With two days until Christmas the city centre is very quiet. It has been raining quite heavily most of the day. The worn steps at the bottom of Southgate Lane have funnelled the surface run off out into King Street where large puddles have formed.
The quality of light is poor, making the illuminations on the carousel in the piazza by St Peter Mancroft positively glow in contrast. The horses have a number of customers to carry today. Not just young children, but several adults having a good time as the machine spins them round to the tune of Land of Hope & Glory. Oh, the irony!
I cook a casserôle and attend to my work. A gift from a neighbour is gratefully received.
There is an announcement from HM Government that Norfolk will be joining London in Tier 4 of restrictions from 26th December. Scientists are calling for the restrictions to be imposed immediately, without waiting until Boxing Day.
From Portsmouth it is confirmed that the next two Pompey games have been postponed as five players have been diagnosed with Coronavirus. The whole squad has to go into isolation.
The latest figures suggest that Christmas Day will be the busiest day of all for NHS hospitals since the pandemic begun. Deaths reported today within 28 days of a Covid-19 diagnosis are the highest since 29th April 2020. 744 people have died.
An announcement is expected later this evening that a trade deal with the EU will have been agreed by the Brexit negotiating teams, subject to ratification in Brussels in 2021 and at Westminster.
Lorry drivers stuck in Kent unable to travel to Europe because of border closures brought on by the new variant Covid-19 emergence identified in England are not happy with the lack of hygiene facilities, nor food, nor testing kits. The Tory MP for Folkestone tried to play down the problem, suggesting that Kent was used to all this and everything will be resolved within a few days. In contingency planning for a “No Deal Brexit” everything was as it should be.
The French decision to close their ports to anyone without a clean bill of health means many drivers and families travelling privately will have to stay on Plague Island until a negative test result is obtained. The British Army has been deployed to help administer tests. The quick tests that are being used have been found to be wildly inaccurate only this week. A 30% rate of misdiagnosis having being identified.
Outside the temperature is dropping and I can hear the persistent gurgle of drains.