Sunday, 26 December 2021

Listening to music. Thinking about restrictions of one kind and another.

Boxing day! I got up late this morning, mostly because I sat up late last night watching Leonard Cohen. Back in 2008 we saw Leonard Cohen at the Opera House in Manchester, a magical performance. Then we saw him in Castrelos Park in Vigo in the summer of 2009, in one of the municipality sponsored concerts the city organises - it cost us about €12 each. The sublime Webb sisters did cartwheels on the stage … as well as singing beautifully. Both concerts had pretty much the same song list but that was not a problem. 

Some time later we acquired a DVD of effectively the same concert in the O2 Arena (I think) in London. Well worth watching again and again. And then, some time last year, I looked for it one evening and could not locate it. We hunted all over the house. Had we lent it to a careless friend, one of those who forget to return loaned books and music? We investigated all possibilities. Nobody confessed. Lost and gone!

So Phil bought me a new copy for Christmas. (I had almost bought one for him but fortunately I chose some other music for him.) And last night, after the family had departed and we had done the remaining washing up and put the leftovers away, we finally sat down to watch “at least part of the concert”. You can’t watch just the start of such a concert. The music carries you along. And Leonard Cohen and his excellent band gave good value for money, doing an encore almost half as long as the original concert! And that’s why I didn’t get up early this morning. 

Today I’m assessing the leftovers, seeing what needs freezing for future use and working out how some parts can be recombined to make gourmet leftover dishes. 

In the wider world, Wales and Scotland, and I think Northern Ireland, are going into stricter measures to contain Covid today. In England we carry on pretty much as before. The government is going to discuss it again on Monday. By the tome they decide, the hospitals might be full again. There is much opposition to proposed restrictions among the Conservatives in Parliament. It rather seems that having political power is more important than taking sensible decisions. 

But, never mind, we’re busy “jabbing” everyone and we’ve taken back control. And one consequence of that is that we can decide which restrictions to ease, apparently. And so, faced with a shortage of care workers thousands of additional care workers are to recruited from abroad. 40,000 social care staff have left the sector in the past six months. And then there are problems of staff absence as they have to isolate because of Covid - hmm! I wonder why so many of them are catching it.

Anyway, reports tell me this:

“Immigration rules will be relaxed for care workers, care assistants and home care workers, who will be added to the Home Office’s shortage occupation list.

Care workers who arrive on a 12-month health and care visa must receive an annual salary of at least £20,480 to qualify, with the measures expected to come into effect early next year. They will be entitled to bring dependants, including a partner and children.”

Maybe care workers should have been paid a decent wage to begin with. Maybe then there would be fewer recruitment problems. Maybe social care establishments should not need to make a profit. Maybe we should have stayed in the EU!

Hey ho! 

Enjoy Boxing Day! 

Life goes on. Stay safe and well,everyone!

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