In An Instant: Smiling Coco

The UK took a big step on Saturday. Most businesses were allowed to open up again, albeit with strict social distancing measures. Pubs reopening was undoubtedly a big thing for many people, although I’m sure half the people there were tabloid reporters waiting to take photos of the anticipated carnage. Whilst there were issues, it does seem like most people behaved sensibly and followed the rules. For myself, I’m not eager to rush back. I’m watching to see if infections rise again in the coming weeks. Besides, since lockdown, I’ve discovered you can drink at home ’til you fall over, for a fraction of the cost and without waking up next morning with a half-eaten kebab on your pillow. Why didn’t someone tell me this years ago?

Popping out for a sandwich today, I was surprised to find myself quite emotional at the sight of people in the cafes again. But for me, as the restrictions slowly loosen, the big thing is that I get to spend a lot more time with the dogs again. And Jane, of course. And I’m not just saying that because she sometimes reads this. Really.

Coco The Spaniel / Polaroid SX-70 Sonar / Polaroid Originals SX-70 Black & White Film

polaroid spaniel

This Week In The Coronapocalypse | Donnington Castle

Donnington Castle was a comfortable fortified and decorated manor built in 1386 and owned by, amongst others, Thomas Chaucer, son of the poet. All until war broke out in 1642 between Charles I and Parliament. The Royalists seized and held the castle and built the fortifications that you now see as grass slopes, with cannon all around. Much was destroyed in the ensuing siege. This hardly counted because the real action took place in the neighbouring fields and villages where the Royalists lost in two Battles of Newbury. After their victory, Parliament voted to demolish what remained of the castle, leaving only the gatehouse, so you have to mentally reconstruct the body of the castle from the walls and small rooms that peep up from the grassy platform.

Donnington Castle / Mamiya 645 Pro TL / Ilford Pan F / Semi-Stand Developed in Rodinal 1+99 60 mins

Donnington Castle


Prior to this pandemic, thanks to Brexit and the ensuing culture war, Britain has been engulfed in political turmoil for three years. Each day seemed to bring a new political calamity, which was then promptly forgotten when the next one happened 24 hours later. Weeks felt like months, months felt like years. I really regret not keeping a simple note of events as they happened, just so I could look back and try and make some sense of it all.

So during this period I’ve decided to sum up the weekly events that have struck me the most, from the deadly serious to the absurdly ridiculous. If my tone seems flippant at times…well, we all have our own way of getting through this horror.

See all previous updates here

This week in The Coronapocalypse:

  • Senior Special Advisor Dominic Cummings admits breaking lockdown and driving 30 miles to a local beauty spot with his wife and child, explaining he was testing his eyesight to see if he was fit enough to further break lockdown by driving 260 miles to London. British public hears: ‘The dog ate my homework’
  • Cummings behaved ‘responsibly, legally and with integrity’ says Boris Johnson, refusing to sack him. British public hears: ‘Do as I do, not as I say’
  • Cummings press conference: “Don’t believe everything you hear on TV”, says man on TV
  • Cummings press conference: “It’s all the fault of Islington Media Types and the Metropolitan Elite’, says man who lives in Islington with wife who works in media, was educated at private school and then Oxford University, whose parent’s estate includes its own woods, and whose father-in-law is called Sir Humphry Wakefield and lives in an actual castle
  • #Cumgate does not got viral due to Twitter’s anti-porn filters
  • 1 12 18 40 47 60+ Tory MPs call for him to be sacked
  • Junior Minister resigns over PM’s refusal to sack Cummings
  • Meaning of Government Stay Alert slogan becomes clear: watch out for visually impaired drivers on Motorway
  • Cops: Don’t drive if you’re blind
  • Some non-essential shops to re-open 15 June, if they can comply with ‘covid security’ regulations
  • Ebola drug Remdesivir sanctioned for use on most severe pateints
  • UK supercar maker and Formula 1 team McLaren to cut 1200 jobs
  • UK starts Test & Trace phase. Those identified as being in contact with confirmed cases will be told to self-isolate for 14 days. Website crashes within minutes.
  • Accusations that Government brought forward Test & Trace phase too early in order to knock Cummings story from headlines
  • US passes grim milestone of 100,000 deaths
  • EasyJet to cut up to 4,500 jobs
  • UK now has highest coronavirus death rate as a proportion of population of any country in the world.
  • Police conclude Cummings broke the lockdown and potentially the law. Goverment spokesman: ‘Yeah, whatever, losers’
  • Government: From next week up to 6 people can meet in parks if they socially distance


Worldwide cases: 6,162,516 (previous week 5,407,378)
Worldwide deaths: 371,037(previous week 344,019 )
UK cases: 272,826 (previous week 257,154)
UK deaths: 38,376 (previous week 36,675)

source

This Week In The Coronapocalypse | In An Instant: Charles James Fox

This is Charles James Fox ( 1749 to 1806), former resident of Chertsey and the first ever British Foreign Secretary. Just like our current Prime Minister who also once held that office, he was an Old Etonian with a reputation for laziness, womanising, and ridiculous hair. Fox, however, was a passionate campaigner for abolishing the slave trade, whereas Boris Johnson’s time in the role is infamous for his incompetent scuppering of plans to get British Citizen Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe released from an Iranian jail.

Charles James Fox sculpture, Chertsey / Polaroid SX-70 Sonar / Polaroid Originals SX-70 Color Film

Charles James Fox


Prior to this pandemic, thanks to Brexit and the ensuing culture war, Britain has been engulfed in political turmoil for three years. Each day seemed to bring a new political calamity, which was then promptly forgotten when the next one happened 24 hours later. Weeks felt like months, months felt like years. I really regret not keeping a simple note of events as they happened, just so I could look back and try and make some sense of it all.

So during this period I’ve decided to sum up the weekly events that have struck me the most, from the deadly serious to the absurdly ridiculous. If my tone seems flippant at times…well, we all have our own way of getting through this horror.

See all previous updates here

This week in The Coronapocalypse:

  • Restaurants and churches reopen in Italy
  • Loss of taste / smell added to official list of Covid-19 symptoms
  • Donald Trump wins this week’s WTF Award (again) by saying he’s taking Hydroxychloroquine (‘at best ineffective, at worst deadly’) to own the Libs
  • Number of people claiming unemployment benefits in the UK surged in April by about 856,000
  • Huge row ensues over Government plan to reopen schools on 01 June for some pupils
  • Rolls-Royce to cut 9,000 jobs
  • Global death toll accelerating
  • NHS chiefs warn ‘time is running out’ to launch track-and-trace system to avoid a second deadly wave
  • Major study shows less than half of 19 to 30 year-olds ‘strictly’ abiding by Britain’s lockdown rules
  • 25% of Americans have little or no interest in taking a coronavirus vaccine, according to Reuters/Ipsos poll, with 36% less willing to take vaccine if Donald Trump said it was safe
  • All people arriving in UK from 8 June must quarantine for 14 days
  • Tests now available to anyone with symptoms
  • South Korean football team fined for placing sex dolls in its stands to add atmosphere during closed match.
  • Chief Government advisor and architect of UK lockdown policy Dominic Cummings under fire for breaking lockdown policy whilst having Covid-19 symptoms *sigh*
  • Poll shows more Brits would prefer pubs to reopen rather than schools


Worldwide cases: 5,407,378 (previous week 4,722,233)
Worldwide deaths: 344,019(previous week 313,266 )
UK cases: 257,154 (previous week 240,161)
UK deaths: 36,675 (previous week 34,466)

source

This Week In The Coronapocalypse | In An Instant: Botleys Mansion

This week the Government urged those unable to work from home to go back to work. Meanwhile, the rest of us can continue to ping off a few emails in the morning, have the occasional video call in our underpants, and spend the afternoon watching Netflix. Or is that just me? Anyway, during this difficult period our Prime minister has certainly lived up to his reputation. Unfortunately, that reputation is for laziness, incompetence, and pathological dishonesty. Yes, as Britain stands on the edge of a precipice, nobody is better equipped than Boris Johnson to take us forward.

From this week, we’re also no longer officially restricted to exercising once a day. To be honest, I’ve been doing more than that anyway. The streets have been practically empty, and when I do come across someone we smile and politely do the now-familiar social distance dance. Exercise is one of the things keeping me sane, although part of me thinks that the only rational thing to do in these circumstances is to go mad.

Some non-essential shops are now allowed to open, provided they take the proper precautions. The Subway near me has a sign saying four people only, but every time I walk by they seem unable to even muster that many victims customers. It almost as if people think a chipotle ‘chicken’ foot-long sub is not worth risking death for. Who’d have thought?

When Bertie was here we took our walks down by the Thames, and through the meadows and woods. Now he’s gone I’m back to walking along the pavement and through the parks. My morning walk now takes me through Homewood Park and past Botelys Mansion. Botleys is a Palladian house built in the 1760s. It’s changed hands many times during its lifetime, but for much of the 20th Century it was variously a war hospital, a psychiatric hospital, and a nurses’ home. These days it’s owned by a private company that hires it out for weddings.

Botleys Mansion, Chertsey / Polaroid SX-70 Sonar / Polaroid Originals SX-70 Color Film

Botleys Mansion


Prior to this pandemic, thanks to Brexit and the ensuing culture war, Britain has been engulfed in political turmoil for three years. Each day seemed to bring a new political calamity, which was then promptly forgotten when the next one happened 24 hours later. Weeks felt like months, months felt like years. I really regret not keeping a simple note of events as they happened, just so I could look back and try and make some sense of it all.

So during this period I’ve decided to sum up the weekly events that have struck me the most, from the deadly serious to the absurdly ridiculous. If my tone seems flippant at times…well, we all have our own way of getting through this horror.

See all previous updates here

This week in The Coronapocalypse:

  • In a devastating blow to the virus, the Government changes its slogan from ‘Stay Home’ to ‘Stay Alert’
  • PM announces three-step approach to ease country back to normality, but forgets to include his resignation
  • Some non-essential shops allowed to re-open, provided they take necessary precautions
  • Avianca, the world’s second-oldest airline, folds
  • Furlough scheme to continue until October
  • Football restarts behind closed doors in the German Bundesliga
  • Goverment recommends homemade face coverings in enclosed places
  • People who can’t work from home should go back to work, provided they can social distance
  • Trump declares victory over “invisible enemy” as US deaths surpass 80,000
  • Covid-19 breaches supposedly one of the most secure facilities in the world: The White House
  • Public Health England approves use of ‘100% accurate’ antibody test
  • Large areas of London are to be closed to vans and cars, allowing people to walk and cycle safely and thus avoid public transport
  • UK trial begins to see if dogs can ‘sniff out’ virus
  • Anti-lockdown protests take place in Hyde Park and Britain takes back the Covidiot Crown. Donald Trump demands a recount


Worldwide cases: 4,722,233 (previous week 3,484,558)
Worldwide deaths: 313,266 (previous week 244,786)
UK cases: 240,161 (previous week 182,260)
UK deaths: 34,466 (previous week 28,131)

source

This Week In The Coronapocalypse | Bertie Goes Home

So. Bertie went home this morning and I’m back to solitary confinement. I’m sad about this. These are the photos from our last couple of days together.

All photos Fujifilm X100F


Prior to this pandemic, thanks to Brexit and the ensuing culture war, Britain has been engulfed in political turmoil for three years. Each day seemed to bring a new political calamity, which was then promptly forgotten when the next one happened 24 hours later. Weeks felt like months, months felt like years. I really regret not keeping a simple note of events as they happened, just so I could look back and try and make some sense of it all.

So during this period I’ve decided to sum up the weekly events that have struck me the most, from the deadly serious to the absurdly ridiculous. If my tone seems flippant at times…well, we all have our own way of getting through this horror.

See all previous updates here

This week in The Coronapocalypse:

  • Italy begins to ease lockdown after eight weeks, with parks reopening and relatives reunited
  • Contact-tracing smartphone app piloted on Isle of Wight
  • Five Eyes Alliance contradicts theory Covid-19 leaked from lab
  • Virgin Atlantic to axe 3000 jobs and shut Gatwick operations
  • More than half of UK adults receiving some form of state financial help
  • Air France, KLM and Lufthansa make face masks compulsory for all passengers
  • Key Government Covid-19 advisor resigns after breaching social distancing rules with visit from ‘mistress’ (note to tabloid editors: nobody has had a ‘mistress’ since about 1890)
  • Bank of England predicts economy 2020 will be biggest economic slump in 300 years
  • 400,000 emergency PPE gowns flown in from Turkey fail quality control checks
  • Britons commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day and remember those who died in WWII, whilst many of the survivors die in care homes
  • Britons celebrate VE Day with socially-distant street parties
  • President Trump says coronavirus will “go away without a vaccine” but offers no scientific evidence
  • 14-day quarantine proposed for air passengers
  • Government announces £2bn plan to encourage more cycling and walking


Worldwide cases: 4,152,885 (previous week 3,484,558)
Worldwide deaths: 282,733 (previous week 244,786 )
UK cases: 219,183 (previous week 182,260 )
UK deaths: 31,855 (previous week 28,131)

source