If ever there was a stark contrast …  The image of Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, on Clapham Common on Saturday, like so many others, paying her respects at the bandstand memorial to Sarah Everard and her family.  She, herself, used to walk around London at night before she was married and, thus, the tragic abduction and murder of Sarah – at the hands of a man meant to protect – struck a chord.  So, too, did Kate’s humility.  She wasn’t there in a formal role, a future Queen, representing the Royal family.  Dressed casually in jeans, trainers and a Barbour, devoid of make-up, she seemed entirely on her own as, deep in thought, she wanted nothing more than to blend in with the other mourners.  Of course, as she stood by the mountain of flowers, reading the cards and notes left in an outpouring of grief – and shock – those around her did a double-take but afforded her respect.  This, after all, was private Kate; a young mother who, despite her position, has never forgotten who she is and the life which made her so.  Deserving of huge respect.  Selflessly and silently, she succeeded in cleansing moaning Meghan from our minds.  A reminder that, in this increasingly dark world, she represents something good …

More praise for Kate!  Mother’s Day yesterday, George, Charlotte and Louis had, each, made cards for ‘Granny Diana’.  Posted on the Cambridges’ instagram account, kensingtonroyal, one couldn’t fail to be moved by the handwritten messages to a granny they never met but to whom they would have meant the world!  So sad.  It is clear, though, that William and Kate have ensured that Diana’s memory is kept very much alive and that George, Charlotte and Louis grow up knowing how much they are loved by Granny Diana even though she can’t be there in person.  ‘Papa is missing you.’  Every minute of every day, I’m sure.  Apparently, Kate has her children make cards for Diana every year, someone she never met, either.  A tribute to her husband.  Less vocal than Harry, perhaps, it is these little gestures which are a reminder of what could have been and the loss William will carry with him always.

Cheery.  I don’t feel at all cheery today and I know I’m not alone.  Yesterday was a pensive one and I ended up climbing Hill of Tarvit, an old childhood haunt.  It was somewhere I used to go with Tarquin – our Heinz 57 – or Poubelle, as I used to call him.  French for ‘dustbin’, he would eat anything and everything!  He would sit beside me, on the summit, as we pressed pause and reflected on the world, the beautiful countryside stretching before us in every direction.  I have long been a lover of nature and the solitude it affords.  One of the things I loved most was to go riding on my own, just me and Teasy, free.  Time to think.  Time for perspective.  Time for humility.  Yesterday, I was reminded of the passage of time as, out of breath, I struggled to climb a hill which once I took in my stride.  Nothing else had changed.  The old gate, the style and … that view.  I made it, only to hear voices and discover two beany-clad old ducks with their flask of coffee having a natter while sitting on the monument.  Just me and Nature, then.  Superb!  God was laughing and, I concede, it did make me smile.  Walking over the other side, I sat down on the grass as the wind blew my wild hair ever wilder.  From there, I could almost spot Lyndhurst as I surveyed the scenes of my childhood and the ghosts of those no longer here.  A good thing to do?  Not sure.  Probably too sad but, then, I was so lucky growing up and, for that, I shall always be grateful.  After a while, I walked back down, over the style and through the wooded path at the back of the house.  With a ground covering of snowdrops, crocuses and daffodils bursting to bloom – and the huge rhodie bushes just waiting for May – the promise of spring was everywhere; the circle of life.

Good job one is oblivious to that which lies ahead!  Lots to write about, though.  What’s more, lots of time to write about it!  Seriously, what is going on?  Is there any end to this?  While the vaccine was hailed as the Second Coming, as it is increasingly rolled out, there is no change.  Imprisoned, still, living life according to instruction, lockdown continues.  Nowhere to go, nothing to do, permitted to see no-one – family or friends – SAGE are warning of an ‘inevitable ‘third wave!   Shoot me now!  Nobody can live like this indefinitely.  Conspiracy theories aside, there is something sinister afoot and not least the seemingly blind acceptance of the masses.  As people are content to be summoned, herded and injected, the news, today, is that the Netherlands is the seventh country to pause the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine until further investigation into a possible link to blood clots.  Seventh country!

First alerted to this by an item on the ITV News at Ten, last Thursday (11/3/21), Tom Clarke, ITV’s Science Editor was tasked with playing it down.  I wrote down some of the figures he produced in his argument: of the 11+million doses of the Oxford vaccine administered as of the end of February, there have been 201,622 – what they refer to as – ‘adverse events’ and 275 deaths.  Help!  No, no, don’t panic.  According to Tom, ‘it sounds like a lot but only 1/100 people are having any kind of adverse event’.  To clarify, that is only 1%, for goodness sake, and .001% deaths.  Gosh, it is difficult to read my scribbles in haste but one gets the picture.  Tom believes the number of adverse events and deaths to be miniscule.  Moreover, of the 201,622 adverse events, only 33 were blood-clot related with only 2 fatalities linked to the same.  Phew!  That’s alright, then.  For a moment, there, I thought we were in trouble …

In summing up, Tom went on to point out that if it did happen that the AstraZeneca vaccine was proven to be linked to blood clots, one must not forget that COVID massively increases one’s risk  of the same, especially in the older age brackets, and therefore, it makes sense that the vaccine would still be the better option.  Well, it reduces the risk of catching COVID and … the chances of an adverse event – or fatality?  Well, rare.  Hopefully, you’ll be fine so get out there!  Fabby!  After all, it would be selfish not to …  Here endeth the umpteenth advert.  Did I pay for this?!  I thought I came to see Born Free not One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest …

The manipulation of data, the twisting of the narrative to suit is glaring.  Since last March, we have been bombarded with inflated statistics designed to scare.  One need not be a member of MENSA to question the validity of figures, below which – in small print – are the words, ‘including deaths for any reason within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test’, or to that effect.  No matter the actual cause of death, somehow, it amounts to COVID!  Captain Sir Tom, of course, succumbed to the virus.  Well, makes for the most poetic ending, for want of a better word.  The fact that he was 100 years-old and had been suffering from pneumonia for the two weeks prior had nothing to do with it!  Similarly, I have written, previously, of hearing, first-hand, from someone who, when his mother died before Christmas, had to fight tooth and nail to have COVID removed from her death certificate.  It was lies.  Others, meanwhile, were less successful as their relatives, falsely, became inflated statistics.

Looking back at my notes on the Excess Death Data discussed in The Telegraph’s podcast, Planet Normal, with Allison Pearson and Liam Halligan (14/1/21) said manipulation is there to see.  The number of excess deaths for 2020 was cited as being 75,000 above that of 2019 but to what extent was that due to COVID or, more precisely, our policy response to it?  For example, early on, stuffing care homes full of hospital patients, untested; the ceasing or curtailing treatment of major killers such as cancer and heart disease; the numbers too frightened to go to hospital or unable to secure a GP appointment …  Drill down and it becomes clear that a large chunk of these excess deaths occurred in the home, unrelated to COVID!  The data is misleading.  The headlines are misleading.  Cause of death, regardless, is listed as COVID.  In my notes from that podcast, I have written that the winter death rate of 2020 was comparable to that of the previous five years.  The reason for the excess is due to that spike in spring, not winter!

The manipulation of data for the cause.  The thing is, what is the cause other than to instil fear curtailing any mutiny in the ranks?!  Regardless, the irony is glaring.  The minute the alarm bell is raised as to a possible link between the AstraZeneca vaccination and blood clots, 201,622 adverse events and 275 deaths in 11+million are all but dismissed as insignificant …  just not sure the relatives would agree.  One question, though, what does one surmise is given as the cause of death on the death certificate?  COVID?!  If it weren’t so tragic, it’s the sort of thing Monty Python, once upon a time, would have turned into a hilarious sketch … and then there was ‘woke’!

Look, I may have written a thesis rather than a post but some good news on which to finish: Greggs have just announced they will be opening 100 new shops this year and … Prince Philip, the invincible – and inimitable – Duke is out of hospital.  There is a God!  To end, I’m just going to guess at his wonderful humour which may have been in evidence on his departure.

Journalist:  Are you feeling better, Sir?
Prince Philip:  No, they’re just letting me out to choose my own wreath!

Happy 94th Birthday, Pop, wherever you are …

This is Trish, signing off.