Everyday life Life

April 2021

As today people over 40 were told that vaccinations are available for them, it means that my group is next and I am so looking forward to getting my jab next month, hopefully. I wouldn’t have said more, but I was very annoyed by Gates and the news agencies’ questions on vaccination.

A few days ago Bill Gates gave an interview for a UK news show. He said: “The fact that now we’re vaccinating 30-year-olds in the UK and the US and we don’t have all the 60-year-olds in Brazil and South Africa, that’s not fair…” Well, as a healthy 30-year-old waiting for my vaccine I can say that I’m pretty happy with the government’s approach regarding vaccines and I also think that is very fair too. Also, I think it’s a bit inappropriate for someone who had his vaccine in January to tell someone else that they shouldn’t get one because their lives are less important than someone else’s in a another country, who happens to be older.
My risk of dying if I catch COVID-19 are very low, but the risk of developing long-covid are 10% though. That means, if I catch COVID, there is a 10% risk that I can’t continue my studies and work, for many months, maybe an year. Also, long-covid can have lasting consequences that we don’t know about because not enough time has passed to discover this.

UK has done quite a lot, as the government spent millions on the Oxford vaccine and made sure that Astra-Zeneca will be produced at cost for the duration of the pandemic and for developing countries in perpetuity. That’s more than US, EU, and other wealthy countries did. A few hundred million doses of Oxford-AZ were administered and that happened because all three players: UK government, Oxford, and AZ, decided to do this amazing thing. Funnily enough, AZ suffered due to EU’s incompetence and the UK government is asked to do more, including to donate vaccine supply to countries like Brazil and, more recently, India.

Brazil’s president opposed a lockdown and said that vaccines can turn one into a crocodile. Meanwhile, in India, victory over the pandemic was declared, some field hospitals were dismantled, there were no stockpiles of oxygen and medicines, religious festivals and election rallies went ahead. But, the Indian government made sure to tackle the crisis by asking twitter to take down comments that were too negative and Facebook to block a hashtag asking for Modi’s resignation.

In UK we’ve been in lockdown and we are still under quite heavy restrictions for 2 more weeks and for some restrictions for another month after that. I’ve had to read books online for my studies, which doesn’t mean downloading a pdf, but actually reading in a browser, seeing about half of the page and/or waiting for the next one to load, meaning I spent about 3 times more time for research. I could have taken two trains to Oxford to go to the library, but that was not inline with the spirit of the lockdown restrictions, so I didn’t.
So, is it fair for me not to get my vaccine? I am 100% behind of the idea of sending excess vaccines to developing countries, for free, and I am happy that the UK government sent supplies to India and is still sending supplies and help.

HRH Prince Philip

I was very sad to hear about HRH Prince Philip’s death. My husband took these pictures when he and the Queen arrived in Liverpool for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.


On the bright side, Extreme E started this month. I loved the first race, well done to Rosberg’s team. Everything about this new motorsport is amazing: there are a male and a female driver in each team and both compete. The SUV cars are electric and the track and races are so exciting. Their environmental legacy is even more important though.
Make sure you check this series, it’s pretty fantastic!


Festus is loving the new lawn. We are spending a lot of time in the garden these days. It’s really wonderful.


1. Cherry tree is in bloom. 2. Festus in Xmas attire, a picture taken on the day with a hat we forgot to put in the loft with the rest of the xmas stuff. 3. First ever Extreme E race. 4. Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. 5. Squirrel feeding. 6. Festus having a good time in the garden. 7. Love Raw, white bars. 8. Books I plan to read next. 9. Sad day, as Prince Philip died. Picture taken in 2012, in Liverpool. 10. Canal walk. 11. Another walk, where we saw this beautiful scene. 12. Knowsley Safari Park. 13. The Vegan Kind boxes. 14. Trinity term started (picture is blurred for privacy). 15. Tennis, second time we played this month. 16. I finished another book for my studies. 17. WWF, a commemoration for HRH Prince Philip. 18. What I cooked, to remember HRH Prince Philip. 19. Walk. 20. Pizza, for date night. 21. We’ve celebrated the Queen’s birthday with some delicious baked apples, sorry, no pictures of that, so I’ve included a flag instead. 22. Earth Day. 23. Covid testing at home. 24. I spent time in the garden, reading, with a flopped Festus by my side, of course. 25. Pizza day, with pizza from a vegan fair. We are back to outdoor fairs, how amazing is that. 26. My garden update for April. 27. Festus. 28. Flowers are starting to bloom in the front of the house too. 29. Beetroot latte at Indigo Greens, second time this month. 30. Books I finished in April.


In April I finished only 7 books, and, unfortunately, not all were great. I was unimpressed by two non-fiction books and gave them 2.5 stars. I was not terribly happy with a fiction book, hence the 3 stars. But, I liked two history books very much, thus gave them 4 stars, and, loved loved loved two more history books, thus gave them 5 stars. The book on medicines was fascinating, a bit technical, so keep that in mind if you are not interested in that kind of details. For me it was great though. As for the last book I read, the life of Mary Wortley, that was amazing. I will host a giveaway in the next few days, so make sure you enter the competition if you fancy winning the book. All the books are reviewed on Coffee&Books.

Books I finished in April:
A History of the Medicines We Take by Anthony Armstrong, Anthony Cartwright – 5 stars
Jews Don’t Count by David Baddiel – 2.5 stars
The Anglo-Soviet Alliance by Colin Turbett – 4 stars
The Failure of Political Extremism in Inter-War Britain by Andrew Thorpe – 4 stars
Only Beloved by Mary Balogh – 3 stars
Maiden voyages by Sian Evans – 2.5 stars
The Pioneering Life of Mary Wortley Montagu by Jo Willett – 5 stars

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19 Comment

  1. 7 books is impressive, I haven’t managed one since the first lockdown – I used to read when the kids were at swimming. I saw those electric cars on Top Gear – they look fab

  2. I hope you have been called up for your vaccine by now. I have had my second now and I’m very grateful for all the work the UK put in to get us in this situation. I feel the EU is annoyed with us. But they keep finding reasons against using the Oxford vaccine #365

  3. Festus is certainly happy! What a beautiful boy.

    Bill Gates means well and does well but, yes, his comments about the worldwide vaccination situation caused me to pause for a moment and think about fairness from a British taxpayer’s point of view.

  4. I am glad it won’t be long before you have your jab. I had mine awhile back as I get very poorly with my asthma. I feel better knowing I have had it. Although nothing will convince my brother to get the jab. I wish he would. That’s quite a mix of books you got through. I am still stuck on my first book of the month but am struggling to concentrate this month.
    Karen Langridge recently posted…Week 18 of 2021: Lots more exerciseMy Profile

  5. Regardless of whatever happens there is always someone who will judge and you’re correct Biden doesn’t have the right to make that comment. In some respect getting the younger people vaccinated means less damage to the economy if the majority of the workforce is allowed to work, but it’s a pandemic, the first of it’s jind in our lifetimes, so like the effects of long covid, we had no idea how all this would pan out anyway

  6. Festus is adorable!

    Oh I hadn’t heard that comment but how we should wait to allow others in other countries to have theres if they are older…tend to avoid a lot of the news….but think I agree with you…it wouldn’t be fair on us.

  7. I’m glad that you’ll be able to get your vaccine soon. I’m not entirely convinced that Bill Gates is the best person to judge what is fair and what isn’t, although I’m all for trying to share the vaccines with other countries and helping others get vaccines too. Love the photo of Festus enjoying the new lawn. #project365
    Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) recently posted…Friday Focus 07/05/21 – SteadyMy Profile

  8. It’s a hard one. My parents live in Spain and the EU has been shambolic with their rollout, meaning that my brother aged 50 and me aged 52 (then) got our vaccinations before my parents who are both in their late 70’s. My Dad only had his first shot last week. I would happily have waited for mine if it meant they’d got theirs earlier tbh. But I understand that everyone has a different viewpoint and we are all extremely lucky in this country #365

    1. I don’t agree, we were not lucky in Britain. The government made the taskforce to source vaccines fast, they ordered fast, invested in vaccines and manufacturing, while EU made a blunder of pretty much everything, from sourcing to investing to contracts to public messaging. We also had a strict lockdown for many many months. While, for example, in Romania, only 1 in 3 doses of AZ was used because people are scared as they don’t understand the science behind vaccinations and making a risk-benefit projection is hard when the media is presenting only part of the problem and not the whole issue.
      As for India, they declared the pandemic over, dismantled the hospitals, held rallies and religious events and the virus had the opportunity to spread fast. On top of that, they placed low orders of vaccines and one of them this year, in March!

    1. Fantastic! I’m happy for you. I love those pictures too, it was such a wonderful day for me, seeing the royals on their tour.

  9. Bet Festus is loving the new outdoors lawn. I totally agree about vaccines. I had mine earlier because somehow made it into group 6. We’re lucky that the UK actually did the right thing with vaccines in preordering and it worked out well. As long as we’re also sharing some with those worse off, that’s good. Glad you’ve been playing tennis again. Let’s hope the weather comes back nicer again.

  10. I don’t think it’s fair that Bill Gates feels like he has the right to say what is fair and what isn’t either. Who made him the moral vertical? Just because he has a lot of money doesn’t mean he is better than others. Making people feel guilty for taking the vaccine made available to them is ridiculous. You will definitely not help anyone by not taking it, that’s for sure.
    It seems you had a good reading months even if there were some disappointing books, at least you enjoyed your history books. I’m not sure how many books I’ve read this April. I think about five. I will stop by your book blog to read the reviews.

  11. I guess no one ever told Bill Gates that life isn’t always fair. And in reality, “fairness” can be subjective.

    I always like seeing photos of Festus and he looks really cute in the Santa hat. Ours modeled reindeer antlers.
    Kelly recently posted…Flower Stamps QuiltMy Profile

    1. Festus had some antlers too, but he gets a bit excited and wants to play with them, even at his age, so we avoid those. I love dogs with antlers, they are so cute!
      You are right that fairness is a very subjective topic.

  12. Don’t you just hate it when a book doesn’t live up to expectations? Some of the titles look so promising. Still, a lot of books this month, and some heavy duty ones, too.

    I think what you wrote about the vaccine is spot on and that Gates’ comments were short-sighted and insensitive and badly phrased. My feelings? Everyone should be able to get a shot as soon as they are able, no matter where they live. I feel for those who live in countries where things are badly managed and who want/need the vaccine. If our leadership hadn’t changed here, we might be in the same boat. But why shouldn’t people be fully vaccinated or those younger if they have the supplies to do it? The sooner the better, too. We have just opened up vaccines to anyone 16 or older. Bill G shouldn’t be talking about the UK without also discussing his own country — and, as you said, as one who got his vaccine early on.

    I was so sad about Prince Philip. I love the photos your husband took of the couple. And Festus in a Santa hat is always a delight!

    1. Sometimes it can be so tricky with books, they seem really lovely, but turn out to be different than expected.
      Thank you for saying that about vaccines. I don’t want to seem insensitive about the struggles some of the other countries face. I just wanted to point out that most of us in UK made sacrifices and not only not to go on holiday, but with everyday life. xx

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