This lockdown is harder than last year’s. We were encouraged to take part in a National Day of Reflection on 23 March, which they said was the first anniversary of lockdown. In fact it was the day lockdown had been announced, but it didn’t come into force until 26 March 2020 – I wonder how many died because of that tardiness. The death toll since Christmas has been worse than the death toll last year – though somehow the Government has managed to hide that statistic. Having clapped for carers last year, NHS staff have been offered a 1% pay rise this year – while elsewhere the profits made out of Covid have made a few people very rich. The vaccination programme continues to be a great success – thank you NHS. This was the video we produced for our church reflection:
I have worked. Some funerals, lots of preparation and trying to sort out dates for weddings – some of our lovely couples have moved their weddings four or five times. We kept our church buildings closed and have Zoomed every Sunday (and every night during Holy Week) – you can find them all linked from our “Archived Worship” page at https://www.stedsandstmatts.co.uk/copy-of-worship-while-our-buildings. We have tried to keep in touch – many people are happy zooming, some can’t, others won’t.
We have also found time for some excellent courses on line. I am doing the History of Art from the National Gallery, and used the Spring Term to do York University courses on “The New Testament in Art” and “Northern England in the Dark Ages”. I did a York afternoon on “Bede the Historian”, an English Heritage podcast on Aelred of Hexham, an Historic Religious Buildings Alliance update day, a Selwyn talk on the CU Aerial photography unit, a King’s talk on Saxon excavations on Barton Road in Cambridge, a week of Inspire events from Nottingham Libraries (Arabella at Hardwick, Land Girls at Clumber Park and the National Trust Colonial Countryside project at Kedleston), Railway and Canal Historical Society talks on Thomas Brassey and on Early railways of the East Midlands, a couple from the Churches Conservation Trust, and Literature Cambridge on “Playing for time in Hamlet.” Our daughter-in-law Sarah, the real brains of the family, had an article (based on her PhD) published in Nature – www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-84278-7
I continued to produce a daily Facebook Ramble. Here they are, saved for posterity (I hope posterity will be grateful).
I had a day in Sheffield to give platelets – and reached 250 donations (each platelet donation counts as three).
Julie and I have enjoyed four lovely days out at Kedleston. Enjoy these photos.
In the Vicarage, enjoy the bulbs and the magnolia.
I walked 28 miles in January, 5 in February and 41 in March – so I have done 74 miles in the first Quarter. Quite a way to go.