Another Monday, they do seem to come round quickly. The decorators are back to finish off. I heard one tell Bozzie they would be done in two days. If they worked after 3pm it would have been completed before the humans got home early. I certainly hope it’s that quick as I hate the smell of fresh paint. Wilf’s nursery looks nice though.
Bozzie has been busy pushing the back to school line. He’s all over the MSM this morning being quoted as saying how important it is that children go back to school in September for their education and mental health. The schools start back in Northern Ireland today and are already back in Scotland. The argument seems to be that pupils are mostly immune or only likely to get it very mildly, it’s teachers who spread it. I guess that explains how 17 teachers at a Dundee school have tested positive.
Last week people were allowed to book their driving tests for the first time since lockdown. So many tried that the website went down. The AA stated that they alone had several thousand people ready to take the test but found it impossible to make a booking. But this is only the start. There are an estimated 750,000 people waiting to start driving lessons but are unable to because they need to get a provisional driving license first and there is a massive wait for that. The DVLA say that are sending out 4,000 a day. At that rate, if you apply today it will be nearly 38 weeks before you get your license. The DVLA is based in Swansea and they blame the Welsh Government sticking rigidly to two metre social distancing in offices for slowing things down.
I read that Sky are going to make one of their paid-for channels free to view. Don’t get too excited as it’s only Sky Arts which I don’t think attracts a very big audience. It is going to be on Freeview from next month so if you have a Smart TV or still have one of the Freeview boxes you will be able to watch.
I see that Tesco are to hire 16,000 additional permanent staff. Not all these will be new jobs as they have taken on a lot of extra staff during lockdown and many of these people will be offered permanent positions. It is mostly associated with their home delivery service which has grown vastly under lockdown and 10,000 of the jobs will be order pickers and 3,000 will be delivery drivers. From the start of home deliveries nearly 10 years ago Tesco had grown it to 10% of their sales from 600,000 customers. Since lockdown they have suddenly leapt to 1.5 million online customers and 16% of their sales. Tesco have already taken on 4,000 extra staff, a mixture of permanent and temporary, since March. Compare this to Marks & Spencer who have just said that will be losing 7,000 staff. It’s no wonder Marks are going to deliver via Ocado from September.
Richie Nik-Nak is not very happy. A survey of 9000 furloughed workers has shown that 2/3rds have been illegally working during lockdown. Most of them have only been doing bits and pieces like answering the phone or emails. But 1/3rd of those working said they were forced to do so by their employers with the threat of redundancy if they didn’t comply. HMRC are investing 8,000 cases at the moment including 15 construction workers who were told to come to work, while their employers claimed furlough for them, on the pain of no job when furlough ended. Employers have 90 days to correct any claims or if found to have claimed wrongly will have to pay the whole claim back plus the same amount again as a fine.
The Scottishland Tories want a new law passed to expel any MSP who doesn’t turn up for six months. This has been triggered by the case of Derek Mackay who was the SNP Finance Minister. You may remember he resigned as a minister when he was accused of sending explicit emails to 16 year old boy and was thrown out of the SNP. He is now officially sitting as an independent but hasn’t been seen in Holyrood for over six months. This would have been a useful law in Westminster for dealing with a certain washing machine salesman.
Horrible wet morning, once I have had breakfast I will do a patrol around the offices (I refuse to go out) and then back to find an unused chair to curl up on. Bozzie was up early as he is off to Devon today. No news on how he’s travelling but as it’s so windy I hope for his sake it’s by train, a plane might be a bit bumpy today. As for rodent news, I still haven’t located where that pesky mouse is living, but I’m certain there is one, it’s only a matter of time before I find it. Then it’s bye-bye mousey.
I see Lord William Hague has upset the reader of the Daily Torygraph by writing an article supporting Sleepy Joe Biden. Hague reckons he will be a better president than Trump. I really don’t know how he can support a Lefty. It’s a long time since he visited No 10, if he comes here again I shall show him just how nasty I can be with people I don’t like.
Over the weekend there was a lot of fuss about an England and Manure footballer who had been arrested on a Greek Island for fighting. He got bail and flew home. Then the papers were full of stories about should he be picked for a forthcoming England match. Well, it looks like he may not be able to play as I hear he has tested positive for COVID-19, I wonder what he has been up to in Greece. Oh I nearly forgot, the rumour is that the one with the machine gun tattoo on his leg also tested positive.
It seems that the Canadian Conservative Party is looking stronger in the polls after their poor showing at the last election. Their new leader is proving to be more popular than that Trudeau block. One of the Conservatives policies is a free trading block between Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. I suspect that will go down well with Bozzie.
EasyJet is being sued in the Israeli courts for gender discrimination. A lady paid extra for a pre-allocated seat as she wanted an aisle seat on the flight from Tel Aviv to London. When she got to it the window seat and the middle seat was occupied by an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man and his son. The son immediately got up and went looking for a man to swap seats with the woman. When he found someone he asked her to swap and she refused. The men then tried to get the cabin crew to force her to move but she didn’t want to even when a stewardess offered her a free drink and an encouragement! She eventually swapped so as not to delay the flight. Most airlines would have got the men to move or have them offloaded as asking someone to move on gender grounds is illegal in Israel and many other places. When EasyJet ignored her complaints on several occasions she decided to sue. It will be interesting what the result is.
According to the MSM this morning an impeccable source, Dom’s father in law, has said that Bozzie is going to resign early next year as he is still suffering from long coronavirus symptoms. Well I had never heard him discussing this so I consulted my “impeccable source”, my cousin Jimmy’s next-door neighbours granny and they tell me the story is rubbish. If fact it has now been officially denied by a No 10 spokesman.
For today’s silly story I read that guerrilla gardeners have planted a small patch of potatoes next to Reading railway station. The gardening group, who specialise in trying to utilise unused tracts of land, were surprised when they received an email from Network Rail. It asked them to remove the potatoes as they feared it was going to cause the station car park to collapse! The gardeners have written back say the potatoes are in a trench about four inches deep but appear to be deeper because they have been earthed up as they have grown. However, if Network Rail can wait two weeks the potatoes will be ready to be harvested when they will happily dig them up!
Well, that wind was a bit much last night, it woke me up a few time. But, it’s much nicer this morning even got a bit of sunshine. The Little Otter even dished up chicken flavour Felix this morning. I tucked into it while she fed Wilf a bowl of mush, the Mutt had a concoction of half a tin of dog food with a load of dry stuff stirred and Bozzie had Porridge and a boiled egg and soldiers.
Bozzie has been having talks with the ex Australian PM Tony Abbot and it looks like he is going to appointed President of the Board of Trade. The Board was in limbo for a long time as the EU took over a lot of its functions however it was reconstituted in 2017 under the Department of International Trade and Liz Truss is the effective president. The idea is to give it more power when we are finally free of the EU and the new President will be tasked with travelling the world drumming up business deals for the UK while Liz Truss looks after the political side. Abbot was given a travel exemption by the Australian Government to travel to London and had Breakfast with Liz Truss this morning. Abbot had an English father, was born in London, hold dual nationality, is a climate change sceptic, Trump Supporter and is a Brexiteer. Sounds like a good bloke.
Usain Bolt, the sprinter, has tested positive for coronavirus. It was his 34th birthday last week and he held a big party. By Saturday he was worrying so he took a test and it has proved positive. Now he is having to isolate but says he doesn’t have any symptoms. The Jamaican police are investigating the circumstances of the party.
There must have been a lot of extra people using the Eat Out to Help Out scheme recently as they said on the radio that the number of meals sold had leapt to 64 million by this morning. Last week it had got up to 35 million and eateries were saying how well it was going. I heard of one restaurant in Bournemouth that said business was up 67% on the same time last year and that they had had to hire extra staff. After today there is only Monday next week left to take advantage and as it’s bank holiday I bet loads of places will be putting up their prices. The scheme seems to have been a huge success, I wonder if it has cost Richie Nik-Nak more than he expected.
Scientists at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) have discovered that a chemical in some insect repellents can kill COVID-19. The chemical, Citriodiol, has been known for some time to kill some Coronavirus strains, now their preliminary research shows it can kill COVID. The insect repellent has been issued to the military to be used in conjunction with hand washing, alcohol gel and face covering. Citriodiol is made from oil from the leaves and twigs of the eucalyptus citriodora tree. Insect repellents containing DEET might be good at keeping you safe from mosquitoes but they are useless against COVID.
A year old northern rockhopper penguin washed up on the beach in Western Australia has been taken to Perth Zoo where he has been found to be suffering from a feather moulting condition. To protect the zoo’s resident penguins he has been put into isolation. Unfortunately, the penguin, nicknamed Pierre, has become very lonely. So the keepers have taken to showing him episode after episode of Pingu which he appears to enjoy. They have also been showing him live-streams of the rockhopper penguins at Kansas City and Edinburgh zoos which he also quite likes.
A man in Leeds was woken up at two o’clock this morning by clucking noises in his bedroom. He grabbed his phone and using it as a torch discovered a snake on this bedside table. He leapt out of bed, ran across the room and put the light on and discovered a 4 foot corn snake half on and half off his bedside table. He got the snake into a sleeping bag cover before calling the police. The RSPCA believe it is probably a lost pet and it is being looked after by a collector while waiting to be claimed.
I was up early to see if I could locate that pesky office mouse. No luck, but he has definitely been about. I shall have to get up in the middle of the night and hide in the office waiting for him. Mind I will probably drop off to sleep and miss him! Felix duck in shrimp flavour sauce his morning. Someone has bought a pack of “Meaty Concoctions”. Well, I must say it was rather different, not as good as my favourite chicken. The pack they usually get has chicken, lamb, beef and duck, all are in gravy and all are nice, but chicken is best. I wonder if Ocado delivered the wrong pack. Still, I expect they will be trying me on M&S cat food soon!
The lady conductor who was being blamed by the Biased Broadcasting Company for demanding the dropping of Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia from the Last Night of the Proms has spoken out this morning. She says she never demanded any such thing and her complaining was made up by the BBC. No comment from the BBC says it all.
Someone is starting a regular bus service from Delhi to London. It is a specially adapted coach and will only take 20 people and last 70 days visiting 18 countries. It seems to be taking a bit of a roundabout route as they say it will visit Myanmar, The Great Wall of China, Kyrgyzstan, Moscow, and Prague to name but a few stops on the way. When it gets to London it will turn around and go back with 20 new people. The original people will be expected to fly back, that is if they have gone to live with auntie in Smethwick.
The surprise new leader of the Limp Dumps is Mr Ed. In a major shock, he beat the husband bashing Layla Moron. After holding the election in the phone box on the corner outside the House of Commons Davey got 4 votes Moron 2 votes and Miss Whiplash, whose card was in the box, got 10 votes. Unfortunately, Miss Whiplash was disqualified as she wasn’t a recognised Limp Dump MP (although she is understood to have close connections to the Labour Party).
They had a bit of fun down in deepest Wales in the middle of the night when a freight train pulling a load of tanker wagon filled with diesel derailed. Three of the wagons caught fire and flames lit up the night. The police put in an exclusion zone, as they where worried there was going to be an explosion and families were woken up and told to evacuate the area. Fortunately, the fire brigade put out the fire and photo taken this morning show the three scorched wagons.
Having read that Virgin Airways was in financial difficulties and was on the verge of going under after applying for Chapter 11 protection in America I was surprised to read that they are going to launch new routes to Pakistan. From December you will be able to fly to Islamabad from both Heathrow and Manchester and to Lahore from Heathrow. Virgin has always made most of its money from its routes to the USA and has suffered badly from the last of passengers on those routes. The suggested air corridor between London and New York would obviously be a huge help but Virgin are to pick up routes for underused aircraft. With Pakistan Airways flights to London suspended, over the fake pilots I told you about previously, there is a little bit of need for capacity.
What is the matter with the weather? I thought it was supposed to be summer but this morning it’s not very warm and a bit damp, it even looks like it rained heavily in the night. Over breakfast, another one of these strange concoctions beef in mackerel sauce, the Little Otter was saying she had been hoping for a sunny weekend and Bozzie replied “No chance it traditionally rains on the August Bank Holiday weekend.
The other day I was telling you about the Irish MPs who were in trouble for going to a golf dinner in defiance of the Irish COVID regulations. Well one of the Irish MEP, Phil Hogan, who just happens to be an EU trade big wig was also at the dinner. There has been a clamour amongst Irish politicians for him to resign but he was very reluctant to quit the EU gravy train. But he has now done so and I read that he need not have worried, because under the obscure EU rules he will continue to be on full pay for two years and still get a full EU pension provided he follows their rules and doesn’t criticise them.
While talking about the EU I understand that Barnier is phoning around the EU leaders moaning about the talk with the UK being on the verge of collapse. He is annoyed that he isn’t allowed to negotiate on either Fishing or “The Level Playing Field”. He appears to have finally realised that Bozzie is serious and is not going to give in on those items. The September talks look like being fun.
Another bank holiday and another protest is planned by Extinction Rebellion. They are planning to block bridges in several cities. What they seem to have forgotten is that not many people are going anywhere these days so they may not be having the impact they desire. In addition, the rules about mass gatherings have changed and they will have to be very careful not to break them as there could be some big fines.
I read that someone has been trying to kill pet dogs in a Somerset village. They have been putting down a mixture of raisins and doggie treats next to regular dog walking routes. Raisins are poisonous to dogs, and cats, and stop their kidneys working. But cats are not daft enough to eat them while dogs will wolf down anything they find. I know not to eat anything made of grapes, in fact, I don’t much like fruit and veg even the ones that are supposed to be good for me like apples and oranges. Give me meat or a bit of fish.
Oh dear, it’s cold this morning. At least for a change, it’s not wet in London. Surely it shouldn’t be this cold in August, it’s almost cold enough for the central heating to be put on. Bozzie is lucky having a hot breakfast, I’m still suffering this cold funny stuff, tell me would you like lamb in clam flavour sauce for breakfast?
I read a very interesting article in Bozzie’s discarded Telegraph on the kitchen floor this morning. It was pointing out how the many of the bosses of quangos go missing when trouble strikes and Ministers carry the can. I didn’t realise that Ofsted were not responsible to Williamson, they wrote the exam app and Williamson didn’t even have the right to see it! Who remembers Simon Stevens, the head of the NHS, saying a single word during the COVID crisis. His organisation employs 1.2 million people and spends £120 billion a year yet Handoncock does not legally have a say in its running. Then it went on to point out how civil serpants were supposed to do the Government’s bidding but many had gone rogue and were pushing BLM and transgender agendas. Is it any wonder some top civil serpents are being sacked.
Banksy has been trying to show what a wonderful human being he is by sponsoring a rescue boat picking up illegal immigrants in the Mediterranean. Unfortunately, I read that the boat has picked so many immigrants that it is now dangerously overcrowded and has put out a call for assistance. Countries are reluctant to assist as they don’t want to have to take in the passengers.
Elon Musk yesterday introduced Gertrude the pig to the world. She has had a computer chip implanted into her brain in experiments to link to her brain. Musk would like to expand the testing to humans with the aim of using the chip to control devices such as mobile phones and computers. Are we seeing the birth of the cyborg?
I read that a dog is to receive the Dickin medal, the animal Victoria Cross. The 4 year old army dog, called Kuno, was in Afghanistan where it attacked a terrorist who was holding up a raid with grenades and a machine gun. He took the man down despite being shot in both legs and saved soldiers lives. He was helicoptered back to base, all the time being worked on by first aiders, where he was stabilised before being flown back to the UK. Unfortunately, he now has two prosthetic hind legs and is retired.
Another story from Ireland, there seem to be a lot of them this week. The new Irish rugby union team shirts were launched yesterday and the makers, the New Zealand company Canterbury, have upset Irish Women rugby players. The shirts were modelled by 3 of the men’s team and three pretty girl models. The women players were quick to complain not only because they weren’t used to model the kit but because the women were all wearing trousers and not shorts like the men. Canterbury have promised not to do it again and use female players for their next launch.
Finally for tonight, I see that a sheep has been sold for a world record price of £367,500. The Texel ram lamb was bought by a partnership of three farmers. That some expensive lamb chops.
Good night everyone, I’m off for my dinner, I only hope that they have run out of those weird flavours, and then to bed.
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file