By Bom

Baconsthorpe Castle

Our U3A photo group had our first meet up in 16 months for a photo-shoot at Baconsthorpe Castle, a ruined moated castle which is managed by English Heritage. We haven't had meetings over Zoom either, so It was so lovely to see everyone again, plus a couple of very welcome new faces. Unfortunately the weather didn't play ball and it was light rain virtually all the time.....but just meeting and chatting was worth the visit. I've added an extra collage of photos. 

Day 466 / Day 40 of Step 3 of Roadmap Easing (for my record only)
Images of Matt Hancock kissing an aide (a long term friend) were released to The Sun which published them today. He breached his own coronavirus guidelines about keeping your distance from anyone not in your own household or support bubble and to me as the Health Secretary who set the rules, he should resign or be sacked for that alone. There are also questions being asked conflicts of interest / abuse of power around her role / appointment by him, and reports that her brother is in a senior role in a company that has gained several NHS contracts. The PM has accepted MH's apology and considers the matter closed - in this case I doubt it is. 

England's R no. remains unchanged from last week at 1.2-1.4. The ONS says 1 in 440 in private households in England have the virus, higher than last week. it is 1 in 220 in Scotland, up from 1 in 600 the week before (the graph for new cases reported daily in Scotland looks awful). It's 1 in 830 in Wales and 1 in 720 in NI. PHE has reported a 46% increase in the Delta variant in the latest week. So far deaths remain low. An ONS survey shows that 8% of people think life will never return to normal and 29% think it will take more than a year. Yesterday evening the Balearic Islands, Malta, Madeira and some islands in the Caribbean were added to the Green List with effect from 30th June. Some holidays there then doubled in price. Malta is requiring Brits to quarantine unless they can provide a vaccine certificate to show they've had both jabs. The National Audit Office are reporting that there are still significant weaknesses in T&T including poor turnaround testing times in winter and an over-reliance on consultants, but saw progress in the creation of local council contract tracing teams. 

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