May 2008

This is a very lazy post. Today a prompt popped up on my social media feed reminding me of what we were up to in May 2008.

A few photos follow - you can probably guess where we were....

Darned Trees

For anyone who suffers from hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, you may be aware that we are now in the midst of peak tree pollen season.

It seems that recent climate conditions can cause what has been termed a pollen "bomb"  with large amounts of the stuff being dispersed into the air to be sucked into our nasal passages.

Our house is surrounded by trees and we even have a little mini-woodland in our garden. Quite a few of the trees are big allergen culprits (birch, beech, ash etc) so, although very pretty, they are also very naughty.  I have been spending some time out in the garden this week enjoying our warm sunny weather but today the effects have hit me like a steamroller.  You would think I should have learned my lesson by now after sixty years of being a hay fever sufferer.

I was due to go walking with the girls this lovely sunny morning but have cancelled as I dare not step foot outside. No point in even wearing a mask as it is too late now. Horse and stable door etc....

The good news is that tree pollen production should ease off in May....just as the grass pollen season starts.  Luckily I have a good stock of man-size cotton hankies and my asthma inhaler.

No walking photos for a while I think.

Running Out Of Steam

Since my last post when our island had just lifted lockdown restrictions,  five new cases were discovered three days later.

We are not to suffer any further lockdowns now though so we must all take whatever precautions we feel comfortable with in order to protect ourselves.  

On the day the new cases were announced, P and I had travelled  by bus into Douglas to meet our Advocate regarding the house move.   (click here for information about IOM advocates).  We also visited the Costa Coffee shop at the Sea Terminal while we waited for our bus home.  Nobody, including us, was wearing a mask and we didn't find out about the new, unexpected cases until we reached home.

There are now plans afoot to allow visitors back to the island at the end of June so that will see an influx of new cases then.

I shall feel more confident being out and about once I have had my second jab but until then  because of my asthma and breathing problems   I shall remain cautious.

This week I made a start on clearing out stuff  accumulated over the past thirty years. 

Now I am running out of steam. 

And We're Off Again

 Today (Monday) the island's third lockdown has been lifted so we can now all get back to normal again.  So far, around 50,000 of our 86,000 population have had at least their first vaccination and we are hopefully on track to be completed by the autumn for the whole adult population.

Our borders, however, remain closed to visitors which should lessen the risk of the newer variants entering the island until we are ready for them.

The house move is also "on the move" again with an offer accepted and the Advocates (solicitors) duly instructed. If all goes smoothly we hope to be in our new home in mid June.

Onwards and upwards.... (oops, sorry Rachel, just noticed that I seem to have pinched your blog post title!)

A Bit More Manx Folklore

 Culture Vannin reminds us here of  Boaldyn ....

"The coming of May is a time for both vigilance and celebration.   One of the most important things to do at this time of year is to protect your household with a crosh cuirn - a small cross made out of sticks and wool - which should go up on your doors before the first of May. This will protect you against evil spirits including witches and the mooinjer veggey.. (the Little People) over the coming year."

May Day was the most dangerous day in the Celtic calendar, when witches were thought to have full power.  The crosh cuirn played a role, as no evil thing could pass in where the crosh cuirn was.

As usual the Culture Vannin website has a wealth of information about this, and other, Manx traditions.

I have attached a couple of links here to (1) a short video (which features our local town of Peel)  and (2) a short extract from Notes on Manx History and /customs which some may find interesting.

This And That

Never a dull moment here at JayCee Towers (she says with tongue firmly in cheek).

On Friday I called the GP surgery and was asked to pop in so that they could take a look at my arm as the red patch had spread quite considerably.  It appears that it is most likely just a delayed immune response to the vaccination - two weeks instead of the more usual couple of days.  So that's alright then.

Saturday was our wedding anniversary. We didn't do anything exciting, as we are still in our Lockdown number three, however our local hostelry offers free home delivery on meals from their usual menu so we had two enormous meals delivered to our door by a charming lady.  There was so much food that I felt as though I was going to explode afterwards. I should have kept some for leftovers but I was too greedy.

Sunday morning was glorious. Blue sky and sunshine, although a sharp frost.  I met the "girls" for a reasonably social-distanced walk, all masked up of course.  We walked for an hour and a half along the heritage railway track into Peel and got takeaway coffees to drink on the Promenade in the sun.

I was feeling a little tired by now so, instead of the hour and a half walk back, I sent a text message to P and asked him to drive out and collect me.  It should only take him five minutes so I strolled down to the far end of the Prom to wait there.  Suddenly, the sky darkened and it began to hail quite steadily.  P still hadn't arrived and I was getting pelted by hailstones so I put up my hood and began to walk up the hill to the coast road. When he eventually pulled up beside me he said that he had stopped by his friend's house on the way to drop off a magazine and they got chatting.  He only decided to carry on his way to pick me up when it started to hail!

The rest of Sunday was spent cleaning and tidying as our agent had booked a socially distanced house viewing for this morning (Monday).  

The viewing was a complicated arrangement involving lots of masks, gloves, sanitiser and everyone having to be in separate rooms. P and I were not allowed to be in the house at the same time as the viewing so we went to do our weekly shop until they had finished.  It seems to have been successful, just need a survey report (again) so keeping fingers crossed for a sale this time.

My arm is feeling a little better today. The large, vivid red patch is now a just a delicate shade of pink and the soreness is receding.  I hope it doesn't do the same after the second vaccination!  At least I shall be prepared for it next time.

Off now to sit in the afternoon sunshine before tonight's wintry showers arrive.

One In A Million

No, not a reflection on my, undoubted, talents as a perfect human being.  Apparently the potential (unproved) odds on developing a serious blood clot after receiving the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine, according to the latest news reports.

I read a brief and concise article on the BBC Science website earlier. It appears that the risk is very low, no more so than developing a clot after an aircraft journey perhaps or taking the contraceptive pill.   However, I suspect that there will be many people who may decide not to have the AstraZeneca vaccine, just in case.

I have already had my first shot of the AZ vaccine and shall still have my second when my turn comes.

I have had no side effects so far, two weeks after my vaccination, however, I awoke this morning with a sore arm and a red patch on the skin close to the injection site.

Probably nothing to worry about. Just hope that I am not one in a million.

Suck It And See

 I noticed at lunchtime that P was sporting a white plaster wrapped around his fingertip.  When I asked him what had happened he said that he had been chopping up some old plant cuttings with his secateurs and nicked his fingertip in the process.

When I asked if he had washed his wound under the tap he said there was no need as he had sucked it before applying the plaster.

I pointed out that, as well the goodness knows what kind of stuff was in the soil matter on the secateurs, there were several rather nasty types of bacteria in human saliva but he said he has been doing the same thing for cuts since he was a boy and has survived so far.

Hmmm.  Well, don't come running to me when you get septicaemia.

A Good Friday

It has been a good day so far today. The sun is shining, although it is quite cold, around 5C, with a stiff breeze blowing to keep the temperature down even further.

We have a partial lifting of our lockdown today; allowed to gather  in groups of up to 10 people outdoors only and maintaining 2 metres distance, wearing masks.

P met a friend and went for a distanced run over the fells for a couple of hours.  I took the opportunity to go for a solo walk and get some much needed exercise.   I walked along the back lanes to the edge of Peel then back home along the coast road.  It took me an hour and a half, but I slowed up at the end due to the steep hill leading home.  I was not happy about the number of cyclists and one male runner who passed me from behind, way too close and not wearing masks.  When I reached home I had a couple of squirts from the Vicks First Defence nasal spray, just in case.  It probably doesn't make any real difference to the virus if it has already entered my system but it made me feel slightly better psychologically.

We do not celebrate Easter, being heathens(!), however I do enjoy a chocolate treat.  We sometimes share a chocolate egg at Easter, but this year we decided to splash out and have one each....