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FastFreddy2

"Last minute" meeting around the UK?

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As expected, went to the British Museum today, wearing heels of course.

Took some pictures and video intending to include them, but not sure I'm going to. :(

Was a great afternoon, with waay too much to see. I would think it might take a good week to just eyeball what is there, much less take in what there is to see. The biggest group of visitors today were Pacific rim, meaning Chinese and Japanese. Some American, some English, some Italian, some Spanish. (British tourist season.) I am too culturally ignorant to know whether this museum is unique in it's content, or whether the content is so unique people from half way around the world would visit the UK to see it. I vaguely remember (I think) reading somewhere, the UK has the largest collection of Egyptian relics outside of Egypt. If that is true, I can understand why people might travel here and take in a visit to the British Museum. Photographs don't really provide an indication of size and scale very well. 

An example of that, (not Egyptian specific) is the Easter Island statue. There is one, and it's reasonably large, yet smaller than I imagined. :blink: Conversely, the detail seen in some of the 3,000 year old Egyptian plates (wall plates used to depict historical events) is just incredible. Three dimensions provide a level of understanding of the skill involved, that I doubt a two dimensional image could ever do. Pictures aren't useless, but it's not hard to understand why seeing the 'real thing' face-to-face is so popular. And no entry fees for the main exhibitions!!  I would recommend a visit, if the opportunity presents itself.

 

As luck would have it, I found parking for free fairly straightforward. A short walk, and we arrived at the entrance. A couple there, sitting on a wall noticed my heels, with the woman nearly breaking her neck to stare at them as I walked past and around where she sat. They were not English, and maybe seeing a man in a heel was big news to them? 

They do a bag search on the way in, and this took no time at all. Once inside, I wanted to see what I think is the new(ish) main hall, that now has a stylish canopy, keeping the refreshment area light and dry. An hour or two of looking at Egyptian and Greek relics, had me quite thirsty, and just a little hungry. The 'cream tea', went for £5-50 a serving, which is a scone the size of half a house brick, jam and cream, together with coffee of tea. A bargain given hot liquid refreshment came in at £3-25. The cream tea was a no-brainer.

By the time the huge cake was eaten (it really was too much), it was quite late and we only had time to visit the (closed) third floor restaurant to look down onto the main hall from a 30ft vantage point. It was impossible to ignore the grandeur of the building. (I was so proud, I nearly got a tear in my eye. ;)) All too soon the visit was over.

 

Epilogue.

Almost no-one had spotted my heels, though one or two inside had. No comments, no dramas, no adverse reaction I was aware of. All good.

Except .... Un-bel-ievably, that couple we'd seen on the way in, were still sitting on the same wall as we left, more than 3 hours later. Yes, they looked again, and again I wondered how small their world must be, to find my footwear so interesting. I don't mind people noticing. I don't mind people looking, but staring? Just plain rude.  Whenever people stare, I'm just a little embarrassed I'm not wearing prettier shoes. Ankle boots with slim heels, or some stiletto courts, rather than the sturdy and very very comfortable ankle boots I practically live in, when I'm out. ;)

 

 

 

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I wonder if anyone had any notion of how the world would change when I wrote up that visit? Certainly not me. At the time, there were bag checks, because folk (and our government) were concerned about terrorist attacks. Now we are all concerned about viral attacks.....

Last Friday evening I went to a couple of my 'usual' haunts, my first outing in heels for months. Although I didn't have to, I arrived during the evening as I have many times in the past. At Brent Cross, many shops were already closed for the day at 6.15pm. I decided to go to Westfield White City. It was raining heavily, but I went anyway, arriving just before 8pm. More stores closed and so was the M+S cafeteria they have set up outside their store in the mall. The evening was a 'bust'.

Worse for me, was the apparent failure by young people and some of those who looked like they might have ethnic backgrounds to wear face masks. I got very frustrated, very quickly and left the centre by 9pm. I don't mind if people want to exercise their right to 'freedom of choice', but they shouldn't be doing it in spaces shared with others. There were messages repeated every couple of minutes over the tannoy stating visitors to the mall HAD to wear a mask. We all know that going into shops, masks must be worn. The mall didn't enforce their choice, nor did any shops. So I left.

If 20% of our populace has breathing or emotional problems that mean they can't wear a mask, the NHS has bigger problems than covid. 

 

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Yes, the world has changed and there are certainly signs that some of the change will be permanent, or at least long-lasting.   Covid will be defeated, if never entirely eliminated, but its legacy is unlikely to do us any favours.   Restrictions on movement and social life will continue (If only because of over-zealous and unnecessary road closures, increased fees and tolls and reduced public transport), shops and entertainment venues will close permanently and people will feel more protective of their 'personal space'.  And many will no longer work in the environment or location with which they were familar, even if their jobs remain open.  I hesitate to speculate further, but the future does not look very encouraging, even if the economic problems can be overcome without bleeding us dry.

I too have seen signs of non-compliance in mask-wearing etc, but not excessively so.   But then I have had little reason or desire recently to go to 'busy' areas such as major shopping malls or entertainment venues.   A number of otherwise healthy people (myself included) find a mask 'awkward' - e.g. when also wearing specs and/or hearing-aids - and might be forgiven for lapses even though they accept the principle and endeavour to comply.  That aside, I would agree that the main culprits seem to be the young and carefree (or feckless) and those who are not 'home-grown'.   I suppose there is a minor benefit in mask-wearing in that it provides a degree of anonymity - useful if one is wearing heels in public!

 

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As I preach to anyone I can make listen .... Back in my production days, I used to be a welder. During a 10 hour shift, I would wear a mask that covered the lower half of my face. I was the only one in the workshop that did I might mention. We had extraction, but it wasn't like working in a breeze for obvious reasons. (Wind would remove gas-shield.) The stuff I found in the mask at the end of the shift proved it was a prudent thing to do. Most of my work mates were smokers, so they were just doubling up on smoke into their lungs and didn't seem bothered.

Not once during that time (nearly 4 years) did I in any way feel discomfort by wearing the thick gauze mask. Nor the shield fastened to my head, nor with the cap I wore underneath that (to protect my hair and scalp from hot metal popping into the air as I worked). During recent weeks I hear all the time that masks bother people. I have very little patience for those who resist the need to wear one. Those same people should insist their time in an operating room has the 6-8 staff in there breathing on their open wounds with hospital staff not wearing masks, nor bothering with any other form of sanitation. 

Imagine what the reaction would have been during WWII if people insisted they didn't 'black out' their homes because of the inconvenience, or didn't spend nights in bomb shelters because they preferred the comfort of their own homes.  Shorter lives is what they likely would have had.  Why do I use this comparison? At one stage covid deaths in the UK surpassed the average death rate of armed forces fighting abroad during that war. To date, covid has been more successful at killing UK residents, than Göring was between 1939 to 1945, and done it 12 times faster. 

Masks with a valved vent and shaped nose are less likely to steam up glasses.  I used the same (disposable) one for 30 minute weekly or fortnightly shopping trips from the start of March until the end of August, when I replaced it. (The replacement seems to have a faulty valve, but cost about £1-30 so it won't hurt to throw it.) These masks are left for a week or more between uses, so even if they are contaminated, I don't need to be concerned when I next use one. (I currently have 3 on the go now anyway.) I also wear gloves - all the time. I may get through 5 or more pairs during a trip out, but it means I don't have to constantly cleanse/sanitise my hands. I wash the gloves in disinfectant so I can re-use them. I suppose re-using a disposable mask, or gloves might seem a bit mean, but at the time there were no masks, there were no gloves. That 'excuse' no longer exists. There is now a wide variety of choice and price levels.

I have reduced the amount of time spent in stores by doing click and collect, and this week had a home delivery (my first) from Waitrose. Tesco charges £1-50 to have someone do my shopping for me. Yay!! While I have heard complaints about having someone else pick fresh produce, I have the following experience: I had encouraged someone to use Tesco delivery. They paid a premium for the delivery because they wanted it delivered lunchtime on a Saturday. They are retired so could have the delivery any time (including when delivery was almost free) but wanted it, "when they wanted it". Cost them £5-50 and saved them almost three hours it would have taken them to achieve the same outcome. They don't drive so 2 bus rides plus an hour or so in store .... Anyway, the order turns up and 2 of the 3 prepacked vegetables turn up with 'use by' dates that were also the delivery date. The recipient complained to me (despite me not being a Tesco employee) and I said to ring Tesco. When they rang Tesco, they got a refund on the veg. Then the 'free' veg got frozen and used when required. Free food.

With the Waitrose order I had a similar experience in that I neglected to tick the "no substitutions" on an item, and it got substituted. They don't want returns after they have been handled, so I told the driver I didn't want it before it was unloaded. Outcome? I got the substitution for free. Not sure why, but the goodwill worked. I have nothing but good-to-great experience with click and collect, and home delivery. I still go to stores, but I don't need to be inside for more than 10 minutes. Same is true of DIY purchases. I go in, spend 10 or less minutes purchasing, then leave. I have been masked and gloved up since the start of March this year. It's not ideal, but I am happy to do anything I can to protect myself from 'invasion' by any enemy. 

Sadly, those who feel they are 'immune' or not likely to have severe symptoms don't care if they infect others. Well it's their poor attitude that is getting clubs/pubs, restaurants and cinemas closed. Their actions that is making travel hazardous on trains/bus/planes, and will eventually cause longterm damage to the economy. Ironically, the longer they 'enjoy' their resistance to sanitary compliance, the deeper in debt UK PLC becomes. They are building a national debt that they will have to repay.  Karma.

Here endeth the sermon.... :rolleyes:

 

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Welcome back FF2.  World has changed in the last 6 months. I have to wear full  PPE at work when im doing certain jobs. I wear a face mask with filters, gloves, apron, hard hat  and ear defenders. Work  is much better now, then at the start of lockdown. Supervisor is seems much calmer now. He now comes in late and stays late once we all gone home. Sometimes I do forget about trying to keep a safe distance not that its possible with the work we do. Its delivery drivers that is my main issue now. They come right up to you when needing paperwork signed but could be my fault as well.

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8 hours ago, Heels said:

Welcome back FF2.  World has changed in the last 6 months. I have to wear full  PPE at work when im doing certain jobs. I wear a face mask with filters, gloves, apron, hard hat  and ear defenders. Work  is much better now, then at the start of lockdown. Supervisor is seems much calmer now. He now comes in late and stays late once we all gone home. Sometimes I do forget about trying to keep a safe distance not that its possible with the work we do. Its delivery drivers that is my main issue now. They come right up to you when needing paperwork signed but could be my fault as well.

I understand that not everyone is constantly 'aware'. A couple of times, I have breached the social distancing requirements, but at least I've been outside when it happened. Inside, I have taken a step backward when someone got too close. I did had a stand-up row with a fella twice my size when I asked him if he didn't know what 6ft foot looked like, when he stood next to me in a supermarket. (Boy, was he cross.) 

Bottom line is, I think it's all about mitigation, reducing the percentage chance of talking to someone infected, in a way they can infect you. With all your PPE and the slim chance someone infected is going to be in front of you, I'd say you have very little to worry about. As long as any of us don't become (too) obsessed with being careful, and allow 'taking care' to stop us doing things we want to do, all those who want to stay safe should stay safe.

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