My nose says no

So, no further restriction will be ordered by the Boris’s cabinet regarding the ever increasing Omicron cases in England? And some may rejoice and be merry because no police will be banging on their doors their end of the year celebrations?

Whatever BJ spins, it is definitely ‘every man for himself’ now. So be sensible, everyone…

One least favourite thing about COVID-19 for me is lateral flow test. Every time I stick a cotton bud tip deep into the back of my nostril and push it around, my nose becomes very runny and it really sucks! My nose’s equilibrium is disturbed and it lets me know the displeasure…

I know that it is very important that we keep testing ourselves as often as possible. But the experience isn’t great and I simply hate it.

Nobody knows how 2022 may unfold but I imagine lateral flow test is here to stay, unfortunately for my sensitive nose…

Have a lovely (& safe) new year eve celebration, everyone! Let’s our fingers firmly crossed that the year 2022 will be a much better and happier one!!

Back home safely!

My flat is as cold as a tomb but I’m so happy to be home! I’m back in London, MY HOME!!

We filled up our VW at a petrol station on Upper Street. You never know that another petrol crisis caused by the shortage of lorry drivers may be around the corner if this Omicron business spreads further. So annoying.

It is because the heating has been off for the past five days, the flat is taking forever to warm up. I am writing this with my winter jacket on.

Warming up my fingers with a cuppa…

The journey from Yorkshire was smooth and swift until we came near Luton. The four lanes were reduced two lanes and as a result it caused chaos. ‘What the heck is going on?!’

We lamented that we could have been home much sooner if this bottleneck didn’t happen. Then after frustrating 30 minutes of waiting, the traffic started to crawl forward and eventually we were free! ‘Oh, look! That’s what it was!’ We spotted a telltale sign of the accident on the fast lane – sand was chucked over the leaked petrol and two wrecked cars were pulled to hard shoulder. One of the cars looked like a write-off but there seemed to be no injury. Good for them!

Oh, I hope the flat will be sufficiently warm before I go to bed tonight. My toes hurt because it is still COLD!

Christmas 2021

It’s been a long long time since my last post. The reason for my absence from the blogosphere was because I kind of lost interest in blogging during the second lockdown and ended up leaving it to gather digital dust.

I’m in Yorkshire right now, typing this while sitting on the floor and my back leaning against a sofa. By my left knee, there is a finished bowl of Christmas pudding and in the background, a BBC news is announcing how many people have contracted that dread C.

Who has imagined the Christmas 2021 will be like this? It’s not as bad as the last one – at least we’ve made it up north so Paul’s dad doesn’t have to endure another festive season alone, but the pandemic business is as worrying as ever. And my father-in-law gleefully informs that our local area has one of the highest corona virus cases!

Despite that, we are heading back to London tomorrow morning and I am looking for it. I can’t wait to sleep in my own bed and to behave as I please. Bella won’t be told off by scratching the old carpet and I don’t have to listen to Paul’s dad’s endless monologues…

History always repeats itself…

So Dominic Cummings has left No.10 (and I rejoice with the news!). Well, it is always the case, isn’t it? The tail gets too big for the head and as a result, it’s get casted off.

The angry-faced land turtle’s fall from the grace reminds me about another such man, Jacques Cœur. A famous self-made man in the 15th Century Bourges France.

Mum and I visited Bourges during our road trip in 2018 and had an opportunity to visit Jacques Cœurs Palace which was one of the tourist attractions.

Jacques Cœurs Palace on the left!

As the name suggests, the place was built by Jacques Cœurs, who was born as a son of a marchant around the end of the 14th Century. Despite his humble origin, he amassed his wealth through hard work and his knack for successful business dealings.

French château style

Because of his outstanding financial acumen, Charles VII made him master of mint in 1436. The king’s instruction to Cœur was to reform the present coinage system and he must have impressed the king with the end result so much because the king decided to promote him as steward of the royal expenditure three years later.

A huge fireplace!
Simple but beautiful masonry work
All the rooms were huge!
Beautiful decor!

His rise to a position of influence was symbolised by the ennoblement of him and his family in 1441. The king sent him to numerous important foreign missions as ambassador.

Another ornate fireplace…
Overdoor sculpture…
Another reference to Cœur’s wealth through trading overseas…
More intimate gallery with a model of the palace…

With his amassed fortune through his various offices of states, he built more than a few palatial properties and the Bourges’ one was most luxurious amongst them.

Family chapel was most richly decorated…
Beautiful ceiling!
A tour coming almost to the end…

Jacques Coœur’s fall from the grace came in 1451 when the king ordered his arrest.

Is this Cœur himself?

Because of Cœur’s monopoly over banking and trading caused lots of resentment amongst his contemporaries, even the king himself. Around his arrest, the king was planning a campaign for Guienne and the seizure of the accused’s assets was convenient addition to his war chest.

Out of door, out of pocket…

Those people, who ousted from the power, never learn from history, do they? The reality is, nobody is indispensable and if you make too many enemies, you will be pushed out in the cold sooner or later.

The place was confiscated by the king…

In the 19th Century, the place was used as a courthouse and underwent a careful restoration work in the 20th Century.

‘Shall we move on, Mum?’ we decided to head towards the town centre for late lunch.

London half filled

Last Monday, Hubbie and I went to a clinic on Fleet Street for flu jab. Since the jab reputed to reduce the risk of serious hospitalisation from corona virus, it was a no-brainer decision for us.

From a double decker’s window toward Aldrich…

It was still a few days shy of the second lockdown but the city looked like starting to wind down already. The traffic was light and the streets were empty.

‘Let’s have lunch at Shake Shack!’ We walked towards Covent Garden along Drury Lane.

Surprisingly, building works along the street were busy and somehow furious while theatres and restaurants were deathly still. We wondered what kind of landscape would emerge after this COVID-19 saga.

QR codes filled world is a pain!

At Shake Shack, we were told to scan a QR code in order to pay for our food and drink. However, the procedure didn’t work despite we each tried using our iPhones more than five times. In the end, Hubbie donned a face mask went to the inside of the restaurant and placed the order.

Yay, my burger & chips!

During the first lockdown, Shake Shack was shut down completely – even delivery service, and as a result, we were deprived of our small weekend joy (SS burgers & fries with Netflix) for nearly six months. I hope they will keep going with their takeaway service this time around.

Giant mistletoes over our heads…

We found it so ironic that no one would be allowed to kiss under those mistletoes this Christmas unless you were wearing a face mask. Why on earth did they choose mistletoes as this year’s display? Being ironic?…

The clinic was a stone’s throw from High Court of Justice…

A few tv crews were setting up cameras at a traffic island in front of the high court’s entrance and we wondered if it was anything to do with Johnny Depp’s lost libel case.

I must say that the clinic was the busiest place in London! People filed in every few minutes for the jab and a woman at the reception looked overwhelmed by the surge.

I felt relieved that we both managed to receive the jabs before the lockdown. Two weeks ago, when I booked our appointment, I had no idea that the second lockdown would start from the 5th November. The clinic may stay open for emergency but I can’t imagine they open for routine appointments such as vaccination.

After the clinic, we walked along Chancery Lane towards Grey’s Inn Road & Clerkenwell Road junction.

‘Wow, there are so many buildings and premises related to the legal professions here!’ I was excited to find a few men’s clothings shops, like Jermyn Street’s, but a barrister’s wig and a gown in their window display.

This is what I brought home. A Christmas card and a musical box for my mom…

I bought them from Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop in Covent Garden. They stock fabulous 3-D cards and also pretty gifts for all ages. The shop floor was reduced to half and most of the items were behind the counter but the display was dense and it was lovely to be surrounded by beautiful and cheerful objects! The owner remembered me because he was a big fan of Bella and we chatted about our experiences during the first lockdown. We both agreed that the past six months were just a blur, despite many local and global crises. It was like endurance swimming without a goal in sight, we mulled…

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