Jan's View

By HarlingDarling

Almost mono.

This was the lake, and the lovely husband, this morning around lunchtime. I didn't take my sunglasses but there were moments when they would have been handy. We walked quite a bit further than the "constitutional" which felt really good, lovely weather and fine things to see. The water-logged land is slowly drying up, in time for the next lot on Sunday! My new boots were tested and worked wonderfully, I particularly like the fact that they are so lightweight. Of course, I could feel the sharper stones a bit more than with thicker-soled gear, but they are perfect right now.

I had a list of things I wanted to get done today, one being replacing the windows in my workroom as it is unusable right now with windows all over the place, propped against walls and cupboards. In the way! The windows needed re-painting before I can reassemble them, and that has to dry. Well I got that bit done anyhow! I became distracted by the fun of the brush on a stick, and after successfully washing various windows with it, I finally got round to the scrubbing off of mould and dirt on the metal cladding on our yellow house. What a satisfying job that was, and the brush did the job nicely. The yellow looks much brighter, at least as far as I could reach with my extended arm.

The double window and door in the sewing room was the next thing to tackle. It is a weird arrangement of screws to hold things together and a hinge on the inside edge. The leading edge opens up and you can then clean the inside panes of glass. A right faff but it is so long since I did it that I'd forgotten how it worked! Now sparkling clean, and not streaky as far as I could see. I have plans to paint the door (it's part of the new posh verandah and I want to make if posh too) so that got a scrape and the base coat is done. 

It feels like a fair amount of jobs were ticked off my mental list today, but the workroom is still unusable, and I have book.binding things to attend to before Monday's session... Inevitably, some time was spent raging against the injustices in the UK government's response to the continuing crisis (some of it of their own making in my opinion) and to the incredible unfairness of the locking down of the north, whilst the south remains in mild measures. It was a very different story when the London area was in meltdown, everyone went into lockdown then.... 

I checked the Swedish situation and can report that we have had a gentle rise in cases in some areas, but not all. And some more worrying spreads in one or two clusters. My county of a quarter of a million, had 38 new cases last week, no-one in ICU, one death and a rate of 15 cases per 100, 000 citizens. Very different to Nottingham in the UK with not far off 800 per 100,000. In some ways we are facing the same dangers, and in others we really aren't. And the poorer the housing, the more cramped the conditions, the less secure the employment - the more covid cases. That applies to the UK, and to here too. The north west of England is a deeply disadvantaged place, and the numbers are reflecting that skewed state. I was reflecting this morning on how that area generated so much of the wealth of the country, with the steel, coal, King Cotton and the wool mills, and all the trade by sea. (Sadly also through the slave trade...) And now it is an area of neglect and need.

In my part of Sweden the enormous wealth generated from the forestry industry and the hydro-electric plants along the great rivers of the north is largely forgotten by southerners, and the "dependancy on handouts" side of life in the north is emphasised. If the northern counties could retain the same percentage of profit from hydro as their Norwegian counterparts, this area would be rich and blooming. These are all choices we can make as a society, or choose not to make. The lack of historical perspective is scary sometimes, and the lack of joined up thinking is frightening and actually life-threatening right now. I heard a few days ago, from my crisis managing expert, that we should expect the current restrictions in Sweden to continue for another year at least. 

And yet, children continue to be born, gardens grow and sports are played, books are read and friends are fed. Love continues and life does too, we are resilient when we help each other to manage, when we are honest about how we are feeling and ask for the support we need. I think we are doing pretty well in the circumstances. Happy weekend, let there be ice cream!

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