Monday, 23 November 2020

Good news and bad news

 At least one vaccine is 90% safe, at which time you have to ask if you belong to the 10% group that is probably going to catch the disease from  the vaccine! Or how else do you explain the claim?

In Switzerland today they were asking people over 60 to declare that they did not wish to be resuscitated. What a caring request!

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Get in line for the vaccine?

 We are still labouring under the curse of that virus, with no end in sight unless everyone gets a jab.

I promised myself that I would update this blog often, but time seems to fly and so it'a a month since I last wrote something - about survival, which is still topic number one in view of the danger of catching the virus and being a high risk candidate, so that there is no prediction that I would survive.

Two weeks ago my oldest relative, a cousin aged 92, died of a recurring infection that was not the virus. The almost physical pain of losing the last real contact with my youth and family caught me unawares. I scribbled countless drawings to relieve depression. I could not bear to play the piano or listen to music.

On reflection, there is so much in one's life that one cannot explain satisfactorily later, but that particular loss was very hard to bear, especially at a distance of 1000km. A webcast was made possible so I attended the sad little funeral, made even more remarkable because everyone wore a face mask. Nobody sang. Appropriate canned music was played and appreciated 

So that's what life is all about, is it? If you look back when you are old, it usually distresses you. If you look forward, there is very little there. So we live for the day we are happy to have woken up to, and that is probably the best solution.

This short blog is really to remind me that we are all in the same boat, and I should - despite setbacks, disappointments and often a self-inflicted nemesis  - be grateful.

I doubt whether anyone will read these lines, but what matters to me is that I have written them.

Saturday, 17 October 2020


I know survival sounds rather grand to describe everyday life, but that's what it seems to be these days, especially for high risk people like me dodging the corona virus. It's well over 8 months since anyone came into my flat. I don't have many visitors at the best of times, but this is really over the top and there is no end in sight. The second wave of that virus is probably worse than the first, and no amount of preparation based on the experiences of the first wave seems to have mitigated th effects, though at least we have enough loo paper this time round. Adlittedly, I saw scarcity coming and was myself prepared for that eventuality, but I was running out of paper hankies and mineral water, neither of which was avaiable for weeks, while loo paper was severely rationed once it did start coming into the shops. My local supermarket was charging 3 times the normal price for somee of its products. I thought it very sad that shops were hell bent on profit-making at that time. Since February shopping habits have changed. Shops are feeling the brunt of online trading, It was inevitable, but not quite so suddenly. Noany people are now also looking at oversharging in shops when you can get the same things much cheaper online. If you have to watch what you spend, times are definitely better than in the days when you could only buy things from shops and that depended on them bing the right size etc.. The downside for the workplace is the loss of many jobs, but that has been happening for a long time. So high-street shopping has been replaced by internet searches for bargains for many of us. Firms with offices are now thinking of reducing space and leaving their employees working at home. It's cheaper for the employers, but the workers have to heat their rooms and organize a space to work in, which is not always realisticat home, so many offices are now kitchen tables and the workers are isolated for many hours a day. I'm asking myself why bother to write all this down. But it is a record of what is emerging as a lost year in many lives, including mine. And you can't get the year back. 2020 is not as 2020 as the date could make one believe. 2020 vision is reduced to the view from a window for most of the time. But it's still good to be alive, I tell myself every day!

Sunday, 6 September 2020

Time and tide wait for no man

A few weeks ago I had to remove the chorus blog I had kept going since the virus lockdown ended rehearsals. I was disappointed that almost no one bothered to look, judging from the meagre response I was getting. 

The blog got a technical bug (possibly due to changes in the blogspot programming - not mine) and had to be taken down. But that was probably for the best. The corona virus sintuation has effectively put an end to the chorus project. 

Anyone venturing onto this blog can read that I am seriously tempted to discontinute my work with the chorus. If they want to continue, they will have to find a new director. I do not anticipate being able to discuss this with members of the chorus as this is basically a personal decision, but influenced by months of genuine distancing. 

The coruna virus has not died out. Far from it. People with my health problems and in my age group are warned to stay away from possible infection, and since singing is known to be fraught with the problems of escaping virus particles, that's what I have to do.

It's easy to calculate the danger. You could equate it with the idea that if you can smell someone's breath, you are too near and vulnerable to infection. Breath escapes at a much faster rate during singing (or shouting or playing a wind insturment). Face masks help, but you can't wear a mask while singing.

The virus is particularly contagious in rooms because the virus aerosols can inhabit the air for many hours unless the room is very well aired, and that is normally impossible, and certainly impossible in our former practice room, which had no windows at all, if I remember rightly. Compare this to the effect of a room spray that hangs in the air and can be smelt as perfume or not at all if the air spray is not perfumed.

This is my first indication that I will not be continuing with the cohrus work because of the reasons explained about. I don't suppose it will be read by anyone. If so, they can take a translate to fully understand my comments.

The truth is that nothing lasts forever!

Thursday, 27 August 2020

What's in store? 

Die Zeit als Kristall

Vor acht Jahren sagte der Physik-Nobelpreisträger Frank Wilczek die Existenz von Zeitkristallen voraus. Diesen seltsamen Materiezustand haben Wissenschaftler jetzt im Labor hergestellt – und die Grundlage für eine neue Technologie geschaffen..... go to the link to continue reading!

Incredible space age stuff: But remember how we smiled at the flat screens they had in Star Trek and/ or similar epics. In 1969 an 'expert' said that the world would never need more that 5 computers. OK. Go further back. I seem to remember smoking having been declared healthy! 

So what next? It is now being claimed that the coroma virus will never go away. Survivers will need frequent vaccination to keep them immune since a vaccine against the corona virus will only be active for a short time.
It's hard to believe anything these days.