Old Habits return – off to Cheddar Car Boot sale


A lovely bright morning but cutting winds from the east. Unfortunately this month of April, the growing season in allotments, has been unusually dry. Anyway, Francoise and I needed to escape from our confinements and so w set off to Cheddar car boot sale.   I have written about this many times before (do a search). The car park was as full as I had ever seen it.  I always say I will buy nothing or little. This assumption always fails.

It is difficult to dress for the occasion. The sun itself is warm and in the car I was cooking. When you step outside the wind cuts in and you need all your layers. Tonight the temperature will be 2 degrees C. Francoise has to take in the young seedlings.

Anyway, at the car boot I bought

1. A doorstep slice of sponge cake for £2
2. 25 sheets of rough sand paper for £2
3. Gorilla glue for metal £3
4. An account of the first 50 years of Private Eye £ 0.50p

I went back to congratulate the lady who cooked the sponge cake. She told me that everything she uses to cook it is from the neighbourhood. The eggs are from chickens in her own garden. I could tell there were no chemicals as any contaminated food repeats on me after about 15 minutes. I was so glad to be able to say something positive to someone about the quality of their their food.

Off to the cider barn. I was so glad to se it open. It managed to be open due to an outside marquee (remember the virus cannot function outside, and even then only clicks in with groups of six or more).  The jovial owner, Jason, looked neat and well turned out. Some people can never be defeated no matter how hard the circumstances. We shall see as time progresses.

I got the first hit on my site for those needing help. It was a lady who had been with me a few years ago. I wonder if depression makes it more or less likely that someone will be motivated to ask for assistance.

I am coming up to 5,000 entries on my site.  Still not many people read it (about 400 page reads a day) but there is lots of competition from the many web sites springing up all over the world. It is really is ‘do or die’ stuff. I am glad to maintain the site as I can stay on the crest of the wave knowledge-wise. No matter how dreadful the information is, if I know what is going to happen I can somehow prepare.

Good value at Lidl for £1.50


Although I am fairly well off compared with some, I still enjoy a bargain. Lidl has this great community idea to offer a good deal of miscellaneous items of food. They prepare a number of boxes of fresh vegetables etc and leave them around the till area. People can them help themselves. All the boxes have different contents.

You can see 3.5 kg of oranges and satsumas, 2 large onions, 3 large swedes, 1Kg tomatoes, some onions that I cant remember the name of but there are about 15 of them.

It is a question of first come first served.  There are no restrictions.  it is advisable to come earlier in the day for the best choice.

Finally the weather is warmer and the sun shines from a clear blue sky. Yesterday I had a friend who traveled down from Warrington in Lancashire to Glastonbury where she was staying with a friend. She came to visit us for the day and encouraged by me started to dig into my collection of about 1,000 books.   I have spent a fortune on books over the years. I love them all and they are part of my life. I never lend books as normally you don’t get them  back.

I have been suffering from gum disease, quite difficult to distinguish from tooth decay.  I slosh around in salt water, clean my teeth more regularly, use an antiseptic mouth wash, and use my Bemer radiation kit. More of that anon.


Bath springs back to life. Well, sort of


It is my day to have my eye injection, now once every two months which is a good sign. As last Monday was the date set for business to return to normal, except inside drinking in pubs  (we have to outwit the wily virus). We decided to make a day of it and visit Bath.

We sat in the front seat of the Park and Ride bus from Odd Down to the city centre. We committed the crime of sitting site by side. A lady on the adjacent seat huffed and puffed and moved to sit two rows back.  I do feel some compassion for these people, completely programmed and fearful.

After so many months it was refreshing to actually see people – released prisoners – being out in public who were talking and enjoying themselves. Bath Council have thoughtfully made this recreational area in the middle of a pedestrian shopping center.

On our way we noticed a cartoon artist sitting waiting for custom stop I decided to have one on impulse. When I do that, good always comes out of it and I discovered why. The cost was 6 pounds I decided to crack on. During the brief drawing, he asked me what I did.  I told him I was making a database on covid. He almost jumped up such was his need to speak.

He explained that his family have been split into two, destroyed I think was his term because a relative in his mid 50’s had been insulting them, calling them sheep. His wife had had the two vaccinations; he had had his first one. He did not want to have one but yielded to social pressure.

He asked my views and I was able to give him the background back to the Rio Summit in 1992.  I hope I dissuaded him from having the second. He took my website details and we left on good terms.

By the way this artist, Christian, is very talented and performs at weddings and social events. Check out his web site .


Francoise and myself shopped for necessary items; I then took a bus to the hospital and she took a bus back home.  The weather was bright and warm.

This is from a series of art works in the corridors (passim) about the rituals of the pandemic. The narrative reaches all corners of society artists included.

To the hospital. Francoise had made me a white silk mask. When I lay on the operating table the nurse took the mask from me saying that it was the wrong colour. I needed a blue one (the one that has been found to contain asbestos). I was in no mood to argue but next time I will ask why.

Back in town…. I am a great fan of Dr Pimple Popper, who features in a series from the USA. She is otherwise known as Dr Sandra Lee, an American Dermatologist based in Upland Ca. She is one of my role models of how to treat people with disfiguring body features. All her patients go away loving her, and rightly so.  This tree reminded me of the pimples.

Back to base. My weekly ZOOM meeting is an opportunity for a dozen or so bright and motivated people to touch base and compare their experiences of standing up to the truth. It is often a lonely task especially when families are involved. Ours is left to run and develop its own life. We started at 6pm and went on until 7.20 pm.

The time ‘flew’ as it does when you are en-joying yourself.

Evidence of Roman occupation on a local walk


I have got to hand it to the Romans. They infiltrated in so many countries and so many places. Through some amazing bush telegraph they came to Somerset and mined for tin and lead. I wonder how it worked speaking to people in Latin.

We went to a wood, camera at the ready, to record whatever we came across.  Today Good Friday was cold but very bright which gave us a chance for some great photography. Unfortunately they did not come out to my satisfaction but suffice to say that we found plenty of lead slugs and the equivalent of dross. The Romans were amazingly productive.

a few days later….

I have not  been active on the diary for about a week. I find that my routine of adding to my web site, ZOOM meetings, the occasional telephone chat, keeps me going but not over stimulated. I resort to sitting in front of a live fire with Francoise whilst watching TV or reading.

This morning we had a meeting of our Christian Mens Group. In a relaxed surrounding it is interesting that more personal facts and opinions come out. We were discussing the history and the politics of our group. We decided the way forward was to see how we could serve people without attaching the world ‘Christian’ in the first instance. We felt that the jump from a secular society to a Christian stance was too much. We felt we should offer a neutral welcome and offer of fellowship in a neutral mode for example advertising a ramble or a children’s care group.

The act of getting together in a fellowship it in itself a catalyst. We spent about 90 minute in my front room talking of this and that, and at the end we had moved forward an understanding without having ‘tried’ to do so.

This is the way to go. Synchronicity and empathy cannot be rushed or engineered.

Health-wise we are generally OK but are suffering from a lack of sleep. Maybe more exercise and fresh air will do the trick.