Thursday, 28 January 2021

The sound of rain. Dapper weathermen. Vaccine wars? Protests and pleas for help. Travel (company) problems.

The sound of rain on the skylight windows is back. It’s almost soothing, rather like sleeping in a tent not far from the beach and hearing continual sound of the sea. Like the sound of the sea the sound of the rain is fine so long as it doesn’t get too stormy. Really heavy storm rain lashing on the skylight windows keeps you awake; normal rain is a bit light white noise and, after all, people use that to lull restless babies to sleep.

While the weather was so cold either there was little or no rainfall or the precipitation came as snow, which does not make a sound as it falls. However, as one of my nodding acquaintances remarked in the village this morning, the moment the temperature goes up a little, the rain comes back! You couldn’t really say that it’s warmer though; rather it’s just less cold!

And the river’s full again! Owain, the dapper BBC 1 North West weatherman, commented last night that the ground is still sodden and so there could be risk of flooding. 

Sometimes we don’t really listen to the weather forecast when Owain, the dapper BBC 1 North West weatherman, appears on the screen. We are too busy commenting on his dapper appearance. Will his suit be green, dark blue, black watch tartan, purple, or maybe powder blue? What will his tie and coordinated pocket handkerchief be like? And how about his gestures - just a little camp! He gets away with his camp look by being such a slender chap, not to say skinny, almost cartoon-character-like with not a hair out of place. Even when he forecasts bad weather he is a bit of brightness in a world of gloom as he finishes of with his Welsh-accented “Stay safe!”

And the world of gloom continues with international arguments about the supply of vaccine. And certain elements of the press are fanning the flames with jingoistic comments like, “EU can’t have our vaccine!”. We really need a proper international effort to get the vaccine to everyone. I saw a report that said that some of the poorest countries of the world may not get the vaccine until 2024. 2024?! It’s crazy.

Meanwhile, anti-lockdown protests continue here and there. Holland has been having problems. And despite restrictions on movement from district to district in most parts of Spain, I saw this headline today: Os hostaleiros camiñarán ata Santiago para pedir o rescate do sector á Xunta de Galicia. Hospitality workers in Galicia, small cafe owners and the like, plan to march on their regional capital Santiago de Compostela to ask for help. The article ends: O sector da hostalería está ao límite. Moitos levan case un ano sen abrir as portas dos seus establecementos e continúan sen ver a luz ao final do túnel. = The hospitality sector is at the limit. Many have not been unable to open their doors of their establishments for almost a year and still cannot see light at the end of the tunnel. (By the way, it’s good to find I can still read Galego, the regional language!)

Meanwhile there’s this about EasyJet:-

“EasyJet suffered another grim quarter at the end of 2020 with revenue down by almost 90% but the budget airline said it was holding on for a surge in traveller numbers later this year if restrictions ease.

The airline’s revenues for the last three months of 2020 fell by 88% year-on-year to £165m, it revealed on Thursday. That matched an 87% decline in passenger numbers to just 2.9 million.

Global air travel has been decimated in the past year by both pandemic restrictions and a lack of customer demand, but the rapid creation and approval of vaccines has given airline executives reason to hope that 2021 could be the year when sales rebound. 

Polling by easyJet of 5,000 European consumers this month showed that 65% have, or plan to make, a travel booking in 2021.”

I know everything is relative, but it’s hard to feel sorry for someone who made a £165m. However, I would like them to be around to,provide cheap,flights when this is all over. We still have a voucher for cancelled flights to and from Sicily last spring. A friend of mine has just received a refund for his flights. Maybe we should ask for the same, just on case. Another friend keeps rebooking her flights to Hamburg to see her ancient mother only to have yet another one cancelled. 

But I don’t think any of us are going anywhere in the immediate future. Apart, that is, from Boris Johnson heading for Scotland. I wonder if he hopes to rally the Scots to his side.

Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone!

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