Privacy versus lockdown

There is a new outbreak at a chicken processing plant in Perthshire. It's disappointing that we use the euphamism "chicken processing plant" rather than slaughterhouse which is what it is. Outbreaks in slaughterhouses have been quite common and it's not yet clear why. It could be the cold temperatures or the conditions people have to… Continue reading Privacy versus lockdown

Test and trace needs to be better

Aberdeen is going into its third week of lockdown now. Nicola Sturgeon announced today that although cases have fallen here there are still too many to lift the restrictions. According to local papers the city council does not support the continued lockdown. I feel some sympathy for the city council and my view is the… Continue reading Test and trace needs to be better

Lake Polmuir

There's lots of news today. We got woken by a massive thunderstorm this morning with torrential rain. The rain was so heavy that many streets in Aberdeen and Stonehaven  flooded. This is Polmuir Road in Aberdeen at around 8:30am this morning. The water has subsided now. A train derailed in Aberdeenshire this morning killing three… Continue reading Lake Polmuir

Aberdeen back in lockdown

Another lockdown has been imposed on Aberdeen today after a local outbreak starting at The Hawthorn Bar on Holburn Street. This is actually very close to us but none of us have been there or indeed gone to any pubs for quite some time. There's a rumour circulating, and I'm unsure of the veracity of… Continue reading Aberdeen back in lockdown

Be cautious, COVID app, wild swimming, and distance education

The lockdown has mostly ended here insofar as much as it can end. Things won't return to normal until there's a vaccine but shops are allowed to open and people can go for holidays. Nevertheless our life hasn't really changed. I'm still working from home. Ben is still working from home. The kids just finished… Continue reading Be cautious, COVID app, wild swimming, and distance education

A bird feeder and 50% off eating out

The bird feeder in our backyard fell apart so we replaced it with one of those feeders that sticks to the outside of your window. They're made in the UK by Meripac. I stuck it on the window yesterday and within hours there were birds there. Here's a picture of it with three birds (the… Continue reading A bird feeder and 50% off eating out

Embarrassing myself and the summer solstice

I'm finding the face mask I bought almost impossible to use. I wore it to Marks & Spencer this morning and I find it so hard to breathe that I have to take huge gasps of air with my mouth open. Today I inadvertantly inhaled some of my own spit which triggered a fit of… Continue reading Embarrassing myself and the summer solstice

Union Street is closed to cars | Pics by the River Dee

The Aberdeen City Council was awarded a £1.76million grant to widen pavements, install temporary bike lanes, and build one-way walking systems - all to create space for social distancing during the pandemic. I cycled into the city centre this morning and they've already closed part of Union Street to cars and buses (the part between… Continue reading Union Street is closed to cars | Pics by the River Dee

Haircuts, avocados, allotments, scones, and buying undies

I gave Daniel a haircut today. His hair was annoying him and he's been asking for a haircut for several weeks. I don't think he's going to be a grungy musician when he grows up. Here's the before and after photo. Many months ago I ate an avocado and decided to grow a plant from… Continue reading Haircuts, avocados, allotments, scones, and buying undies

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but in defence of Dominic Cummings …

It pains me to say this but I have some sympathy for Dominic Cummings right now. It has emerged today that he travelled from London to Durham sometime in March when his wife was showing symptoms of coronavirus so that his 4-year-old child could be near extended family for support. People are now calling for… Continue reading I can’t believe I’m saying this, but in defence of Dominic Cummings …

Ramblings on cycling, the pandemic, and climate change

I had such a busy week this week that I haven't had the chance to write since last weekend. It has been mostly work-related busy but also some cycling advocacy busy-ness too. We at the Aberdeen Cycle Forum published a list of ten suggestions for the city council to implement for social distancing. So far… Continue reading Ramblings on cycling, the pandemic, and climate change

A walk in the cemetery and frustration with the council

We're allowed to go out for exercise more than once per day now provided we maintain social distancing. We often don't go out at all because we do Joe Wicks' PE class daily and we also have the trampoline but it's nice to explore a bit on the weekend. The weather was very strange today.… Continue reading A walk in the cemetery and frustration with the council

Would you agree to quarantine in a “facility”?

There was a good article in The Times last weekend - Coronavirus: The new rhythms of life will jolt and jar as we try to live with this horrible teenager. In particular, I thought it would be good to get people's thoughts on this quote: “In Asia we are doing mandatory quarantining,” says Ben Cowling,… Continue reading Would you agree to quarantine in a “facility”?

City mobility index and the adaptability of kids

Citymapper has a mobility index which gives a graphical illustration of how locked down cities are over time. The data comes from public transport trips planned in the Citymapper app. According to this index, the two cities moving more than any other are Seoul and Hong Kong but both are still way down than is… Continue reading City mobility index and the adaptability of kids

Testing capacity in the UK and cruciferous vegetables

The UK seems to be finally catching up to Germany in terms of testing capacity, albeit a couple of months late. I'm not 100% sure why it has taken so long but the government here says it's because we don't or didn't have much of a diagnostics industry in the UK. I think there's some… Continue reading Testing capacity in the UK and cruciferous vegetables

Contact tracing apps, escape room games, and two interviews

Ben uses a very old smartphone of mine, an iPhone 4S. He's never been able to download any apps to it or to his Mac due to a problem with his Apple ID. It's not something that has particularly bothered him because he's a bit of a Luddite and only uses the phone as a… Continue reading Contact tracing apps, escape room games, and two interviews

When will it start and when will it end?

Before the lockdown started it seemed like everyone was desperate for it to begin - "When are schools closing?", "Why haven't schools closed yet?" Now that we're in lockdown is seems like everyone is asking, "When will it end?" I can't see how it can end any time soon because the virus will just rebound… Continue reading When will it start and when will it end?