Sunday, 28 November 2021

Deep cold! Wearing masks … or not! Vaccination. And role models.

Well, the wind has dropped. I looked out first thing and decided the pavement looked dry enough for running. So In donned my running gear, plus on an extra layer for the cold, and off I went. On the whole it was fine but the ice patch on the lane down to the millpond was bigger and thicker than ever. I had to pick my way round the edges. Apparently at least one of the residents there has complained to the local council about it. One lady steps out of her front door into a puddle which was never there before the resurfacing took place. And her garden is permanently soggy to boot. I know that I wouldn’t like to drive a car out of their driveway and over the ice floe to get to the main road. But will the council send workers quickly? That is the question.

The millpond is almost frozen over - deep cold has begun! Seagulls were skating and the ducks were confined to one corner where they could swim freely. The water barrel in our garden - almost empty at the end of August and into September but almost full after recent rainfall - has a thick layer of ice on the top of it. And my little Christmas tree, growing nicely in it’s pot, has been blown over and is leaning against a larger bush. I am not going out to stand it up as it has now been snowing for the last hour. It began with very thin stuff but it’s got heavier and is sticking. Pavements are looking quite treacherous now but our garden looks rather Christmassy!

I think it’s a day for working in the kitchen, baking cakes and making hearty stews and soups, keeping warm by keeping busy. The family might be coming for tea later today but I think we need to do a weather check this afternoon. Hibernation sounds like an attractive option. 

Meanwhile, in the wider world, steps are being taken to protect us from the latest mutation of the virus. Masks are to be worn in shops and supermarkets and on public transport. I am not exactly sure when this comes into force. My instinctive reaction is to say AT ONCE. However, in the local coop store this morning there was me and an old chap wearing our masks and everyone else continuing as ever. None of the staff wore masks. But then, the messages being sent out by the government are unclear. What a surprise! It would seem that you can catch Covid on the bus or in the supermarket but not in a crowded pub.

Next weekend we go to receive our booster vaccination. Trying to stay safe! Here’s a link to an article about a small place in Sicily where they are 104% vaccinated. Palazzo Adriano is the town where much of the film “Cinema Paradiso” was filmed, one of my favourite Italian films. I wonder if we could visit next time we go to Sicily - assuming we can continue to travel. They have a museum dedicated to the making of the film. I wonder, though, how they managed to get over 100% vaccination.

Some fuss, indeed quite a bit of fuss, is being made by some people about casting women in TV and film roles previously given to me. A female Doctor Who stirred things up. Could a Time Lord really be Time Lady? And then there have been suggestions that agent 007, James Bond, could be recast as a s would not be so easy as changing the gender of Doctor Who, as the Doctor regularly regenerates. Mind you James Bond has gone through the same process with different actors playing the role. Somehow, though, making 007 a woman would be to create a different story altogether. 

Anyway, the fuss is all about role models for boys:-

“Casting women in TV and film roles previously given to men, such as in Doctor Who or the James Bond franchise, risks leading young males into crime because the only cultural role models left for them are criminals, a Conservative MP has argued.

Leading a Westminster Hall debate about international men’s day, Nick Fletcher said discussions about women’s safety, such as after the murder of Sarah Everard, risked achieving nothing because of a focus on the idea of toxic masculinity.

Citing statistics showing poor male outcomes in areas such as school attainment, employment, suicide and rough sleeping, the Don Valley MP said men and boys needed better role models, including male teachers.”

Here’s a female journalist’s opinion on that question.

The old question of the power of the media to influence young people’s behaviour has popped up again then.

Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone!

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