good Actually Being True as ELC finally, after sustained lobbying, agreed to the Lease at the Town Hall for a peppercorn 1 if collected over 5 years. It leaves Sylvia to fight for the 100% Waiver of Business Rates as a museum. It's notionally 6K pa over 5 years = 30K we don't have . particularly as we have now officially joined AIM - the Association of Independent Museums. Sharon Saunders at ELC has greatly helped and wants us to be sure to create joint 'comms' as we announce the launch highlighting what it means for the whole community not just ourselves. We shall so proceed!
Sunday sunny and peaceful. After so much excitement in the week a quiet relaxing day was to be had. I prepared scrambled eggs for breakfast and we joined our bubble at the Big House for roast pork supper. Magic and Greek white wine ...
The foundation stone for Kettering Hospital was laid on May 9th 1896 by Her Grace The Duchess of Buccleuch & Queensberry, also Countess of Doncaster of course! Their Northamptonshire home remains Boughton House just 5 miles away.

Published Date: April 5th 2021

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