Tesco Hermiston Gait, Edinburgh, Monday 16 March 2020
A rare digression into talking here about the day job.
Okay, so perhaps the impulse to make light of COVID-19 hasn’t left me yet…
There are reports today that Tom Hanks and his wife have contracted coronavirus on the Gold Coast in Australia, where he was filming a movie about Elvis Presley. How distressing for them both, and what a rotten break for a fine actor. But an Elvis movie… well, it’s hard not to enjoy a moment of black humour before the shutters come down, because it turns out there’s an Elvis song for every COVID-19 mood.
U.S. national park illustrations based on their worst reviews. In a similar vein, my old upstairs neighbour (and Australia’s best editorial cartoonist) has illustrated Australian national parks after the bushfires. Poor Depot Beach.
In January and February I linked to advice from Laurie Garrett and Ian Mackay on preparing for the coronavirus now known as COVID-19†. After bubbling under the surface of the main news headlines in the UK for weeks, last week it leapt to the forefront; it was pretty hard to downplay the shutdown of northern Italy and now the whole of it. I’d not posted about it here (apart from those links) because I’m no more an expert than anyone else, but as of this week J. is part of UK efforts to test for the disease—on the coordination side rather than in the lab—and not much seems more important than that. We’re so proud of her.
Edinburgh, 7 March 2020
Such a great place to photograph Edinburgh Castle from. But yes, there really is a car park in the way.
It hasn’t been much of a winter for snow in Edinburgh, which seems to have missed most of it this year; we had some cold days and a few flurries, but nothing that settled for long. Now the weather is shifting and the blooms are out, and that seems to be that.
Here are some photos of the start of the year around Edinburgh.
We went away for a few days in the kids’ February term break, staying on a small farm in Warenton in Northumberland, a few miles inland from Bamburgh. The weather was pretty bleak, with one storm having just passed and another just arriving—on the drive home through the Cheviots we drove gingerly through a lot of flooded roads—but we enjoyed holing up for a couple of nights by the fire, feeding the sheep and the chickens, seeing the castle in Bamburgh and Barter Books in Alnwick, and going for a walk up an anonymous peak nearby, with traces of a neolithic hill-fort at the top of it. Here are a few photos of it all, to go with the fine fellow on this month’s sidebar.