Hello as always one and all and welcome to my rambles both physical and verbal and I am not actually sure which takes the most out of me!
First things first and a quick explanation for me regular readers who were probably expecting a piece with lots of technical information about my 2014 trip to Sri Lanka which I had mentioned but I have decided against it for various reasons.
Most of the information is out of date now, especially in the light of the pandemic and there is no way of knowing when travel to that country, or anywhere else, will be possible or what the situation there will be as and when it might be possible again. I thought I would post a Lockdown Diary instead to give you a bit of an update about the site and my current situation, the former of which seems to be doing well and the latter much less so.
I know it is over three months since the last Diary and I am also painfully aware that very little has changed for me in that time. It is over a year now since I was more than a mile from my front door and it is getting me down quite badly to the extent that I recently just decided to withdraw from the world for a few days.
This explains why, after such a glut of posts here which some of my faithful regulars have been gently teasing me about, I have not posted a word nor checked the site for nearly two weeks. I just decided to stay offline, apart from the BBC iPlayer which serves as my TV and just slept a lot, read a lot and watched more documentaries than I care to remember. I am learning lots about the most diverse subjects and will no doubt be boring you with assorted trivia due course.
Prior to that I had been keeping myself relatively sane by writing a ludicrous number of posts here with my sleep disorder sometimes allowing me 30+ hours at a stretch. This is obviously ridiculous but it does not seem to do me much harm. I am always amazed how quickly time and long nights go when I get started on this stuff.
I know that most of my faithful band of regulars will have read them all but for anyone who has inexplicably landed here I shall save you the bother of scrolling back through about 70 posts. In a probably vain attempt to fool you that I am a nice guy (I’m not) I shall provide you a few links. If you want to read about Madeira, start here. If you want to say “hola” to Madrid, this is the place and if you fancy a bit of Sri Lankan sun then here is your start line.
Right, now that is out of the way, what else? Well, as part of my going “off the grid” as I believe the expression is, I had not looked at a news report which is unusual for me. I did so yesterday and I honestly wish I hadn’t, perhaps ignorance really is bliss.
On a personal level I found out that the virus vaccine the NHS so strongly pushed me to have has now been suspended in half of Europe and beyond as there is a suspicion it increases the chances of blood clots. This is not great news for me as it was a clot that nearly cost me my left leg / life last year, which I recounted in previous Diary entries here.
I am now on a daily cocktail of drugs to prevent it happening and will be for the rest of my life yet the Government have given me an injection that may undo all the medication. It really is a joke, or it would be if there was the slightest trace of humour in it. I have mentioned in an earlier Diary entry that a drug normally takes ten years from drawing board to mass use and this was all done within months.
I wondered then what possible side effects there may be and now I know what they potentially may be so now all I have to worry about is if their vaccine is going to kill me. I am due my second dose in a few weeks time and I think I shall hold off until I see how this pans out. I have already had the damned thing so I should have a degree of protection from it anyway.
As for their so-called experts they may as well consult the Tarot or a fortune teller for all the good they are. A year ago our Prime Minister was telling the world that he had shaken hands with everyone on a hospital visit, hmm. This was shortly before he contracted the virus himself and ended up in intensive care. They were confidently telling us there was absolutely no benefit to wearing face masks. Really? Why then can I now be fined for not wearing one in a shop or on public transport, if I was allowed to use it which I am not?
In another virus-related story I read that some irresponsible people have been holding mass vigils / protests into the appalling kidnap and murder of a young woman in South London. The man charged with this, and who will be appearing in Court about the time I am typing this, is a serving police officer. One such vigil is now being investigated for the way the police handled it and the Commissioner has said she will not resign despite calls for her to do so.
In other news, as they say, I read that one of my favourite countries on the planet, Burma / Myanmar, is back under martial law and Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is being held at a secret location. So much for the return of democracy which was only ever a sham anyway.
I could go on but this post is depressing enough already. I do apologise for the lack of images here but I am sure you really don’t want to look at the inside of my flat (apartment) which is all I seem to have seen for so long.
Perhaps staying at home writing nonsense on the blog is the safest place to be which brings me rather neatly to my next point. I don’t just throw this stuff together you know! Well, I do but you know what I mean.
I was on a bit of a roll travel-wise at this point and it was going to continue. I had had my lovely city-break to Madrid at the back end of 2013, then my three month jaunt round Sri Lanka. When I got back to UK it was fairly well into Spring so I finished off the London LOOP path, which you can read about here (this plugging has to stop – Ed.) which took me nicely into Summer 2014 and I had another trip in the offing which was slightly more planned than my usual efforts but not much.
I have various trips to write up still so I shall explain why I picked this one. It was chronological and so my images for it begin on the same SD card as the end of the Sri Lanka trip and the LOOP and it was still in my useless little netbook thing so I thought, why not? It is as good as any other trip to write about, in fact it was a brilliant trip to go on and so, for no better reason, in the next series we shall be off to Canada, hence the image above.
I have found most of my notes which I wrote for another now-defunct website which is helpful so if you fancy two months in the Maritime Provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island then stay tuned and spread the word.