CORONABOBS ISOLATION DAY 28 – Diary of a Self-Isolator 12.4.2020

CORONABOBS ISOLATION DAY 28 – Diary of a Self-Isolator 12.4.2020 BLOG 14th April 2020

CORONABOBS ISOLATION DAY 28 – Diary of a Self-Isolator Sunday 12Th April 2020

As Boris Johnson left hospital and went to Chequers to convalesce on Sunday, criticism of the government’s response to the pandemic was mounting from senior medics and politicians, particularly over its failure to get enough personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing to NHS and care home workers.

Prof Sir Jeremy Farrar, an adviser to the government and director of the Wellcome Trust, said the figures of almost 1,000 daily hospital deaths showed the UK was in a similar situation to other European countries that had been badly affected.

The government has been warned that Britain risks having the highest death toll from coronavirus in Europe as the total number of fatalities from the disease in UK hospitals rose above 10,000. But deaths were lower than the last couple of days. It was said that they tended to reduce over weekends. We shall see.

It was announced today that Tim Brooke-Taylor, a favourite comedy actor of mine, a member of the hit TV series The Goodies and funnyman who co-wrote The Four Yorkshiremen died of Covid-19.

A big hero of mine, also, who won the 1955 British Grand Prix and kick started my love of motor racing also has died of natural causes unrelated to corvid-19.

I frustratingly wasted my Easter Sunday as most of it I spent trying to connect my camera and microphone to my computer using a piece of software called “Sparkosoft” and one called “Debut”. All this was because of doing so much videoconferencing. Sadly, I wasted the day it was all in vain and did not work. I ended a failure. So frustrating!

Me and Mamma love to travel but of course that is out due to lockdown. But fear not in this age of Corvid-19 the technology comes to the rescue by way of TV.

We watched Tony Robinson’s “Travel Around The World By Train” and BBC 2’s “Race Across the World”.

Race Across the World is a British television competition programme, in which teams of two race across an area of the world to be the fastest to reach their destination using any method of transport other than a plane. The programme is broadcast on BBC Two and narrated by John Hannah.


Series overview:


Series      Episodes Premiere               Finale                     Start                                       End


1              6              3 March 2019       7 April 2019         London, UK                          Singapore

2              9              8 March 2020                                       Mexico City, Mexico          Ushuaia, Argentina


The competitors cannot fly but were each given a money belt containing an amount of money equivalent to a one-way plane ticket to their final destination, which they can use to travel by land or by sea. The money pays for all the cost of the travel including food and accommodation, but they may work to earn money along the way. The competitors may not have any mobile electronic devices or credit cards at the start of the race, but were given a world map, a GPS device to track their progress and for safety as well as finding the checkpoints, and a travel guide with local job adverts, in addition to the money. In every episode, the teams were given a checkpoint they had to reach. One team may be eliminated if they come last at a pre-determined checkpoint. At each checkpoint, the racers were given a 36-hour break. The first team to reach the final destination win a cash prize of £20,000.

I wouldn’t mind a go at that and the £20k would come in handy. Now, what would I spend it on? Top class video camera and sound software and mixing desk!

Instead I end up travelling in my armchair. Not as good as the real thing. But better than nothing.

On Channel 5 there was Britain By Balloon – A journey through the heart of the Lake District – by hot air balloon. From first light at Thirlmere, past the Claife Heights then towards Bowness-on Windermere, and landing.     This Easter Sunday night documentary lasted two whole hours.

This documentary should be perfect entertainment for me. Why?

  1. It is about the Lake District – my favourite place
  2. In a hot air balloon – My favourite way to travel – I just love hot air balloons and everything about them
  3. It travels all over the familiar ground of my Lake District.
  4. The balloon pilot and narrator, what little narration there is is Sir Don Cameron. The most successful balloonist, possibly ever.
  5. After four weeks of self-isolation (remember us 70-year olds have been in it a week longer than you other younger generations) and a lover of the great outdoors I am desperate for the countryside.

It started well 6.00am in the morning (on the film that is not on TV) in the Lake District. The scenery was beautiful as you went through dawn breaking and the balloon taking off in the sky over the Lakes, over Thirlmere. But it was all in real time. A new breed of documentaries that showed it as it happened, as it really is unedited. We’d seen others of train journeys for example.

All you could hear was the blast of the hot air, which was as regular as someone breathing heavily and slowly into the microphone.

The first 20 minutes proved to be relaxing. But for the first time ever I looked forward for an ad break. The plot was slow. Have I become affected by the fast-moving TV age? I just could not take a full two hours of this.

If I was in the balloon basket, actually doing the flight, brilliant! If I was walking the ground below, I could walk all day, no problem. But to sit in my armchair watching it on TV I could not do the full two-hour marathon at one sitting. I just needed to watch it 10 minutes a day for 12 days.

I guess if we were not in lockdown that documentary would never have made Channel 5’s schedules.

I bet initially the makers of the documentary took it to Channel 5 Commissioning Dept. and they said, “The only way anyone will sit and watch that documentary for 2 hours is if the government insist on total lockdown. If they say the whole nation is under house arrest. You have to stay in lockdown and go nowhere indefinitely. And that just ain’t going to happen in our lifetimes is it? So, go away, stop bothering us, and wasting our time until you can make something more fast moving with a gripping plot.”

Then, a month later I bet they were in a bidding war to get the rights to it. It’s a funny old world.

The landscape camerawork is beautiful, though.


  1. Completed my first 1,000 ft in My Climb Mount Everest on Our Stairs Challenge
  2. Completed the first 100 Word Doc Pages in the book I am writing





The world turns aside to let any man pass who knows whither he is going. -David Starr Jordan


Happiness is…Boris Johnson being fit enough to leave hospital


What’s the best thing about Switzerland?

I don’t know, but the flag is a big plus


Love is…staying in love for a lifetime plus



DAY 8        16 Times – 144 Feet   Cumulative Total 1,125 Feet



  1. Happy (From "Despicable Me 2") Pharrell Williams 3:53


Country                 Confirmed cases  Deaths

1              US                          582,594                 23,649

2              Italy                      159,516                 20,465

3              Spain                     170,099                 17,756

4              France                   99,168                   14,986

5              UK                         89,442                   11,347

6              Iran                       73,303                   4,585

7              Belgium                30,589                   3,903

8              China                    82,249                   3,341

9              Germany              130,072                 3,194

10           Netherlands         26,712                   2,833

UK Deaths yesterday 717


Global cases         Updated 14 Apr at 10:32 local

Confirmed            1,920,918              +70,698

Deaths                   119,686                 +5,471

Recovered             453,289                 +22,834



©2020 Phil M Robinson