Wednesday, 2 February 2022

Weather related problems. A bit of Covid stuff. And a heartwarming story.

I had been thinking that we had survived the vagaries of weather rather well. Indeed, I told myself, we seemed to have come through Storms Malik and Corrie without problems. Then I looked out of the window this morning and noticed that the shed looked odd. Was there an odd light shining on the roof? But no, it’s the roof surface, one of those sheets of tarmac-looking stuff, that has been lifted and torn by the wind, revealing raw, unprotected wood underneath. 

So now we have to find a moment, a lull in the damp drizzle, to get out there and see if we can secure the flap of roofing at least temporarily, until we can get it sorted out properly. How very annoying! 

It could be worse. After all some people have been going days without electricity

Well, I say “we” will do have to try to repair the shed roof. In fact, Phil will do it and I’ll stand around making helpful suggestions, handing him tools and suchlike, maybe supporting the stepladders. 

It’s very damp and drizzly out there at the moment. It was fine when I set off for the market this morning but it started to drizzle while I was there and it has continued ever since. And the market was even further depleted this morning, with only the fish-man and the chap who sells slippers in attendance. Even the fruit and veg man was absent today. I hope things buck up soon!

There was a chap in the greengrocer’s in Uppermill talking about possibly having brought Covid back from his travels. The conversation was underway when I went into the shop so I missed part of it but he seemed to be saying that he and his wife had returned from South Africa, I think, and had been unwell. They dosed themselves up with Paracetamol and stayed away from people. This was when the outbreak was only just starting to be talked about and it was only later that he and his wife put two and two together and realised they might have had Covid. So is that the man responsible for all our troubles? But was he talking about the original version of Covid or the later South African Variant? I’ll never know!

Meanwhile Michael Rosen makes fun of himself while quietly commenting on events:  “My family tell me that they feel fine that Boris was having raves while I was in a coma and couldn't come to see me. They say that trying to have a rave with me in that state would have been really boring.”

And here’s another of those Brexit “benefit” stories on social media:

“Yesterday we received our Christmas present from our son and his wife. They posted it early December. It is a photo of our grandson. We had to pay 9€ tax before we could have it. Thanks to Brexit.”

Along with Getting Brexit Done”, apparently the Tories’ manifesto promised us this “levelling up” that is being talked about so much. Here’s the view given by Owen Jones on social media:

“A man burns a house down and then turns up with some flimsy bits of wood, promising to be the hero who saves you from homelessness.

This is the Tory 'levelling up' agenda: cut public services and the welfare state to the bone for years, then wave some long term targets around.”

On a more positive note, here’s a nice story about an enterprising child in Idaho, USA:-

When eight-year-old Dillon Helbig finished writing his book, The Adventures of Dillon Helbig’s Crismis, in mid-December, he wanted everyone to read it. The only problem was that he did not have an agent.

So he decided to self-publish. During a visit with his grandmother to the Lake Hazel branch of the Ada Community Library in Boise, Idaho, Dillon quietly deposited his book, signed “by Dillon His Self”, on to a nearby shelf.

“I always be sneaky, like how I get chocolate,” Dillon told the KTVB television station about the undercover operation.

“There was a lot of librarians that I had to sneak past so do you know what I did? I covered up this part and covered the back with my body and just snuck it in and then started to walk, and then I came in this aisle – no, wait, this aisle – and then I put my book right here. Wait, right here.”

The 81-page book details adventures that ensue after the star on a Christmas tree Dillon is decorating explodes. Dillon is transported into a portal and time-travels to the very first Thanksgiving and to the north pole.

“Everything about it was a bit crazy,” the second-grader admitted.

Days later, when Dillon came to check on the book, he noticed it was gone. His mom called the library.

“His parents were worried we would find his book and we would get rid of it,” the Lake Hazel library branch manager, Alex Hartman, said. “Which was an unfounded fear because if there’s ever a place a book would be safe, it would be here.”

It turned out that Hartman and his colleagues discovered Dillon’s book in the “stories” section and read it, including to Hartman six-year-old son.

“Dillon’s book definitely fit all the criteria that we would look for to include a book in our collection,” Hartman said. And so, with Dillon’s permission, the library stickered and catalogued the book and placed it with its holdings of graphic novels for adults, teens and kids.

As of Saturday, The Adventures of Dillon Helbig’s Crismis was subject to a 55-person wait list. Hartman has been in discussion with Dillon’s mother about creating a digital copy.

“We’re just hoping that … children find inspiration to write their own stories and share those with other people,” Hartman told the Washington Post. “I just think it’s a good demonstration to share with other kids.”

Dillon has been awarded the library’s Whoodini Award for best young novelist, a category created for him and named after the library’s owl mascot.

The young author has announced that a sequel is in the works, this time about a visit from the Grinch and also featuring Dillon’s dog, Rusty.

He is also writing a book about a jacket-eating closet, based, Dillon said, on a true story from his kindergarten days.”

I wonder if we can do a similar thing with the stories by almost eight-year-old granddaughter writes.

Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone!

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