It is good to hear from you.
We are both good, although missing our singing with Argus.
Have cancelled two holidays (cruising) as have decided to stay in the U.K. There are plenty of places in the U.K. to go and see, although we have spent much time in our garden.
I have done 7 hanging baskets, they are beautiful, although I say it myself. We are even doing Tesco on line and David enjoys choosing.
Please take care and hope to see you all soon.
Barbara & David xx
Some good news to cheer us on our merry way.
Alison our eldest daughter, had a baby girl, Evie, August 10th, just before lunch!! 8lb7ozs.
Alison and Craig have Oscar aged 3,and now a beautiful daughter.
All doing well.
Unfortunately as you will have already anticipated we will not be starting Argus rehearsals in September.
It is so disappointing that singing will be at the bottom of the list to start (especially amateur).
We are booking dates from January - May 2021. Hopefully they will be able to happen.
Attached are the minutes from the Zoom committee meeting we had recently.
We aim to have a Zoom or Teams "speaking get together" for everyone on 5th September at 2pm.
Please join us if you can. It will be great to see each other, even though it will be remotely.
In the meantime take care & stay safe (& sane).
I wonder if you've seen this article which is more hopeful about singing? Studies are still at an early stage but it cheered me up this morning!
Full article "Singing might not be so great a risk, after all" extracts below.
"NEW scientific evidence from Germany has cast doubt on the claim that singing constitutes a high-risk activity in the transmission of Covid-19.
Stories about the danger of transmitting the coronavirus through singing have proliferated since the widely reported outbreak of Covid-19 in Washington State, where 53 of the 61 members of the Skagit Valley Chorale fell ill after rehearsals on 3 and 10 March, immediately before lockdown measures. The incident was subsequently correlated with two other “super-spreader” events involving choirs in Amsterdam and Berlin (News, 29 May). An investigation by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, however, established that Skagit Valley choir members were sitting six to ten inches from one another, and sharing snacks and stacking chairs together, and that 19 members with “probable symptoms” were never tested.
The one study based on research specifically into the safety of singing in the context of Covid has come from the Institute of Fluid Mechanics and Aerodynamics in Munich: “Singing in choirs and making music with wind instruments - Is that safe during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic?” In the study, detailed measurement of the ballistic propagation of larger droplets when singing and speaking, and the flow-related spreading of small droplets, was conducted with a professional singer and vocal coach at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, and two amateur choral singers and five professional musicians.
The Munich study concludes: “Air is only set in motion in the immediate vicinity of the mouth when singing. In the case of the professional singer, the experiments showed that at a distance of around 0.5 m, almost no air movement can be detected, regardless of how loud the sound was and what pitch was sung. It is therefore unlikely that the virus could spread beyond this limit via the air flow created during singing.”
The researchers deemed this to be “not surprising, since singing does not expel a large volume of air in jerks like coughing or sneezing”. They concluded, with provisos: “If the findings and recommendations from our quantitative measurements are taken into account, then making music in a community should be relatively safe.”
Similar experiments have been carried out for orchestral instruments, in research commissioned by the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic. The Freiburger Institüt fur Musikermedizin, which previously deemed singing a danger, has now released new guidelines that “Two metres will result in there being no increased risk of infection through droplets.”
They also conclude: “Singing in very large enclosed spaces such as concert halls and church spaces appears to be very favourable.
My daughter is working as a Quantity Surveyor in Germany, and sent me these thoughts about the effect of Covid-19 where she is living. It was a couple of weeks ago, and things have eased since she wrote this.
There has been no 'shielding' and outright bans on people leaving their home which has been good. Measures have predominately focussed on maintaining business as far as possible whilst trying to break the chain of infection. I have so far not been affected by shorter working hours, nor have I yet had to leave my job due to me belonging to a risk category (due to underlying health conditions, my age).
However, as the risks and infection rates worldwide grew, a lot of changes have taken place during the last two months. Lots of people, a number of my colleagues included, are now on compulsory part time working - 3 days a week for 6 hours a day. This is hard especially where you have families to look after. Other colleagues were compulsorily withdrawn from sites and sent home due to their age and / or other underlying health conditions. (These sites are in many different countries - not just Germany). The majority of the construction sites have closed as the countries in which these sites are located countries have fought to control the disease. Since 3 March 2020 business travel has just about stopped unless this is absolutely necessary. This is also the date that disinfection measures were stepped up throughout my ofﬁce location and was triggered after a co-worker was contacted through the track and trace programme instigated after a business trip meant he had had a meeting with someone who then tested positive for COVID-19. It meant 2 entire ofﬁces were on a compulsory 14-day home quarantine. Between that date (3 March 2020) and 16 March 2020 3 other ofﬁces went into compulsory home quarantine as suspect cases rose. Fortunately, even now at my location we have only had this one conﬁrmed case, despite under normal conditions a few thousand people work at this location under normal conditions.
In general, Germany was about 2 weeks behind Italy and Spain in closing Restaurants and non-essential (i.e. non food shops and non chemists) shops. These closures occurred on my ﬁrst or second day of working from home (i.e. 17 or 18 March). Other businesses have been allowed to operate provided that social distancing measures can be implemented and that extra hygiene measures were brought in (I dread to think how often my desk has been disinfected during my absence). From March onwards, a lot of companies undertook their own risk reviews and proactively requested those deemed to be 'at risk' of catching the infection to work from home where this is technically possible. This included myself as I travel to work by public transport. Others were given the option to work from home (again provided that the business did not suffer) to reduce the footfall into the ofﬁces.
Now if I want to go into the ofﬁce, I have to provide 48 hours notice, and I am not allowed to sit at my own desk as a colleague is sitting at another desk in my ofﬁce: he struggles to work from home effectively (his computer seems to dislike his home Internet) Despite this, there has still been a high level of relative freedom. Although staying at home was actively encouraged, public transport still ran (with people being encouraged to sit at least 1.5m away from neighbours) and more businesses appear to have remained open than in other neighbouring countries.
I send very warm wishes to all my Argus friends. It has been lovely to hear your news via the regular newsletters – many thanks to Helen and all contributors for these. I am fine, working and studying from home and looking forward to when we can come together again. Take care and all the best,
For one of my distractions during lockdown, please read on....A tomato story (with apologies to real gardeners!)
Good afternoon everyone.
How are you all doing?
I’m in our garden as I write this, enjoying the sunshine in between random bouts of pottering, weeding and generally keeping the place tidy.
We had a lovely afternoon on VE Day with our own private celebration of afternoon tea complete with bunting.
Since then, we have often had lunch or drinks in the garden, imagining which National Trust property we have visited that day.
It’s lovely to have the time to keep on top of jobs and enjoy the space we have.
It would be lovely to see what everyone else has been up to during recent times.
I hope you are all keeping well and staying safe.
Hi, we are both fine going walks when we can staying safe.
I had a phone call from DCC re work (lollipopman) well due to the fact I'm over 70 I should have been self isolating for 12 weeks, that was on the Thursday before schools closed, since then I've had county back on and school crossing patrols won't be going back until social distancing is eased - could be September looking forward to summer holidays.
I've had trouble with fb - lost all contacts so came off altogether rejoined with different email, now trying to get things back.
Well that my woes over,
stay safe take care
I guess most of you have spotted some glaring errors if you followed my previous contributions.
I can only apologise and suggest I'll do a bit more homework before my next culinary article.
So what has kept me distracted while in jail - apart from Pam's list of things to be done :)
Some of you may be aware that, since retiring, I have gone back to an earlier period and I'm building a model railway. We have restricted space and insufficient headroom in the loft but I'm allowed to use a spare room which was used as our son's 'playroom' among other things over the years. Up to now the base has been built, track mounted and wired then additional wiring done to separate out the points control from the track control. Various buildings, greenery and back drops have been made - several with Ian's help. There's still one section to prepare to the same state but I'm having a bit of 'fun' with the track in that area resulting in a slightly blue tinge to the atmosphere from time to time !
As David Harris says , the model will never be finished (he has one which has been longer in development) but I've included a couple of pictures to keep you all excited about it :) Eagle eyes may pick out a few trains located around and about AND a model of an OK double decker which you may remember passing through CLS on a route from Bishop Auckland to Newcastle.
We've had some new visitors to the garden this year including a pair of grey wagtails and a pair of blackcaps.
The video is of one of the wagtails taken a couple of weeks ago.
A pair of great tits have nested and are very busy zooming in and out of the bird box feeding their chicks.
Other residents/visitors (in order of arrival one day) include: Goldfinches, Wood pigeons, Collared doves, Blackbirds, Starlings, Robins, Wrens, Jackdaws, Pigeons, Blue tits, House sparrows, Dunnocks, Crows, Magpies, Chaffinches, Greenfinches.
They are lovely and the bird song is beautiful - but they leave so much poop!
Grey Wagtail (I think)