Page 4 - HGS Suburb News 142 - Spring 2020
P. 4

Contending with Covid

                                                                                                                 Oh what fun it is to be a lady over 70!
                                                                                                                 Or perhaps some decades on: you wonder where the years have gone.
                                                                                                               TONY BRAND

                                                                                                                 Living now is not much fun so I’m waiting for the sun
                                                                                                                 To shine benignly on us. We cannot catch the H2 bus
                                                                                                                 Which regularly passes by, but few passengers do I spy
                                                                                                                 How long will all this last? I wonder, as all our plans are cast asunder.

                                                                                                                 Inside the house we eat and sleep and tidy up and try to keep
                                                                                                                 The rooms in some degree of order, because we cannot now afford a
                                                                                                                 Cleaning lady coming in, as we don’t know where she’s been
                                                                                                                 To other houses, and by bus – we know this is not good for us.

                                                                                                                 A new vocabulary has come to teach us, (as we are so dumb
                                                                                                                 And maybe deaf too, now we’re old). Listen well to what we’re told.
                                                                                                                 Coronavirus is the King, evil and most worrying.
                                                                                                                 Lockdown is another word that never before has been heard.
                                                                                                                 Social distance is quite new, which means to keep away from you.
                                                                                                                 Self-isolate’s another phrase – you have to live alone for days.

                      Wildlife flourishes under lockdown                                                         So one way to survive, I think, is to forget this nasty link
                                                                                                                 And look upon the bright side.
      This lovely picture of a baby   eating hedges and flowers, whilst   result of lockdown. Two weeks   experiment. Just walk around the   It makes you miserable to fear you might pick up this illness here
      squirrel was taken by Tony Brand   in central London the sound of   after the nationwide lockdown   Suburb to see how it is working.   Let wisdom be your guide.
      who came across it whilst walking   birds is now audible and if a   was implemented the Nitrogen   Enjoy the lack of cars,  feel
      in Northway Gardens. It was   nightingale decided  to sing  in   Dioxide levels in some cities fell   the butterflies fluttering around   This virus has been very kind to leave the winter far behind
      young  (or  fearless)  enough  to   Berkeley Square you would   by as much as 60% compared to   you and admire the spectacular   And settle down in spring.
      accept the nut that Tony offered.  probably hear it. This is almost   the same period in 2019.   wisterias. You may even encounter   ‘tis so well-timed the plants have climbed
         Kashmiri goats have been   like the beginning of a Disney   In a sense we are conducting   a bold little squirrel.  As fast as anything.

      roaming the streets of Llandudno   film but, in reality, it is the   the largest ever global air pollution   MARIE-CHRISTINE O’CALLAGHAN  Look at the trees – the blossoms here add scent into the atmosphere.
                                                                                                                 My greengage tree is clothed in white, to watch it is a pure delight.
          Arif’s Pakora parcels                                     David Cronshaw                               But if there is a night-time frost, it will all die – the crop is lost.

                                                                                                                 Nature is a wondrous cure for any fear you might endure.
      A pakora is a fried snack originating   show of solidarity and wonderful   on the lockdown                 But best of all are singing birds – I wish I understood their words -
      from the Indian subcontinent   community spirit.                                                           Who sing all day, at dusk and dawn from highest boughs or on the lawn.
      where it is served in restaurants  • I  am sure your pakoras have   In all this gloom, I am trying to   months now), Woodpeckers   And if you walk along our streets you’ll now hear the birds’ trills and tweets.

      and sold by street vendors.   brightened the day for so many of   focus on the positive.  and two Pigeons hoovering up   So now that we have so much time, make sure you spend it well -
         But recently it made a very   us in HGS. Thanks again for your   My partially disabled wife,  the bits falling/knocked from   Take up new skills, phone up your friends. Improve your sense of smell
      welcome appearance in the   time and generosity.      on her little buggy, and I went   the  feeders.  These  pigeons  are   For now the air is petrol free, much healthier in future will we be!
      Suburb when one of our residents,   Another wonderful example   out on Hampstead Heath   quite protective of their ‘territory’
      Arif Hussein, made a batch and   of HGS community spirit.  yesterday in the sunshine by   as they raise themselves to full   Judith Samson
      kindly offered to deliver them                        the Highgate Ponds and around   stretch to drive away the Magpies
      (twice!) to Suburb residents.                         and onto the top of Parliament  – but not the occasional Crows!
         The pakoras were greatly                           Hill. Considerable avian activity   We do watch TV a lot but do
      appreciated and here is just a                        on the ponds – signs of spring!  not subscribe to Sky, Netflix,
      sample of the reactions from                             In our garden, daffodils   Amazon, Disney or BT – we just
      several grateful recipients:                          predominate but other flowers   haven’t got the time. Yes, I use
      • Thank you SOOOO much, Arif. I                       are appearing. Bird feeders   the  Internet  and  have  a  smart-
      couldn’t wait to eat them and they                    diminishing rapidly – all types   phone but I also have some ‘real’
      were utterly delicious.                               of Tits, Chaffinch,  Robins,  books still unread after, in a
      • We can thoroughly recommend                         Blackbirds (one distinctive one   couple of cases, several months
      your absolutely delicious pakoras.                    with a single pure white tail-  ownership. Time to catch up!
      The whole venture is a magnificent                    feather resident for several           DAVID CRONSHAW                                          Nightingale

                                                                History repeats itself

                                 The Spanish flu started in January   while the British troops referred   true extent of the problem. The   It  is  estimated  that  about
                                 1918. It was the British Medical   to it as ‘Flanders grippe’.  press  declared  it ‘was not  a   500 million people became
                                 Journal that first referred to it as   Scientists are still debating   matter for alarm’. The Times   infected with Spanish flu – one
                                 the ‘Spanish flu’ because it was   the origins of the Spanish flu.  even suggesting the illness was   third  of  the  world’s  then
                                 originally reported in Spain.  One recent study suggested it   probably a result of ‘the general   population. One hundred years
                                 During the Great War, Spain   originated in China. Others   weakness of nerve-power known   on there are many similarities
                                 was neutral and did not censor   concluded that its epicentre   as war-weariness’. This attitude   with how various governments
                                 its press. The UK, France and   was  a  military  camp  either  in   left the door wide open for quack   and the public are dealing with
                                 the US – all of which had the   Kansas  or  Northern  France.  It   remedies such as eating raw onions   COVID-19, the biggest pandemic
                                 Spanish flu before Spain – kept it   has been claimed by some that   to keep ‘the dreaded scourge at   since the Spanish flu. The Spanish
                                 out of the newspapers to avoid   mustard gas and battlefield   bay’ or Dr Williams’ Pink Pills   flu eventually did end and it is,
                                 damaging morale. Spain was   fumes were responsible, while   for Pale People and even led   of course, a great comfort to
                                 offended  by the slander  and   others maintained that it was a   doctors in Manchester to prescribe   know we are in a much better
                                 named it the ‘Naples soldier’.  German biological weapon.  an age-old tonic: whisky.  place than we were then. For a
                                 The  German  army  called  it   Whatever its origins, there   In San Francisco, however, the   start, here in the UK, we have a
                                 ‘Blitzkatarrh’ (lightening catarrh)   is little doubt that a large factor   city mayor made masks mandatory   much better health care system
                                                            in its worldwide occurrence was   in public. Songs were written  – which is why we choose to
                                                            increased travel, with  soldiers   about mask wearing featuring   applaud our NHS.
                                                            returning home after the war.  lyrics such as Obey the laws, and   MARIE-CHRISTINE O’CALLAGHAN
                                                            Another  was  the  authorities’  wear the gauze. Protect your jaws
                                                            reluctance to acknowledge the   from septic paws.
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                                                                                                                                               Alan Walker

                                                                                                                    SAINT JUDE-ON-THE-HILL • THE PARISH CHURCH OF HAMPSTEAD GARDEN SUBURB

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