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About Gardian

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  • Birthday 16/06/1947

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  1. I must be missing something here. The British Government keeps saying (although they’re backing down a bit today) that there’s sufficient testing capability - I’m paraphrasing somewhat. The health professionals are going berserk though. I’m not trying to make a political statement - just saying. Over here (and as always, I can only speak authoritatively about my own local area) one of the local labs has set up a drive-through testing facility in the car park right outside their clinic in our local town of 18,000 inhabitants (although the catchment area is of course much larger). Appointments are available to health care workers and members of the general public for whom an appointment has been made by their GP. Capacity is apparently 80-90 tests / day. There are 4 other similar testing sites within a 40 km radius. Quite impressive really and presumably they could quite easily expand the number of tents. For non French residents, when I talk about a ‘lab’, this is a blood or other ‘fluids’ testing facility which you go to here, or to which the test material is sent by the nurse if the test is done at home. Mrs G’s scheduled monthly blood test was done at home by our local community nurse at 09.00 this morning. We had the results on the internet at 12.00 !
  2. Our younger son lives and works in Czech. Much further south than Prague, nearer to the border with Slovakia. Serious lock-down there and has been so for a while. Borders absolutely shut. Face masks for everybody when out. Seems (touch wood) to be working though - relatively low infection rate & mortality.
  3. TBH, I couldn’t care much which ship it turns out to be. For us, it’ll be close to Christmas 2020 for our return to the UK for the festive period. By then, we almost certainly won’t have seen any family or friends for a year. All plans for this Summer ruined, but so far (happily) nobody either here or in the UK has been taken ill.
  4. In what I’m about to say only applies to where we are - in southern France. Accordingly, other French residents may well have a different situation. Down here, we’ve been really impressed with the common sense that the ‘authorities’ and the public have exhibited. Around here, the same restrictions apply as everywhere in France. Retailers (essentially food shops) have gone to a lot of trouble to erect perspex screens to protect their staff and customers at (for example) the checkouts. Everybody is religiously applying the 2m distancing and shops are insisting on anything from a max of 2 upwards in the shop, depending on the size of the place. The gendarmerie and police are pretty active, but largely in just ‘being seen’. I’ve been stopped once, 10 days ago when the form to say why you were out & about was first introduced. I had my form and whilst the gendarme was less than cordial, he let me go on my way. Happily (and long may it continue) the level of infection is really quite low down here. Not elsewhere in France of course, but my impression is that people really are taking things seriously. From what we hear, that isn’t the case everywhere in the UK.
  5. That’s a very touching picture Neil.
  6. They weren’t on one of the Sunday flights, but were on (what was probably) one of the last flights out last night. They landed at Gatwick this morning .......... but minus their luggage, which is still on the ship! Also, passengers who failed a ‘temperature test’ had to remain on the ship. There were more than a few of them apparently. They’re very, very relieved.
  7. My elder son (back in the UK) has just told me that he couldn’t understand why there was a massive queue of cars nearby where he was. Then he realised that they were all at the McDo drive through. ”What are they all going to eat in the coming months?” he said. He answered his own question - “Probably each other”.
  8. Although I haven’t heard from them, things do seem to be moving. Firstly, there’s a piece on the internet by the island’s PM saying that return flights for the passengers on the cruise ships would be operating today. After today, the airport will effectively shutdown because any arriving passenger will go in to enforced quarantine. Tenders seem to be operating to ferry passengers ashore The flights in and out are showing on the Bridgetown Airport website. My cousin’s flight isn’t, but I suspect that some sensible consolidation has taken place. Those flights seem to all have left the UK. If all goes well, return landing in the UK should be mid morning tomorrow.
  9. My cousin and his wife flew out from the UK just over 2 weeks ago to join a cruise ship in Barbados. Their Ruby Wedding Anniversary ‘treat’. To the best of my knowledge, they haven’t moved far! With another 7 or 8 cruise ships for company, they take it in turns to moor in Bridgetown, just 3 at a time. The rest either anchor in the bay or go off for a 12 hour trundle a few kms off the island. Last I heard from them, no CV cases onboard and hoping to get a return flight to the UK tomorrow. They’re far from certain though.
  10. I needed to go the local biggish village this morning for a few things. Duly filled in my form and set off. As it happens, Wednesday is market day there, but I had no real expectation of there being any traders. On arrival though, I was surprised to see pretty much the usual number of them ......... and the gendarmerie! Parked the car, stuck my form in my pocket and wandered over to where there was one hell of a verbal spat going on between a man and a woman, with the gendarmerie looking on with customary indifference. I bought some asparagus and asked the trader what the row was about. It seemed that the bloke was a council member and he was trying to enforce the maire’s dictate that the market should not operate. The lady was a member of the public and she was telling him in no uncertain terms to ‘sling his hook’. By this time, the gendarmes had retreated to their vehicle and driven off .......... and they never asked to see my piece of paper !!
  11. I was chatting to a friend of mine this morning. He said that since all the sport is off for the immediate future, he thought he’d talk to his wife for a change. He said that she’d been made redundant from her job at Woolworths. 😜
  12. A good friend of our elder son was the helicopter pilot of ‘117’ Irish Coastguard and his crew took those pics. They’re based at Waterford, not far away.
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