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Life in Virulent Times

Coolkorat · 44 · 9101

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Online Coolkorat

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Any day now someone will come up with a catchy name to encapsulate these momentous times.

In an effort to maintain sanity and humanity I have decided to try and record what is going on, and how it impacts me and my family. So, to start:

Sunday 22nd March - Mother's Day

By the 22nd we were already being told to keep away from the elderly, so our plans to spend Mother's Day with my parents, brother etc. were abandoned. Restaurants were still open, and it was surprising how many were prepared to ignore the tide of opinion and gather with the elderly. In a week or two this might prove to be folly on their part.

This is Silverdale Glen; everyone keeping their distance from the handful of other people about.

The first picture is the Monk's Bridge, close to the Abbey in Ballasalla. This was part of the ancient road system on the Isle of Man, and the bridge is over 1000 years old.

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Thursday 26th March

Less than a week since the schools closed early. The Island now in lockdown: within 24 hours the borders were totally closed (even to residents). Every non-essential shop closed. Enforced social distancing. Limits to shop entry and strict queuing protocols. To ensure we do not succumb to endless screen time we are finding other ways to be creative. Today it was still life drawing.

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Friday 27th March

Alex is missing his swim training, and is trying to maintain fitness (as we all are). He does a circuit every day, and really works hard.

Charlotte does too, and she still has school work to do. This is her doing her work online.


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We went out for a fast-paced walk. I've always wanted to photograph this church but it has never been practical to stop the car as it is on a busy road. We walked past it and I took the opportunity. It seems sombre and melancholic but was not planned that way. It makes me think about the terrible situation in Italy and Spain, and what the UK and US may have coming.

I'll try and keep any future posts positive and avoid this type of picture!

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Online sfs

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Thanks for sharing those photo's of real life Coolkorat. this situation is certainly going to change all our lives for who knows how long, but finding things to keep you occupied is vital and you and your family seem achieved this, so thank you for your insight.

Keep safe and best regards

Steve
If at first you don't succeed you are clearly not cut out for it. Give up and move on.


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Very informative report and that pic of the Church is stunning


Online Coolkorat

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Thanks for your kind words sfs and Caller: I am going to keep posting, and sharing what we find to keep us occupied. Please treat this thread as a place for us all, and feel free to add your own experiences in these trying times.


Offline Alfie

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Yes, great photos, CK.

As for me filling in the time, I have changed the derailleur gear cable on my bike - something I've been meaning to do for about a year. Now it's done. I've also fixed up my wife's bike, which had been sitting alone and neglected for ages. It is now roadworthy and has been used several times already.

One thing I planned to do this month was go to the dentist. That has been postponed for at least a month, maybe longer.


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Hi CK,

I really love the picture of the Monk's Bridge. Just imagine how many people used it in all these years......


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CK thanks for the pics - a nice change of pace here  :)
You're looking pretty fit for a change, doing those press ups and leaps  ;)

Take care.



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You're looking pretty fit for a change, doing those press ups and leaps  ;)

Obviously Alex is a chip off the old block and takes after his father in the fitness stakes. The apple never falls far from the tree etc....


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Yes, great photos, CK.

Thanks Alfie! Have you been able to take any pictures recently?

As for me filling in the time, I have changed the derailleur gear cable on my bike - something I've been meaning to do for about a year. Now it's done. I've also fixed up my wife's bike, which had been sitting alone and neglected for ages. It is now roadworthy and has been used several times already.

The local police have been complaining about cyclists abusing the 'one period of daily exercise' exemption; various people have been going for mega-rides (one did a full six hours in the saddle yesterday and foolishly put it on Strava). Cycling is massively popular over here; Mark Cavendish is currently staying at his house in Laxey with his family (but he has a fancy indoor set-up).

One thing I planned to do this month was go to the dentist. That has been postponed for at least a month, maybe longer.

My appointments with both dentist and hygienist have been cancelled and the dentists are closed. Emergency only and at the hospital.

It also isn't possible to get a haircut: we might look like 1970's throwbacks when we emerge from this!


Online Coolkorat

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I really love the picture of the Monk's Bridge. Just imagine how many people used it in all these years......

Thanks Robert. There are various ancient roads that start at the Abbey and go to all the religious sites. St. Patrick came to the Isle of Man on his way to Ireland, and we also do not have any snakes (of the legless, slithering variety. We have plenty in the commercial sector). Your reply prompted me to try and find maps of these old roads; there is a book in the Manx Museum but I can't access it but am determined to now!


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Sunday 29th March

We are allowed to go out for a "reasonable" period for exercise (but driving anywhere is frowned-on). Luckily we have a park only five minutes walk up the road, so off we went. Skipping has become a daily exercise for us all: I'd forgotten how hard it is! No wonder boxers use it!

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Gandy's Circus is not coming anymore. But the signs are still posted everywhere (and probably will be for months; who is going to take them down?).

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No one bowling; usually a sunny Sunday would see a competition in full swing. There are a number of greens here, all imaculate.

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Alex loves basketball and it is very popular here. There is a large community from the Philippines and they are avid players. Basketball must be one of the fastest-growing sports in the UK.

Everyone had a go shooting hoops. Alex has a significant advantage over his tiny sister, but she got plenty of hoops!

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The Centinery bandstand. Can't see this being used during the summer....

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In a handful of weeks this park would be full of show tents and, VIP areas and food courts. It is besides the grandstand and the main area for the TT. No TT this year - it is cancelled.

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I've always the loved design of this terrace. I don't think it would get planning permission these days, which is a shame.

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With the hour going forward at the weekend it seemed later than it was. Long shadows, including mine.

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Online dam12641

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Great photos.
And in the spirit of posting some feelgood stuff.
I'd post the below.
A city that can produce this has nothing to fear from anything.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Py6Zs2xbPCg

(please indulge me!)


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Great photos.

Thanks Dam!

A city that can produce this has nothing to fear from anything.

Massed pipes are something else; one of the most evocative sounds there is. Once this dreadful period is history I hope they do this again in NYC.



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Basketball must be one of the fastest-growing sports in the UK.

They have been saying that since I was at school in the 70's!!!

I remember that my school in SW London got through to the all London finals so off we went, bussed to somewhere in the Swiss Cottage area to support the boys. We lost, I left, and that was that.


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For those Brits feeling fretful about home, the Houses of Parliament :-

https://www.thejigsawpuzzles.com/Puzzle-of-the-Day/Big-Ben-and-Houses-of-Parliament-London-jigsaw-puzzle
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


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Monday 31st March

We had a brief escape to go to the supermarket for milk and bread. It's only 15 minutes walk away.

This terrace of houses has very unusually, ornate brickwork. Clearly Victorian, they also have flat roofs which must have been very rare at that time. Each block is named after a duke (and the terrace is on Upper Dukes Road).

The poacher sign is a well-worn joke!

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Everyone is cooking/ baking/ keeping fit/ creating. Charlotte and I made this marble cake. It was pretty tasty! Alex ate a massive chunk almost immediately.

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Tuesday April 1st

April Fools Day. I'm not sure anyone is in a joking mood at the moment and I haven't noticed the usual 'funnies'.

My sketchbook from the Brooklyn Art Library finally arrived. These strange times mean I will have things to put in it to record a period that will be notable and historic. One day what I include might give someone an insight into life under C-19 and what started as an curiosity for me (before Covid 19) may turn out to be more worthwhile.

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Offline Alfie

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Monday 31st March
This terrace of houses has very unusually, ornate brickwork. Clearly Victorian, they also have flat roofs which must have been very rare at that time. Each block is named after a duke (and the terrace is on Upper Dukes Road).


A nice bit of Flemish Bond brickwork, CK. Are the yellow bricks painted or the bricks actually yellow (unpainted)?


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A nice bit of Flemish Bond brickwork, CK. Are the yellow bricks painted or the bricks actually yellow (unpainted)?

I think they are actually yellow bricks Alfie: they are consistent along the entire terrace and I don't recall seeing anyone paint them over the years. I'll have a closer look next time I pass.


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Thursday 2nd March

We limit our main shop to every 10 days (roughly), but need to get milk and bread more often. We get through a lot of milk and a lot of eggs. Charlotte has always been vegetarian (well, pescatarian as we do make her eat fish). Alex has also gone mainly vegetarian, including drinking soya milk and avoiding fish. We now eat very little meat, which is no consolation when I walk past the butcher and see very enticing joints and well-aged steaks in the display. Alex does make exceptions: Toad in the Hole and fajitas being the main ones.

So we had a family excursion to Marks and Spencer. The promenade is just down the hill, so off we went. The little castle is the Tower of Refuge on Conister Rock, built by Sir William Hillary the founder of the RNLI after he witnessed a shipwreck on it (and participated in the rescue of stranded sailors). At the height of the Isle of Man's tourism industry 100 years ago, a cafe operated from there (people could rent rowing boats to row round the bay).

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The offices of Utmost, a financial services company. Used to be Axa International. I've never been inside but it is an interesting building given it is only 20-something years old.

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We headed off around the harbour, passing the older piers on the way, and Douglas Lifeboat station which houses the 'Sir William Hillary'. His former residence overlooks the station. The RNLI boots are a fitting display!

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Douglas Head was a major tourist site. The bay in front of the lighthouse was full of cafes, an open air pool, landing jetties for rowing boats. There was even a furniclar up the hill (long gone). The Camera Obscura still operates and opens in the summer (in normal times).

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This is a memorial to the men from the Isle of Man who died at Trafalgar. There were a disproportionate number of Manxmen in the British fleet, perhaps understandable given the IOM is a seafaring nation with a long tradition of producing mariners. Fletcher Christian of Mutiny on the Bounty fame, whilst not born on the Isle of Man, came from a Manx family and moved back in his teens. Captain Bligh was married in Onchan on the island. Captain John Quilliam was First Lieutenant on HMS Victory at Trafalgar.

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Further round the headland is Marine Drive. Now closed to traffic, the road follows the cliff and is spectacular in places. This is the former tollhouse.

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Retracing our steps and the sun came out. The red shape in the foreground is a huge poppy memorial.

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Back down the headland and into town down the long steps. Easier going down, but many people run up and down these for exercise. A few times up and down gets the heat beating!

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Wednesday 1st April

We are trying to avoid too much screen time. My wife has decided to learn the ukulele, and Charlotte decided to have a go. Alex plays guitar: he prefers his electric guitar but is just as good with the acoustic. Both of them also play piano, and Charlotte also plays violin. I am the least musical person going; they didn't get this from me! They can also read music, which is a mystery to me.

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