Archive for May, 2020

Lincoln coronavirus lockdown day sixty four

May 26, 2020

Three people on the bus. A single decker. It was ludicrous last week a double decker. And with single decker, easier for people to keep apart.

In Sincil Street and the High Street more people about.

Sterile spaces in front of Grand Coffee House and 200 Degrees coffee shop could be given life, if the coffee shops were allowed to use for tables. Helps the coffee shops back into businesses, safeguards staff and clientele, and improves the street scene.

I discussed with both coffee shops. They thought an excellent idea. But, said backward council would not permit. It is up to them to demand, or are they going to continue allowing the local council kick small businesses in the teeth?

A coffee from 200 Degrees. Not good, I poured down the train.

How are M&S getting away with selling clothes on their ground floor. Even the sales counter is open. People are trying on clothes, shoes, then putting back.

Six passengers on return bus.

Dominic Cummings press conference

May 25, 2020

Strange times.

What we have witnessed over the last few days could not make it up if tried.

Mirror and Guardian break story of Dominic Cummings trip from London to Durham by car in clear breach of lockdown. In the car, two adults with covid-19, a small child.

Lockdown rules were clear, stay home, only go for exercise and essentials, food, medical reasons. if covid-19 symptoms self-isolate away from others in the household, no one in the household permitted to leave the house.

A small child in a car with two people with covid-19. or suspected covid-19

Did they stop en route, for fuel, a break to stretch legs, toilet, bite to eat?

At the time London was recording high number of covid-19 cases,and should have been cordoned off, County Durham relatively low number of cases.

Tories demonstrating  their lack of integrity, falling  over backwards to defend Dominic Cummings, without being in position of the facts.

We then learn, seen at Barnard Castle. Seen again at a later date after return to London.

The story changes. It was in seek of child care. Mother of Dominic Cummings says an uncle had died.

Ordinary people had people they were close to, could not be with them when they died, could not attend their funerals.

I had a family friend die, a veteran of WWII Bomber Command. Very sad he had died, very sad no one could attend his funeral.

Cabinet Office tweet they are to investigate a mischievous tweet. Investigate Dominic Cummings for Breach of Civil Service Code of Conduct? Er seemingly not.

Sunday Pepsi Trump gave a stomach churning press conference, defends Dominic Cummings, did what anyone would have done in the circumstances.

Actually he did not, he broke the rules, other people complied with the rules, hard as it was, as they did not wish to spread covid-19 around the country.

Fired by Theresa May for lying, Gavin Williamson does the rounds telling all who would listen, Dominic Cummings telling the truth. How does he know. Er, Dominic Cummings had said.

When press camped outside home of Dominic Cummings, he made very clear his position: I don’t care what you lot think.

Having completely fucked up his own press conference, the following day Dominic Cummings to give a press conference.

The press conference was given in the back garden of Downing Street, and no, it is not the Rose Garden.

He was almost contrite, he admitted breaking the rules without admitting he had.

At times somewhat bizarre,  a 30 minute drive to Barnard Castle to check his eyesight was ok.

But what was telling, and does not appear to be picked up on, he had so much to do and had to get back to London. And what he outlined was an executive role not that of an adviser and very much what one would assume would be the role of the Prime Minister.

Should he resign or be fired? No, it would not achieve anything

He gave an account of what he had done, and why, from his perspective reasonable, but if everyone had, not reasonable.

And that is the dilemma. What is reasonable for an individual in their best interest is not reasonable for society. We are seeing lockdown breaking down, and the fear now is complete breakdown.

But on the plus side, he was not evasive he answered questions politely.

I would rather see Dominic Cummings once a week head the Downing Street briefing and give straight answers not what we normally get, and I would rather see him on the record than off the record briefings, sources said.

If this is the guy calling the shots, than |I would rather hear him tell us why and be open to scrutiny, not the incomprehensible waffle we get from Pepsi Trump.

As an anticlimax later, we later heard from Pepsi Trump, a timetable of how lockdown will ease,  From 1 June car showrooms and street markets. Street markets fine, but car show rooms. Mid-June all shops to open. Nothing yet on coffee shops, restaurant, hairdressers.

Indie coffee shops, restaurants should be open at the same time as street markets if able to spread their tables into the streets, restricted to outside seating only. It helps kick start the High Street, improves the ambience of city centres, but is being held back by backward councils living in the Dark Ages.  [see Reclaim the Streets]

There is still no track and trace app available. With each phase of relaxation we need to be able to monitor what is happening.

Adapt the German app, open source, destroy app post-pandemic, anonymise data for research.

Our High Streets are not going to recover through chains. Several have collapsed, M&S and Next have junk bond status. People can shop on-line for the crap found in High Street chains.  We should not waste the opportunity to re-imagine, reinvigorate the High Street.

With our focus on Dominic Cummings we are in danger of missing the bigger picture. We risk Dominic Cummings being made a Tory scapegoat to distract from the failings of Pepsi Trump. It is the Prime Minister who should resign.

We have over over 26,000 covid-19 deaths, close on 27,000 covid-19 deaths. Had UK acted a week earlier on lockdown we would have a quarter of this number of deaths.

Chima bought us time, we squandered it. We saw what was happening in Italy and Spain, we sat back and did nothing.

Germany, when death toll was less than a hundred, implemented lockdown. UK waited until measured in hundreds. Germany had in place track and trace. UK nothing. Deaths in Germany several thousands, not tens of thousands.

Greece, total number of deaths 170. Less than UK records in a day.

In UK, thanks to insanity of Stay Alert, lockdown is breaking down, UK heading for a second wave.



Fire Dominic Cummings

May 23, 2020

Dominic Cummings malignant cancer at the heart of government.

Lockdown rules were clear. Lockdown means lockdown, means Stay at Home.

Only allowed  out for exercise, to buy essentials, visit doctor or other medical needs.

People have been heartbroken at not being able to visit dying close family and friends, not attend their funerals.

People, have been fined for breach of lockdown.

Dominic Cummings broke lockdown to travel halfway across the country. He did so whilst he and his wife were infected with covid-19, accompanied by a small child.

Rules on infections quite clear, if infected with covid-19, self-isolate within house from other family members, they in turn can’t come into contact with others. Child was put at risk for duration of the journey. Or maybe they put the child in the boot with its own air supply.

But Cummings did not break lockdown once. Whilst Up North, he went on a little outing maybe more than one, we as yet only know of one. He returned to London, then went Up North again. That is three breaches of lockdown. A QC has forensically dissected his actions come to the conclusion,  a clear breach of the rules.

He should be fined maximum amount. He should be fired.

Looking forward to all those cabinet ministers who excused Cummings first trip to Durham trying to explain his second one. Minsters who lack any integrity who spout what they are told to say.

On his first trip Up North, his car an incubator of covid-19, did the car stop, toilet breaks, fill up with petrol, get a  bite to eat? How many did they infect en route?

UK has more covid-19 deaths than any country in Europe. Second only to USA.

China bought us time, we squandered it.

We saw what was happening in Italy, then Spain, we sat back and did nothing.

Too late to enter lockdown, peddling of bogus science, too late to ban mass gatherings and sporting events, close schools, close pubs bars clubs, implement mass testing, lockdown London, an app to track and trace, failure to close airports, quarantine for all arrivals.

Germany has placed source code of its app in the public domain. Why do we not adapt, open source?

And to the catalogue, add the insanity of Stay Alert, which has led to the breakdown of lockdown.

The arrogance of these people is they think they can do as they wish, show contempt for ordinary people.

Please follow the advice of Paul Mason, share, tweet, like on social media, that Dominic Cummings must go.

If Boris Johnson refuses to fire Dominic Cummings there must be a Vote of No Confidence in Boris Johnson. These are mass murderers with blood on their hands.

Think what the death toll would be if everyone behaved like Dominic Cummings. Thanks to the insanity of Stay Alert, lockdown breaking down, we are all about to find out.

Lincoln coronaviris lockdown day sixty one

May 23, 2020

A doubled decked bus has replaced single decker.

I cannot see how this can be justified. DRiver sasy more poole now using the bus.

One two, three passengers on tghe bus.

A woman abiut to sit opposite me. I tel her to move down the bus.

Sincil Streetm many more pople.

I popl in Curtism a woman stands outside obstructing the door.

What uis=is wrong with ioke? To thick to comprehend social dsuatning>

I lookled in 200 Degrees, then pop back Being driven nust by car taht does not wotk. 200 Degrees no cash. Lehla>

Very pleased to see fishmoner open. Limited stock, only open Friday and Saturady. I am temptedf bt sea bass. Maybe next time.

Never see the frut and vegetavle stall s busy.

Lots more pole abut in the High Street.

M&S obtasacled in route through to Food Hall, pole wandering arund t but clothes. Greater risk for customers.

THree passngers on return bus.

— to be continued —

High Farm Fish Bar fish n chips

May 20, 2020

Today coronavirus lockdown day fifty eight, this evening my first fish n chips since start of lockdown, but I have to order on line.

To date not having much luck. Last week I visited Elite on the Bail, looking forward to fish n chips, only to find not open until four.

Lunchtime today, I tried the Washingborough fish n chip shop, only to find not open until four, and have to place order on-line.

I decided to try again this evening.

A bit of a faffle but I guess second time around easier.

Place order, confirmed order taken, then turn up at allotted time.

Quite a clever system, fish n chip shop gets a print out with name and order. On arrival asked for name, a couple of minutes wait, then order handed out through the door, covid-19 restrictions, not allowed to enter the shop.

I can see this could become semi-permanent, no waiting, and order is ready for collection. Though hopefully people will still be able to turn up.

The first time I have had fish n chips from this fish n chip shop since last summer.

Portion size generous, fish n chips excellent.

On a par with Elite on the Bail or Elite Tritton Road.

Two fish n chips worth knowing about locally, Elite on the Bail and Washingborough fish n chip shop. To which I would add Elite Tritton Road.

Burton Road poor service and quality of fish n chips not good. No way Sign of the Fish in Sincil Street, service poor and quality of fish n chips not good.

Lincoln coronavirus lockdown day fifty six

May 18, 2020

Passengers on the bus, three or four, some got off some got on.

Shocked to find the wooden sculpture of a Lancaster bomber outside Lincoln Central Bus Station smashed. Wings broken off, all that is left, a broken fuselage. Mindless thugs. Hopefully caught on CCTV. Last week marked VE Day 75, the weekend the Dambusters Raid.

The last few weeks during lockdown only one train at Lincoln Central Station. Today three, including LNER Azuma London train. But still highly restrictive to travel by train. LNER have introduced mandatory reservations.

One week on from the insanity of Stay Alert, more traffic, many more people on the streets, lockdown is breaking down. At the weekend visitors flooded to coastal resorts, but will be as nothing when the weather warms up. We are now more or less guaranteed a second wave of covid-19 infections, a sharp rise in cases.

In M&S more obstruction of the corridor leading through to the Food Hall, they no longer bother to curtail off the clothes section, people trying on shoes.

Easy to see why M&S a failing retailer and now marked down to junk bond status.

Six passengers on return bus.

Reclaim the Streets

May 16, 2020

We hear the sound of birdsong, the streets are traffic free, the cities are pollution free.

There can be no return to normal as normal was not normal.

We have been jolted into another now. We must maintain our city centres car and pollution free.

The first businesses to reopen coffee shops, tables outside, social distancing maintained,  dwell time relatively short.

To achieve this, coffee shops need to be able to spread out into the streets, out into the squares, the norm in Athens, indeed the norm across Europe, when one coffee shop in Lincoln requested this they received an emphatic no from Lincolnshire County Council, not even the courtesy of an explanation.

Unfortunately we will not agree to you increasing the number of tables and chairs you use or the size of the area that you have at the current time (your enclosure needs to still be only outside the frontage of your premises).

Kick starting the local economy, improving the ambience, worthless council jobsworths don’t give a damn.

Our High Streets were dying before the covid-19 pandemic. The loss of Big Business, corporate chains, from the High Street is no great loss, it was destroying the High Street. If we are to recover it will be through small local independent businesses.  That is why we must allow indie coffee shops, and only indie coffee shops not chains, next restaurants, to expand into the streets. Not pubs and bars as we do not want drunks on the streets.

Local businesses spreading into public space helps everyone, safeguarding staff and clientele through social distancing, improves the ambience of the locality, especially if No Smoking, and for many local businesses it will mean life or death, the difference whether they survive or not.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has recognised people are going to be reluctant to use public transport  therefore we have to encourage walking and cycling if we do not wish traffic levels to rise. But if wishes to improve cycling and walking, must also make our city centres more attractive by encouraging local councils to facilitate indie coffee shops and restaurants to spread out into our streets.

Deliveries to the pedestrianised areas,  park on the periphery and deliver by handcart or trolley.

Sheffield, an unusual city in that prior to the covid-19 pandemic a city on the up, a marked contrast to most decaying cities. And why? Independent businesses everywhere.

BBC Radio 4 The Food Programme recently featured Sheffield, the focus on how indie food businesses were bringing life back to Sheffield. With the exception of Marmadukes I would not agree with their choice of examples, but the gist yes. I could list several examples, South Street Kitchen, Marmadukes, Steam YardSheffield Cheese Masters, Bullion bean to bar craft chocolate, ShuJu Taiwanese pop-up kitchen at Union St.

Mention also needs to be made of Now Then, an indie magazine that features local culture and indie businesses, interesting articles and art, well worth seeking out.

Through reclaiming the streets, we are operating at the interface between business, environment and society, a component part of Doughnut Economics, where the local economy is designed to be regenerative and distributive, with people and the environment at its heart.  We kick cars out of our town centres, we plant trees, we improve the ambience, we create a space where local businesses and communities can thrive, breathe clean air, or simply relax with a  good coffee, read a book, sit and watch the world go by.

One of my favourite places to sit and relax, Little Tree, a bohemian bookshop cum coffee shop, not far from The Acropolis.

In Exarchia, an anarchist district of Athens, they set up road blocks, boxes with plants,  created traffic free zones. The city authorities also act, they are extending the pedestrianised areas around The Acropolis.

Balpa not in the real world

May 15, 2020

Balpa, trade union for airline pilots, appears to be in a different reality to everyone else.

Government, more importantly taxpayers, do not exist to bailout airlines. For far too long airlines have had an easy ride. Trash the planet, lax tax regime that does not begin to cover their externalities, spread covid-19 around the world, reneged on refunds for cancelled flights, now whining about quarantine that should have been brought in weeks ago.

How many will wish to fly?

CEO Logan Air pointed out a few days ago, social distancing on a plane meaningless when all breathing in the same recycled air.

EasyJet Airbus A320 one person in row of three, no one in row in front or behind, no one in row across the aisle, would not be 2 metres apart, breathing in the same air for several hours, passing through busy airports.

Covid-19 has jolted us into another now.

There is no return to normal as normal was not normal.

We are used to hearing bird song, streets traffic free, cities pollution free.

We were told impossible to reduce pollution, carbon emissions, not feasible, not practical, certainly not within the timescales required and by the depth required.

We have see massive reductions almost overnight, not enough, we must cut deeper, but a step in the right direction, there is no going back, not if we are to achieve zero carbon by 2035.

Airlines are not scared cows. There are many small businesses need help restarting, they are far more important for regenerating the economy, we need to fund a Green New Deal.

We cannot must not use public money to bail out dirty, dinosaur industries.

The plea of dirty polluting industries is let us pollute some more, we will then have enough money to clean up our mess. They of course never do.

With airlines they do no even offer, at best they offer to plant a few trees.

Economies that are dependent on tourism must have a rethink. They cannot go back to businesses as usual which benefits foreign tour companies, where they are reduced to sharecroppers.

If Cyprus is typical and sadly it probably is, instead of use the lack of tourists to pause and reflect, how we do it better, different, it is how can we return as quickly as possible to the dustbin for the dregs of the tourist industry.

They must move away from dependency on mass tourism, end all-inclusive hotels, develop tourism that is distributive, regeneration, that benefits all of society, that does not bastardise their culture for drunks on a wedding outing, attract fewer tourists, longer stay tourists, direct bookings, diversify away from the bucket and spade brigade and gangs of drunks.

Tourism has to be sustainable, benefit all of society.

Any recovery programme has to be distributive and regenerative.

Doughnut Economics. Amsterdam with the help of Kate Raworth has developed a post-pandemic recovery programme, Doughnut Economics Amsterdam. A draft proposal has been drawn up for Cyprus focusing on the tourist sector, Doughnut Economics Cyprus.

We are passing through a portal from one world to another. There is a strict baggage allowance. There can be no carrying of baggage from the old world to the new.

Takeaway coffee 200 Degrees Lincoln

May 15, 2020

200 Degrees is not somewhere I would usually go out of choice, occasionally yes, to see if their coffee has improved (poor quality beans, wrong cup size) but Thursday day fifty two of lockdown first week a coffee shop open albeit takeaway only, needs must, missed a bus by seconds and an hour to wait for the next bus, I fancied a coffee having not had one since before lockdown, and nowhere else was open.

Served by one of their better baristas, and under my guidance, no I did not want the cheap beans and wished for correct cup size, I was pleasantly surprised. A decent cappuccino.

The claim they were busy to be taken with a pinch of salt. Maybe busy compared with no one. There was no one about, and neither was there was when I passed by two hours earlier.

Coffee served in a compostable takeaway cup, later popped onto the compost heap.

Lincoln coronavirus lockdown day fifty two

May 14, 2020

A milestone of sorts reached, passed fifty days in lockdown. Though if wish to be strictly correct partial lockdown as always been able to go out, buy food, take a walk or other activity, though little else.

By last weekend lockdown was already starting to breakdown down, then on Sunday the insanity of Stay Alert replacing Stay Home.

It was therefore with some trepidation venturing out today. I have been out twice a week during lockdown, bus into the city visit a few shops, but felt relatively safe. With more people about less safe.

Middle of the day early afternoon not rush hour I would risk it. Though little choice as running out of food. I was also looking forwrd to fihs n chips for lunch.

Only three pole on the bus. I asked the driver what it was like rush hour, He said so far ok.

Adnb the driver off engine and oend the door, a marked improvement,

Passing bypass under consruction, a lot more work taking place.

More traffic.

200 Degrees in Sincil Street open, though no customers.

Fihn n chip Sign of the Fih not open. Maynbe they tried lastg Saturdaym devoced not suffinct cutm.

NBack to Steeo Hill, less of a climb. Usually no oneabout. Maube half a dozen pople.

Cafe Portico their wood fired clat over fired uo though no one aroudn.

Walking a up Steeo Hill, Castle Hill and Bailgatrem a few turits about. Forst time since lockedown seen toursits,

On the way up I pooped into a shop that specialsioices in produce of Lincolnshire, a reativley new shop, long chat with lady behind the counter.

One lady for tge fis n chiop shop shop or was she for the fruit and veatble shop. I asked, greengricer and she informed me fish n chip not open until four.

AS I was now the only one waithing, I decoed to vist the green groced. POcked up tomato palnes and runner benas planst, plus sone fresh produce.

Looked on TREdhill fam shop. My other raeson for climining the hill, was the farmers market on Saturday. Dadly nom though no ryme nor raeson why it should not take place.

Walking back down, many more pole in the High Street.

I miss the bus by seconds. Uually only one hour in the twnm alredy two houts, now going to be thrree hurs.

I ma not too fussed. I can po in 200 Degrees and have a coffee. Plesantly surpised, susially mediacore.

Vist M&S. It is exoteamely annouying and carss tipuditm sioalayes obsitrrctung access coridor throygh to Food Hall. Pushed vclsoed to other shoppers. Some one needs to ge their act tohrth.

For passnegesron the rerun bus.

— to be continued —


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