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The big news right now is the UK's implementation of a half-assed knee-jerk quarantine for those who were taking their holidays in France.
While I won't deny the infection rate is rising - it is doing so pretty much everywhere since the end of lockdown - the obvious question is that either the situation in France is critical, or it is not. If it is critical, then quarantine should have been imposed immediately. If it was not so critical, then it should have been made on Monday or somesuch to allow those on holiday in France to return in a more sensible manner than happened thanks to the government making the cut-off in the middle of the night on Saturday ... and, one should note, the initial confusion as to whether this was Friday night into Saturday (yes!) or Saturday into Sunday (no!).

This has led to rapidly cancelled holidays, forfeits, mad panics to return to the UK, massive price bumps on tickets, and of course people returning by going via Italy.
Moreso, this chaos doesn't answer the fundamental question of the ridiculous nature of having a person that arrives at 3.59am being able to go home and then go to work, while a person that returns one minute later must undergo a mandatory quarantine period.

I note numerous articles in the British media (in my Google News app) that point to people complaining to supermarkets such as ASDA because even though it is mandatory for people who are not exempt to wear face masks, people don't, and this does not appear to be particularly well policed or enforced. So, you know, glass houses and all.

Face mask
The ultimate fashion accessory for 2020

The government said that it had to be "ruthless". I'm afraid that they aren't being ruthless with France (which actually has a lower death per capita rate than the UK), they are mostly being ruthless with their own citizens, many who have lost large amounts of money on ruined holidays and some may find that the quarantine period (if they didn't make it back) means loss of earnings, or worse puts their employment in peril.
As for those who have decided to stay, the government switching official advice to "essential travel only" may mean that their travel insurance is now invalid, even if they actually came over beforehand.

It remains to be seen if France will shoot itself in the foot by reciprocating the quarantine rules for British people coming into France. I understand a lot of politics is tit-for-tat, but given that people (that aren't classed as key workers) will be expected to self-quarantine on the way back, it's probably better to accept that those coming over now are going to get enough trouble from their own government. The Netherlands has already stated that they won't reciprocate, possibly in awareness of this.

That being said - I think that, as CoViD is a very fluid situation, it's probably not the best idea to take any holidays outside of your own country right now. Just, you know, consider 2020 to have been cancelled...


Bread maker fix

After a long delay, no doubt blamed on the virus situation, I received my bread maker drive belt somewhere around the end of June.
Well, actually I received two. <shrug>

So I decided to do something a little nerdy today and take apart the bread maker to see if it fits, and if it does, to fit it. Well, it was either that or mess up my wrists some more with those brambles. I think that's a word that you don't want to read any more for a while, and it's one that I don't want to write either.
So, why not take a breadmaker apart? It's not like I have done that before.......much. ☺

Rather than have lots of photos, I made this one as a video. A 1GiB 1080p video that took nearly four hours to upload (would probably have been about an hour on 4G, but my older S7 doesn't have the SIM). <sigh>



I have a new kitten. A female. This bundle of fur will replace Nou as the outside cat. She'll be locked in Nou's old stable for a few days to acclimatise here as her home, and then I'll probably have her locked in while I'm at work or asleep, and able to roam around otherwise.
If I know cat, that means that I'll wake up one morning to find her staring in the window at me.

At the moment, understandably, she is rather distressed at being split from her mother and sister. I'll give her some space, get to understand that she belongs here now.
She is mostly white, with bits of tabby on her tail, the top of her head, and a patch here and there. She came without a name. I tried a few, and it looks like Anna may be the one that sticks.

Anna, the
Everything is better with kittens

Thankfully she is handleable. She tried to make a run for it (all of five paces before stopping in confusion as it doesn't look like it is supposed to), and by moving slowly I could approach her. I was cautious just in case the claws came out, but a gentle stroke to the head and she basically fell over for some more petting. That's a good start.

She has a bowl of water (bottled, not well) and a pouch of Felix. I'm not certain that she understands that Felix is food yet. Well, when hunger replaces worry as the primary emotion, she might figure that one out.

Thanks to Tatiana for arranging this. 😺


Hello mom

Mom used to tell me that an unusually friendly butterfly was in fact carrying the spirit of somebody (or something) who was no longer alive and wanted to pay a visit.
This one has been around for about an hour, and doesn't seem perticularly bothered by my presence or behaviour. Nor does it seem disturbed by a Bluetooth speaker playing Nightwish. Well, maybe it likes the vibrations?

Since there's only one spirit I can think of who'd want to come and say hello on a sunny end-of-summer evening, I guess I ought to say "hello mom".

A mere friendly butterfly or the spirit of somebody?
Okay... yeah... it's now sitting on the speaker for the song "How's the heart". Who would have thought a butterfly would be a fan of symphonic metal? 😳 Hard to believe it is mom given that she pretty much didn't like anything "newer" than Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel. But, who knows? Maybe up in heaven she's learned to appreciate the stuff I listen to. It's certainly going to be better than endless sexually-ambiguous angels playing harps for all eternity...



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David Pilling, 16th August 2020, 02:40
"From 15 August, people entering the UK from France will have to quarantine for 14 days. The French government has said it will introduce the same rule for anyone arriving from the UK." 
I have read the NL has also reciprocated.
Rick, 16th August 2020, 08:27
The problem is that mixed messages and papers that like to make up their own narrative often confuse issues. 
For France, it's a maybe. Official advice was no, until an official said yes. Who knows? 
For Holland, they keep saying no to reciprocating:
David Pilling, 16th August 2020, 15:11
On reciprocity I have been getting my info from the BBC website. 
Thing is it would kill holidays - might not be too bad being in quarantine for two weeks when you get back, but not much fun if you have to be for two weeks when you get there. 

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