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February 2021

To see a World in a Grain of Sand

To see a World in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an hour

by William Blake (1757 – 1827)




Tuesday February 2nd 2021

This morning, I was put into a huge quandary. I am taking part in The Novavax vaccination trial and I have had two jabs (September and October last year). Then, yesterday, I was offered my vaccination courtesy of the NHS – probably the Pfizer one – and so I went this morning to see the Novavax vaccination trial people to see if it was all right to take the NHS vaccination. The quandary is that I DON’T KNOW whether I received the Novavax vaccine or whether I was on the control list who only receive a placebo. However, next month (March), Novavax are doing a crossover injection. So, all the ones who got the placebo last September and October are going to get the real thing in March and early April and all the ones who got the real thing last time will get the placebo, BUT we still won’t know which group we were in (not that it really matters). Anyway, the quandary is …… should I leave the vaccine trial and take the NHS vaccine, or should I wait until March / early April and take the Novavax vaccine (or placebo)? Novavax say that if I wait, and take two shots in March or early April, I will STILL be vaccinated before the NHS vaccination because the waiting time between first and second vaccination for Pfizer is TWELVE weeks which would take me up to the beginning of May for my second NHS vaccination jab. They also say (well, they would, wouldn’t they) that their vaccination is more effective than Pfizer. What would you do?

No contest, I am continuing with The Novavax Trial


Thursday 4th February 2021

A gloomy pall of mist shrouded the valley, and the village. The atmosphere was dank and dour. On the road to Thorpe by Water, an unfortunate Audi A3 was being slowly winched from a waterlogged field and the gate it had flattened. The view across the valley gave no hint of Gretton under the gunmetal firmament whilst the village of Lyddington, with the church of St Andrews peering above the trees was much more easily visible and down by the waterworks, a lonely bull plodged in the sodden field. The track bed of the old Rugby to Peterborough railway line pointed straight and true in the direction of Stamford and whilst the fields adjacent the low road were flooded, the road itself was clear, but the weir was still running high. Back in the village, Stone House, which grew from nowhere since last Autumn, has added positively to the ambience of the village. No stiles and 6.63 miles.

Thorpe by Water

The view across The Welland Valley gave no clue through the mist of the village of Gretton!

The Parish Church of St Andrew, Lyddington


The lonely bull in the sodden field behind The Old Waterworks

The trackbed of the former railway line than ran from Rugby to Stamford and Peterborough, midway between Lyddington and Gretton

Flooded fields

Gretton Weir in flood

Stone House, recently completed, on the High Street in Gretton


Saturday 27th February 2021

The early sun blazed down from an azure firmament on the way to Thorpe-by-Water. The River Welland was still and silent and in Lyddington, a detour past the parish church of St Andrew, revealed The Bede House, formerly a bishop’s residence and latterly, a home for the deserving poor. On the way into Uppingham, a couple of black pigs basked in the warm sunshine, but cotton buds of clouds were beginning to appear. An appetising chunk of “healthy” fruit cake from Baines the Baker in the town, before setting off from the market square and the parish church of St Peter and St Paul and travelling down the Stockerston road. There was a good view of The Eyebrook reservoir before descending into Caldecott and the parish church of St John the Evangelist and then it was across the fields to Gretton Weir, now reduced to drought levels, but with the flood damage revealed, before the road up into Gretton and a good view of the new houses on “Holly Rise”. Twenty-one stiles and 14.2 miles

St James’ Parish Church, Gretton

The River Welland at Thorpe by Water

The Marquess of Exeter Inn at Lyddington


Couple of black pigs enjoying the sun in Uppingham

The parish church of St Peter and St Paul, Uppingham

Uppingham Heritage Trail

The Eyebrow Reservoir

The parish church of St John the Evengelist at Caldecott

Gretton Weir from the back (above) and from the road (below)

The new houses on “Holly Rise”


I’ve not been walking much recently, because when I walked early in the month, the little toe on my right foot got a bit mashed up during the journey. It has not fully recovered yet and on the second (and last) walk of the month, I put a “sock” over it, which helped to protect it, but then, when I got home, despite wearing a knee support, my right knee was very painful! The following day, I drove my car for about twenty miles and my knee complained very painfully. Now, a day or two later, my knee is almost back to normal. I managed to walk up Station Road in 4 minutes 24 seconds, which is near to personal best and I wasn’t wearing a knee support!


By the end of February, the nation was still in Lockdown and has been for two months. Schools will re-open on 8th March and it is possible that there maybe some local football from the beginning of April. COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc across the country. To date, there have been 122,705 deaths registered as within 28 days of a positive Coronavirus test. There are still 14,808 people in hospital with COVID-19, but 19,682,048 people have received a first inoculation of either Pfizer or Astra-Zeneca vaccination. In the meantime, I await my “cross-over” vaccination from Novavax


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