Friday, 19 August 2022

On the second covid Christmas...

On the second covid Christmas...

Tuesday, December 21

THE year’s shortest day.

Queen to stay put in Windsor this Christmas, covid cautious.

Daily case count 91,700, making an average 60 per cent increase each week.

Hospitality businesses decimated by cancellations, calling for government help. Cases in London, the epicentre, are rocketing. Next few days will be crucial.

Wednesday, December 22

FROSTY, glorious dawn. Tent we’ve put up in garden looks very cold.

Decision from Downing Street: nothing new to be decided this week. Review of regulations for England after Christmas.

Latest new cases top 106,000, highest yet in pandemic but fewer hospitalised. Record numbers of boosters and tests. Quarantine cut from 10 days to seven to encourage compliance.

Guernsey families set sail on overnight crossing.

Delight — village centre bus shelters have been decorated with crochet baubles, spelling Xmas 2021. String of seasonal creations gird chestnut tree in village centre. Everyone pleased to see them.

Thursday, December 23

TWO lively dogs arrive early, their Guernsey families scarper to the capital. More local friends and their children go down with covid but sense first cautious optimism that Omicron may not be so bad for those who have had boosters. More like a nasty cold, they say.

Daily cases top 120,000 and NHS on war footing for the seriously ill.

Mild, wet, miserable weather. Worry turkey may not be cool enough in my fridge but tent might be too cold for Christmas lunch guests.

Friday, December 24

CHRISTMAS Eve. Families arrive after seeing lights of London. Instant merry chaos, impossible to plan for. Run out of builder’s tea and orange squash but there’s plenty of Prosecco.

Take two granddaughters with daughter-in-law to Christingle service. Lots of children there — all make and eat their orange “world” in minutes.

Children hang stockings for Father Christmas. As he’s going from house to house all over the world, they leave a lateral flow test kit next to the sprout, carrot, whisky (apple juice) and two mince pies (one for Mrs Claus).

We track his progress on NORAD app. When will he reach Binfield Heath?

Christmas Day

PRE-DAWN noisy invasion. Santa and his reindeer have eaten everything — and left a negative covid test. Thank

He has apparently just reached Canada.

Dull and still outside. Bad weather for green energy sources as ovens switch on across the nation.

Granddaughters make a Christmas log. Cream everywhere.

Tent is warm, turkey is fine. Hardly anyone wants Christmas pud but the chocolate log disappears. Forget to bring out Christmas cake (again) so put it in the tin. Note to self for next year.

“Jingle jabs” continue in vaccination centres over Christmas. Queen’s message focuses on loss of Duke and looks forward to her jubilee year.

NASA launches mammoth space telescope to look back through universe’s past. Should be interesting. Will this one pick up Santa’s travels?

Boxing Day

SECOND big lunch: one Guernsey family and dog leave.

My brother and family with two more children and another dog join us. More abandoned wrapping, scattered gifts, half-opened board games and bits of Lego.

Covid counts take a break for Christmas. High numbers expected once records available. Government sends out booster reminders by text.

Boxing Day sales unusually quiet as people shun shops.

Monday, December 27

LAST family leaves under cover of darkness for an early ferry to Guernsey. Empty silence after all the happy chaos.

Start house restoration: find odd socks, coat, game rules, car parts, soft bullets, pen tops, headband, flask…

Hear that another local friend has succumbed to covid. No idea whether local cases are Omicron.

Downing Street announcement: no new covid rules in England before new year. Parties may go ahead. PM encourages “caution not

More restrictions in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

So that’s 2021 almost done. Will we merge it in the memory bank with 2020, the year that wasn’t? Bring on 2022.

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