The Coronavirus Diaries, 12th August 2020

Still hot, but there were rumbles of thunder this afternoon, the sky has clouded over and rain is forecast tomorrow. Hurrah! Or it would be hurrah, except that this is unusual weather and the rain is probably not going to be the usual light rain we are used to, but a downpour with the risk of flooded drains and worse. Today three people were killed when a train was derailed in Aberdeenshire due to a terrain rendered dangerous by heavy rain. Climate crisis is with us, and not getting the attention it deserves. There are still countries intent on extracting and using fossil fuels. I don’t get it. I am increasingly in sympathy of the group whose aim for humans to die out. I think the planet would probably be much better without us. Clever we may be, but boy are we destructive.

The main things on the list today got done, though slowly, including making an appointment for a haircut. Outrageously expensive as instead of having it done at the training school I’m going to the salon. Hopefully this cut will last as long as the last one has. The big task was to begin lifting books down from the shelves in the hall which is going to be painted on Friday. The plan was to sort books out for the charity shop and pack the rest in bags. The discarding didn’t go too well, and gradually I realised it was probably better to pile the books on the floor where I could see them and sort them into categories. I was thrilled to find despite my cull last year I still have a copy of Clive James’ Visions Before Midnight. Maybe tomorrow I’ll find more treasures. I still have the greater part of a long shelf to go.

B&J wanted a couple of bits of shopping which was my excuse to go and stand by the fridges in M&S again. Queuing to pay the couple behind me had evidently abandoned any idea of social distancing, so I had to use my wire basket strategically. The queue goes by the newspaper stand. At das Boot I missed lost of the news but a lowly getting the message that Priti Patel and others are again immigrant bashing. In particular people who have left war torn parts of the world, wars in which we have usually played a part, taking what they can carry, in the hope of a better life. Our immigration laws are increasingly hostile. My ancestors probably wouldn’t have stood a chance. Prey to people smugglers the refugees, because that is what the majority are, who are often traumatised by the experiences they have suffered in their home countries, hand over whatever cash they have and risk their lives in unsafe boats in attempts to cross the Channel. That some of my fellow citizens seriously believe these terrifying journeys are undertaken because the refugees are lazy scroungers beggars belief, and demonstrates how the popular press has demonised vulnerable people for cynical and increasingly political ends. The lack of compassion is shameful. I’d like to put some of those naysayers into an overloaded rib in Calais to set off for Dover, and see how they change their tune. Better still put newspaper owners the Barclay Brothers, Richard Desmond, Jonathan Harmsworth and Rupert Murdoch whose papers spread the irresponsible lies which have caused so much death and heartache in a rib.

Stay safe. Keep well. Be kind.

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