Recovery from COVID-19 will be a very long haul

You may have heard about the report from Imperial College, on which the government’s current COVID-19 policy is based. You can download it from their website, and there’s also a summary there:…/…/

It’s long but well worth reading. I rather hope I’ve misunderstood it. But if not, my main takeaway is this:

The very restrictive measures introduced on 16 March 2020 (plus also possibly school and university closures) are likely to be in effect, for periods of many weeks, roughly two-thirds of the time on / one third off, until a vaccine is widely available. This means the next 18 months or possibly longer.

So any rescheduling of events is a gamble, with odds of a successful re-staging of about 2 to 1 against.

I can understand why the government is not making a big thing of this, focussing instead on what people need to do here and now. Because quite frankly, it’s very depressing. But anyone who needs to plan and prepare properly should read the report and make their decisions accordingly.

And if I’ve got it wrong, do please tell me.

It also really emphasises the need for everyone to be stringent about all the social distancing measures. The effectiveness of those directly affects the number of ICU admissions – and that figure is the trigger for the restrictions being put in place, and then (as they reduce) temporarily lifted.

I wish everybody the best physical and mental health possible in these turbulent times.


Can we restore someone’s faith in human nature?

I’m putting this on my blog so that I can link to it from Twitter. I hope you can help.

Yesterday (Wednesday 18 Dec) I saw an incident at an ATM in Birmingham town centre. A young woman had taken some cash out, but several notes were caught by the wind. She managed to retrieve all but one – which was snaffled by a young lad who promptly ran off with it.

Fortunately I was on my bike, so I was able to catch up with the scally and persuade him to hand the twenty over. But by the time I got back to the ATM, the lady had disappeared. I asked around, and rang the emergency number, but to no avail.

So… can we share this far and wide? If it gets to the rightful owner, all she has to do is get in touch (my contact details are on this page) with the location of the ATM and I’ll arrange to get the money to her.

I suppose £20 isn’t that much nowadays, but I know that something like this can be unsettling, so more than anything I’d just like her to know that not everyone is like the chancer who scarpered with her cash.

Thanks all!

See me in a fashion show

I’ve had a fair few jobs over the years, but I’ve never been a fashion model.

Until now.

I’ve been asked to don Versace and other designer brands for a charity fashion show in aid of Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, Selly Oak.

The show is on Monday 23 May at 7.30pm, at the Bromsgrove Hilton.

Tickets are £15 and all the proceeds will go to this very good cause. The hospice gave a huge amount of comfort and support to the mother of a very good friend of mine as she approached the end of her life recently.

No online ordering I’m afraid, but if you would like tickets then email me or get in touch via Twitter, and we’ll sort something out via PayPal or good old-fashioned methods.

Or you could get them in person at George Davis Hairdressing, 14 St. John Street, Bromsgrove, B61 8QY.

Singles reviewed as if they were Archers characters

The Lipster has reviewed this week’s singles (well, some of them) as if they were Archers characters.

Morrisey’s new single is described “as all rather spineless, but in a pleasant enough way”, which equates it to “wet” Nic Hanson.

And Thunderheist’s Sweet 16 is compared to sexy Annabelle Schrivener.  “…Rather like Krystal Carrington with her high-falutin’ head for business and bod for sin, Annabelle also has a fearfully dirty way of intoning sentences about protection orders on local bird’s nests. She is, to use modern parlance, well fierce…”

It won’t mean much to non-Archers listeners, but The Lipster clearly knows her (I suspect it’s a her) music and her Archers, which makes her a top bean in my book.

(Do books have beans?)

Rage wants amateur actors

Rage, which teams amateur performers with professional directors, is about to cast its next production – Our Country’s Good.

They’re looking for people 16+ (older than school leaving age) for an  open workshop audition 11am – 5pm on  Saturday 31 Jan in Birmingham.

The play will be rehearsed at a central location, three evenings a week.

The show will be performed 14 – 16 May at a  Birmingham theatre (they haven’t said which one yet).

They’re also intersted in hearing from people who want to work behind the scenes.

Full details