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    winston @winston

    @dentarthurdent  Your daily trips to the beach sound like heaven to me right now. I am up to my waist in snow and my best friend is a Snowman. I have been assured that it is OK to talk to my snowman but not OK if he talks back. We are in lock down but since we are snowbound it makes little difference, there is no where to go.

    Mr. Winston and I have been watching a series called “Wild New Zealand” and your country is so beautiful and the wild life is  wonderful , weird and fascinating. I will admit that the magnificence of your islands captured so beautifully in this series sometimes brings me to tears.  Don’t even get me started on kiwis and penguins with angry eyebrows, I think I am in love. Lucky, lucky you!

    @janetteb  I really hope you get your break, we can all use one! I am missing my daughter but it will still be months before we can travel. Thank goodness for phones.

    Our politicians in Ontario are like willow trees and they bend in the wind of public opinion instead of listening to doctors and so our numbers are still bad. I wish they were tougher right from the start and we might be doing better.

    Oh well, they don’t know that the Doctor always knows best.

    Stay safe.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @winston Snow sounds like heaven to me. there is something quite magical about snow. I am always looking at photos of snow on the Guardian. I love snow even though I really feel the cold and right now, as we swelter through a mild heat wave, snow is especially appealing.

    If something does go wrong and we have to cancel again at least we will have had the fun of planning and I prefer to feel safe. In times like these leaders do need to be strong, which is why the Victorian Premier, Dan Andrews has become bit of a hero to many Australians. He is weathering the abuse of Murdoch media and the federal government and standing his ground. During the bad outbreak last year he did press conferences every day and answered all the media questions. As a result this latest outbreak in Victoria appears to be contained and with only a few days of lockdown rather than a long period of suffering because once Covid is out there it spreads so fast.

    Stay safe and well and I hope that the situation in Ontario improves soon so that you can be with family in person again.





    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @oochillyo  Well, the beach is our current reward for being in the upside-down half of the world.   Six months time, it’ll be the other way round.   So I do rather like to make the people ‘on top’ feel a little jealous when I have the chance   🙂

    I think we were lucky with covid, two ways.   First, obviously, we’re an island, so easier to isolate – what is normally a bit of a drag (can’t go anywhere without a 3-hour flight and then the place is full of Aussies,  no offence intended Janetteb  🙂  becomes an asset.

    And second, the country was not split politically, and Jacinda Ardern was popular (helped by the opposition party having just had a meltdown, that happens from time to time, but their new leader, Judith ‘Crusher’ Collins, was eager to establish a profile of being appealing and taking the moral high ground).   So there was no big groundswell of discontent or mistrust, and nobody in the opposition could see any mileage in sabotaging Covid measures.   At a different time in history it might have been different.

    ‘Wild New Zealand’ does of course show the better and more spectacular parts of our country, not the boring flat bits full of houses or cows.   That said, we do have a pretty good supply of scenery.   That’s one reason I like Piha beach, it’s on the west coast, with plenty of cliffs, wild surf, and ‘bush’ (native forest).   I love England but I can’t think of any areas of England that are quite so ‘wild’, other than some fairly bleak uplands.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb    Snow.   I love snow too, in the right context.   Fresh snow is lovely.   Old snow turns to slush, which is no fun at all.

    When I was a kid in southern England, I used to be disappointed that we hardly ever had a ‘white Christmas’.   Just didn’t get snow there.   Here in Auckland we never get snow either, (it was reported once on the Waitakere Ranges a century ago), we get a few mild frosts but I’ve only once ever seen ice on the puddles.   200 miles south on the Central Plateau it’s another matter, they get plenty, but spasmodically.

    I was in France and the Alps in 2014 with a group of friends and we loved snow.   We drove up every Alpine pass we could find, and if there was snow at the top it was obligatory to go for a barefoot walk in it.

    I do agree that planning is half the fun, now we have the Internet and everywhere has websites.   In 1990 I took my wife to England and Switzerland, and it took months to make a couple of bookings.   In those days every Swiss town had its own tourist office which published an excellent booklet which listed all the hotels and pensions, with a map and rates, but it still took a long time to set up by snail mail and telephone.   Now we have the Internet and email.   In 2017 I did my ‘big trip’ from Vladivostok to Lisbon by train, then round the Alps by rental, I made bookings with two airlines, two car rentals, RzD (Russian Railways), Deutsche Bundesbahn, SNCF (French),  RENFE (Spanish), and Eurostar, and about 30 hotels/backpackers mostly on    Took me days and days to do (and research my route) but it was interesting.    Also, cheap   🙂   Couldn’t have been done in 1990, not for my budget, travel agents existed but they wouldn’t have known about many of the places I stayed (how could a $25 a night pension afford a percentage cut for a travel agent?) and nor could any travel agent have afforded the time it would have taken.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @janetteb Yes, snow is magical. When it first falls. Then, it is powder snow, and it is lovely to walk through. But then, as @dentarthurdent points out, it turns to slush. But worse, it freezes, and it stays like that seemingly forever. Impossible to drive through and impossible to walk on. Unless, of course, you embrace the idea of lots of accidents. Like so much of life, it is magical when it is fictional.

    winston @winston

    @janetteb and @blenkinsopthebrave      It is absolutely beautiful right now , a marshmallow world,winter wonderland. Especially today when it was bright and sunny it was a treat for the eyes,,,,,from the window in your warm house with the fireplace crackling. My poor snowman is up to his snowy waist although he doesn’t mind the cold but I do. Mr. Winston ice fishes but I do not because brrrrrr.

    Stay warm or cool but stay safe.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @dentarthurdent, @blenkinsopthebrave @winston, True snow can be quite disgusting when it has been lying about on roadsides and banked up on pavements for weeks or months. Perhaps it takes more than one snowy winter to loose its appeal.

    We spent 14 months in Sweden. IT was snowing when we arrived but by the time we were able to buy a car the snow had virtually gone. Late in autumn we were told by numerous people, that “this weekend change to snow tyres.” Being “newbies” we did as advised even though the sun was shining and there was not a hint of cloud in the sky. Sure enough mid week it snowed, and snowed and snowed. The trains were delayed, the buses stopped running and my partner was stuck at the end of the train line station, in -17c. I had to drive down to rescue him. The rood was like a winding white ribbon with abandoned cars banked along the slide all the way. There was a jackknifed bus half hanging in a ditch. Out on the freeway it was eerie. There were no other cars at all. Never having driven on snow before I took it very carefully, doing about 30 k all the way but I got there safely, rescued my partner and drove back, thinking, “here am I from dusty South Australia driving through the snow while the locals have all parked and fled.” I did not know if I was just being incredibly stupid or not. Turned out that nobody else had changed to snow tyres the previous weekend. Apparently the same thing happens every year. So the lesson was do as the locals say not do as the locals do.

    so still love snow but I do understand why it loses it magic at times.




    nerys @nerys

    Most of our snow is gone. But this is what it looked like in our neck of the woods on Sunday:

    That’s my photo. I’ve posted quite a few of them to our televised weather service network.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @nerys that is a beautiful photo. Thank you for sharing the link. Snow is so photogenic. Much more photogenic than dust. I also love the effects of mist. The first time we visited Avebury it was early morning in January and very misty. I love the images of the stones looming out of the mist. Next time we visited it was sunny and they did not have the same sense of magic but it was fun to watch the boys playing in the ditch which children must have been doing for thousands of years.

    @dentarthurdent. Re’ your comment about how different travel was before the days of mobile phones and internet. It certainly was. I wrote a book based in some of my experiences travelling in the 80s but wanted to update it but could only bring it forward to the early 90s before it all changed. My partner and I were travelling in the USSR, (last week of) and Europe in the winter of 91-92. It feels as though that was a century ago, not just last century. And now just the ability to travel feels like a wonderful, lost thing. It is not just Covid. Our sons cannot afford to do what we did in similiar circumstances. When I was the age of our youngest I was hitch-hiking around Europe and then working in London. He can’t even get any kind of student allowance. When my partner and I did the TransSiberian we were both full times students. I also worked part time. It is impossible for our kids in the same circumstance to save that kind of money. They cannot even afford a flat. I am glad that they went overseas when they were young as they may never get to do so again. It makes me very sad.





    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    Oh my Giddy aunt they’ve replaced Jodie with……. Gordon Ramsay  ( don’t panic not really) just turned the telly on and his new TV game show the set looks like a Tardis control room at first glance lol. 🤣😂🤣😂 the Doctor does a game show 🤪🤪🤩🤩🤪🤪

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent


    Considering that Gordon Ramsay is the only other TV personality whose vocabulary approached Malcolm Tucker, I found that entirely credible.    🙂

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    I found the freedom of travelling in Europe in the last decade, marvellous. I was used to arriving back in NZ from the Cook Islands and going through our tedious antiquated bureaucratic border controls – laboriously filling in Arrival Cards and Customs Declaration (penalty for incorrect statements), queueing for Immigration, queueing for Customs…
    So when I first arrived in Paris in 2013 (from NZ via Abu Dhabi), I suddenly realised with a gulp that I hadn’t filled in my arrival card and customs declaration – but that was because they hadn’t been handed out. The French didn’t bother with them. I collected my bag, wandered through a door marked ‘Sortie’ past a bored-looking agent wearing ‘Douane’, expecting to find myself in the Customs hall, and found myself – outside. I just could not believe one could enter a country so easily. It was quite disconcerting, I half expected a gendarme to pop out of nowhere and detain me for having evaded some procedure. 🙂
    And later on, on the Col de Montgenevre, the Mont Cenis, the Little St Bernard, and Ribellasca/Camedo on the Centovalli road, there were these big imposing Customs buildings – all closed and shuttered. Nothing is so delightful as the sight of a disused customs post 🙂 I *love* Schengen! I’d just never heard of it till that trip.
    Will Covid put a damper on that, long term? I do hope not. I very much hope the vaccines all work. But it’ll take a couple of years at least for things to recover.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @dentarthurdent I hope you have made it down to Christchurch and are not caught in the new lockdown.



    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb    Thanks, yes, I made it to Chch.    I flew down to Wellington on Monday and caught the ferry and train to Christchurch on Tuesday.   (This is NOT the most sensible way to go, I could have flown all the way for about the same air fare, but I enjoy the journey).

    We’re heading back to Auckland in about two weeks so hopefully this lockdown will be just over by then.   Auckland is Level 3, rest of NZ is Level 2.    In any case, at Level 2 travel between regions is OK, the Cook Strait ferry will operate, and since we live in Auckland we’d be allowed back into the Auckland Level 3 area to go home**.   And at Level 2 here, I can still go to the beach.    So at the moment, I’ve just managed to dodge the lockdowns (by luck, not design, all suspicions that I am the evil mastermind conspiring with the Illuminati and the New World Order to manipulate Covid for my convenience are hereby denied and anyone propagating such calumnies can expect a knock on their door at midnight).

    **Provided I can supply proof of address.  Answering this message prompted me to check the regulations.   I binned some old papers in the car yesterday, how unwise, and now they’re at the bottom of the recycling bin…  rather than go dumpster diving, I just downloaded a bank statement and I can get it printed out for 20 cents at the local library.   So thank you for that, you may have saved me an impasse with ‘border control’ in a couple of weeks’ time!

    Oochillyo @oochillyo

    hey everyone 🙂 , I was just listening to Match of The Day with my Dad and heard Millwall is down by one goal and “hoping for Matt Smith to help them” haha what a coincidence and I know this is the none Doctor Who Section but I thought it was quite fitting and ironic especially as Matt Smith is a super Footballer both in and off Doctor Who 🙂

    Regards – Declan Sargent

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @winston, @arbutus, @…crikey, I have forgotten the other Canadians (sorry!)

    I hope you are all doing well. Life for us is very quiet, and far too many purchases arrive via Amazon. However, fortunately, we have a local bookshop that calls me up when it is time to go and pick up my standing order of the NYTimes Review of Books and Private Eye (both of which probably reveal far too much about me).

    How do we survive our quiet life? Well, lots of Moffat and Gatiss…

    janetteB @janetteb

    @blenkinsopthebrave, @winston and @arbutus and everyone else out there,

    I hope you are all getting through. It is easy to forget here that Covid is still happening to the rest of the world. It is like a kind of nightmare that we read about and feel a bit guilty as we get on with our ‘everyday” lives and now it seems as though we are reaching a situation where it is the world’s most vulnerable who are being hit. I fear that the worst is yet to come for many many people.

    Moffat and Gatiss are keeping us company too. Right now we are watching some AGWho at night, (when time and other’s permit) and I am re watching Dracula in the mornings. Sister Agatha would potentially be a good Doctor at some time.






    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @janetteb Yes, Covid is still running (ruining?) our lives here. At the end of our street is a large park. By this time of the year on the weekends  it would normally be full of people playing some form of sport, with others watching on the sidelines. These days, there is just the occasional dog chasing a stick. And it is not going to change anytime soon, as Canada had some problems acquiring sufficient vaccine stock, which means that although Mrs Blenkinsop and I had our first jab last week, we have to wait 4 months (yes, months) before we get our second shot. So, a quiet, masked-up life for some time to come.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @blenkinsopthebrave It is almost life as normal here. The vaccinations are being rolled out really slowly but as long as we maintain the border protection then other countries need the vaccines far more. A couple of my friends have now had their first shot but one has M.S. and the other volunteers with vulnerable people so they were well up on the list. I think we will be waiting at least four months for our first jab.



    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb You summed up the Covid situation well, for us in NZ too. In normal times, the couple of lockdowns we’ve had would count as exceptional circumstances, but compared with the rest of the world they’re trivial. So long as our quarantine holds…     Mrs D and I, being old like, will probably be due for vaccination in a month or so, apparently.

    I don’t know about you in Oz, but here in NZ our summer has lasted absurdly long. Now it’s getting a bit cold at night, air’s cool but the sun is warm, on Saturday – May Day – I went to the beach and had probably my last swim of the year. I usually start swimming just before Christmas, the water doesn’t get really warm until February, and usually lasts till about Easter. Well this year it was warm until last week, which is ridiculous.   On Saturday it had finally dropped back to about what it was at Christmas. Which is extraordinary.



    janetteB @janetteb

    @dentarthurdent We had a cool summer which was a relief after the horrors of last summer but the autumn has stretched out here too. We went to The River last weekend. (There is only one river to speak of in South Australia) It was lovely weather wise, too hot driving especially as I expected it to be cold and dressed accordingly, but lovely on the water. We saw some people swimming. I would really appreciate some rain though. Getting tired of watering the garden.




    winston @winston

    @blenkinsopthebrave  and @janetteb  I am still here in lock down in Ontario. We have had our first jab but it will be 4 months before the 2nd shot. I keep busy gardening and puttering around the place. Spring also means so many birds are back and there have even been 6 little goslings (of the Canada variety) in the yard so the binoculars, bird guides and camera are at the ready.

    So…… I am so bored and tired of being bored and bored with being tired. I am also tired of anti maskers\vaccine people who spread their conspiracies while they spread covid. Far too many people have died and more die every day for anyone to act so stupidly.Our neighbour thinks the shots are placebos to calm the gullible masses who think that covid is real. Instead of strangling him I avoid him like the covid.  Oh well stupid is as stupid does.Sorry, my rant is over.

    Busy days and  and lazy nights with lots of favourite Who episodes and I  get through every day with only a small amount of screaming!

    Keep smiling and stay safe.

    The other Canadian is @nerys in Nova Scotia. Hi nerys, hope you are well.


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @winston so great to hear that you are surviving (albeit with crazy neighbours). I was just corresponding with a friend back in Australia who did not realise we were still in lockdown in Canada. Happily, Australia has coped quite well (in part because of their policy of absolutely rigorous lockdowns when needed). I had to explain to her that, unlike Australia, we have had 25,000 Covid deaths, and on Vancouver Island (where I live) we have had more deaths than all of New Zealand. Hence the need for continued caution.

    But if you approach the issue with an attitude of “be kind” and “be considerate” it is possible to pull through this. Like you @winston, Mrs Blenkinsop and I spend a lot more time in the garden, which is good for the garden and good for us.

    Hang in there @janetteb, and hi to @nerys (so sorry I forgot about you when I was saying hi to the Canadians on the site).


    janetteB @janetteb

    @winston I am thinking of you and hoping that soon the situation in Ontario will improve. As @blenkinsopthebrave says we have been very fortunate in Australia, mostly due to being an island and also to the quick response of our State governments and heath departments. Unfortunately lockdowns are the only way it seems of dealing with Covid, at least until we have universal vaccines. I was just reading about the situation in Nepal which really breaks my heart as seven years ago I was there with my youngest son. He went to school in Kathmandu and made friends with the children there so it is “close to home” for us.

    hope @nerys is coping and keeping Covid free.



    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Well Mrs D and I had our flu jabs on Tuesday (covid jabs might be a month or two away).   And it’s near the end of summer, yesterday instead of driving out to Piha for a swim, I just went for a walk along below the Manukau harbour cliffs – only possible at half tide or below, but it’s my usual winter walk on fine days.   And today Mrs D and I suddenly came down with a severe case of what is probably flu – I went for a covid test and currently awaiting the result, but I’d put money on it being negative.   So at the moment we’re sniffing and suffering.   Not watching a lot of Doctor Who, I bought a ‘new(er)’ second-hand Thinkpad a couple of weeks ago and installed Linux on it, and it’s a slightly unusual combination of hardware and software that struck a couple of hiccups, so I’ve been re-learning all sorts of interesting things about how the setup works.   Which it finally successfully does, so I can revert to watching Who DVD’s.

    We (NZ) have a slightly fragile quarantine-free ‘travel bubble’ with Australia, subject to suspension if there’s an outbreak (in fact it’s currently paused for 48 hours due to a couple of cases in NSW).   And also about to have a ‘travel bubble’ with the Cook Islands, which will massively help their economy.

    In other news, our PM Jacinda just announced an approximate wedding date ‘some time next summer’.   Mild surprise, I’d sort of vaguely assumed she was probably married, but for some reason I’m amused by the fact that our PM for the last few years has been an unmarried mum.   I do like the fact that nobody cares.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @dentarthurdent so N.Z. is Murdoch Press free I assume. It is not just the beautiful beaches that make your country a little paradise.

    We had flu jabs a couple of weeks ago for the first time because we were shamefully overdue to visit a relative in a nursing home. Fortunately we were not adversely affected as we had to go to the city the next day so were able to fit in the long overdue visit. Hope you and Mrs D are feeling better soon.

    We have been watching through the Smith, Amy, Rory episodes of a night recently. The lighter tone of that series was just what I needed in the past week.




    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb   Well, our press isn’t marvellous, but it’s certainly better than the worst of the British or US gutter press (i.e. Murdoch).   There used to be a paper called ‘NZ Truth’ that was notorious for its sensationalist headlines, but now that anyone can get free Internet porn, there’s no longer any mileage in ‘Gay priest alleged father of stripper’s baby’ or such, and it mercifully folded.    Apparently Murdoch owns 15% of the NZ Herald, which makes me nervous but doesn’t seem to be enough for him to have ruined the paper yet.

    I got tested and it wasn’t Covid.    I got up to ‘The Hungry Earth’ a week ago, so now my ‘new’ Thinkpad is set up to my liking I’ll watch ‘Cold Blood’ on it.   So I’m somewhere about the same place (or at least the same dynasty of companions) as you are.


    winston @winston

    @blenkinsopthebrave  @janetteb and @dentarthurdent   Happy Mothers Day to Janette and Mrs Blenkinsop  and Mrs Dentarthurdent and all the other mothers on the site! I wish I could give you all big beautiful bouquets of flowers. I picked a small bunch of violets, primroses and lambia for my table and baked myself a cake (hubby says its good!) since my kids couldn’t be here. They all called and we had some nice conversations.Hope you had a nice day.

    I think it is great that Jacindas marital status is no big deal in NZ because it isn’t. Mr Winston and I have been together for 42 years and raised 3 great kids and have never been married . We may get around to it some day.Probably not.

    Gardening is my way of connecting to the earth and its creatures and to my food. It is a way to help my fellow beings while creating something beautiful to look at. I am so relieved that it is spring. Winter is Doctor Who but spring and summer is gardens and birds. Although I still watch Who in the evenings, of course I do.

    Stay safe.



    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @winston So great to hear of your 42 years together. Mrs Blenkinsop (and, yes, we are married) have been together for a mere 28 years. We only found each other when we were about 40, so no children, but we can fall back on 28 perfect years. Mrs Blenkinsop is the gardener (Supreme) and we were just out in the garden admiring the Peony Tree that Mrs Blenkinsop planted and has been nurturing and is currently in bloom (such a pity that we cannot share photos here).

    Anyway, it was great to hear of your Mother’s Day, and, after spending some time trying to protect the garden from the deer (but how can one deny them?) it is probably time to settle in and attend to the expectations of our current overlords—the two indoor cats—Bix (as in Beiderbecke) and Dizzy, (as in Gillespie).

    janetteB @janetteb

    @winston May be we are related. My partner and I have been together for over thirty years and raised three sons and still not married. Like you not something we have ever got around to.

    thank you for the Mother’s Day wishes. We did have a lovely day. The eldest son and his girlfriend bought two day passes to the Medieval Fair and spent their allowance on the Saturday so gave us the passes for Sunday. It was a beautiful drive down through the hills, a region I am not overly familiar with though it is only a half hour drive and the fair of course was fun, if only to be snarky about some of the costume attempts and I saw a lovely husky. (Still grieving for our beautiful husky who passed away last year.)

    @blenkinsopthebrave Cats are always the overlords. We have two as well though they have yet to meet. The son and girlfriend’s cat lives exclusively in their room. Now they have a front room she likes to sit on the window sill looking out. Not sure if our cat even knows she is there.



    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @winston @janetteb @blenkinsopthebrave    Well, I met Mrs D 42 years ago, give or take a year (she’d know the exact date, and could probably reel off the entire guest list – she has a memory like an FBI database when it comes to people.   She has been known to remind me of old acquaintances of mine that I’ve forgotten and she met just once, decades ago).   We got married five years later, because we seemed to be compatible and couldn’t really see any reason not to, but after we’d bought a house, because the price of houses was going up faster than the price of weddings.

    She’s the gardener, she loves dahlias, and so do I, they flower twice a year in the Auckland climate, and (aside from the gorgeous flowers) they have lovely thick bushy foliage.   My contribution is ‘staking’ them which sort of appeals to my mechanical/DIY  instincts and allows me to feel useful.   Things grow like crazy in the Auckland climate.   One of my other jobs is hunting down and removing Madeira vine and moth plant which grow like rockets and would smother our trees if left for a few months.

    I’m about to watch Cold Blood (I was due to watch last night, but I put on a random Youtube railway ‘cabride’ video on the TV for background relaxation while I did stuff, and Mrs D came in and started watching it while it still had two hours (!) to go.   If I wasn’t a railway nut I would find watching the track go by rather slowly, quite mind-numbingly boring, but Mrs D finds interest in all sorts of things, and she loves tunnels.   I really couldn’t demand that she stop it, so I had to watch too.     (Yes ‘cabride’ videos really are a thing).

    nerys @nerys

    Greetings, @winston @blenkinsopthebrave @janetteb and all! Yes, hubby and I are fine. I had my first jab last Tuesday, and hubby (who is nine years younger) gets his first one tomorrow. So we are finally getting past that hurdle.

    The timing between first and second doses in Canada is somewhat controversial. Mainly this came about because Canada was experiencing a shortage of vaccines, and wanted to ensure that the general population had access to a first dose. Now that we are getting more supply, I wonder if the timing will change. As of now, my second dose is scheduled for August. Here’s a CBC News story explaining it.

    Nova Scotia is going through a rough time. We’re nearing our second week of a two-week “circuit breaker” lockdown … which isn’t really a true lockdown, or at least not the way it was a year ago. Basically folks came into the province, didn’t self-isolate the way they were supposed to, and brought the variants in with them. Same old song, different verse. Nova Scotia was doing so well, and then this. Many are mentioning how weary they feel. I feel the same way. Working in a supermarket, I find it very difficult to deal with the deniers. Just today I had a customer in my checkout who said she would never get a vaccine. There’s not much I can say to that. Though, sadly, my own sister (who is a home health-care nurse) has decided against getting vaccinated for the time being. She is fearful about whether the vaccine will affect her DNA, even though all available evidence refutes any genetic impact. So, I don’t know what to say to that, either. When someone I love, who is an intelligent person, believes this with such conviction, there’s not much I can say to refute her opinion. Our mother (whose sister, if she were alive today, might well have had a similar opinion) is baffled and concerned. I’m sure our father, if he were alive, would be baffled and concerned, too.

    I called my mother and stepmother in Indiana yesterday to wish them a happy Mother’s Day. We had good talks. As ever, I am grateful for the freedoms a telephone affords me. In Indiana, universities are holding graduation ceremonies, and people are celebrating. Streets, sidewalks, restaurants and bars and filled to capacity. It’s hard to imagine, but I guess vaccinations are far enough along that people feel safe doing that. Here in Nova Scotia, we are not there yet. And I don’t think about the prospect of when we will get there. I take each day as it comes.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @nerys You have my sympathy, I just hope your mini-lockdown works. And your vaccination programme. Here, we might be getting out first jab in a month – NZ has slipped down the list a bit for vaccine deliveries, but that’s okay because our quarantine is holding (so far) and I don’t think we (as a country) want to be seen as grasping.
    I’m not surprised there are so many who won’t get the vaccine, there was a worryingly noisy anti-vax movement even before Covid came along. And there was (in the USA particularly) a huge reactionary element who detest authority, won’t do anything authority tells them to do, whether it’s wearing masks, social distancing, lockdowns or vaccination – even if that authority was, tardily, their erstwhile hero Trump. (Not that I’m suggesting in any way that your sister fits that description!)
    I have to admit that I used to be a little bit unsure if vaccination was worth it, until the anti-vax movement made me think about it and I swung firmly in favour of vaccination (I guess I’m a bit contrarian too 🙂
    I’d be nervous if I were in Indiana – I doubt their percentage of vaccination is high enough yet to break the chain of infection (but I’m no epidemiologist).
    I’d love to see Covid under control – I’d like to travel to Europe again before I’m finally too geriatric, and there’s nothing delights me more than driving from one country to another with no formalities, past a closed and deserted Customs post – Schengen is great 🙂 But I don’t think we’ll get that until the whole world is vaccinated – this is definitely a case where ‘enlightened self-interest’ dictates that we help the poorer countries. Unless we want quarantine to be a permanent feature of the world, and nobody wants that.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @nerys Sorry to hear about the situation in Nova Scotia. We have visited NS three times. All were wonderful. All three were in Halifax, but one of them also included a few days staying in a friend’s cottage on the coast south of Halifax, with long drives down the east coast. We both loved Nova Scotia. As for the anti-vaxers, I throw up my hands in despair. My parent’s generation played a lottery when it came to polio and tuberculosis, but now, because of vaccination, we are essentially free of those. I grew up learning that the invention of penicillin saved countless lives. And yet now…in the town I lived in before coming here the town council voted to get rid of fluoride from the tap water, in spite of every single dentist in the city making the point that it protected children’s teeth. What has happened to produce a generation that rejects science?

    But great to hear that by tomorrow you will both be vaccinated. I am now two weeks past the jab, and Mrs Blenkinsop will be two weeks past the jab in a couple of days, which calms me down tremendously.

    Take care. Stay safe.





    winston @winston

    @blenkinsopthebrave  I was raised by a brilliant father who believed in facts and science and taught me to be the same. He also taught a young bookworm not to believe everything you read and only half of what you see without checking facts and verifying sources, in other words a healthy skepticism. A good education in the sciences helps also.

    I have no idea how or why we have changed so much but climate change deniers are usually those that profit from environment destroying industries. I am not sure who profits from vaccine conspiracies but I know some do.The internet is the great enabler for all these conspiracies and they spread like wildfire.

    Vaccines have saved countless lives and stopped many painful and debilitating diseases that killed and crippled and scarred children and adults. We wiped smallpox away with vaccines and cut infant mortality rates with vaccines and so many other diseases can be prevented. I hate needles but I love a good vaccine.

    @nerys  Good to see you are well but sorry that your covid  numbers have gone up after staying low for so long. Soon I hope we can all get our jabs and start traveling again cause we love the Digby area of NS and would love to visit again.Actually we loved all of NS and the people were so nice.

    @janetteb  Ah to go out and see people again will be so nice! Our agricultural fair was cancelled last fall for the first time in a 100 years and this year is iffy. It is a big fair and is really missed in this farming area. Sorry to hear about your husky, pets are so precious to us and are part of our family.We lost our terrier Newton in 2019 and I still miss him.

    @dentarthurdent  Dahlias are beautiful and there are so many showy colours but they do not do well here in my area although I have grown them. I love all plants and flowers but my faves are roses. Very finicky  but worth the extra work just for the scent. Mmmmm.

    Stay safe.




    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @winston I absolutely concur with all your comments to Blenkinsopthebrave. I hate needles too, since a painful experience when I was 5. I’ve got better over the years, and needles have got thinner. Here in NZ, vaccines for oldies has just started (border workers all done), the Health Department has left it to the district health boards to organise and some of them have made a right hash of it (that’s just bookings, no vaccines have been wasted). I believe the Health Dept is going to step in and set up a single system.

    Anyway, Mrs D just got a text, “Book here: ” with a link that turned into a link-chasing farce.   I’ll phone the booking help line tomorrow.   Hopefully they get their system sorted out soon.

    nerys @nerys

    @dentarthurdent @blenkinsopthebrave @winston Thank you for your kind thoughts! In happier news, Nova Scotia’s Covid numbers are coming back down, so the greater numbers of people getting vaccinated + adhering to public health guidelines + the mini-lockdown are all having a good effect. We’re still not down to where we were in March, when we were reporting only one or two cases per day, but we’re heading in the right direction.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @nerys  Thanks.  That’s encouraging news.

    I just got a booking for Mrs D, 31st of May.   (The link they sent by text, spectacularly didn’t work, so I rang the booking helpline last night – “There are … 40 calls … ahead of you”.  Ugh.   Rang this morning, “99 calls”.   Hung up.   Tried a bit later, “125 calls” so I gritted my teeth, put the phone on speakerphone and got on with stuff, actually it only took about 20 minutes before I got through, they must have a lot of people on the phones, it isn’t just three guys in a call centre somewhere in Asia like the usual ‘helpline’  🙂

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