• Trombonedaddio

Boris addresses the nation and marmalade is made

Boris Johnson told the nation at 8:30 pm last night “The coronavirus is the biggest threat this country has faced for decades… without a huge national effort to halt the growth of this virus there will come a moment when no health service in the world could possibly cope… the time has come for us to do more…”

We will only be allowed to leave their home for shopping for basic necessities, one form of exercise per day, medical need, to help another in need, and travelling to and from work where absolutely necessary. All social events, including weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies were to be cancelled (excluding funerals).

The police would have powers to enforce these rules.

We knew it was coming, looking at other European countries, but it did feel like a bit of a dressing down for all those who hit the parks and countryside on Sunday. Apparently the Snowdonia National Park had been busier than it had ever been!

There is still no advice for self employed workers (other than claiming Universal Credit at around £90 per week, as long as you have no significant savings).

Last night we had a video chat with a friend who lives in a small studio flat nearby. She told us she had been ill the previous week – she had lost her sense of smell, which seems to be a symptom of the virus, as well as feeling very weak and tired. She now had to record a show for a radio station "under her duvet", but had problems with a neighbour playing loud music. She was in tears with the stress of it.

For some it must be hell to be confined to their home – those large families whose homes are just small, overcrowded flats, those whose relationship with their partners is poor at the best of times, those with on-going health conditions who still need care, those with bored children who don’t understand what it’s all about anyway, those who have lost their job and have already spent what money they owned...

I know a top jazz pianist suffering from multiple sclerosis whose greatest joy in life is performing (somehow his body is still able to play the piano brilliantly). He is in "total lockdown", terrified of catching the virus knowing it would end his life.

Despite having no commitments I’m finding my days seem to go by and I’ve only done a few of the things I had planned. Pretty similar to before this virus hit, but now the difference is that I don’t have the same guilt attached that I couldn’t get myself more organised.

One success I've had: I’ve been trying on and off over the last week to install some music recording software on my computer and link it to my sound mixing desk. This is something I’ve wanted to work out for some years but never had time and the will to battle with my computer. I reached a milestone this morning when at last the software was installed (after much Googling advice and to-ing and fro-ing to a help desk), the mixer was plugged in, I found out which buttons needed pressing and drivers installing, and it all worked. Now I have to learn how to use it – not a small task, but I’ve got time!

So after a call to my nephew (an young up-and-coming jazz musician and music producer in his own right), and one to a fellow musician discussing a particular chord in a jazz standard, it was time to tackle the marmalade that should have been made in January. The oranges had been frozen until I found a moment and now was it.

The sun is shining and the weather is beautiful. A terrible shame not to be outside enjoying it, but this situation would be a whole lot worse if the weather was cold and wet.

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