Keep Safe, Keep in Touch

I sent that message to all those friends and relatives I owed e-mails to last week. I’m usually a dreadful correspondent – but I wanted the odd e-mail to let me know how they were coping.

You have become ‘friends’ over the time the site has been running, even though I have only met a few of you.

So I send this message to you all: keep safe, keep smiling, and please put a one word message or even a long rant to let us know how you doing.

28 thoughts on “Keep Safe, Keep in Touch”

  1. Thank you, Boadicea. I hope you and your family keep safe too. I’ve been doing the same and contacting people I’ve rather neglected because I’m also bad at keeping in touch.

  2. I still receive Katie’s blog -Katie in Brittany – and was pleased to see comments from Gazoopi and Papaguinea the other week.

    I have one friend self-isolating in Melbourne. She got into Australia to visit her son a couple of days before the border was closed. When last heard of she was in an Airbnb in Melbourne with her son delivering provisions.

    We have Waitrose delivering provisions and keep ourselves to ourselves. Going for a walk involves saying hello to other walkers at a distance. There are no ducks or moorhens in the local pond this year. Are they self-isolating too?

    Any rant would involve saying nasty things about China, which might upset Christopher. But can one believe a word they say?

  3. I’ve been coping using a mixture of dark humour and irreverence. I’ve been mindful and respectful of others and have kept my distance. However, I’ve had no shortage of laughs at the expense of people acting like the bloody world is about to end. Since things have gone decidedly East German, I’ve treated it as such. Nota bene, I’ve already had the bloody virus and got through it. Can’t say it was the most dignified or pleasant experience in my life.

    Sheona: The Chinese haven’t exactly been covering themselves in glory these last 6 months. In a way, it’s an overdue wake-up call for the world. We’ve been sleep-walking into relying on two countries, China and India, for virtually all out medication and most of our medical supplies. Many companies — and even countries — have become complacent and reliant on a steady stream of Chinese dosh for their prosperity. With that disrupted and with Chinese authorities behaving with shameless disregard for veracity, reality, even just how much one wants to rely on that needs to be questioned. I rather like the Chinese, always have, but I’m not naive about it.

  4. Good morning all. Today, Zimbabwe starts its official 21 day lock-down, though, those with a more international outlook have already been self isolating for a week. On the whole the mood has been pretty relaxed, I think the reasons for this being
    1) We are so used to disasters in this country that we have become somewhat blasé any further bad news
    2) Our government and the medical system is so woefully inadequate that nothing can be done to halt the spread of the virus, should it choose to strike here with any degree of enthusiasm
    3) Any restrictions that are put in place, such as the current lock down are impractical and cannot be policed, given that most people do not have running water, or electricity or fuel and live in tiny shacks. They have no money and cannot afford to buy and store food for 3 weeks. They share their ablution facilities with others, so social distancing becomes largely meaningless. They will go out and about.
    4) People do not have enough money to panic buy and besides there is not much in the shops that is worth hoarding.
    5) Zimbabweans are resting their hopes on the theory that resistance to malaria means resistance to Covid. The map of high cases of Covid infection and low cases of malaria is a mirror image of the map that shows high cases of malaria and low cases of Covid. Although malaria is a killer in Africa, many have built up a resistance. I have had it twice, but not since the 80s. I have absolutely no idea if there is any scientific basis for this theory, but we grasp at straws. In reality, I am pretty sure that the reason that rates are so low here is that there has been no testing and nobody can afford to get to hospital, let alone pay for treatment. Besides, all doctors and nurses have gone on strike because they lack ‘PPE’. There are considerably more members of the cabinet than there are ICU beds and ventilators.

    The country’s first Covid death occurred last week. A young man, wealthy and politically connected, ended up in the one ‘hospital’ that has been the designated treatment facility. There was no ventilator and the staff were too afraid to treat him. The family managed to find a ventialtor which they brought to the hospital, but there was no electrical socket and the hospital forbade them from using an extension cord. They were not allowed to visit him and the doctor in charge switched off his phone. The story, as reported by the victim’s brother, has been all over the local news. So we are not hugely optimistic about our survival chances should we catch the bug. To be honest, I am not that concerned about Covid itself, I am more worried about any other situation that will require a trip to hospital, such as an accident of some sort.

    Some of us are more fortunate than others and are able to isolate in relative comfort. I have a largish house with an acre of garden. I am mostly off the grid with respect to electricity and water in that I have solar power and a borehole. I grow vegetables; right now, I have a surfeit of asparagus, tomatoes, avocados and aubergines. Spinach will be with me soon. I have a reasonable supply of protein in my deep freezes. I make my own pasta which is far superior to the shop stuff. I cant imagine why more people do not do that instead of panic buying. Easy to do and can be fun and even social. I have in the past made ravioli, but the methods I have used have been laborious. I will try again using a simpler method and techniques learned off Yotube.

    Yesterday, I had to do a bit of shopping at my local supermarket, which is pretty basic and not my favourite place. But needs must. I arrived at the entrance only to find a long queue stretching along one wall. With dismay I asked the attendant whether I had to join it. He said no that as a pensioner, i.e.over 60, I could go straight in. The rude bastard did not even check my ID. (When I was in Brisbane 18 months ago, we could not get into any bars because we did not have IDs that were recognised by the bouncers to show that we were over 18. Funny old world.) Anyway, it was a very stress free experience; very few people and no queue at the till.

    The one thing that does concern me is that access to the internet will fail at some point. There is no reason why it should, other than that these things do happen with remarkable frequency in this country. In the current situation it may take a long time to get repaired.

    Right now, the sun is shining and the birds are singing, so it is not too bad.

    A friend sent me some terms that have entered the Australian vernacular, including ;
    Sanny
    Iso
    Rona
    Magpie

    Thus, ‘My boss tested pozzie for the rona, so now I am in iso. I popped down to woolies for some sanny, but its been bloody magpied.’

    All in all, though, I think Trump is right in that there is a real danger that the cure will be worse than the virus. If the lock down goes beyond a few weeks, I simply cannot see the economy recovering for many years, by which time China will have purchased Australia and South Africa.

    Some of you may have seen this broadcast from India.
    https://www.wionews.com/videos/gravitas-wuhan-coronavirus-will-china-profit-from-the-outbreak-289014

  5. Here in the west country there has been a bit of a hullabalooe about them “up country folk” taking the opportunity to self isolate in their second homes by the seaside for a month or two and also about some owners/letting agencies advertising their holiday cottages as an ideal place to come and sit out your quarantine period, an idea which understandably hasn’t gone down too well with the locals. Indeed,on the first day of the “lockdown” you couldn’t even find a parking space on some of the roads that lead to popular beaches.

    As a county where a large proportion of the businesses rely on income from the tourist industry, Easter is normally seen as the light at the end of the long, dark winter tunnel of earning little or no income, but the future this year does not look bright. Promises of financial assistance by the Government are, according to most of my hotelier an B&B owning friends, in reality largely unavailable. This problem, according to this letter in the DT, does not seem to be limited to the West Country or the tourist industry either.

    Letter to the Editor, Daily Telegraph (published 27/03/2020)

    Profiteering banks.
    Sir- I am a business adviser with clients across the North West. Four of my clients – all well run businesses and financially sound until coronavirus struck – have approached their banks for support under the initiatives recently announced by the Government.
    Without exception, they were all turned down, but the banks offered them alternative products, which in some cases involved 22 percent interest rates, exorbitant arrangement fees and personal guarantees.
    I’m afraid to say that the banks are not helping at all. Indeed, they are seeking to profit from the situation by tying desperate business owners into punitive deals that will create hardship and, in some cases, bankruptcy – the exact opposite of the Governments objective.

    David Lee
    Wistaston, Cheshire”

    Is this profiteering by the banks or is it simply the famous David Walliums “computer says no” quotation in operation?

  6. Hi Guys and Gals, just putting my head round the door to say I’m alive and pretty well OK. Sorry to say I have not read much here in the last 18 months or even more, BUT will follow weekly from now on, well as often as I can. I will post soon on an update – have been a volunteer ward musician in two London hospitals but now barred from attending. One ward I played at University College London Hospital for elderly and dementia patients ,is now designated for Covid 19. As recently as late January I was appointed pianist/organist at a church overlooking Streatham Common in South London. The congregation seem to like my my punchy piano playing. One month ago at the end of the service an elderly black guy came up to as I sat playing at the piano and when I’d finished he said “I can hear Thelonius Monk (US jazz pianist) in what you play”. I was astonished! WHAT … Thelonius Monk in the hymns! And then I laughed to myself for I remembered a famous Monk quote: “There are no wrong notes on the piano.” So a big HI to everyone and I wish Boris would actually say on TV – “Lets beat the shit out of this virus.” y

  7. Hi PG. It is quite fun but also very frustrating. I have not tried it out on a youngster yet. Maybe that will restore some confidence. Mostly, I am in the 70s but my best was 61, after many attempts!

  8. G’day all. The NSW and I are hunkered down in The Cave, the remoteness of which makes us luckier than most in that there is no passing traffic and nobody within a stiff 30 minute walk.

    Portugal is operating under a State of Emergency declared by the President of the Republic, the first time it has ever been activated. Apart from those officially quarantined and have no choice, everyone else is expected to remain at home apart from essential forays to the supermarket, bank, pharmacy, etc., where strict controls are in force to ensure separation. This means queuing as small establishments are only allowed one or sometimes two people inside at any one time. There are no shortages per se and the shops are well stocked. In the village the bakery, fishmonger and paper shop take orders in person at the door, but one has to phone the grocer cum butcher and then go to collect your order which will be on their doorstep. All bars and restaurants are closed until further notice as are all “non-essential” outlets, though whoever decided a bar is non-essential deserves a stern smiting in my opinion.

    Travel is seriously discouraged – all the beaches are shut as is anywhere that might attract groups of people. The Algarve Tourist Board is telling visitors to stay away, particularly the owners of the 100,000 or so holiday homes down here and all the motor caravans and campers have nowhere to go, the camp sites having been closed and wild camping being already illegal.

    The Portuguese are a pretty stoic lot and generally abide by the rules, helped in no small part by the fact that contempt for the law, “desobediência”, is a serious criminal offence here and will land you in a whole new world of expense and inconvenience should you transgress.

    Like every country we have our share of self-entitled retards like the family of four who were placed in strict quarantine for 14 days by the authorities after returning from abroad and who decided to go out shopping (they ended up in court with fines totalling €9,000), or the couple who flew from Seville to their principal home in Lisbon and then took the train down to their Algarve holiday retreat while waiting for their coronavirus test results to come through, which proved positive.

    All in all, if one is callous enough to ignore the economic repercussions and all the upheavals to come, things are not too bad short term. There are worse places than here to await the passing of the storm.

    Best wishes to all,

    OZ

  9. OZ: The unemployment forecasts are between 10-20pc on average for most major economies, although some go much higher. This is the recipe for disaster. We’ve barely been able to avoid the likes of some truly nasty political forces rising. If this isn’t sorted out quickly, I somehow doubt we’ll be able to resist a new radicalism for much longer. Much like in the late 1920s, early 1930s, moderate/liberal politicians have made such a dog’s breakfast of everything that people don’t believe a word they say. Due to media-enforced hysteria, we’re all worrying about a virus. Give it a few more weeks and months and we’ll have all sorts of new problems to deal with.

  10. O Zangado, I can only agree with you about bars being considered non-essential. Having taken a constitutional across the fields to the nearby village, I would have loved to have sat down at the local pub’s outdoor tables on the village green for a wee refreshment. The other place considered non-essental which I think a pity is garden centres. I accept that they would have to close their tea rooms and restaurants, but surely they could have continued to sell outdoor plants outdoors, keeping the required distance apart. Luckily the village shop has been importing plants from somewhere and displaying them outside so we were able to return home with one fuchsia, one azalea and one pelargonium and then have our well-deserved refreshment at home. I survived the typhoid epidemic in Aberdeen so I trust we will survive this. Best wishes to all Charioteers.

  11. We are hunkered down in the Pacific NW. All pretty grim in Seattle, (which is pretty grim at the best of times!) But up here on the border much quieter and slower but it is around. Unfortunately I caught a bad cold the end of Jan and stayed home, by the time I had got over it, this kerfuffle had started. so haven’t been anywhere for over two months.
    I never did buy into the crap about masks being no use, rubbish lies to preserve them for the medical fraternity. I have always kept them in for air travel, so have come in handy now. Spousal unit, masked, doing his bit on the odd foray to the local shops for bits and pieces. We haven’t needed much as I always have kept the place stuffed and garnished like a medieval castle. Huge store cupboards, three freezers and endless loo rolls keeps us just fine. Plus all our own veg.

    Learned never to live unprepared for anything when I was about 8/9 Mum was a townie and we had moved out to the top of the North Downs, food was delivered from the village below, until it snowed, and snowed and snowed and then drifted. Nothing mechanical could get through. Three/four weeks later it was dug out by hand by 100 Irish navvies! We bloody nearly starved to death. My mother didn’t even have a fridge!!!
    Never been caught short since, and with my mother’s cooking learned to cook bloody fast.

    Interestingly here garden centres are considered essential and are all open as are recycling centres. What the f are the UK doing closing them? Talk about heads up arses! I also find it very strange that there are enough policemen there to turf off people from sitting on park benches but not a one when one gets robbed??? Answer shoot your own robber.

    I have been amazed and warmed by how many people, my gardening friends, have rung us and offered to shop for us. I am on oxygen permanently these days so am very high risk for falling off my twig! I am impossibly busy as am in the middle of growing and potting starts in the greenhouse. Early peas and broadbeans as small plants are already planted in raised beds. Onions in the cold frame. Tomatoes, eggplant, celeriac and peppers all at it growing on in the greenhouse. Now time to plant the cucumbers, squash and pumpkins. Can’t believe all these people sitting there getting bored if they have a garden, lazy fools.

    Spousal unit had just bought a new computer so he has been occupied with that.
    So we go on, quite happy to stay here a few more weeks. Life really isn’t that different, especially if you hate travel like I do!

    I never have bought Chinese crap, their garden tools are poor steel if at all. their clothes are nasty cheap fibre and their dog food killed a load of dogs here in the USA . We don’t care what we pay but we won’t have Chinese. At our last place our water pump on our well went out. $600 for a chink special, $3500 for a decent pump from upstate New York. So be it. Evidently the Crap one generally lasted about a week longer than the guarantee! One can find decently made alternatives if one is willing to pay.

    Keep well y’all.

  12. Adsum. Probably sixty years since I last used that.
    Struggling with a deficient septic system here, hip deep in the big muddy, if I must be polite. Otherwise well, boat is fully prepared and armed for the rapture (keep the last round for yourself Mabel).
    Frigging bat eating Chinese got a lot more than crap pumps to answer for this year Mrs. O.
    More when things calm down a little.

  13. Always good to hear your commentary, Christina; always entertainingly direct. I’ll try and stay on the Chariot each week.

  14. My dear wifeperson mentions a medieval castle, which is most definitely her style. I can easily picture her with a huge key ring dangling from her belt, keeping the underlings in line. But here we are in a modern house, maintaining our “social distance” (sounds better than me being an “angry loner”), with plenty of food, plenty of loo rolls and plenty of ammunition in store.

    A good thing, too, because the dread disease has now reached the small (pop. under 2,500 in the 2010 census) city where we live, with some residents who have at the very least been exposed to the Coronavirus. Here’s how it happened:

    An employee of a local automotive parts store was exposed by his sister (no idea where or how she was exposed). He subsequently worked a full shift alongside a young man of our acquaintance. Said young man started feeling poorly and has now tested positive. His mother is now also at risk. She just happens to be our cleaning lady, and so our place isn’t going to looking as clean and tidy as usual for a while (count on me to mess things up). In turn, her parents are among Tina’s closest friends and often play host to their daughter and her son. They are, fortunately, as careful as we are about “social distancing” and so on, and so we don’t expect to be seeing them for some time to come.

    At times like this, we must rely upon contact via telephone and Internet (what, no clay tablets?) to take the dreariness out of solitary confinement. I simply cannot imagine what gets into all those people who disregard sound medical advice and cluster at their favorite spots. The best I can say for them is they’re more than a little likely to prove Darwin right. As for me, I may be getting on a bit but am not nearly ready to check out just yet; there are still too many people I want to annoy.

    To all friends, acquaintances and Denebian slime devils with whom our paths may cross: be careful! Stay well! As Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau said: “Enough is enough. Go home and stay home!” If you must go out, as even I must do occasionally for certain fresh foods, then wear a mask! I’m going to have to launch such an expedition later this week and, if I had a “plague doctor” mask, I’d wear it, beak and all. I may even buy some (non-essential) Easter eggs! Don’t believe everything the government (any government) tries to tell you; they have their own agenda, which isn’t necessarily yours. Did you, for example, know that maintaining six (6) feet of separation from other individuals really isn’t good enough? It’s been shown that droplets from coughs or sneezes can travel up to THIRTY (30!) feet. I suppose, however, that such a distance would make queues at the bank, the post office and other critical locations even worse than they already are. Also, now that production of masks has ramped up, they’ve magically changed their tune and are suddenly suggesting that everyone wear a mask when out in public.

    I’m about to go outside now, unmasked (gasp!) because I don’t expect to even see another person. All I have to do is open the gates and lower the drawbridge, which seems a lot of effort just to check the mail for fresh bills.

  15. Salve, Low Wattage! “Struggling with a deficient septic system here.” Are you referring to the US in general, or something more specific? Anyway, it is good to see you around, as it is to see all others, who have been keeping a submerged profile.

    I wonder if anybody out there attaches any credibility to the theory that the BCG vaccination (anti-tuberculosis) goes some way to mitigating the effects of the virus. In many countries, where the outbreaks tend to be low, there was and in some cases still is a policy of administering the vaccine to newborns. One interesting comparison is Portugal which has the policy and a low infection/mortality rate and its neighbour, Spain, which does not have the BCG and has a high infection/mortality rate. One swallow doth not a summer make, but there are other examples, though they may just be down to poor reporting.

  16. Many thanks to you all for responding!

    Sheona: I think a lot of people are ranting about China – me too. We shut our boarders against China on 1st of February and were slammed by both China and the W.H.O. for doing so. Shame other countries did not do the same – it appears now that it was crucial in keeping the number of infections down.

    I’d never heard of the Aberdeen typhoid epidemic – but, needless to say, I looked it up.

    Christopher: No illness is dignified – and I’ve often thought that sometimes that’s the worst bit about being sick – none of us really like others to see us vulnerable. Glad to hear you survived!

    I hope the world wakes up to the way China has actually taken over the global economy. I cannot believe that it still has ‘developing economy’ status – that is outrageous. But, I guess that it is advantageous to Western companies using China to produce their goods cheaply so they can sell expensively.

    I’ve read lots of comments by ‘the Man on the Clapham Omnibus’ to the effect that they will boycott Chinese Goods. But that’s not so easy to do when so many companies have already sold their souls to the devil and we, in the West, have already shown that we want the cheapest available option.

    I, too, have thought about the world post-CV19. How very different my vision was from yours. I saw a world released from fear and stress – like that of post 1349 Black Death with the questioning of society and established certainties and the world after WWI and the Spanish Flu and the hedonism of the 20s. I suspect that the huge amount of money that Western Governments are spending is, in part, to try to avoid millions upon millions of their citizens feeling that they need to resort to extreme measures to be heard. We can only wait and see.

    James Leck: Good to see you here. I try to follow UK politics as best I can. From what I have read your government is trying to deal with the problem of rapacious banks who, world-wide, seem to have no moral compass. I hope they succeed.

    Sipu: Thank you for your comment. I hope you don’t mind but I have pointed a few people to your comment. There isn’t much information on how this plague is affecting anywhere other than European countries. Your personal viewpoint is enlightening.

    Just as a side-line-laugh – your comment re Ozzie IDs reminded me of the time Bearsy ordered a drink at a bar in the Casino in Darwin. He was told they couldn’t serve him because his designer T-Shirt had no sleeves. I was wearing a sleeveless dress and, since there was no rule against that, they had to serve me. An Ozzie in an ordinary T-shirt offered to shout us a drink…

    Your comments re malaria are very interesting, as is your later one about BCG vaccinations. Both Bearsy and I are of a generation that had those immunisations. But when we came to Oz we were required to show that we had had them (in Bearsy’s case he had to have it again) and every immigrant here at that time had to do the same and if they had not they were required to have them before they were allowed in to the country. Since at least 25% of all Ozzies are first generation immigrants I do wonder whether our relatively low infection rate may be due to that.

    PapG: Good to see you here and to see that you are still doing what you most like to do! Keep in touch.

    OZ: Sometimes it is worth living in a country where ‘the rules have to be obeyed’. Good to know you are well.

    Christina: Pleased to hear you are as irascible as ever! I am no gardener – but I do have more than enough interests to keep me happily busy at home. Indeed, I still wish I was more than one person. It amazes me that so many people find isolation a problem.

    Low Wattage Indeed China has a deal more to answer when the world gets back to semi-normal. I visited one of their ‘wet-markets’ many years ago. It was pretty freaky. But I think they have more to answer than those markets; many other countries have the same. The biggest question they need to answer is just how honest they were. I find it quite incredible that the CCP seem to think that they can simply lie and the rest of the world will believe them. Unfortunately, it is partly our fault for allowing them to do that for so long because we wanted their cheap goods. I think we all need to remember the Chinese curse: ‘May you live in interesting times’. We are.

    Cog: Medieval castles were fine – if one kept diseases out! Like you, I’m definitely not ready to check out and put both Bearsy and I into non-contact isolation well before required to do so by law. I think in this instance Darwin’s Law of ‘Survival of the Fittest’ translates into ‘Survival of the Brightest’. I reckon all those idiots who insist on going to our beaches should not be fined but tattooed ‘do not give me a hospital bed’.

    We seem to be doing pretty well here – our infection rates and deaths are pretty low at the moment. But, of course, we have the usual number of idiots who do not seem to understand that THIS flu is not normal and keep whinging about the number of ‘normal’ flu deaths and why are we making a fuss about this flu.

    Keep Safe everyone…

  17. Salve, Sipu. Long time.
    Septic in question is the particular rather than the general, in fact it can be seen from where I sit. It is not the system the is currently the problem, but obtaining the permit to remediate it. The local authority have taken the lockdown to heart and are staying home in droves, so no permit yet. Speaking of septics do you remember Ferret (he also made writing instruments) on the other place, we mid Americans were all septics to him, even those like myself who consider themselves southerners.
    Regarding BCG, there may well be a connection, I certainly remember getting one as child, still have the scar right there with the smallpox scar on my upper arm, wonder if it is still working.
    Our famous virologist Doctor Trump has also recommended an anti malarial drug which is commonly used in countries having such risk, heaven forbid he might be right (I mean correct, we know he is right).

    Boadicea. G’day, I do not believe there is much truth in the Chinese figures, stories here circulating about crematoria operating 24/7 and thousands of funeral urns stacked in the street, and hastily built thousand bed hospitals for a total death count of 3, not likely.

    There is good data here about corona

    https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america

    Their modeling seems to track pretty well with the actual numbers.

    Wash your hands, leave your shoes outside the house and never kiss the milkman.

  18. Your comment about the BCG vaccination reminded me of school days, Boadicea. I can’t remember the exact age at which it was done but we all had a preliminary jab on the inside of the wrist which left a little circle of pin-holes. If we did not react strongly enough to this, we had to have the actual vaccination. If that’s what keeping us safe, that’s great.

    I would have no objection to those covidiots who go to beaches and street parties if I could be sure that they and only they got the virus. If they pass it on to others, I have several ideas on how to deal with them. What time’s high tide?

  19. I received the BCG immunisation. It was par for the course in West Germany at that time. In some ways that has been a bit of a nuisance. When in the USA, I have had to undergo the Mantoux test more than once and those two are mutually exclusive. I invariably get a borderline false positive, hence my getting a chest X-Ray rather than the test. Interesting to see that it might have had an influence. I did have it, that’s fully been confirmed now, but my case wasn’t as severe as it was for some and I never needed to be hospitalised.

    It seems as if Japan will support companies wanting to move out of China will billions in support. Well, it is inevitable that that would happen. Trump might be an arse, but on this, he has been absolutely correct. China isn’t our friend and they’ve been using our own stupidity against us for years now. We shouldn’t have expected anything else from them.
    I have heard a lot about different possible medical treatments, especially anti-malarial treatments for this. I suspect that there is something to it. The problem with many in the media is that Trump could say that California borders the Pacific and they’d accuse him of not having a clue as to what he’s talking about. In layman’s terms, anecdotal evidence means that there is good reason to believe that there might be something there but it hasn’t yet undergone years of research and studies with thousands of patients. Most doctors who’ve treated people with that cocktail do have confidence in its efficacy, so let’s see.

  20. Hi Boadicea

    In the words of Elton John , “I’m still standing” although getting thoroughly pissed of with lock down, even though I recognise it is a good idea!

  21. Sheona: this evening’s news reported that some of our scientists are experimenting with the BCG vaccination in the hopes that, while it might not be a vaccine against the virus, it might might help ameliorate its effects. Any glimmer of hope is welcome at the moment 🙂

    ChristopherInteresting that Japan has jumped on the bandwagon to encourage companies to desert China – I hope a few other countries will do the same – and that others will repatriate their manufacturing.

    Hi FEEG Good to see you – I suspect that the lock-down will continue for some very long time. Sadly to say, the UK isn’t doing too well.

    One of the ‘items’ on my recent trip to India was a visit with an Indian family in Jaipur where we were given some tips on cooking Indian food, and treated to an authentic Indian meal. The family were highly amused that I’d become partial to hot lime pickle and fried eggs – try it sometime – it’s really good!

    The lady of the house e-mailed the recipes she had demonstrated, and, of course, I thanked her and asked how India was coping.

    It occurred to me that many Indians, probably like many Zimbabweans, did not have the funds to ‘stock-pile’ or, indeed, that there were all that many supermarkets from which to stockpile – the number of road-side vegetable and fruit stalls seemed to indicate that most people bought fresh and frequent.

    I’d like to quote from her e-mail which I got today:

    … yes the so called developed countries are losing out to the virus. Looking at the population density, we are better off in India. We are in lockdown and almost towards completion but this will open in phases. All the schools and colleges markets malls cinema halls restaurants are closed.

    Modi our Prime minister is quite an influential man and most of the people follow what he says. He said that if we do not follow this 21 days lockdown seriously we will go back 21 years in life. So only venturing out for food and medicines.

    Hopefully all of us will get out of the dark tunnel soon.

    But this closedown has done so good to mother earth. Here in Jaipur the pollution level has come down to 1/3 rd. Air quality index in feb was 165 and now it is 55. It’s unimaginable to see the busy roads deserted. It looks eerie. Earth is replenishing.

    … toilet paper is not an essential household commodity for more than half the population.

    Despite assurance by the government, due to the unnecessary panic, people are stocking.

    FYI, we have vegetable vans going to the streets with fresh supply vegetables. Plus milk booths are also open for certain hours.

  22. Boadecia,

    Hot lime chilli and fried eggs? Sounds wonderful. Do you have a recipe perchance?

  23. Hi James – I think you mis-read me. Hot Lime Pickle and Fried Eggs. No recipe needed!

    You have a great advantage over us Ozzie ex-pats – in that Indian food is so popular in the UK. Our guide in India fell about laughing when I told him that Curry and chips was a favourite dish in the UK after a night out. I’m sure you won’t have to drive some 40 minutes to find an Indian store to sell you genuine Lime Pickle like we do.

    Mind you, the Indian food dished up in the UK is vastly different from that served in India. It is certainly different from that served here. Just as Chinese food is different here to that in served in the UK and, again, different to the food I had in China.

    Some many years ago, Bearsy and I found an Indian restaurant in Canberra – it was the best around, despite the food being very bland – but the Naan Bread was to die for! The owner went to England and was appalled at what his relatives was serving up in the UK – too much spice! too hot!, etc, etc.

  24. Thanks, I didn’t really think it was going to be that simple, Boadicea. Served on rice or a naan? Got to give it a go. I agree with your Canberra owners comments about the levels of spice in the English versions. As you are obviously aware, the majority of curries in the sub continent are pleasantly fragrant as opposed to red hot, which isn’t a common factor down the curry mile in Brum. My Uncle John was a tea planter in Assam until he retired and came back to the UK when he gave up eating the UK versions entirely.

  25. James: I’m perfectly happy to try the local cuisine wherever I go in the world – as long as I can get an approximation of an English Breakfast to start the day. I really cannot face anything else first thing in the morning. I rarely eat that here in Oz and stick to just one piece of buttered toast – or as my grandson says – butter with toast!

    I’ve found that I can always find the energy to walk great distances, climb innumerable stairs and just keep going all day in ‘foreign parts’ on an English Breakfast.

    So to answer your question – in India I added it to a fried egg / omelette on a Chapati – here I add it to a fried egg on Bearsy’s fried bread…

    It really is that simple 🙂

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